1. The opinions of others.
Who. The. Fuck. Cares. Are you bleeding anywhere because Samantha didn’t like your hair or Ashley thought that maybe you’re choosing the wrong moves for your career path? Does it hurt anywhere because the girls What’s-Her-Face brought to the party thought you were a bitch? No.
The opinions of other people about you don’t matter. What matters is yours. Stop putting ANY energy into preoccupying yourself with what others think, and put that energy into living your best life. Do you. People are always going to talk, they’re always going to give their two cents about something that isn’t their goddamn business, and not everyone is always going to like you. Life’s a lot easier simply not giving a fuck about those opinions.
2. Pleasing others.
Stop chipping away at your happiness pleasing others instead of yourself. Stop saying yes where you want to say no. You’d rather go home and take a bath and sip some wine instead of going to happy hour? Tell Susan to deal with it. Your mom thinks the blue dress is more appropriate than the black for your cousin’s wedding? Thank her for her opinion and wear what you want anyway. Your boyfriend would rather you go spend some time with his family than see the friend you haven’t been out with for a while? Do what you want and go have a fabulous time with your girlfriend, he can get over it. Remember, if the tables were turned, 95% of the time these people wouldn’t be sacrificing the things they want to do to please you.
3. Being nice.
You want to say no to that second date, SAY NO. Don’t worry about hurting his feelings. He’s a grown ass man, he can deal with it. Is someone making you uncomfortable? SPEAK UP. They’re the bigger asshole. Tell them to tone it down, stop getting in your personal space, or putting their hands on your back, whatever it is that’s bothering you. Stop being fake, for the sake of being “nice.” Be cordial, whatever, but don’t be phony to that girl you can’t stand. Don’t be afraid to tell that pair of guys to fuck off that won’t quit staring at your chest.
4. “What’s in” fashion and beauty standards.
Leave the being basic to basic bitches.
But, I can’t wear this dark purple lipstick when my eyeshadow is already dark and smoky. FUCK IT. You’re feeling yourself in it? WEAR IT. Everyone is buying that pair of Kendra Scott earrings and that necklace, I have got to get it. Do you really like it? I mean, do you really? Or do you just want to be able to say you have it? You really want to look like you just came off the assembly line? Fuck it. Wear your Target chokers and boho necklaces you got at that art festival. Becky thinks you look like, oh my god, a little emo? Fuck her and her good hair. Rock your black fishnet tights with those denim shorts. You want to mix some prints and patterns? Wear blue lipstick? Wear no makeup? Wear white jeans after labor day? DO ITTTTTT.
Your fashion is a statement, make whatever statement YOU want to make, not them.
5. Being skinny.
This isn’t to say to stop caring about being healthy or stop doing what you have to do in order to feel comfortable in your skin. But it’s time you accept your body, your image. It’s time you look in the mirror and scream at the bitch staring back at you that she’s beautiful. You love carbs and pasta and cheese and dark chocolate? Don’t sacrifice those things. It’s all about moderation. Don’t look at magazines or Instagram and covet the bodies that you see. Each body is different. Some just have more muscle, or more skin in other places, or more fullness, or less. Do what works for you, what makes you feel good, BE THE BEST VERSION OF YOU. Don’t aspire to be the best of someone else. Life is too short to live it saying no to that piece of cake.
6. Being single.
I can’t believe she’s engaged and I haven’t even been on a date in 5 months. Stop hating. Stop whining about being #foreveralone. Nobody wants to hear it, and honestly, you attract what you put out, that energy is not going to get you a boyfriend by cuffing season.
The thing, though, is that your life isn’t fulfilled through a man. That kind of happiness is #fakenews. Learn to be happy with yourself and by yourself, if you’re this unhappy alone, you’re never going to be truly happy because you suddenly got a boyfriend or finally got married. True happiness comes from within, anything else just makes that happiness greater.
And just a tip: it’s better to be alone than with the wrong person. You’re in a relationship because you’re worried about ending up alone? You’re settling because you don’t want to live life alone? Do yourself and that other person a favor and don’t. Trust me, IT IS BETTER TO BE ALONE THAN TO SETTLE. This gnawing feeling you have is telling you this, listen to it.
Stop crying over the fact that you’re not where you thought you’d be at X age. Life is not a checklist or a to-do list. Everyone grows and experiences life differently. It’s okay that some of your friends are married with a baby on the way, and you just got out of a relationship and are navigating the dating scene newly single. It’s okay that you’re deep into your 20’s and you’re still not ready to date. It’s okay that your best friend bought a house and you’re just barely renting an apartment. It’s okay that at whatever your age, you’re rethinking your career, or quitting your job, or decided you want to go into a different field.
Another tip: stop worrying about what other people are doing or comparing yourself to others. I guarantee you, as surprising as it may be, there’s at least one thing about your life they also envy. We all live life differently. Worry only about how you’re living it.
8. Wearing a bra.
Free the boob! Work it, girl. It’s 2018. Dismantle the patriarchy two boobies at a time. Going out Friday night in something too low or with no back…don’t worry about the bra. Wear that bodysuit. Go to brunch hungover on Saturday and wander around the city day-drinking braless if you feel more comfortable. Your breasts aren’t something to be ashamed of. Go without a bra whenever you feel like it.
9. Getting older.
IT’S NATURAL AF. Stop living in the past or wishing for the body you had at 19. Stop fretting over how you’re coming close to 30 and are still single. Stop bitching about those lines you see on your face that weren’t there last year. Whatever. Your bitching is just going to get you there faster. Just wash your face, apply your toner and moisturizer, take care of yourself.
10. What if’s.
What if’s don’t exist. Enough said.
11. People who left.
They’re not in your life and haven’t come back for a reason. Focus on who has always been there, on the ones who stayed. Those are the ones who matter. Those are the ones who love you. The ones who will never let you down.
12. Quantity of friends.
What matters most is quality.
It wasn’t cute in middle school and it’s most definitely not cute now. Again, about others, who gives a fuck. There’s much more meaningful conversation to be had.
It is what it is. You can’t go back in time. You can’t somehow end up in whatever alternate universe you think you wouldn’t have fucked up in. You’re stuck in this one. Learn from your mistakes and failures here and work your way up from there. It’s admirable. It’s all any of us can do. You’re stronger and better for it. We’re all human, after all.
15. Being alone.
It’s Saturday night and you’re still on the couch alone, binge-watching Mindhunter, and after this last episode you’re going on a wine and ice-cream run to keep you company throughout a movie. Last night you did the same. Curled into bed with a book and didn’t go anywhere. It’s okay. You don’t always have to be surrounded by people. You don’t have to post a picture on Instagram every weekend. It’s good to spend time alone. You need to learn how to enjoy your own company because even when we have others, we are inherently alone.
And, again, stop feeling sorry for yourself for being single. SEE ABOVE.
To quote Hunter S. Thompson: “We are all alone, born alone, die alone, and – in spite of True Romance magazines – we shall all someday look back on our lives and see that, in spite of our company, we were alone the whole way. I do not say lonely – at least, not all the time – but essentially, and finally, alone. This is what makes your self-respect so important, and I don’t see how you can respect yourself if you must look into the hearts and minds of others for your happiness.”
16. Being selfless.
The best advice I ever got was that sometimes, in order to be happy, we have to be selfish. This doesn’t make you a bad person. There’s a difference between selflessness and self-preservation.