Remember Mary Schmich's 1997 essay "Advice, like Youth, Probably just Wasted on the Young"? No? Then you probably know it as Baz Luhrmann's remixed track "Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen". I thought of it today when somebody mentioned the saying "Live in Northern California once, but leave before you get soft." As a kid, I always wondered what that meant, but I get it now. I wanted to see how the rest of the advice in that essay held up over the years and it's still fantastic. Here's my favorite takeaways to hold on to:
Don't worry about the future, or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind: the kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
I worry WAY TO MUCH! Inherited trait from my mother. It's like a rocking chair: gives you something to do, but doesn't get you anywhere.
Don't be reckless with other people's hearts; don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.
This is just a really good policy to live by.
Don't waste your time on jealousy. Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.
Word. I'm sorry for coveting your husband & wardrobe, Victoria Beckham. I'm sure someday you'll be jealous of me.
Remember compliments you receive; forget the insults.
So very bad with receiving compliments. Trait SO NOT inherited from my mother. As Tinkerbell and Rachel Berry survive on applause, my mom grows stronger with each compliment. (Cue call from mom...)
Who would dare insult me, point me at them!?
Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives; some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.
I tell this to people all the time. Post-law school years were incredibly confusing for me. It works itself out.
Get to know your parents; you never know when they'll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings: they're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Well that just makes me want to cry, but is ultimately true. My sister and I often don't understand each other, but she is my favorite person.
Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse, but you never know when either one might run out.