Monday, June 18, 2007
I know more than I did, and less than I'll know later
Today I am thirty years old. Here's what I've learned:
- It's a beautiful world. People say that all the time, but it really is. But you need to look for beauty if you want to see it often. Watch as if you've just regained your sight, and listen as if you've just regained your hearing.
- Value kindness above all.
- You shouldn't be embarrassed about who you are, what you want and what you like. Not only is there probably nothing wrong with you, it's counter-productive. If you act unembarrassed, people will assume you've got nothing to be embarrassed about. If you're tense about who you are, it's the tension that pushes other people away, not you yourself. Carry it lightly and nobody will question you.
- Other people are probably worried about the same things you are.
- People treat you as well as you let them.
- Self-esteem isn't connected with worth. It's just a personality trait.
- Be happy for other people. It makes them happier and you stronger.
- If a situation is of your own creation, don't go around saying it proves something about the world. It just proves something about you.
- Don't beat yourself up imagining other people's superficial judgements. If they're the kind of person who'd judge you on the superficial stuff, they're not the kind of person whose opinion is worth caring about.
- Rites of passage don't create adulthood. You can skip them entirely if you need to. Adulthood is a state of mind; you're a grown-up when you start living like one.
- You start developing an identity when you stop worrying about finding one.
- Sympathy helps when you've had a blow, but what you really need is a victory. If tangible victory isn't available, you can make an emotional victory by forming resolutions about how you'll deal with it, and living up to them.
- Pride in coping with stuff is a virtuous circle. The better you cope, the more pride you can feel in yourself - which helps you cope better. You can fly on this for a long time if you have to.
- You can't make someone love you. Not by being no trouble, not by being indispensible, not by persistence, not by stealth, not by patience, not by showing off. If someone is going to love you, they'll step up of their own free will.
- You're better off alone than with someone who makes you unhappy.
- Protestations matter less than actions. If someone says they're your friend, they love you, or they've got your best interests at heart, look at how they treat you. People usually act the way they want to, whatever they say about it.
- It's bad to repress feelings, but sometimes it's good to let them go.
- If you're the one who's upset someone, it's not your place to say 'Let's not argue about this.' That's their call, and if you try it, you're just ducking responsibility for the fall-out.
- It's not okay to treat people badly, even if they annoy you. It doesn't change them, and it makes you a jerk.
- Tell people the nice things you've heard others say about them.
- Some men don't like women, and some women don't like men. They're all wrong. Both sexes can be brave, kind, decent and honest. Being on the rough end of either gender's sexuality can knock your good opinion of them, but talk to people of other genders and orientations and you'll find that not all men are dogs and not all women are bitches: it's just that when it comes to love, everyone is fighting for their lives, and it doesn't always bring out the best in them. Everyone's only human.
- People often like you not just for yourself, but for who you let them be when they're with you. Let them be their better selves.
- If you're feeling shy, smile.
- If you're going to take a break from work, enjoy yourself. The work won't get any more done if you feel guilty about it, so you might as well have fun.
- If you're putting off doing something and the anxious anticipation is stopping you from enjoying anything, just do the darn thing. You won't suffer any less in doing it than you will in worrying about it, and then you can relax.
- Go with your first instincts on visual choices.
- Don't use a contraceptive implant. Yes, this one is a little off-base and the guys don't have to read it, but ladies, seriously, those things have horrible side-effects. Talk to your doctor about an IUS instead.
- You cry over different stories depending on what's happened to you lately.
- About writing? I can't say anything useful about writing, except that you have to learn your own way of doing it and there aren't any shortcuts. If you want to do it, do it, if you don't, don't. You're fine either way. Living is what's important.
- Platitudes mean very little if you haven't lived through what they're talking about. You only see their application in retrospect.
Happy birthday Kit! According to the rest of the world, you are no longer "young". It is, however, completely irrelevant what the rest of the world means by "young", as long as you don't let the child in you die/grow up completely.
Have a great time!!!
Still looking for that online person who's older than me ;).
Kindness. Yeah. I'll go with that.
Happy birthday, Kit!
I'm enjoying my thirties and think you will too. You're old enough that people finally treat you seriously, but young enough that you still have most of the energy of youth. You have some years behind you to give you perspective but plenty of time left to accomplish great things.
Thanks for all the interesting blog posts, including this one.
Happy B-Day Kit,I'm knocking on 40's door, and I've loved my 30's.I hope you've had a wonderful B-dayPost a Comment
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