You didn’t come into this world to do something you hate doing for rest of your life. You came into this world to be awesome.
It is simply a waste of time to settle, a waste of time to be miserable, to not try. It’s easier to not try, of course, but that’s besides the fucking point. Of course it’s easier to take the given opportunity instead of the future, better opportunity that can come along if only you had the patience and the determination to push through the bullshit to get to the good instead of wading in the mediocre. Sometimes the answer is not clear with which option to take, which one is better or correct. You cannot live your life accurately so when it is tough to decide you just need to take a moment and think “what will make me the most happy in the end?” and go with that gut answer. You didn’t make a wrong choice by going with your gut. You can always remake choices anyway.
And it’s not selfish deciding that you want to do something you love, that you want to do what you want to do. If you’ve surrounded yourself with good people, it should be what they want for you too. It’s only selfish if you make others suffer fand claim it’s because “you are doing your thang”: parental units covering your ass, friends vouching for your inconsiderateness. Doing what you want and being a dick about it are two very different things. It’s not inconsiderate to try to be happy. I repeat, it is not inconsiderate to try to be happy. In fact, it is just the opposite. Happiness spreads, and you’ll be doing many folks a favor if you just got off your ass and went for it already. Whatever IT means to you. Whatever makes YOU happy and fulfilled.
I don’t have kids. Or a husband. Or a wife. Or a dog, even. But I have people I could disappoint. So, I know that fear. I understand that struggle. But the way I see it, if the end result is happiness then there is no way you can fail, only ways you can fall into happiness. There’s happiness even in the shrug “well, I tried. At least I did that.” Even in the “remember that time?” Even in the “seemed ages ago that I…” But chance are, the happiness will be “I am so proud that I did, because now look at me.” I am totally for reals serious about that. For reals.
And if you are gonna go for it, really fucking go for it, you know? Otherwise how will you ever know that honest to god outcome of it? The shitty end result may not be because you didn’t try, but because you only kind of tried. There is never a time on any given path that you should sit back, relax, and wait for the accolades and success to come to you. Don’t keep all your thoughts in a notebook in your dresser drawer to be discovered after your death. Because that would fucking suck.
Decide on the fantasy that keeps you up at night and work backwards. Study the folks who have gotten to act out your fantasy in real time and copy them. Don’t go sexual with that chunk of advice. Don’t degrade it like that. I mean the real fantasy of rocking out on a stage, with sweat trickling down your face and fans mouthing every words. Of shaking hands with Mister So-and-so that dude you’ve always admired, because you did something that he admired. Those fantasies with the cloudy filter around the edges that are idealist and pure and innocent. Innocent notions are not dead. They’re not.
Do the extreme of what you want to do for an extended period of time to test the waters if it’s really what you want to do. Not sure what you want to do? Again, pick something and do the extreme of it to see if it sticks. Wanna write? Take an entire day and night off void of friends and human interaction and do nothing but write for all those hours. Wanna act? Do an acting class and rehearse with actor friends for a long ass time. Don’t have actor friends? Or fishing friends? Or science friends? Practice fly fishing techniques in your street, takes notes on Myth Busters episodes, read some god damn Stanislavski. Want to play b-ball? SHOOT HOOPS FOR THREE HOURS STRAIGHT, 23 DAYS IN A ROW. Cuz Jordan was 23, that’s why.
Read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell.
Do side projects that can directly or indirectly help you with your goal. Stupid shit like being healthy, working out, journaling, drinking tea. Treat your body like an amazing temple. Why not? It’s only beneficial if you treat your body like it’s something super important. Bathing is fun, clothes are neat, and running around feels accomplished, even when it’s really really slow.
Do things that scare you or that you seem totally unprepared for. The only way you can be prepared for something is if you go through the motions of being unprepared for it and then do it in an unprepared manner so the next time you are totally prepared because you know from that unprepared time that you did it.
Don’t worry so much about money. I mean, if you have mouths to feed then get enough to feed them but after that don’t worry about it. Because this is a great time in our country to admit you are super poor. No one looks down on educated people being super poor today because of the circumstances and our economy and blahblahblah so milk that. And if they do look down on you, then they are chumps you don’t want to know anyway.
Money is money, and someday maybe you’ll even have some. Wouldn’t it be COOL if it was money from something that made you feel so good that it was a bonus that you were getting paid for it? Yep. The answer is yep. So hold tight and be poor. Be okay with being poor. Use the poorness period for your memoirs. If you are young, stretch your money to your very last cent doing what you think you should be doing, which is trying to do something to love with your whole heart. Sacrifice for your whole heart. Yes, yes, eat the ramen so you can buy toner for your printer so you can print resues. Borrow friends clothes so you can go on that interview. Put drinks on your credit card if it means you can meet someone who can help you. Tim Gunn it, make it work. It feels really cool when you do. Much cooler than if you had money in the first place.
Remember, you can’t take it with you. Not even that stupid mug. So don’t worry so much about things.
Unless you want to make things. Then by all means, care about things.
Use your friendships to experience joy not to commiserate in your misery. Get rid of those people who suck already. Keep the good ones. Use your friends for their assets, but don’t make their assets the reason they are your friends.
And Oh My God have so much fun with friends. Make things a big deal with them, drink lots of alcohol with them, laugh hard with them and invite them along for the ride. Same goes for family. Relish in the fact that you know people freakishly well. Why? Because it’s great. Because it’s fun. Because it’s happiness for the taking.
And if you need a break from trying so damn hard, make it a clean break and make it short. Don’t half break, because then nothing comes from it but that middle half assed ground that sucks so much. Fully break, and most likely the break will make you anxious to get back to it in the first place. Also, when you break, make sure the break is doing something awesome too. Again, we are creating a happiness bubble here. So create your favorite plate of nachos, with beans delicately placed on each deliciously seasoned chip and sprinkled with cheese to the most perfect of proportions. Break gooooooooood because then it’s not a break at all. That’s right, you’ve accomplished something when you do. You’ve accomplished a successful break.
Because if you’re going to do lazy, which shouldn’t be often because you want to spend most of your time being awesome, have the decency to do laziness correctly. The best pajamas, thank you. The awesomest movie marathon, okay? Naps should include drool and your bed should have clean sheets. Sneak into the pool that has the slide.
Be tired all the time because you are so busy kicking ass at life. Be tired because you are staying up too late and getting up too early to cram everything cool that you like to do into each day.
It’s okay to be pissy once in a while, but try to make the piss good solid piss and not a trite piss like “Bernie stole my sandwich.” Don’t waste a piss like that! Be mad that someone is being treated unfairly who deserves all the goodness and fairness in the world. Be mad for the little guy, not annoyed at the big guy.
Be nice to everyone all the time. Don’t be phony, be genuinely nice. There is always a way to be nice to someone, maybe use it as a challenge if that person is particularly difficult to be nice to. It’s a journey, doing what you want, so along the way what have you got to lose with being nice? There’s a lot to lose if you are an asshole at the bottom. Cuz once others get to the top they’re gonna be like “Hey, I remember him. He was an asshole. No, I will not help him with his dream because he was an asshole.” PLUS, besides the networking aspect, isn’t it just easier being nice? There’s a lot of hard that’s coming your way, a lot of obstacles to go through if you’re trying to achieve your dream, so why not make the way you interact with others be easy? It takes so much energy being mean or angry or annoyed with someone. Put that energy to better use and let the default be kindness. Plus, IT IS AMAZING to have a rep for being a nice person. So much better than being the not nice one.
You’re gonna run into people who don’t like you, who have a problem with you and maybe your dream. I could write a whole list of anecdotes for them, but the best and easiest one is: fuck those people.
It will be impossible live your dreams while doing all these things all the time, some even contradict:
- do what you want to do and really go for it
- knowing it’s not selfish or inconsiderate to try to be happy
- do the extreme
- be unprepared
- read books, drink tea
- the body is a temple thing
- be nice
- be good and pissed
- give a shit, and work hard
- give laziness a solid try
- be tired
But, I tell you what, it’s a hellava lot better trying to do all these things than to just… not.
Be stressed with how cool your life can be. And be pumped because you are on your way to really doing it.
YEAH! Now I’m gonna go chug a beer because I just KICKED THIS BLOG’S ASS!
– One L
“Alison you should have a web series called Discussions In A Hottub” – Amanda Renner