Live Your Life, Be Free

Time to face it – I’m getting on. At 27, I am over the hill, but now I think I have cracked this life business. I won’t say happiness, because I’d be lying if I said I was happy all the time, maybe I’ve cracked just how to life (yes, I don’t mean live), how to get on and just be.

I’ve been through a lot of crap with people, from all walks of life, from friends to colleagues to Dr’s, and basically I am now like, realising things. Who wants to know the secrets!?

I’m not religious, I don’t think I’ve even got a faith, but I’m trying to live now by ‘The Serenity Prayer”. I’ve been doing it for ages, but it’s in words, it’s an *actual* thing!

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”

It’s good to put this into practice when you’re having an argument with someone. Like your mum probably has always told you “choose your battles” or something. If someone is going to say or do something you disagree with, but they’re standing their ground – give up! If you don’t think you can change the outcome, don’t argue about it.

That being said, fight a good fight! If someones going to say something mean to you, or accuse you of something, stand your ground and don’t back down until they can justify it. If they can and they’ve got a point, apologise and move on. If they can’t then, you know who’s the real dick head here – not me. Be like me, end an argument by demanding that your boyfriend leave to go and buy you some new books, let people know you’re in charge.

Don’t argue too much about the past, nothing will change!

Give fucks sparingly! The tiniest percentage of peoples actions and words are responsible for making you feel a certain way. The majority of what you feel is in your power! Wow like who knew! So what if someone tells you your hair looks crap, it probably does because it’s winter, and you’ve been busy, and you haven’t washed it for a week. Who gives a shit, you’ve been so shitting busy being fab, your hair is the last thing on your mind, and if it bothers someone else, bitch thats their problem.

Right, angry bird out the way, how else can we use the good lords name in having a good old life.

You hate your job, or even you like it but its not giving you life and what you want to do 50 hours a week. But, you can’t change it (not quickly anyway!). Accept it, you’re in this hole for the foreseeable future, but, it pays a wage, you can (hopefully!) live off your income, and maybe have a bit of extra moolar to play around with. Every cloud and all that! And if you hate it that much, or you can’t live off the money – don’t worry it might not be fun, or easy but it’s teaching you what you definitely don’t want, and showing you what a tough little son of a nutcracker you really are.

I am in poor health, and most days, I can accept that. I won’t lie some days it does get me down and I get sad and angry about how badly it affects my life. But I can’t change it, this is me, so I am going to be the best me I can be. I hope that if you have poor health, or look after someone who does, that you can accept it and choose to see whats good. We’re still alive, we’re the youngest we will ever be, we are loved, supported and stronger than anyone else could probably ever know.

 Be courageous and kick ass at all times, even in your tea stained pyjamas when you’re sat in bed.

Find what makes you happy, and do a lot of it. Be reasonable, non negotiable responsibilities come first, please don’t get pissed on your lunch break.

Manage your moolar! Pay your bills on time, work out a debt plan. Boring but true that it can help you feel better, because buyers remorse sucks. Non negotiable bills first, anything left is yours to do whatever you please.

Save some money for a rainy day, shit happens you might need it.

BUT, buy the lipstick, the bag, the shoes. You deserve it.

Eat the food, because you only regret the chances you didn’t take.

Perfection is a myth.

Comparison is the devil!

If you don’t ask, you’ll never get -the worst thing you can be told is no, and you’ll still be no worse off for asking even if that is the answer.

If you don’t understand something, ask questions! You’re not Psychic Sally, you don’t know it all (I mean even though you think you do).

As much as possible, be present. In your mind, be in the moment, not in the past, in the future, on your phone, on your game. Theres a time and a place for that, and a time and a place for focussing on the people in your company, or breathing in the fresh air and atmosphere of a walk. Switch on!

Say what you mean, and mean what you say.

As much as possible don’t lie or keep secrets, they’re a physical burden, so don’t be a little shit ya little shit.

You don’t have to always call people out on their shit, so what if that girl is buying her followers, or uses all stock photos. Concentrate on your own business. If someone says proper Hitler-esque stuff then yes call them out, but don’t be so absorbed in what else other people are doing wrong, that you look like a nit picking little bitch nit that every second tweet is slagging someone off.

This one needs no explanation. Make chocolate Crispie cakes (preferably with Mini Eggs).

“Sunscreen” by Mary Schmich

Ladies and gentlemen of the class of ’98: Wear sunscreen. 

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience. I will dispense this advice now. 

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine. 

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blind side you at 4 PM on some idle Tuesday. 

Do one thing every day that scares you. 

Sing. 

Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours. 

Floss. 

Don’t waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself. 

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how. 

Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements. 

Stretch. 

Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t. 

Get plenty of calcium. 

Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone. 

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance. So are everybody else’s. 

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. 

Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room. 

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. 

Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly. 

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. 

Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. 

Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young. 

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. 

Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft. 

Travel. 

Accept certain inalienable truths: Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old. And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders. 

Respect your elders. 

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out. 

Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re 40 it will look 85. 

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. 

But trust me on the sunscreen.

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