Friday, August 28, 2015

Advice From An Old Lady

Dear younger me / young women who are now an age that I once was, 

Congratulations on being in your lower twenties! And for graduating college, or choosing not to go to college in favor of pursuing goals that don’t put you in debt and for whatever it is that you're doing right now. You’re growing up and growing up is awesome. Challenging, for sure, but awesome nonetheless.

I know that your twenties are a time for making mistakes and learning from those mistakes.  If I were to do it all over again, I’d most likely make the same mistakes because I didn’t know any better. Sure, people always tried to tell me what I should and shouldn’t do, but I never listened to them. It’s not that I didn’t trust or appreciate their advice, it’s that I was stubborn and in the words of Tommy Pickles, “A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do.”  

But, if I could give myself advice… this is what I would say:

Stop polling your friends. You know the answer no matter the situation. Don’t ask your friends if you should hook up with that one guy, because they’re going to have an opinion on it and you already have your answer, so what’s the point? Don’t ask your friends if you should go to New York for the weekend with someone you met only once to wait in line for tickets for SNL, because OF COURSE you’re going to do it. Yes, it sounds crazy, but you should do it because you want to and your friends are going to think you’re weird if you ask them about it. Everyone is going to have an opinion about everything and there’s no point in hearing it when you already know the answer. Their opinion is only going to make you feel guilty, embarrassed, stupid, etc. So buy stupid outfits… make stupid decisions… deal with the consequences. The truth is neither you or your friends know anything about anything… so just do it.

Stop oversharing. Don’t tell everyone what’s going on all the time. Nobody cares and if they do care, all they can do is pity you, empathize with you or lecture you. I was once in a really rough situation and made the mistake of telling basically everyone. A lot of people felt bad for me (which I felt extremely awkward about) and others didn’t care, didn’t know what to say, felt awkward or changed their opinions about me. At the end of the day, nothing about it felt good. It was nice to have support, for sure, but everything else was awful. I'm not sure why I did it, maybe I wanted people to feel bad for me, maybe I wanted attention, maybe I was just sad and it was the only thing I could talk about. Either way, now I tell my problems to french fries. They're great listeners. 

Be yourself. I spent a lot of time pretending to be someone I wasn’t. I pretended to be “cool” with things I wasn’t cool with (like, say, casual relationships that weren’t so casual to me). I pretended to be hip and into things I didn’t give a shit about (like obscure bands, indie films and scary movies.) When I break myself down and think of the person I am consistently, I am basically a very nostalgic nerd, an old soul and an introvert who prefers deep connections with a few people instead of having a thousand friends to fill up my spare time with. This is an okay person to be.      

And finally, don't get blunt bangs. They take a lot of upkeep and you will be too lazy to handle that. Also, they look terrible. 

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