Story · Therapy · writing

All These Things I’ve Learned

In advance of my birthday next week, I’ve decided to share some things I’ve learned in my 33 years on this spinnin’ rock.

1) If you can’t find your glasses, they’re probably on your face.

2) Don’t let a shitty experience derail you from taking part in a hobby you’re interested in. Shitty people exist everywhere, and they are often the loudest, but I promise there are open, welcoming people in every community.

3) Introspection and reflection is an important part of life, and you should make a practice of it. Whether that means bullet journaling, meditation, a gratitude journal, retreat, walking in the woods, whatever – it doesn’t matter the how, only that you do.

4) Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so make it as much of priority as you can.

5) Play more games! All kinds of games. Make it a habit. You know how basically every child loves to play games? Embody that because it is pure joy and you don’t ‘outgrow’ that.

6) You can feel pain and joy in the same breath. It’s okay to feel multiple things at once. You aren’t broken or weird for that, you are simply a multifaceted emotional being.

7) Go beyond to be nice/kind to service workers. For every asshole who treats them like garbage, there should be an infinite number of people who make them feel valued. And they are woefully underpaid.

8) Stop measuring yourself and your worth against others. I don’t remember the exact quote but it’s something like “If you measure a fish by how fast it can climb a tree, you’ll always find it lacking.” It sounds silly but I know I’ve been very guilty of this in my life.

9) RINSE. YOUR. RICE. Seriously, it’s so much better when you rinse it.

10) Grief is a tide that ebbs and flows. Learn to accept that. Don’t struggle to be free of it or you’ll drown.

11) You don’t have to be a dog person or a cat person. You can just be an animal person.

12) Sex and intimacy are two different things. Learn not to confuse them. Also, there is nothing wrong with wanting one or the other or both or neither or a wavy, dissolute mixture.

13) Read more! If you don’t read recreationally, you should start. To get started, set aside 15 or 30 minutes, like they do for kids in school, and pick something interesting! If you’re facing decision fatigue with fiction, try a nonfiction title or memoir of someone you admire.

14) You know when you have those negative, shitty thoughts, that threaten to send you into a shame/despair spiral? Learn to notice what the root of those thoughts is. Is it Jealousy? Fear? (tbh it’s almost always fear.) Knowledge is power.

15) Learn to cook with spices. It will add depth and pleasure to home cooking. A great place to start is with learning to cook some Indian dishes.

16) Communicate your expectations in every relationship. If you don’t, you’ll often find them lacking.

17) Take every opportunity you can to laugh. It really is the best medicine (okay no, actual medicine is the best medicine, but laughing does make you feel better!)

18) When you’re feeling like you don’t want to exist, try and remember that somewhere, someone, is very happy that you do.

19) Chili is so much better with Kidney beans, Black Beans, and Chickpeas in it.

20) Go the therapy. Therapy is amazing, and everyone should go, and it should be free. (And by free I mean ‘covered’ because therapist and counselors do amazing work and deserve to be compensated well for that.)

Okay I’ve rambled long enough. Here’s the final one, and my golden rule:

21) Be Kind. You’ll be given many situations in life where you are left annoyed. Take the opportunity to be kind. Kindness spreads. Be a catalyst of kindness.


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