I graduated high school 10 years ago but the cringeworthy scrawl scratched across the covers of my folders, notebooks and within my diary will be forever etched into the annals of my mind. You know what I’m talking about–utterly ridiculous quotes about life and love that, at the time, we’re the paragon of inspiration for your teenage self. Quotes not specifically attributable to anyone, essentially existing in a vacuum, seemingly having appeared out of nowhere and been disseminated by the promiscuously scribbling pen of the teenage girl.
As a grown ass woman, I don’t usually turn to stupid quotes to make myself feel better, unless they happen to be said by Eleanor Roosevelt or lifted from a Perry/Gaga/Beyonce song. However, it’s creepy how many of those embarrassingly twee quotes I turned to like scripture as a teenager ring true, even in adult experience. Here are a bunch of dumb quotes, courtesy of teenage me’s school books, that turned out to be pretty true.
“No boy is worth your tears, and the one that is will never make you cry.”
I think you can substitute boy with “person” here and still tell the same story, in love or any other human interaction. If someone you like is shitty to you, it’s not worth sobbing over. It’s more of a wrist flick, “uh-oh-oh, uh-uh-oh-oh (all the single ladies)” type situation, where you just have to hip dip, eyebrow curl and flex to get out of, rather than making yourself miserable with tears. Likewise, the kind of person that is worth wasting water over is the kind of person that doesn’t do nasty things to you in the first place.
“Dance like there’s nobody watching.”
This was part of a longer quote that said something like, “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt and dance like there’s nobody watching.” I always used to add in my own modification of “Sing like there’s nobody listening.” My signature move is The Robot (my Chaotic Full Body Convulsion isn’t so bad either), so I really took this one to heart. Mainly because trying to dance sexy or cool is boring; flailing arms about and crab walking across the room on the other hand is super, super fun.
“Don’t frown, because you never know who is falling in love with your smile.”
And also because wrinkles! I’d much prefer to have smiley crow’s feet around my eyes than a worrisome, furrowed brow. A smile goes a long way in your daily interactions, and it’s not just about “love” either; the simple gesture of a smile makes everyone you come into contact feel better about themselves and about you. Say “cheese”!
“Don’t let the bastards get you down.”
They’re bastards ergo should not affect you. Haters gon’ hate, so just do your thing and flip the rest a good, solid, heartfelt bird.
“A real friend will side with you even when they think you are wrong; anyone will side with you when they think you are right.”
I don’t think this means your friend should commit crimes with you, or get on your page if you’re suddenly preaching some weird “world is flat, ban abortions, gay is bad” crap, but the point is when you’re making hard decisions the people around you don’t necessarily agree with, they’ll support you regardless. For example, saw a lot of “friends” drop off when I decided to go HAM on my career and dropped off the social radar; some “friends” saw this as “boring” or “inconsiderate” on my part and aren’t my friends anymore, but my real friends understood what I had to do and why, and haven’t budged an inch.
“True friends are like diamonds; precious but rare. Fake friends are like fall leaves; found everywhere.”
New York is full of five minute friends and party pals, which makes the lasting ones all the more invaluable. Except that you’d hope no one died in the process of discovering them.
“Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”
Take this advice from a self-confessed wallower: tears don’t bring anything back, and you end up missing what’s in front of you if you spend all your time lamenting what you’ve left behind. You can really damage beautiful memories when you spend too much time mourning them — try to take things for what they are, and if you can learn to be happy that you had an experience, even though it’s over, you can preserve some of the magic that you miss, and look forward to making new magic through new experiences.
“Be yourself, because those who mind won’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind.”
If people don’t like who you are then that’s their problem, not yours. Also, consider how many people you don’t like. Not everyone has to like you and you don’t have to like everyone. Just do what you do, and as a wise friend once said to me, “If you just follow your path, eventually the right person will meet you at an intersection.”