10 Pieces of Life Advice I Definitely Don’t Need

These tidbits are all for you guys. I’m actually immune to them and don’t need them at all. Readers, you really need to get your shit together. And let me tell you how. Follow my advice closely and learn everything I already know. Okay? Okay! Here we go.

1. Get less addicted to Facebook. For the love of all that is Good and Evil, enough is enough. Aren’t you tired of pretending there isn’t a giant void in your soul that gets filled with all this mindless information? Scroll after scroll, all you’re getting from this deal is depression and self-loathing. No number of “likes” will ever make your post feel as cool as that rad feminist mom who is homeschooling like a champ with her perfect cute kids. No number of little red notifications will actually make you less dissatisfied with the lack of real, authentic social interaction in your life. You’re “talking” at a screen (typing into a box) and you’re still sitting there completely alone. And does it actually make you feel better to click through her photos and keep whispering, “I wish I was there… I wish I was doing…” and not making any headway to be or do or see any of what you really want to see? Get off the computer, and go freaking do it.

2. Stop rebounding. Love is fun in the first six months. Soon, he’ll get mad at you for genuinely forgetting to turn off the kitchen lights and you’ll stare at him, stunned, and think, “You’re not the man I thought you were!!!” OF COURSE he’s not. You thought he was everything you needed him to be. Consistently patient, always full of words of affirmation and fun date ideas. To keep you interested, entertained, fulfilled. Well. He’s not. He can’t. No one can actually be your “everything”. If you still think that your addiction to passion can be sustained for longer than 6 months, I think you need to reevaluate your delusions. If you still think love is about another person making you happy, I think you’ll be pretty disappointed with the new guy you date when you find out he’s basically the same as the last: totally imperfect and not able to make you happy all the time. This goes for friends, too. They’ll make you laugh for a year and then they’ll have a different opinion on gay marriage than you and it’ll really grind your gears. Stop trading them in for State of the Art Human Robot machines, programmed to believe everything you say is awesome.

3. Start actually loving your body. Yeah, I know you love spewing off Facebook posts about how destructive advertising is to women’s self-image and posting Instagram #selfieloves, but you still respond “ugh” when he tells you he loves your frame. Spend some time in front of the mirror naked. Exercise more, eat better. Treat your body like it’s a really living human thing and treat it with some respect and real love. It doesn’t help to just talk about it like you love it. What if your boyfriend only told you he loved you on Instagram? You’d be pissed. Your body is pissed.

4. Stop moving. Seriously, if you’re not happy in the part of the country where people will drive 8 hours to just to see colorful leaves, then I have a feeling you probably won’t be happy anywhere. If you’re bitter and angry here, you’ll get bitter and angry there. Just like love, excitement about a new places lasts 6 months to a year at most. Then you have to pay taxes.

5. Stop saying, “I’ll just be happy when {fill in the blank}” When I get married… when I go back to school… when I get a different job… when I have kids. No matter what phase of life you’re in, it’s probably the best one. Can’t you look back on everything and say, “Man, those days were the best.” Now that you’re married, don’t you wish all the time that you could be single and in college again? That’s because the present moment is the best moment. Right now, you have everything you need. You are right where you need to be. Yes, it’s so cliche, but it’s so very true. Every day, you have a decision to be as happy or as unhappy as you want to be. If you choose today to be looking toward tomorrow and promise to be happy when {fill in the blank}… then you will choose tomorrow to look even further down the road and promise to be happy some other time. You will live your whole life this way and only be really, truly happy when you’re dead.

6. On that note, just please. Quit your bitchin’. Stop complaining about everything. Especially the weather. God, I swear if I hear “it’s too hot” one more time this summer, I’m gonna lose my mind. I wish I could slap you into last winter and show you what “too hot” can feel like in the middle of a damn Nor’easter.

7. Get more grateful. You’ve got food, water, and shelter, right? Listen, that’s a whole lot more than a whole lot of people get. But on top of that, you have so much stuff that you were never promised and never needed in the first place. Make a list of 20 things you’re grateful for, and quickly realize how abundant your life is. If you have a car and a computer, you’re actually very wealthy in comparison to the rest of the world.

8. Stop being bored. You’re not actually bored. You’re just tired of the same old crap on the same old screens that keeps numbing your brain and destroying your eyeballs. Put the phone down, read a book, go for a walk, sit still for Pete’s sake!

9. Stop pretending all the advice you’re giving to other people on your Blog isn’t just you talking at yourself.

The real reason you’re willing to spend 3 hours drafting up a rant about how stupid “people” can be? You’re entirely fed up with how stupid you can be. I think you like to pretend your Facebook habit isn’t out of control, so you tell others theirs is. Because you definitely don’t check your Newsfeed every time you grab your phone. You are definitely not looking for more articles, more advice, more screens, more numbness. You are always grateful, all the time, right? It’s not your problem, it’s theirs. Rant, rant, rant… blah, blah, blah.

In the words of Jon Foreman, a mirror is so much harder to hold.

This post is my mirror. My judgment on those around me is certainly the log in my own eye. It is easier and far more satisfying to turn the mirror around on others so that the non-reflective plastic stares back at me, saying, “There’s nothing there.” It’s rare that I realize, while I’m busy throwing stones, the shrapnel is ricocheting off of my friends and little bits of stone are destroying my face. How would I know if I’m never willing to look? I’ve created a two-foot barrier between myself and those around me. The glass reflects a cold, harsh light into the eyes of my loved ones and they back away. I hold the mirror out as a shield, when it could be my great remedy. I mean, I know the log is there. I can feel it digging into my eye. If I could only just get a good look, I bet I could get it right out. If I could sit with myself and read the pieces of “advice” I love dishing out to everyone else, I’d notice I was talking to myself the whole time.

10. So, my last piece of advice is kind of for you. But it’s really for me. Hey, Ash? Turn the mirror back around, pull that dirty log out of your eye, and let yourself get healed.

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