Ever since 2015, I’ve gotten weekly emails from a stranger’s blog who I apparently follow. She’s semi famous? So it’s not creepy or anything. But I honestly don’t recall ever actively choosing to follow it. It seems more like her blog followed me. I’m fine with it.
Every so often I’ll read one of her posts, and this week she posted something called 29 Life Rules which she had read in a magazine article and which inspired her. So, I see this whole thing as the modern and much less threateningly annoying version of chain emails. I won’t get a terminal illness or never find love because I don’t also do this Life Rules thing. But I’ll never actually know for sure, because I’m going to do it.
So, it’s not my birthday, but I’m 23, so I’m going to post as many life rules as my age like Hannah, the other blogger, did. If you read her post which I linked above (YOU’RE WELCOME, HANNAH) (this blog isn’t well-known enough for her to ever read this) (So I’m in the clear?), then you will soon discover that my life rules are a tad less sentimental. But, she’s 29, so she has 6 more years of wisdom and sentimentality to offer.
Without further adieu: some rules for life that I have learned and continue to learn.
- Open/roll down the windows whenever possible.
- Get a library card (Even if you avoided the library for 2 years waiting for your card to expire because you thought you had an $80 fine, only to woman up and find out it was $0.25 all along and you were a self-proclaimed “library fugitive” for nothing). Arthur imparted much wisdom on the youth of America in singing “having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card!”
- Try to say “I know” less. That phrase, in my case, often comes from a place of needing to prove something and dismissing the opportunity to learn something new. Turns out, even if I DO already know 80% of what someone is telling me, there’s ALWAYS a little morsel of wisdom or information that I don’t know hidden among what I do.
- Wear sunscreen. You may not have your dreamy summer tan, but you also probably won’t get melanoma either. Need I say more?
- Food is best enjoyed in the company of others. Food tastes better when you can chat with people you love in between (or during, depending on the people) bites.
- Get a quilt. Quilts are awesome. If you have the means, get a quilt. They’re hand-made (or seemingly hand-made) works of art that don’t suffocate as much as fleece or cotton blankets.
- You’re not any better than that person. No, seriously. Even if you say that to your friends to sound humble but still have that self-important voice in your head that says “but I actually AM…” you still aren’t. Being human automatically puts us on an even playing field. Always. Your poop smells the exact same as everyone else’s (I am a nurse, I know these things).
- Escape the comfort zone as often as you can. This is a cliché life rule that everyone says, but that’s because it’s important. I need my comfort zone sometimes. But I grow the most when I escape it. Even if you leave the comfort zone and it goes horribly wrong, you are brave because you left, and you most likely have a great story to add to your archives.
- Love languages are important. By knowing the love languages of myself and my loved ones, I have learned to notice and appreciate the way other people love me and learned to love them better in return.
- Addiction is highly prevalent, a lifelong battle, and comes in many forms. There are so many societal stigmas built around the concept of addiction. We tend to always picture the extremes, like a toothless meth addict pestering you for spare cash on the street (FUN FACT I once gave my 25% consumed Starbucks frappuccino to a meth addict on the train, not out of generosity, but because I didn’t know what else to do when she boldly and loudly asked me “CAN I HAVE THAT?”). Addiction afflicts thousands upon thousands of people regardless of socioeconomic status. And addiction is not only to substances. Addicts need help just as much as someone with diabetes or heart failure. It is sickness.
- Conflict is productive. Sure, it’s terrifying and uncomfortable, but remember the comfort zone rule? That includes conflict. My closest relationships have grown as a result of difficult conflict and confrontation. It’s formative and important to disagree and fight sometimes.
- You’re not any less of an adult if you hate life before the sun comes up. I feel like every blog is like “get up early, it’s so good for you and you’re so much more productive” and all of us who HATE early morning are like “well I’M a huge failure.” No, we’re not. It’s okay to hate the butt crack of dawn. I get up at 4:50AM only because my job requires me to. If I could, I would sleep until at least 8AM every day. And I am no less mature because of this.
- Expect people to surprise you. They almost always do. You may be pleasantly surprised, or just the opposite. All you can be certain of is you will never be bored.
- Elderly people are the coolest. Most of them have to endure the demoralizing process of losing their level of independence against their will, and yet remain humble and always ask other people about themselves EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE WAY BETTER STORIES AND ARE WAY SMARTER THAN US.
- It’s okay to have high standards. I see high standards (NOT impossible standards) as a manifestation of the belief in someone’s potential to be better and constantly grow. That someone can be yourself or someone you love.
- LADIES: WIPE FRONT TO BACK. YES, I’m writing about this on my blog and YOU CAN’T STOP ME. I have been shocked by the realization that not all women do this. My fellow sistahs – do yourselves a favor and change your wipe method. You will prevent infections. FRONT. TO. BACK. MOVING ON.
- Everyone’s favorite topic of conversation is him or herself. Starved for conversation? I’ve found that it’s not hard to get the conversation rolling once you start asking someone about him or herself. There are exceptions, of course, but in most cases this works. (Side note: let’s all try to do this more with elderly people.)
- If you ever want to learn a foreign language, the most important thing you can do is discard the fear of looking/sounding stupid. You will never learn a foreign language if you are afraid to appear stupid. It’s just the way it is. You are certain to destroy grammar structures, mess up pronunciation, and say something wildly inappropriate without meaning to. Trust me, the embarrassment is totally worth it.
- You don’t have to travel to live a full life. I love to travel. But not everyone has the means or time to travel, and GUESS WHAT ? People who don’t travel can still be well rounded, well-adjusted humans. Furthermore, the third-world isn’t the only place you can have an impact. ACTUALLY, you can have a WAY bigger impact in your own community where you (most likely) understand the language and culture. So yes, of course, travel if you can. But if you can’t, don’t believe for one second that your life is any less meaningful or abundant. (In lieu of #18, you don’t have to travel to learn a foreign language, especially in the US (The Melting Pot, hellooooo). There are probably native speakers somewhere in your community. Be bold and make some new friends.)
- From Corrie ten Boom, the author of my all-time favorite book The Hiding Place: “hold everything in your hands lightly, otherwise it hurts when God pries your fingers open.” When I go to be with Jesus, I’m not going to have my job or my house or my iTunes account or my body. God gives, but he also takes away. In God’s eyes, I guess we’re all hoarders.
- There is more than one right way to do something. It’s easy to think your way is the best. It might be the most efficient or the most thorough, but that doesn’t necessarily make it better. You can always learn from watching/letting someone else do it their way – even if it takes more time and/or the result isn’t as perfect as it could have been.
- Lemon curd is delicious and should be WAY more popular than it is. (See also in this post)
- Sing. Even if you are tone deaf and you suck. Singing is fun and spreads cheer.
Thanks for enduring my novel of a blog post. Feel free to comment with your own life rules, and if you know me personally, share yours with me because I’d love to hear ’em!