30 Life Lessons For 20-Somethings With Too Many Feelings
1. Laugh constantly. Laugh freely. Laugh at every moment in your life. Laugh when it is appropriate. Laugh when it isn’t. Laugh when it fucking hurts like hell. Laugh when the happiness escaping your throat is as smooth as a whiskey seven. If you cannot laugh when you’re beat down. When you are hurt. When you are two seconds away from inhaling a pain that will drown you, you will never survive.
2. Orgasms are by far, hands down, the best thing for your complexion. Don’t waste money on some ridiculously overpriced face wash. Lancome is a lie. So is Cover Girl. Instead, put your fingers to work. Go pay the thirty or fifty bucks for a bunny that’s guaranteed to get you off. Become comfortable enough with an individual to sleep with them on a daily basis. Just cum consistently and your pores will thank you.
3. A cob salad has more calories than a double cheeseburger. Don’t kid yourself.
4. A girl can never own too many stilettos. Yes, they will hurt. Yes, they will cost almost as much as your rent. Yes, while they were once undeniably beautiful you will inevitably wreck them thanks to countless nights plagued with tequila and bad decisions. It doesn’t matter. They will make you feel beautiful when you can’t stand to look at yourself in the mirror. They will make your legs appear longer, your form appear slimmer, and your ass appear Brazilian.
5. Argue. Debate. Disagree. That is the only way you will become privy to the beauty that is an organic learning environment. Keep an open mind. Listen. Nod at the appropriate time. Stand up for yourself when necessary and shut the fuck up when you should. A coalition of different viewpoints is essential to true understanding. Be prideful enough to lend verve to your voice and humble enough to know when your voice is cracking.
6. Music will save you. It will also kill you. Certain songs will repair gaping holes in your heart while others will send you back two years ago; when you were in his arms, kissing his lips, and resting your head on his shoulders as he strangled his fingertips with your hair. Regardless, music is a constant reminder that it’s okay to feel. It is okay to remember, to reminisce, and to be sad. It’s okay to cry laugh smile lose control scream dance become far too sentimental forget. To. Just. Be. Hiding behind intoxicating melodies and beautiful breakdowns is the universe’s permission to feel. So close your eyes and turn up the volume.
7. Tequila will do one of two things. A) Make you fall in love with everyone. And I mean everyone. Or B) Make you ridiculously protective to an almost violent degree. You despise the man who gave your best friend a second glance. You automatically distrust the poor sap who offered to buy your roommate a drink. You are ready to throw down for their honor, dignity, and virginity. No, it doesn’t matter that they lost it years ago.
8. Champagne will give you the worst hangover of your life.
9. Wine will make you wish you were Mormon.
10. Jäger will, without a doubt, make you do that one thing you boy-scout-honor-swore you’d never. Ever. Do.
11. Reading is pivotal. Another human being’s syntax is the soul’s water. While walking a mile in another’s shoes is impossible, caressing a stranger’s paperback spine is the closest you will ever get to fully understanding another human. So sink into a chair every once in a while. Sit outside in the sun. Cuddle up next to a lover. A window. A fireplace. Just read.
12. Don’t you dare read on a damn Kindle. Your fingertips need to feel the pages. Your nose needs to smell the pine sacrificed in the name of literature. Visit your library. You will feel intellectual, organic, and sexy.
13. It is okay to be alone. In fact, everyone should be at least once. Surround yourself in the silence that is independence. Stop looking for someone so that you may find yourself.
14. It is essential in one’s life to experience a one night stand. The awkward morning-after will remind you that you aren’t made for consistent promiscuity. The allure of a dirty night with a relative stranger will make you feel like Pamela incarnate.
15. Craigslist is the perfect example of both the rise and fall of society.
16. You are capable of handling situations you couldn’t have possibly imagined. Fathers will disown you. The love of your life will sleep with someone else. The person who made you will hit you. Your best friends will die. A man will ignore your fervent “no” and take what he wants. And still you will find yourself filling your lungs when situations should have left them empty. It is in those moments that you’ll remember there isn’t anything you cannot overcome.
17. There isn’t anything you will be capable of overcoming without your friends.
18. The cure to any discomforting situation or painful realization or heavy moment within one’s life, is driving. Nothing will take away the feelings of failure like a never ending road, a rolled down window, a six speed manual, a music collection of epic and speaker-destroying proportion, and (of course) a pack of cigarettes. Drive until you have left it all behind you. You will eventually have to return to it all, however the miles you’ve put between you and a rude reality will strengthen your resolve.
19. The ones you love the most will hurt you the most. Mothers will be incapable of protecting you when they should. The most important man in your life will hurl hurtful words in your direction. Best friends will write words dipped in resentment. You will reach out to someone in tears, scared and alone, only to have them decide it is too much and disappear. Forgive them instantly. Love them regardless. And know that you, despite your best efforts, have hurt them too.
20. Talk dirty in bed. Get over being uncomfortable and push past the urge to compare yourself to a mediocre porn star. While between the sheets with a fantastic lover, say everything you have ever wanted to say or do or have felt. Those words will assist you both in obtaining levels of pleasure previously believed to be nothing more than a filthy fairytale.
21. Slow dance. Don’t leave your youth in a middle school gym.
22. Whatever you do, do not pass out on the bathroom floor of a gay bar. Enough said.
23. It is okay to ask for help. It is okay to swallow your pride, choke down your guilt, chew on your inadequacies, and realize that you cannot do everything by yourself. Everyone needs help at one time or another. Including you.
24. You are not confined to the family god gave you. You have the beautiful ability to hand pick your own. College friends will become your sisters. Ex-boyfriends’ fathers will become your own. Best friends of your brothers will become baby brothers one, two, and three. Cherish them, protect them, and allow them to do the same.
25. Enjoy having too much. Too much Jack Daniels. Too much love. Too much dancing. Too much work. Too much procrastination. Too much time. Too much responsibility. Too much insecurity. Too much coffee. Too much doubt. Too much of not enough. Realize that overindulgence is the key to neutrality. Realize that a painful destruction is essential to the construction of something wonderfully beautiful. So take one shot too many. Stay out until six thirty, when you have to be at work at nine. Tell them that you love them, even when you know it is too much.
26. Girls poop. Yes, it can rival a man’s in both stench and quantity. Get over it.
27. Make fun of yourself. When others do, it will help it hurt less.
28. Remember how blessed you are. You can be covered in bruises and overflowing with emptiness. You can be lost, alone, and fantastically hurt. However, it can always. Always. Be worse. And for countless others, it is. So after you have tended to your bruises and replaced the smallest amount of emptiness with a tangible satisfaction. After you’ve been found and are standing next to another and your hurt has diminished. Be thankful.
29. Whoever said money doesn’t buy happiness, lied. Sometimes, it takes money to find yourself at a concert with friends or three sheets to the wind or atop a needle sharing scenery with those that have never experienced it before. Pay for it anyways. Sign the check that makes your stomach turn. Eventually you will look back on those moments and realize that you would have paid twice that amount.
30. You can plan and scheme and write in a neat little notebook. You can create numerous lists that await the swift line of completion, but it won’t matter. Nothing will end up the way you thought it would. Things will happen that you couldn’t have possibly foreseen. Life doesn’t care about the plan. The scheme. Your neat notebook. Or your fifty lists.
Including this one.
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In love, we show our true colors. With our loved ones, we show our true selves.
1. Women already have the right to vote.
I could no longer stand the Freudian irony of killing myself by tiny increments because of a numbing fear of death.
The expectations and hopes to live “like everyone else” that I feel as an adult is rooted in more than just a desire to measure up. It is also rooted in the need that I have felt since I was a child to live a normal and happy and controlled life.