1. If you don’t, someone else will.
I get it. We’d like to think we are kind, and considerate, and thoughtful. And of course, these things do matter. But at the end of the day, do we really want to be left with a pile of missed opportunities and could-have-beens, simply because we have toes to avoid stepping on? Because I can tell you this, if you don’t go for that job opening, someone else will. If you don’t make a move on that special someone, someone else will. If you don’t make the most of your life, someone else will. And they’ll enjoy it, too. (They better be some important ass toes.)
2. You hurt, and you get hurt.
We, emotional and selfish beings, tend to become real cry-babies when we’re hurt. Someone betrays us, and suddenly the entire world is supposed to be on our side, making an enemy out of the person who stabbed us in the back (or to our face). But it’s almost guaranteed, that down the road, the exact same thing is going to happen again. Maybe to a different degree of severity, maybe in a different context. And you won’t see it coming. But this time, there will be a role reversal, and you’ll be the biggest hypocrite on the planet. So take your time to be mad and hurt. But at the end of the day, life is a roller coaster (inwardly barfing) and while someone is up, someone else has to be down.
3. Everything blows over.
This, I believe in so strongly that I want to get “this too shall pass” tattooed somewhere on my body (if it wasn’t so damned cliche). Because come on, we don’t see our grandparents going around heartbroken, recollecting about when they got dumped in twelfth grade. Granted, some things do stay with you. Some things never go away. But they won’t terrorise you forever. At some point, they’ll turn into a lesson. If they don’t, then they’re insignificant. And the stories that you’ll be telling as a grandparent will be the ones that truly shaped you as a person. Which would mean, you’ll never really want to forget them at all.
4. Everyone else is a protagonist in their own lives too.
I used to think that being “selfish” could only be a negative quality. But to an extent, I’ve grown to admire people who can be selectively selfish. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes. (Do not insert “selfish people live longer” quote here. Do not…Do not…Damn it.) Everyone is just looking out for themselves. You aren’t obligated to deal with anyone else’s shit, and no one is obligated to deal with yours. Caring is a choice. You can always hope that they’ll be there, and most of the time, someone always is. But you can’t expect someone else to be as invested in your problems as you are, unless they are going to spend the rest of their lives with you (that’s quite a considerable amount of time). Or unless you are family. In which case, you can’t escape each other. Sorry.
5. Only you are stuck with yourself.
Forever. Listen to your parents’ advice and warnings, sure. It’s alright to be swayed sometimes. We all like to know we aren’t alone in the choices we make; that someone is behind us, supporting us. But essentially, you’ll have to make those decisions not because there is a resounding ‘yes’ and not because there is a stamp of approval from everyone you know. But because you know what you want for yourself, and you know what’s going to make you happy. Letting them decide which course or university to go to might seem like the respectful and wise thing to do now, because at least they will be happy (or just not flip their shit at you). But they will only be happy for so long, until they’re gone. And then you’re stuck in this life that someone else constructed for you, designed for you, to give themselves relief. And you’ll regret not recognising now that the only person you’ll truly spend forever with is yourself. And that is the person that has to be most happy.