1. Which one of our friends is engaged/married.
There is no need, when someone pops up on our news feed with the announcement of their upcoming nuptials, to go into a tailspin of an existential crisis. There is no need to be jealous, or bitter, or judgmental, or think that they’re going to become an incredibly boring person because now they are part of some isolated club. (They might become boring, actually, but that’s a bridge to cross when you reach it.) The point is that their happiness means nothing about our happiness, even if we feel like it does. Just let it happen.
2. Whether or not we want to have kids.
Some people want kids, some don’t. And the pressure that other people are going to give us about the kinds of choices we are supposed to be making with our uterus are not going to stop, so the first thing we need to do is get right with ourselves. Figure out what you want, accept that it may change or it may not, and move onto different things. Because agonizing over something to please others — especially something as serious as having children — helps nobody.
3. What some asshole thinks about us.
Don’t call that loser. Don’t pick up when he calls you. Don’t text him “thinking about you” when you’re drunk at two in the morning. Don’t let him come back into your life to have sex with you for a few days and then disappear again. Don’t let him be a person in your life. He is never going to be something real, and you know this.
4. Whether or not our clothes are fashionable.
Worry about what looks good and what feels good, according to your standards. Not what some magazine told you. Not what some beauty guru told you. Not what some random person you want to impress by pretending to be someone else wants. Dress for you.
Gossip is like junk food: It’s easy to consume, it feels good in the short-term and satisfies a craving, but ultimately leaves you feeling like shit and much less healthy for having given into it. It should be beneath all of us, especially about people we actually care about, and it certainly doesn’t add anything beneficial to our lives. Only the simplest of people fill their time with talking about other people.
6. People whose life decisions we really disagree with.
Unless they’re hurting themselves or someone else, it’s time to turn off that maternal instinct and let them do it. Even if it bugs you to no end to watch.
7. Whether or not people pity us.
The first important thing about doing what you want and going after the things you like is understanding that there are always going to be assholes who get a thrill out of looking down on it or judging it or pitying it. We have to have the strength and conviction of our decisions not to give a shit about who thinks what, and just be happy with the things we are doing: professional, romantic, social, or otherwise. If someone is being mean to you because you work at a coffee shop, just remember that they are the ones who deserve pity for being so judgmental, not you.
8. Whether or not we are single.
Being single might feel like a serious burden, but obsessing about it and hating ourselves for being in that state is not going to do anything about it. There is a difference between being the person who just happens to be single, and the person who is entirely defined by their singledom, and that difference is mostly based on whether not you can accept your love life. Once you realize that there are so many things to do and experience out there that have nothing to do with a relationship — and that love will come when it comes — you are no longer the Sad Single Person that you think you are.
9. If we’re going to have it all.
We need to pick, like, two or three things that we really want in life. We need to go after them, and hope that the rest falls into place along the way as a result of hard work and kindness. We cannot spend the rest of our young adult lives trying to be the perfect woman in every possible category. Because that woman doesn’t exist, and she never did. And just having a job you enjoy, or a good group of friends, or a nice apartment, or a healthy relationship — and not all of the above at all times — puts you way ahead of the pack.