1. Nothing, absolutely nothing productive or meaningful can be rooted in vengeance.
Karma is not something you can produce on your own. After 2014, I wholly and completely believe, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” If you have been wronged, your only responsibility is to move forward; not to be just as spiteful in return. You usually end up hurting someone you loved, thus only hurting yourself more.
Even when you think it’s months too late; even if you think you won’t get one in return; apologize. There is something cathartic about putting your ego aside to bring peace and resolution to a conflict.
3. Keep some things to yourself.
In a world where we are encouraged to rant, rave and share everything from intimate moments of our relationships and babies, to our most damning thoughts and even pictures of our lunch, keep some precious things to yourself. Allow certain facets of your life and mind to be yours and yours only. Few people care about your woes, and even fewer people have your best interest at heart.
4. You’re not her, nor were you ever meant to be.
She may have qualities or things you don’t possess. You have things she doesn’t possess too. Fuel your ego and curb jealousy by looking in, rather than looking out. Perhaps the best version of yourself is not as accomplished as her, but it is definitely just as valuable, just as beautiful, and just as worthy of love and self-love. Being a second-rate version of someone else is never as satisfying as being the best version of you. “Being better than her” is the kind of motivation that will burn you out, ultimately leaving you unsatisfied and invalidated. And often, you could have what she has and not be any happier.
5. Are you doing this for yourself or for society?
This could be anything from something you buy, something you want, something you’re working towards, or something you claim. Answer this question, and remember that our society is…pretty fucked up. Now adjust accordingly.
6. Make a budget.
Stick to this budget. And when you want to spend extra money on something, consult the question above. (And then do not buy it, because you need to stick to your budget!)
7. Where you cannot find justice, you can find strength.
There is so much pain inflicted upon us. Pain we don’t deserve and pain we’ll never understand. Do not let it harden you. Instead, let it make you wiser, more appreciative and more compassionate. Life is not fair, but it should be experienced to the fullest.
8. Send good vibes to those who persecute you.
They are the ones who need it most. I truly saw many times over that the ones who are hurting others are the ones who are hurting, deep down, the most.
The doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. Period. I am a feminist. And I am proud to be a feminist.
10. Forgive yourself.
For failing, for being wrong, and for loving the wrong person. And give yourself permission to do it again, because you will.
11. Learn when and how to say “no.”
Say NO to: dinner parties you do not want to attend, to fake friends, to a societal idea you do not believe in, to a relationship you no longer believe in, to a promotion, to pain, to anything that does not serve you.
12. Engage and listen.
We all have a story to share. Listen to every story. Learn from every story. Share every story.
One of the greatest people I met this year was a woman I briefly worked with. One day, just through asking her simple questions about her weekend, I found out she was homeless. She would go on to teach me so many lessons about life, appreciation, turmoil and work ethic. I have no doubt that she was meant to enter my life and teach me particular lessons. All I had to do was engage and listen.
13. You cannot change people.
Your love, your good intention, your dedication, your pleading, your promises, your wisdom cannot inspire people to change — whether it’s their ways or their feelings for you. People can only mature and reach their potential when they are ready. Maybe you will be there to see it, and maybe you won’t. Because (and here’s another lesson I learned): timing is everything.
14. Shonda Rhimes.
We are all just peasants in her world.