Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Food For Thought: Life Advice

As I get older, I find myself lamenting the lessons that weren't taught to me earlier in life.
I'm astonished at the things we're told again and again, such as "High School is the best years of your life."
Honestly, if that's true you should give up at age 18--either you've plateaued as the Prom Queen, or you want to slit your wrists because puberty is painful.

Here are two things I've learned that AREN'T taught but should be:
1) College is a tabula rasa, but not in the way you'd expect.
It's merely a new situation in which you must prove yourself to an entirely new set of people who could care less about your former high school life. Getting into the college of your dreams isn't a guaranteed golden ticket to the life of your dreams. There are no promises once you graduate, even if you have a degree from a prestigious alma mater.
When you embark on your career, you have to start all over again.
You will have to work hard for EVERY success you want until you die.


2) You will always be you.
Even if you get a high-powered job, even if you marry Prince Charming, even if you can shop endlessly and vacation in the most beautiful places in the world...if you are a boring person, you will ALWAYS be a boring person. If you are mean, you will always be mean.
If you pity yourself, YOU WILL PITY YOURSELF REGARDLESS of your external environment (even if it's Madison Avenue or Paris or St. Tropez).
To quote one of my favorite books, Middlesex, "There was nowhere to go that wouldn't be me."
Hopefully you'll be a cool, interesting and generous person, no matter where you are in life.

In the vein of supporting legitimate advice over fluffy adages and throw-pillow embroidery maxims, I wanted to pass along an amazing list I recently discovered (via my friend AW). Check it out, and, if anything appeals to you, take the lessons to heart:

"20 Things I Wish I'd Known at 20"

by Mighty Girl

Nothing but love,


Meghan said...

I love this list! It's all of the harsh truths that are sometimes hard to digest. Thank you so much for sharing!

Lauren said...

as always my dear christine, right on point!

Allison said...

Number 1 is so true. That is something I have been learning every single day for the past year+. Thanks for sharing. It's nice to know that other people feel the same.

BLC :o said...

Oh this is so on point!!! It is so true that in every aspect, we have to keep trying, proving, trying, and proving. It can be so exhausting --- but so worth it. Also, "keep it to yourself" is YELLING at me. I need to do this more. Hehe. Xoxo-BLC