Birthday wisdom from a man-child

Today I officially pass 40 years of life on this planet. It's an amazing experience to look back on your life, your experiences, and - most vividly - your 20's and think "DAMN, I was such a freaking idiot. Like seriously, a grade-A douche." But you know what? That's okay. If you're reading this and you're in your 20's just know that you are also a freaking idiot and a grade-A douche, and that's okay! You're supposed to be - it's harmless, and temporary. One day you'll agree with me.

So what have I learned in the last 40 years? Not as much as I should have, but enough to make a list anyway. It's not as deep or as funny as I was hoping it'd be, but that's okay too. I suspect when I'm in my 60's I'm going to look back and realize how much of an idiot and a douche I am today, so I'm forgiving myself for it already.

Thank you all for spending my birthday with me - I love each and every one of you.

35. Never tell yourself you're going to make a list 35 things long

34. You're awesome. Start from there every day. Tell yourself you're awesome. You're bad ass. You fucking got this. Physically say the words. Be a paragon of awesomeness. Then head out the door like god damned Superman

33. Get into shape now. You'll be glad you did later, and it's never going to get easier

32. Everyone is just trying to be happy. Help out with that any way you can

31. Do you know why everyone loves dogs? Because they're the embodiment of affectionate, happy, caring, non-judgmental, joyful love. Be that for the people in your life.

30. Compliment your lover. Touch them constantly. Flirt with them every chance you get. Make them feel wanted

29. If it harms no one, do whatever you want - unapologetically

28. If it harms no one, let others do what they want without judgment

27. There are 3 things that are always worth the money: Your hobbies, your indulgences, and gifts for the people you love

26. Correct people as little as possible. It makes you smug

25. If someone is getting joy out of something they found online and you know it's not real, let them have it. Don't be that person that has to ruin every good experience just to prove they know stuff

24. You don't have to agree with someone to support them

23. If you're going to do something, don't half ass it. Go all-out with everything you do. Half built ships don't carry dreams

22. Depression exists. Don't tell a depressed person to "just get over it" or to "cheer up". Support them, be there for them, keep them safe. Just help them through it without trying to fix them. You don't have to understand to lend support

21. Hug your friends. Kiss them if you can get away with it

20. Prooferad everything

19. Someone's experience may seem trivial to you, but the pain they feel could be the worst they've ever felt. Remember your worst day, imagine theirs is just as bad, and go from there

18. Don't try to fix everything. Sometimes the best thing you can do is just listen while someone vents. They'll figure it out eventually

17. Don't trust anything online that agrees too closely with what you already believe

16. Get rid of toxic people, even if they're family

15. Life doesn't care about you one way or the other. It doesn't care about anything. There's freedom in knowing that there's no pre-destined plan for you. You can write your future in any way you see fit

14. Bad things are going to happen - It's not personal. Take a day to feel sorry for yourself, then accept it, fix it if you can, and move on. No one interesting ever lived a boring life

13. You're wrong a LOT more than you think you are. Don't be afraid to admit it

12. If you find yourself complaining about the same thing often, re-evaluate your life. Accept it or get rid of it

11. Be 100% honest with your friends. You'll refine your social circle that way

10. Let people have their beliefs. They're important to them

9. Keep your beliefs to yourself. No one cares what you believe, they care what you do. That's all that matters

8. Words don't matter. Your life is not going to be remembered for the things you said you were going to do, it's going to be remembered for what you did

7. Arguments should be quick and to the point, never personal, and quickly forgotten

6. Have at least one indulgence and enjoy it often, but occasionally keep yourself away from it. You don't want it to become common

5. Don't be afraid to be completely hypocritical. But when you are, remember that you just found a flaw in your own principles. Might be a good time to reconsider them

4. Laugh when you screw up. Encourage others to laugh at you. Chances are it's pretty funny and you need to practice not being a baby anyway, so it's win-win

3. Shut up more. It doesn't matter how little you talk - it's too much

2. Most of the things you worry about will never happen

1. Dump it in the fuck it bucket and move on


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RW McRae

ARTHOUSE
SINCE 1975