Wednesday, March 2, 2011

To my nieces and nephew

My little nephew, T-Dub, turned one yesterday. This got me thinking about how fast time goes by and how my nieces are growing up so fast and how I just want to stop time, but I can't. So instead of trying to acknowledge his birthday in a way that a one year-old couldn't care less about (ie a phone call or a card or yet another toy), I decided to type up my best bits of advice. These apply to both him and my nieces and these are things I've mostly had to learn the hard way. This is long, but here goes . . .

  1. Practice maintaining eye contact with people. It makes it seem like you’re really listening to them, even if you’re not. Good eye contact also makes it seem like you’re telling the truth when you’re not.
  2. Junior High sucks. Anyone who tells you otherwise is clearly on drugs.
  3. High School will most likely suck too. Anyone who tells you otherwise has been out of school long enough to have forgotten. Or they’re on drugs.
  4. You don’t have to be what or who people think you are. Create your own expectations.
  5. Just because your parents believe something doesn’t mean you have to as well.
  6. Read. Well-read people are far more interesting than people who spend their time watching tv.
  7. Focus on spirituality instead of religion. Doing so will save your sanity.
  8. The world doesn’t revolve around you and while you may be special to your own family, you aren’t special in the big picture that is the rest of the world. This may sound harsh, but once you understand this, it will give you freedom. The world will not come crashing down based upon a choice that you make.
  9. People don’t pay attention to you nearly as much as you think they do. Fortunately (or hopefully) this means they won’t remember all the stupid and/or embarrassing things you do.
  10. Don’t try to be cool. Just try to be a good person.
  11. The ability to carry on a decent conversation with anyone, regardless of how little you have in common, is priceless.
  12. Pay attention to grammar and spelling. Even if you drop out of school in the fourth grade, proper grammar and spelling will make it seem as though you have received a good education.
  13. Never be afraid to ask for what you want. You won’t always get it, but sometimes you’ll be surprised.
  14. Thank you goes a long way. Always, always say thank you to cashiers, waiters, receptionists, etc.
  15. Sometimes things don’t go the way you planned. This is a good thing. Much like being well read, life experience makes you a much more interesting person. Whenever things in my life are crazy, I just think about how it will make a great story someday.
  16. Learn to take a compliment graciously and even though it’s hard, believe it when people tell you nice things about yourself. Don’t believe it when they say mean things; chances are, the person is just insecure.
  17. Be yourself. It is refreshing to be around a person about whom what you see is what you get. Pretending to be something you’re not is exhausting and not worth it. Some people won’t like you for you, but that’s o.k. You don’t have to be best friends with everybody.
  18. Always ask yourself “What’s the worst that can happen?” If the answer doesn’t involve jail, death or permanent injury to yourself or another, then do it. It may turn out to have not been the best decision you could have made, but it was your decision and you won’t be left wondering what would have happened.
  19. Try not to lose your imagination. Most adults are really boring because they don’t believe in things like fairies and trolls and goblins. Just because a grown up says something isn’t real doesn’t mean you can’t believe in it.
  20. The movies are not real life. Don’t believe in Hollywood’s version of anything. Don’t believe in their version of love. Don’t believe in how they tell you that you should look. Certainly don’t follow their example of how to behave. Think of Hollywood like it’s an animal at the zoo. It’s o.k. to look at it through the glass and think wow, that’s kind of cool. Maybe you can even tap on the glass to get the animal to come closer, but you never want to be on the other side because it stinks in there and sometimes animals eat their own pooh. Blindly following Hollywood’s standards is like eating your own pooh. It’s gross; don’t do it.


Abby said...

this is really great -- i especially like #18 because i always seem to be making choices that seems make or break . . . and they never really are. nice perpective -- really enjoy reading your blogs!

Anonymous said...

U have a knack for writing and it's awesome, because we all know where to laugh and where to feel sad-u are really talented, you should consider other forms of writing-I love reading ur posts.