21 People On What They Would Tell Their 19-Year-Old Selves
Jonathan, 55:There is no such thing as “the only one”. You will meet lots of “the ones”. Only commit when the timing is right for the both of you – that can take years for some, and that’s okay.
Miranda, 24:Drop pre-med.
Isaac, 48:Deodorant does not count as a shower, and that haircut only looked good on Bon Jovi.
Anya, 42:Make the conscious decision to be happy, and then stick with it. Society will do everything in its power to convince you that your personal happiness is dependent on something external – beauty, success, wealth, etc. – it isn’t.
Parker, 55:60% of the things you think are important now won’t matter a whit to you by the time you reach 50. The trick is to figure out the important 40% and work it.
Megan, 34:He doesn’t love you, and you will be okay.
Peter, 58:Don’t let anything stand in your way of taking part (or all) of your junior year abroad. You’ll never again have quite the same opportunity to experience a foreign land, for an extended period of time, in your youth. It is destined to be one of the most memorable aspects of your life.
Eleanor, 67:Talk less. Listen more.
Donald, 27:There’s a huge difference between who you want to be and who everyone around you wants you to be. Figure out which is which.
Camille, 56:Always remember: when falling off a horse, pull your tongue in.
Jackson, 57:No one knows anything for sure. They’re all just doing the best they can with what they have, just like you.
Vicki, 47:You’ll never have all the answers, so make every question count.
Donald, 38:You don’t have to grow up to be the dad you never had.
Katelyn, 30:Make the most out of college. You will never again be at a place where your only goal is to learn. Learn a lot, learn often, and learn with reckless abandon.
Joshua, 55:Women love to laugh.
Annabelle, 38:Drugs are not beautiful, glamorous or opulent. They are not a remedy, a solution, a cure-all, or a cure-anything.
Colin, 50:You miss so much life when you sleep until 3 PM. Wake up to see sunrises; they are the most stunning of nature’s masterpieces.
Eleanor, 26:Eating two pints of ice cream won’t make you happy. Neither will sprinting 10 miles. Be nice to yourself.
Aaron, 52:Don’t forget to ask that girl in the Oberlin library what kind of perfume she’s wearing. You’ll buy it for her in 20 years.
Scarlett, 54:Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Those that get you will love you, those that don’t, well, their loss. Just remember: Wherever you are, it’s a party.
Zack, 9:I hope you’re awesome. And be nice to girls.
1. Make peace with your parents. Whether you finally recognize that they actually have your best interests in mind or you forgive them for being flawed human beings, you can’t happily enter adulthood with that familial brand of resentment.
2. Kiss someone you think is out of your league; kiss models and med students and entrepreneurs with part-time lives in Dubai and don’t worry about if they’re going to call you afterward.
3. Minimize your passivity.
4. Work a service job to gain some understanding of how tipping works, how to keep your cool around assholes, how a few kind words can change someone’s day.
5. Recognize freedom as a 5:30 a.m. trip to the diner with a bunch of strangers you’ve just met.
6. Try not to beat yourself up over having obtained a ‘useless’ Bachelor’s Degree. Debt is hell, and things didn’t pan out quite like you expected, but you did get to go to college, and having a degree isn’t the worst thing in the world to have. We will figure this mess out, I think, probably; the point is you’re not worth less just because there hasn’t been an immediate pay off for going to school. Be patient, work with what you have, and remember that a lot of us are in this together.
7. If you’re employed in any capacity, open a savings account. You never know when you might be unemployed or in desperate need of getting away for a few days. Even $10 a week is $520 more a year than you would’ve had otherwise.
8. Make a habit of going outside, enjoying the light, relearning your friends, forgetting the internet.
9. Go on a 4-day, brunch-fueled bender.
10. Start a relationship with your crush by telling them that you want them. Directly. Like, look them in the face and say it to them. Say, I want you. I want to be with you.
11. Learn to say ‘no’ — to yourself. Don’t keep wearing high heels if you hate them; don’t keep smoking if you’re disgusted by the way you smell the morning after; stop wasting entire days on your couch if you’re going to complain about missing the sun.
12. Take time to revisit the places that made you who you are: the apartment you grew up in, your middle school, your hometown. These places may or may not be here forever; you definitely won’t be.
13. Find a hobby that makes being alone feel lovely and empowering and like something to look forward to.
14. Think you know yourself until you meet someone better than you.
15. Forget who you are, what your priorities are, and how a person should be.
16. Identify your fears and instead of letting them dictate your every move, find and talk to people who have overcome them. Don’t settle for experiencing .000002% of what the world has to offer because you’re afraid of getting on a plane.
17. Make a habit of cleaning up and letting go. Just because it fit at one point doesn’t mean you need to keep it forever — whether ‘it’ is your favorite pair of pants or your ex.
18. Stop hating yourself.
19. Go out and watch that movie, read that book, listen to that band you already lied about watching, reading, listening to.
20. Take advantage of health insurance while you have it.
21. Make a habit of telling people how you feel, whether it means writing a gushing fan-girl email to someone whose work you love or telling your boss why you deserve a raise.
22. Date someone who says, “I love you” first.
23. Leave the country under the premise of “finding yourself.” This will be unsuccessful. Places do not change people. Instead, do a lot of solo drinking, read a lot of books, have sex in dirty hostels, and come home when you start to miss it.
24. Suck it up and buy a Macbook Pro.
25. Quit that job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that makes you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re perpetually on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.
“I have the deepest affection for intellectual conversations. The ability to just sit and talk. About love, about life, about anything, about everything. To sit under the moon with all the time in the world, the full-speed train that is our lives slowing to a crawl. Bound by no obligations, barred by no human limitations. To speak without regret or fear of consequence. To talk for hours and about what’s really important in life.”—(via beatsandbrushes)
“It’s important to keep on practicing even when we don’t want to. Yes, it’s important to behave toward others with grace and dignity. But the most important aspect of discipline is humility. We may have learned a great deal over the course of the years, but we have to resist the temptation of becoming proud of what we’ve learned. There’s so much we don’t know, and so many opportunities to learn more about ourselves and others, and about the relationship between absolute and relative reality and the relationship between emptiness and appearance, the causes and conditions that are the basis of our temporal, or relative, experience.”—Tsoknyi Rinpoche (via meditationsinwonderland)
“When we maintain our motivation we often find, to our surprise, that we have more energy than we thought; that the hardships or obstacles we face aren’t as intense, scary, or prohibitive as they initially appeared. We begin to experience a subtle and inspiriting joy in stepping farther away from our comfort zones.”—Tsoknyi Rinpoche (via meditationsinwonderland)
“Emotions, in my experience, aren’t covered by single words. I don’t believe in “sadness,” “joy,” or “regret.” Maybe the best proof that the language is patriarchal is that it oversimplifies feeling. I’d like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic train-car constructions like, say, “the happiness that attends disaster.” Or: “the disappointment of sleeping with one’s fantasy.” I’d like to show how “intimations of mortality brought on by aging family members” connects with “the hatred of mirrors that begins in middle age.” I’d like to have a word for “the sadness inspired by failing restaurants” as well as for “the excitement of getting a room with a minibar.” I’ve never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I’ve entered my story, I need them more than ever.”—Jeffrey Eugenides (via allthesewordsidontknow)
“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That’s the only lasting thing you can create.”—Chuck Palahniuk, “Choke” (via shannonwhy)
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”—F. Scott Fitzgerald (via aquaticuss)
“Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish—a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow—to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested … Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.”— Hunter S Thompson, Gonzo Papers, Vol. 2: Generation of Swine: Tales of Shame and Degradation in the ’80s, 1988 (via bon-bon)
“Each of us has our own set of patterns, our own bridges to cross. Some of us are stuck in habitual ways of seeing ourselves as vulnerable, incompetent, lonely, unlovable, stressed, or tired. Some of us see others as threats or competitors. Some react adversely to circumstances as varied as traffic jams or weather conditions. Some of us see ourselves through the lens of chronic illness or physical or emotional abuse. I don’t diminish for one moment any of the responses we face when we arrive at a particular bridge and are frozen by a particular pattern that prevents us from stepping across. I only want to point out that it’s possible, after recoiling from the first step, to pause for a moment, examine our thoughts, feelings, and sensations, and ask ourselves whether or not the things we accept as fact are true.”—Tsoknyi Rinpoche (via meditationsinwonderland)
“The ultimate goal of mindfulness is to free all living creatures from their patterns in order to experience the openness, wisdom, and warmth that is the essence of our being.”—Tsoknyi Rinpoche (via meditationsinwonderland)
“Be kind to yourself as you proceed along this journey. This kindness, in itself, is a means of awakening the spark of love within you and helping others to discover that spark within themselves.”—Tsoknyi Rinpoche (via meditationsinwonderland)
Sometimes you meet someone and even though you never liked brown eyes before, their eyes are your favourite colour now and sometimes you meet someone who can make the sickest addictions seem beautiful and sometimes there’s some people you’d rather sit on a couch with and drink some gas station coffee and read your favourite books over and over while you forget that dinners on the stove so it gets burned but you still think it’s delicious anyway.
You will stay up on your rooftop until sunlight peels away the husk of the moon,
chainsmoking cigarettes and reading Baudelaire, and
you will learn that you only ever want to fall in love with someone
who will stay up to watch the sun rise with you.
You will fall in love with train rides, and sooner or later you will
realize that nowhere seems like home anymore.
A woman will kiss you and you’ll think her lips are two petals
rubbing against your mouth.
You will not tell anyone that you liked it.
It is beautiful to love humans in a world where love is a metaphor for lust.
You can leave if you want, with only your skin as a carry-on.
All you need is a twenty in your pocket and a bus ticket.
All you need is someone on the other end of the map, thinking about the supple
curves of your body, to guide you to a home that stretches out for miles
and miles on end.
You will lie to everyone you love.
They will love you anyways.
One day you’ll wake up and realize that you are too big for your own skin.
Don’t be afraid.
Your body is a house where the shutters blow in and out
against the windowpane.
You are a hurricane-prone area.
The glass will break through often.
But it’s okay. I promise.
a stranger once told you that the breeze
here is something worth writing poems about.
”—Shinji Moon, Here’s What Our Parents Never Taught Us (via seltsamefrucht)
When they were introduced, he made a witticism, hoping to be liked. She laughed extremely hard, hoping to be liked. Then each drove home alone, staring straight ahead, with the very same twist to their faces.
The man who’d introduced them didn’t much like either of them, though he acted as if he did, anxious as he was to preserve good relations at all times. One never knew, after all, now did one now did one now did one.
The first day I met you, I shaved my legs just in case.
I thought that if I was able to minimize myself
you would love me a little bit harder -
as if the less of me, the more of love.
And someone once told me the only weapons
you needed in a relationship were:
a creaky mattress frame if you hated
your neighbours, a pregnancy test
and a broken beer bottle.
(I never used the beer bottle.)
the world doesn’t believe in Greek goddesses
anymore. I couldn’t possibly be one in your eyes.
I thought waking up in the morning would be
easier if only my hands would be able to shake
the way yours do. And I remember
the first morning I did wake up next to you,
and we didn’t do anything, and you asked
me why we didn’t do anything and I said
because life hurts and it would hurt even more
if someone I didn’t love who loved me
was fucking me.
And I think that was about the time when you left
my house at five in the morning before my parents could hear.
I don’t know what love is but I know it hurts
especially when you’re staring out of a window,
and your bed still smells like him,
and you’re relieved
because whatever this “love” is -
whatever the poems were written about
whatever the books were written about
whatever the music was written about
whatever I had written about
it wasn’t this.
And you would be glad too.
Last time I heard, he was cutting through
rails of coke with his Goodlife gym membership card.