Dear self, Here's how to not spend your last year in your 20s:
1. Don't panic. I hear from the other side, the view is invariably the same. Maybe a bit more carefree. Maybe a dose of relief. Perhaps a renewed sense of go-get-it-ness. Though rumor has it, the 20s were a mess for most people who lived them. Apparently, by 30, you should realize this. And let's be honest self — the 20s were roaring. Let's go out like a lamb. Quietly. Peacefully. Gently.
2. Obsessing. All those things that wake you up at 2:18 a.m.? They're destroying you. Let it go.
3. Cramming. Listen, from what I've seen of those who are now well into their 70s, your 20s are not the only time of life to get stuff done. To dream. To grow. To risk. There is no rule that says you have to settle down and calm down and conform when you hit your 30s. I'm banking on this one. I mean, responsibility is good. But adventure? Let's never get tired of that.
4. Apologizing. I'm not talking about real apologies here. If you need to apologize to someone, you should really do it, no matter how old you are (If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.) In this case I'm talking about the incessant "I'm sorrys" that permeate your conversations. For not serving water correctly. For feeling inadequate. For taking control of your own life. Just stop. Remember that time you met that person who did that alot? And it drove you crazy? Hi pot. Meet kettle.
5. Fixing. You can't change others. You can't fix their problems. Even when you think/know/are convinced that you are right, you're wrong to think it's up to you to change them. So if you can't fix it, let it go. Don't hold onto that wrench every time you're in conversation with them. Everyone sees it. Nobody likes it. Also, you? You're a mess. Start there.
6. Controlling. Ha. You thought you were in control. Has the last 10 years taught you NOTHING?
7. Reconcile. Always pursue wholeness and peace. Sometimes it doesn't mean a face to face conversation. But it might mean in your heart. Keep an open hand in relationships. Forgive. And again, let it go. (Boy, this is a recurring theme, no?)
8. Stop listening to music only because it's sad... all the time. It makes you a sad person. Don't be sad. At least not all the time. So it's ok to occasionally close that Billie Holliday, Les Mis or Angus and Julia Stone song. Really. It's ok. Close it and stop reveling in emotion. It's not good for your heart. Or your skin. I realize you're Irish and Polish, and both bloodlines beg for weeping and airs and staring blankly out a window at a rainy sky for hours and hours. You do it well. Kudos to you. Now smile.
|chinese proverb: you cannot prevent the birds of sadness from passing |
over your head but you can prevent their making a nest in your hair.
design by: Studio on Fire, Minneapolis, Minn. Published in Comm. Arts Design Manual, 9/10
9. Know your friends. The thing about moving as you grow older, is that your best friends won't necessarily be replaced. The people who you bonded with in Texas? Well, they're gonna be the keepers for years to come. And that's a good thing. Stop trying to recreate things in every new home, city. It's ok to recognize what you have as good. Even though it may be thousands of miles away, the value of it has not changed. Stay true. Stay connected. And don't be afraid to build more where you are. Build. Try. Always stay open.
10. Rest. This whole grace thing is not a fad. Nor is it a bandaid. It's the cure.
Hey reader...Anything you would add to my note to self? Now's the time. Chime in. But please, be nice.