1. Fake friends.
If I have to question whether or not someone is really my friend, they’re probably not my friend. Point blank, case closed.
2. Societal expectations.
I have walked a very unique and unconventional path in life thus far. I’ve done things slowly, differently, out of order, out of turn, and in ways that make sense to me as an individual. That doesn’t mean I’m on the wrong page. It simply means that I write my own pages.
3. Self-inflicted stress.
Just say no to self-inflicted stress. Stress inflicted by outside circumstances and other people is plenty enough.
4. Working too hard for too little.
I’ve never been a huge fan of the “work hard” platitude. What are we all working so hard for? If you’re working hard for something that leaves you feeling dull, frazzled, unfulfilled, unsatisfied, used, abused, and mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted beyond comprehension, perhaps all that hard work should be directed elsewhere. I don’t work hard. I work smart.
5. Rules you don’t agree with
Life doesn’t come with a rulebook. I write my own rules.
6. Internet trolls.
7. Mistreatment of the people I love
A person can be a total stranger to me, but if they do wrong by someone I care about, I will grow to deeply dislike them. I’m tired of hearing about the people I love getting bullied and then giving bullshit advice like, “Don’t let it get to you.” No. Let it get to you. Then tell me about it, so we can do bad things to that person together.
8. Lame excuses.
I won’t make them or take them.
9. Donald Trump.
I’ll join the Canadian bandwagon if I have to. This man is a wolf in sheep’s clothing if I ever saw one. Don’t screw this up, America.
10. A dwindling interest in books.
I used to read and talk about books like someone who lived in her very own bookstore. Whenever I finished one, I immediately started another. But after going through an emotional and tumultuous time in my life recently, I stopped doing a lot of things I used to enjoy. I lost myself a little bit. Books I bought months ago remain untouched, and I can’t even remember the last time I logged in to my Goodreads account. This year, I’m going back to books.
11. Emotionally unavailable men.
I have so many feelings and care so deeply about the people and things that matter to me. Choosing someone who will barely allow himself to feel anything at all is no longer my cup of tea. I want someone who openly cares as much as I do, and I won’t settle for less.
12. The universal sense of entitlement.
I deserve nothing. You deserve nothing. We’re all pieces of dust floating around a giant ball in space.
13. A fear of being annoying.
If staying in touch with people, enthusiastically expressing my passions, and being a gigantic dork makes me annoying, then I don’t even want to know what people find not annoying. I’m not a cool or overly sociable person. I accepted that a long time ago. But I’d like to believe that caring about stuff doesn’t make me annoying.
14. Changing myself for love.
I will no longer wear a filter, monitor my behavior, change my personality, or pretend to like things I don’t like or have never heard of for the sake of impressing a love interest. It’s exhausting. Differences can either make a relationship interesting or ruin it. If it’s the latter, that person clearly isn’t the person for me anyway.
15. Quitter talk.
I will not entertain thoughts of quitting before I’ve even tried. That’s madness.
16. Judgmental and baseless opinions.
Haters gonna hate. Taking every snide comment or rude glance to heart will do nothing but cause me unnecessary pain and anxiety. Who cares what people think? Half the time, they’re people I don’t have to associate with too much anyway.
17. Apologizing for/suppressing our feelings.
If life has taught me one thing in the past year, it’s that really terrible shit happens at really unexpected times. Life is too short to leave things unsaid and problems unresolved. I’m going to tell the people I love that I love him, address the problems that keep me up at night, cry when I feel sad, and brag when I feel happy. Expressing our feelings should be a fucking birthright.
Spending too much time alone literally makes me crazy. That used to be my thing, but it’s not anymore. I deeply value solitude, but I deeply value my friendships and relationships way more. People need other people.
19. The voice of negativity.
We all have a negative voice in the back of our minds, but mine has a tendency to ruin my life a little bit. I mentally abuse myself. I dream up worst case scenarios. I work myself into ravaging states of anxiety, anger and depression. I think it’s about time I start working on all of that.
20. Pop culture.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when popular music got so bad, when people became so interested in meaningless, raunchy and vain subject matter, when movies started making me wonder if Hollywood was running out of good ideas, and when the lives of public figures became more important than the lives of wounded veterans and starving children, but I’m pretty much 50 Shades of DONE at this point. I’d rather fill my heart and mind with things that truly make me feel something – things that make a difference.
21. Harmful and belittling stigmas.
I pride myself on being a relatively open-minded person. Stigmas and stereotypes are way overrated. This is 2016.
22. The blame game.
I don’t care who’s fault it was. In fact, I’m quite sure it was both of our faults to some extent. All I care about is the conflict getting resolved, regardless of who did what.
23. Waiting for ghost trains.
Waiting for something that may or will never come is exhausting and emotionally unsettling. I’ve waited for men to love me. I’ve waited for friends to act like friends. I’ve waited for unchangeable people to change. I’ve waited for miracles. I’ve waited to be seen by people who don’t even want to look at me, much less see me. There has to come a time where we stop waiting, stop hoping, and stop torturing ourselves. Maybe and hopefully, my time is now.
24. Being undervalued.
One of the cruelest and hardest lessons life has beaten into me lately is that caring deeply about someone won’t teach them how to care deeply about you. They won’t wake up tomorrow morning and suddenly realize how great you are and how lucky they are to have you. They won’t show up on your doorstep with a carefully crafted apology and the heart you’ve been fighting for. They will hurt you, take you for granted, keep you at the bottom of their priority list, and forever be incapable of realizing how special and rare it is to be loved the way that you love them.
I wish I could tell you what’s wrong with those people, but I can’t. All I can tell you is that you should learn to value yourself enough to know that you don’t need them. And unlike me, I hope you learn how to do that before the age of 24.