Drown Me In Love

Here are some things I wish someone told me on my 20th birthday:

Sometimes it will feel good to love the wrong people. Sometimes it will feel good to date someone you won’t remember or someone who won’t remember you. Sometimes it will feel good to not be loved at all. In this case, try to love yourself. Just try.

Some of your friends are poison. Very few will actually have your back. The best friend/roommate you have in college? They might be gone in two years. Gone to Portland, Europe, California, a small vineyard in Rancho Cucamonga. If there wasn’t a huge falling out between you two, they might just slowly start to fade away like an old picture. Games of phone tag will go on for six months until it’s reduced to a catch-up email. “How are you, my old best friend I used to share everything with? Is the weather nice where you are?” This is acceptable for a lot of friendships but with certain ones, you’ll want all or nothing. You’ll want to respond, “Either be in my life completely or not at all because it’s too painful to have you in the in-between.”

Taking care of yourself will be the most difficult job. Harder than your first 9-to-5 or a demeaning, grueling internship. You’ll enter this decade burning the candle at both ends and it will feel damn good. Oh sure, you’ll pretend to shame spiral and feel guilt over your naughty behavior but deep down, it will feel so delightful to test the limits of your life. It’ll feel so good to know that you can go out till 4:30 a.m. and still show up for work five hours later and do an okay job. You can conceal the weariness with a smile and do the bare minimum of work that day. It will feel hellish, you’ll regret how hard you raged the night before and try not to do it again, but a part of you will feel totally satisfied. You did it. You had your 20-something cake and puked it up in the bathroom at work too. Suckers.

When I say “taking care of yourself,” I don’t just mean lights out at 11 and going to a soul cycle class. I’m also referring to your emotional well-being and finding a lifestyle for yourself that feels sustainable. Everyone tries to operate on extremes. Either they’re one phone call away from rehab or they’ve become a total grandma who never goes out. Neither of those two options are realistic though. Neither involve balance, which is what we all ultimately need but have trouble getting. It’s probably the most elusive thing in your 20s. That, and a well-paying job.

It’s possible to think that you’re the best, that you’re owed great things because you’re funny, smart and went to a good college, while also totally hating yourself and wondering what the hell you’re doing all the time. This duality of self-loathing and hubris will be your major tension. It will inform and tear at most of the decisions you make.

You will have moments that will make you feel so exposed and alone. Eating solo star at a restaurant on a Friday night, going to the doctor, walking around aimlessly by yourself at 3 o’clock in the afternoon and deciding to catch a movie, walking home from a bar unattended, taking a long subway ride by yourself, waiting at the airport for someone to pick you up. These things don’t hurt you all the time. On the contrary, they can bring you major contentment. But sometimes, on the wrong day, on the day where you feel like a raw nerve, any of these activities will leave you feeling so small.

Um, this is all depressing advice, so maybe I should end it on an optimistic note. One thing you don’t realize in your 20s is that anything is possible. It sounds trite but it’s true. This is your moment. People like to think that the odds are stacked against them. Crappy job market, no money, no support, no clue how to enter the field you desire. While a lot of this is valid, you have to realize that by being the new generation, it’s our turn now. Someone has to be the new, great filmmaker, artist, scientist, author, etc. So why not let that someone be you? What’s different today than back then is that there is no clear path anymore. Lines are smudged, career trajectories are murky. But that’s also what makes it so exciting, don’t you think? You can create your own journey and become a trailblazer. I mean, is that a ridiculous thing to suggest? I’m typing this out and kind of wanting to gag at the saccharine tone, but I still think it’s true. I still think it’s possible to go after what you want and get it. It just involves a buttload of discipline and tenacity. You also can’t ever second-guess yourself. Imprint it on your brain. You will become who you want to be. There is no other alternative. The power of positive thinking often feels sooooo “delusional sorority girl” but it’s effective in many ways. It certainly can’t hurt, right? Besides, you’ll need all the help you can get during this freaking decade.

“Do the kind of things that come from the heart, When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.”

— Morrie Schwartz

Not a single one of your ancestors has ever failed in getting laid (Most people on tumblr will probably break the chain)

If you are 80 years old, you have lived through over 1/3 of America’s history

At one point, you were the youngest person in the world.

If a woman who is an only child has all boys (or no children at all), they are ending a chain of women that has been going since we were single-celled organisms.

The average human is a 28 year old Chinese man.

Dinosaurs were alive for longer than they have been extinct.

You breathe using just one nostril, then switch to the other 30 minutes later. Repeats for life. (After reading this pay attention)

In 30 or 40 years, people will be having 2000s parties. Just like now people throw “dress like the 70s” parties.

John Lennon is part of a group that has sold more CD’s than anyone else in the history of human life, and he never knew what a CD even was.

Grossness and morals define each other. For example, you won’t spit in the mouth of your girlfriend, yet you will kiss her.

You spend years seeing the same people often and you’ll never exchange words with them.

People hundreds of years from now will stumble upon your image without thought or emotion.

Everyone dies within six months of their birthday.

50% of all doctors graduated in the lower half of their class.

Mammals are just containers water uses to move itself from one place to another.

Many peoples most cherished beliefs come from 1st century writers and religious fanatics whose understanding of the natural world was below the level of a modern 5 year old.

The “food pyramid” that most of us grew up with was published by the US dept of agriculture. Their job is to promote agriculture, not to promote healthy eating.

80% of the images on the internet are of naked women.

If we ever meet superior aliens they will simply classify us under “violent, irrational apes” and will not be amazed by our art or philosophies, the same way we boringly classify newly discovered animals every year.

When the sun goes out, our descendants that watch it go out won’t be human.

When you’re about to die, you’ll regret all the days you took for granted.

The youngest mother in medical history was 5 years old. It makes you wonder about the generation gap for the people around you. Your best friend could be a thousand generations ahead of you. Your boss could be a hundred generations behind you. Makes sense considering he’s an asshole.

We magnify the differences between us, instead of the things that make us similar. You are not really any different than anyone else on earth that is your age, yet you feel like you are just because they speak a different language, eat different food, worship a different imaginary creature, or live somewhere else. In reality, we are all the same species living on the same planet. To bears, we probably look exactly the same.