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21 Cheers For 21 Years (Notes to Self)

I’m turning 21 in a few weeks. This fact delights me utterly. Well, many things about myself delight me utterly, because when no is around to love you, you have to do it yourself.

(I’m only half kidding)

Around this age, Hayley Williams wrote this:

I wanna go someplace
Where everybody wins
Cause I’ve lost all my friends
Since they got brand new eyes
They don’t look at me the same
It’s anyone’s guess where I went wrong
Now I’m the only one
Who’s thinking back

Seven years ago
Seven years in the making
But we’re always taking for granted
The hands that fed us full
Ten miles left to go
Time is healing nothing
Only a matter of numbers
That won’t make us right

But I’m gonna make it through
I’m just tired
So don’t push me
There’s more than enough room
For a sad song or two

There was a beginning to the story
But I don’t remember, I don’t remember
There was a reason
Something we wanted
And I’m not backing down till I get it

Twenty years ago
Twenty years in the making
Well, I know the highway
Better than I know myself
In a few years I hope I settle in to
The big idea that I can’t live for anyone else

I’m carrying bricks around my neck
I can’t keep my head up
I can’t see too far ahead
I can’t keep my head up
It’s like carrying bricks around my neck
To make you remember
It’s like digging up the dead
Cause you won’t remember
How we got here
Why we are here?

When you finally decide it’s worth the pain
I’m here
I never went anywhere
Growing older, I never thought that I
Would look back and not regret a thing

A few years later, she wrote:

I don’t really know myself at all, I thought I would be happy by now.

(I’m not entirely sure where I’m going with this.)

Are there really people who live without a single regret? How is that even possible? Acceptance, yes, but the total absence of: “sadness, repentance, disappointment” (the meaning of regret according to Webster) – How is that even possible?

(Regret comes from Old English “gretan” – cry out, rage, lament)

*************

Jenna Mourey (known to the world as Jenna Marbles) turned 29 recently. She said it means she made it to level 29 of life. That’s certainly a much more positive way to think of it, compared to being another year closer to death. (Whatever.) She reeled off a list of 29 life lessons. They were good, I liked them. I want to do it too. Due to being completely insane, however, I don’t think most of my “life lessons” will be good for anyone but me. Maybe for people who feel a lot of feelings. Anyway, here they are.

  1. The structure of your days will most likely be the structure of your life as a whole. For example, if your typical day consists of a routine of work, friends, family and things you like, your whole life would consist mostly of those. If your days are haphazard, with you constantly distracted and leaving things unfinished, your life would be full of abandoned projects. If most of your days are spent doing nothing, you’ll probably make nothing of your life.
  2. There are not really many objective “wrong” or “right” decisions about what to with your life. Obviously you shouldn’t end up in jail, or be buried in debt, or marry a terrible person, but most decisions fall somewhere between “a horrible idea that will ruin your life” and “the best thing that ever happened to you.”
  3. Stress is mostly about your reaction, not the situation.
  4. The origin of your problems is not that important. The things that wounded you have happened to other people too, and have not destroyed them. What matters is what you will do now.
  5. Do not touch any more vodka or gin for as long as you live.
  6. In case you do, though, which you probably will, have some Tylenol on hand for the morning after.
  7. The city is awful for your health. Do not stay here.
  8. Bad things are as inevitable and regular as waves in the ocean. Sometimes big and sometimes small. And sometimes they are tsunamis you can’t run from. You have to stand strong and let it crash over you. Afterwards there is no more wave but still quite a lot of you. You will do this because you don’t have a choice.
  9. Lying is addictive. Once you start, you’ll have a hard time stopping. Even white lies. Practice telling the truth at every opportunity, no matter how insignificant it seems.
  10. Chronic guilt is nothing more than an excuse not to change. It’s a useless emotion.
  11. You have to fix it, because you can.
  12. The only thing you can objectively congratulate yourself on is having the foresight to be born rich.
  13. Yes, you are rich. Stop denying it or comparing yourself to people who are richer. It’s a good thing. Use it well.
  14. Take care of the people in your life as much as you are able.
  15. Bromeliads are hands down the best indoor plant to keep.
  16. The first reading is the most important, because your brain is a lazy asshole who kicks back and whines, “yeah, I KNOW THIS ALREADY” when you read things over again. Even when it doesn’t. Absorb as much as you can during the first reading. Analyze and focus. Take notes.
  17. Your life is not hard.
  18. If you want to get better at something, try as much as possible to get someone to teach you about that.
  19. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
  20. Chips are not a good idea.
  21. Save money.

…This didn’t come out as profound as I expected, but I need to reminded of these things constantly.

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