in no particular order
1. Being single is just as good, or bad, as being in a relationship. It gives you a window into what you really want in life, makes you realize you only have yourself to thank or to blame, and you get to cultivate the one relationship that you can never get out of: the one to yourself. You are truly only as happy as you allow yourself to be.
If you are in an unhappy relationship with yourself, you will be as unhappy as you would be in an unhappy relationship.
If you are in a happy relationship with yourself, you will be happy, albeit in a different way than being in a happy relationship. Being single and being in a relationship will give you different things, they are just different colors of the rainbow. But the one thing you can bet your bottom dollar is this thing called YOURSELF is not going away in any of your born days, so it’s best to make your peace with you.
No one else can do it for you.
Being single is not in itself a sign that you are not open enough, emotionally frigid, too sexy, not sexy enough, too open, or not “not looking for it” enough. Being single is just being single.
And at least when you are me, it’s pretty awesome a lot of the time.
There have been moments when I saw something beautiful and was sad I didn’t have someone to share it with. Looking back, I realize that I had the perfect company at the time. I have seen beautiful things with soulmate friends and a large ground of friends. Maybe a significant other would be different, but it would depend on the person.
In short, while I want to build a lasting relationship with someone who makes me happy, I already have someone that makes me, for the most part, pretty happy- me.
This is a long one since for a long time I thought being single indicated there was something wrong with me or a sign of my incompleteness as a person and was a problem to be solved, rather than a state to be experienced, like all others, with all is joys and pains.
2. Brush, floss, and use mouthwash. And use sunscreen. Take care of the body that you have.
Jeez, this was brought home in a crazy way by needing a root canal for a filling that had cracked and then in turn needing the tooth pulled because the cavity continued to spread. An out of pocket dentist visit would have been expensive, but at a lot less painful and frustrating and expensive than what eventually transpired.
I realized I hope to be using this mouth and these teeth for a long time to come, so I upped the oral hygiene regimen. I know I can’t prevent everything, but doing what I can- and really it just takes 5 minutes more per day- to stay healthy seems more than worth it.
3. Your career is important.
Like really, really important. I guess people already realize this but whatever value you place on your relationships, new experiences, etc will be enabled by having a good career. Having a skill people want will enable you to feed yourself. The more people want that skill, generally the more leverage you have when it comes to living in the place you want to live, supporting the lifestyle you want, and also feeling good about yourself as a professional. Doing good work will give you real self esteem. I used to think of career as something competing with the other things in my life, and sometimes there are hard choices. But for the most part, it is an enabler of the things you want in your life and gives you freedom to pursue what you love outside of work. Hopefully you will find a career that lets you express your passions and interests and talents, but it may not come in the way you expect.
4. Beware of people who criticize “the Man” in whatever form.
If someone has not cultivated a marketable skill when given the opportunity to do so and is pissed off that the market economy we live in has not rewarded them in the way they want talks trash about the “system,” filter what they are saying.
No, the world isn’t perfect. What people want and are willing to pay for isn’t always good for them or for the planet- look at McDonald’s and Kim Kardashian. But that doesn’t mean the whole system is messed up, especially when it’s given you your apple computer upon which to write your Marxist dissertation and taxes paid by businesses and people with jobs people freely exchange cash for have enabled the government to subsidize what you are doing. That doesn’t mean that all is rosy with the world and we can’t be critical of some of the harsher practices of business. Just don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.
5. Generally stop listening to people.
I am not qualifying this because I think it applies to all people- smart, dumb, fat, skinny, rich, poor, lazy, or ambitious. At some point you have to trust your own judgment. You don’t have to follow everybody’s advice. Don’t assume they are right and you are wrong. Realize your ignorance, but don’t mistake people who give the impression that they think they know something as gods. No one else needs to understand or support your decisions- YOU and ONLY YOU are the only person who MUST live with them, no matter what. Hat doesn’t mean be a jackass but at some point you need to smile politely and nod while telling those voices “fuck off” inside your head.
6. Problems only get bigger when ignored.
Can think of so many examples for this. Your problem will not immediately go away once you have recognized it, taken responsibility for it, and took some action. It will probably be painful to face the reality that you are going to have to live with something you don’t want. But it’s better to be honest and open with yourself, take whatever action you can take, and be aware. The harsh light of reality is much kinder in the long run than the fog of self delusion.
7. Admit what you want. Or you will be a confused prisoner of the person you refuse to acknowledge you’ve become and will never attain satisfaction. Have the courage to say it, if only to yourself, and you are that much closer to achieving it.
No matter how crazy.
8. Many seemingly small decisions will chart the course of your life.
Being obese and diabetic in your 50s is a result of the habits you form in your 20s, for example. Being able to retire comfortably is (in part) a result of putting yourself on a good financial path throughout life. It’s all about the extra doughnut, the latte habit, and paying those bills on time.
There is a lot in life we can’t control. But the many little things that we can are often enough.
9. Be happy.
It’s much better than being sad. The choice is yours.
Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile. Sometimes your smile is the source of your joy. Thich Nhat Hanh
10. Don’t worry.
If you are focusing on what you can control, you may not have time or mental energy to. Don’t bury your head in the sand, but don’t fixate on things that are impossible to plan for either.
11. Friends and lovers come and go.
Everything changes. The love you shared is never lost, but not everyone is a forever friend, and that’s ok. It doesn’t make the time you had with them less special.
12. Genuinely love yourself.
The good and the bad parts. Today, right now. Stop being the source of your own worst nightmare. Loving yourself doesn’t mean slacking off on being a better person- it means taking good care of yourself, starting now.
There’s no need for self induced misery.
13. Reaching out to people doesn’t make you a loser.
Let the people who don’t appreciate you go, because you love yourself and deserve to be treated in kind. But don’t wait for people to approach you, it’s not about keeping score or the power. It’s about the kind of person you want to be, and the fact that you are strong enough to know you aren’t diminished by rejection or made better by someone’s approval.
14. Good things take time.
15. Stability is an illusion.
For everybody, all the time.
16. Let people love you.
It can be easier to give than it is to receive. In fact, it can feel more vulnerable and scary than reaching out. But let yourself enjoy it!
17. Make a wish!
Keep dreaming, keep that whale of a wish in sight, don’t stop believing. A dream is so much more powerful than a goal. And so much more magical and fun!
18. Not everyone’s going to like you, and tha’s ok.
19. Have faith.
This is the hardest one ever for me, but having faith has made the biggest difference in my life. It has totally changed my experience even when the circumstances were the same, and gave me hope to keep on trying. Without faith, my life was a wasteland. With faith, I live in a blooming garden all the time.
20. Stop trying to be perfect.
Be better, stay true to yourself, but being YOU is enough.
21. Hard work does pay off.
Even if no in the way you expect.
22. Life is a strategy game with a God on top of it.
Work smart, work hard, work passionately. Have fun. Some things you just can’t control.
Be strategic. Don’t always listen to the advice of others or do wha other people are doing. Recognize the rules of the game.
23. Yesterday I was clever and wanted to change the world, today I am wise and want to change myself- Rumi
So so true for me. I wanted to pontificate on the way the world should be, but I lacked direct experience in the world as it was or how to be successful in it. I still want to change the world, but now I’m also focusing my attentions on how to live well as it is. And put more effort into bringing love, joy, and peace to my own life, knowing that that is the only way the world can ever know those things.
24. It doesn’t have to make sense. Zen mind is beginner’s mind.
We try to ascribe meanings and categorize everything. We blame ourselves for every outcome not seen in advance. We expect perfection the first time. We want to feel confidence and experienced and run on autopilot, and not see each moment as new.
Well, it is. Life is a lot less confusing and more fun when you let yourself start fresh and have eh courage ot admit what you don’t know.
We don’t need to have all the answers 😉
25. Just be every once in a while. 🙂