1. You have fewer friends than you think you do.
Way fewer. Out of our hundreds of Facebook friends, dozens of acquaintances, and even the few we consider close friends, we’re lucky to have one or two real friends at any given time. Seriously. It makes sense, though: assuming a real friend is someone who genuinely and actively cares for you and your well-being, among other things, how many close relationships like that can one possibly have? Think about your friends: how many of them would drive you to the airport at 5:00 a.m.? How many of them would take you to the hospital, or visit you in it? How many of them would help you move, or help you clean your apartment before your parents visit, or help you pull out a diaphragm that’s stuck in your vagina? Moreover, how many would you actually consider asking? You’re lucky if you come up with two.
2. Your ex doesn’t miss you.
Far from it, probably. We all like to think our exes miss us in the same way we miss them, but damn, wouldn’t we be getting back together with them if that were the case? If you imagine your ex sitting miserably in front of an open window gazing out at the swirling snow, or drinking themselves to sleep in a dim dirty bedroom writing depressing poetry, or suddenly bursting into tears in a department store when what used to be “your song” comes on, you’ve just created an epic work of fiction in your head. Actually, they’re fine, thanks for asking — they’ve redecorated their apartment, taken up printmaking and started dating someone else who so far appears to lack your plethora of charming neuroses. Sorry babe.
3. Money is real.
In so far as it pertains to your life, of course. If your goal is to move to Thailand with little to no worldly possessions and live a neo-Bohemian life in a small hut on a hill, then godspeed. I admire your resolve. However, if you hope to survive in this society without having to mooch excessively off of your friends and parents or selling your first born, you have to try to budget a little bit. Just a little bit. That means stop thinking that “using your credit card” translates into “getting things for free by swiping a piece of plastic.” No. Those debts will follow you around forever and you’ll either have to pay them off eventually or fake your own death. Splurging on Loubs when you can’t afford your rent isn’t “fabulous,” girl, it’s dumb.
4. Life isn’t a game show.
As awesome as it can be to think so, you can’t “win at life.” Not even if you’ve got tiger blood (??). No one’s keeping score and besides, we all know how it ends. You don’t get a prize for knowing the right answers, there’s no fast track to success and you probably won’t win a bunch of money either. There’s no “correct” formula by which to live, at least no singular correct formula; no recipe that will yield the perfect results, so relax. The only thing you’ll end up with if you follow a recipe is something thousands of other people have made thousands of times over already anyway.
5. Yes, that thing in question is awful.
If you have to pull that thing you just tried on in six different directions to get it to fit okay, cock your head in the mirror examining the angles and still have to ask your friend’s opinion, it’s awful. If your relationship makes you sob and break glassware more often than it makes you smile, it’s awful. If your friendship is draining and one-sided and you have a feeling you know what would happen in a Hunger Games type situation, it’s awful. And yeah, it can be difficult and kind of brutal to admit the awful truth to yourself, but ultimately it will make things easier than hiding it in the couch cushions to find at a later date.