Unsolicited Life Advice from a Naive, Unqualified 22 Year Old

I have no idea what I’m talking about. I know as much about life as Christopher Columbus knew about which continent he docked on. Yet, as a millennial, I am a narcissistic infant who feels I am important enough to share my opinion with the world.

There are people who have been through incredible things, seen impossible struggles, raised a generation, and fought for rights and justice.

Me? I’m a middle-class, white girl, from small-town Wisconsin.

Don’t worry, I’m rolling my eyes at myself.

Regardless of this moment of self-awareness, I’m going to continue anyways, you know, because I still think I’m some sort of expert.

I live by 5 principles:

Shut up, Get Over it, Don’t be a Dick, Quit Whining, & Nike that Shit

Shut up

We are all a bunch of idiots, fumbling around, trying not to ruin our own lives. Even when things are going really well, we are always one slip-up away from being jobless, friendless, or Netflix-less. It is in these times of great prosperity that we begin to believe we are the greatest thing that ever happened to the planet earth.

Maybe you get your first well-paying job. You move into a nice apartment with hot water and can only hear your neighbors when they have their TV up REALLY loud. You trade in your clunker car for something from this century and start to think about where you could mount the 55″ TV you saw at Best Buy.

Then your dad says something like, “You know, you should really open a saving account or start a 401k.”

Your initial reaction is undoubtedly an exaggerated sigh followed by “I’m just enjoying my life right now”, “It’s not like I’m spending EVERY penny”, or “I’m fine, I know what I’m doing.

While your well-informed, clearly thought through opinion is undoubtedly valuable, what you should really do it shut up.

Whenever anyone who’s been fumbling around on this planet for longer than us has some nugget of experience to share with us, just shut up and listen. We may not always agree with it, and we surely don’t always have to follow it, but 100% of the time, we lose nothing by taking a moment hear it and REALLY consider it.

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Get Over It

While we are the masters of our destiny, we do not get to pick everything that happens in our lives at any given time. Things aren’t always rosy. We’re going to disagree with friends, have a rough day at work, or not realize until after we’ve left the house that we picked the underwear that rides up all day.

It’s easy to hold on to the bad stuff. We love to linger in our hurt feelings, bad tempers, and wounded egos.

You can cut the healing time by more than half if you use my tried and true method:

Get over it.

There is absolutely no benefit to you to linger in your negativity. You’ve got a lot to achieve in your lifetime and you’re wasting valuable moments by continuing to think your problems are special.

I’m not saying to push it down and bury it. You actually need to let it go. It’s a lot easier than it sounds if you just remember for a moment that there are 7 billion people on the planet and they all have issues. You’re just a needle in a very large, angsty haystack.

Don’t be a Dick

Just don’t be. We may think we’re independent when we wake up in our built houses, drive our manufactured cars on paved streets to pick up our pre-brewed coffees, but unless we possess a myriad of secret skills, we wouldn’t have much without the help of all the people around us.

We’re all dependent on each other, so next time we have the urge to flip a middle finger on the road or give out a rudely loud sigh at the old woman with ELEVEN items in the ten or less aisle, just follow my first two principles.

Shut up and get over it.

Finally, before you go judging and accusing the world around you for getting in your way, take a moment to consider that you might be no peach to exist with either.

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Quit Whining

Let’s revisit a previously mentioned idea; your problems are not special.

I’m not saying that one person’s problems are more important than another’s. We are all entitled to measure struggle in our life with our own scales. What I’m saying is that we all have 99+ problems.

I could probably sit around with a group of friends for an entire weekend just talking about all of the things in our lives that aren’t the way we like. Our boss is too pushy, our boyfriend never does anything nice, our house is too small, our bank account is even smaller. By Sunday, it is guaranteed that we would not have even made it halfway through the list.

And while it may feel “so much better to get that off my chest”, come Monday, your boss will still be pushy, your boyfriend still a jerk, your house and bank account still small enough to blow away in a strong wind.

If you don’t like something in your life, then stop flappin’ your yap and change it. Simple as that.

I know what you’re thinking, There are some things that I can’t change right now and you’re right. Maybe you’re locked into a lease or need your current job to pay the bills. That’s fine, but you don’t have to be miserable blob the whole time. You’re stuck in the situation whether you’re calling your mom every night to complain about it, or if you suck it up and try to find some silver lining to it. Just grow a pair and smile. No one likes an Eeyore.

Nike That Shit

Do you want to be a morning person? Then wake up early.

Do you want to learn how to play the piano? Then start playing.

Do you want to lose weight? Then lose weight.

Nike’s tagline is the most important three words in the English language (sorry romantics).

Just do it.

There is no transition period, no special tools needed, no excuses. If you want to do something, change something, learn something, or start something, then just do it.

Is there something right now that you wish you were doing that you haven’t done yet? Of course there is.

And you’re the only reason it hasn’t happened yet.

But I’ve been so busy. I don’t have the means right now. It’s not that easy.”

Excuses are weak-sauce. You can do whatever you want. If you want to learn how to knit a sweater or commit the perfect murder, then do it. The world doesn’t have time for your excuses.

No exaggeration. It actually keeps on spinning and you get closer to dying. So stop stalling.

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There are a million frilly quotes on floral backgrounds about how to live your best life. Scholars have studied and meditated for years to gain the deepest understanding of who we are as individuals, how we operate in a society and how that can lead us to our most fulfilled lives.

I just ate some french fries and started word-vomiting my ideas onto this blog. I still know nothing and am very guilty (a million times over) of going against my own principles. I mean, what else do you talk to parents about if not complaining about how hard your 22-year-old life is, while they roll their eyes and deal with raising a family and mortgages and stuff?