I firmly believe in small gestures: pay for their coffee, hold the door for strangers, over tip, smile or try to be kind even when you don’t feel like it, pay compliments, chase the kid’s runaway ball down the sidewalk and throw it back to him, try to be larger than you are— particularly when it’s difficult. People do notice, people appreciate. I appreciate it when it’s done to (for) me. Small gestures can be an effort, or actually go against our grain (“I’m not a big one for paying compliments…”), but the irony is that almost every time you make them, you feel better about yourself. For a moment life suddenly feels lighter, a bit more Gene Kelly dancing in the rain.
6. Stop identifying yourself as a cliche and start treating yourself as an individual. Constantly checking your life against a prewritten narrative or story of how things “should” be is a bought-into way of life. It’s sort of like renting your identity. It isn’t you. You are more nuanced than the narrative you try to fit yourself into, more complex than the story that “should” be happening.
14. Stop rejecting the potential to feel pain. Suffering is a universal constant for sentient beings. It is not unnatural to suffer. Being in a constant state of suffering is bad. But it is often hard to appreciate happiness when there’s nothing to compare it to. Rejecting the potential to suffer is unsustainable and unrealistic.
19. Stop being afraid.
So many people have written cautionary, ruminative pieces on being a 20-something and they make you think the decade after 19 is nothing if not angst-ridden and tortuous. Which is partially true I suppose. Find a job find your life’s meaning stay financially stable ignore your friends’ nascent wedding albums (for the most part not yet—thank God).
Anyhow I found this article a good read and am posting it for self-reference.
Live life in your unfinished dreams
R.Wong (via evilvision)
I reblogged this five years ago… it still keeps me going.
I see a lot of dudes who perpetuate what I call the myth of the influencer. In New York, specifically, where I’m at every day, I see a lot of these dudes who aspire to be what I call a professional cool guy. But nobody who ever ended up as a professional cool guy ever started out saying ‘I’m gonna be fucking cool.’ What it really comes down to is refining your skills and figuring out what you bring to the table. Then, learning over time how you can then convey that honestly to someone else so that they trust you and they fuck with you, to the point where down the line you’ll get to do the kind of stuff that you see certain people brag about on Twitter and blog about. If you start out from the get-go with that as your aim, you’re never gonna fucking get there. It’s never gonna happen.
My favorite place in all of LA is the San Gabriel mountains, especially after an extended period of rainfall when you take the 210 West to the 2 Freeway all the way up to Mount Wilson, and you’re driving past lush verdant hills studded with quaint little houses, and you swerve left and right through the winding roads only to stop when a choice ledge catches your eye. And you pull over and stare out at more rows of trees and small houses rippling outwards from the towering skyscrapers of downtown LA, which you can see with startling clarity, the normal smog and soot washed away by the ever-elusive rains, and the wind is bonechillingly cold so that you feel wide-awake and alert like someone has thrown a glass of water into your face. And in that moment you feel like this is how life should be, a small sliver of a sprawling metropolis pulsing through your consciousness, like you have glimpsed a semblance of some sort of cosmic truth, distilled in that simple moment you bear witness to nature and city partaking in a coexistence as tenuous as the last streams of sunlight disappearing into a fading sunset.
1. Make myself as uncomfortable as possible. Comfort is complacency.
“I Think I Am In Friend-Love With You” written by and illustrated by Yumi Sakugawa, published in Sadie Magazine, 2012.
I feel that society stigmatizes being sad, like it’s a condition one should cure through pills and psychotherapy because how dare it infringe upon happiness. But sometimes I like being melancholic and brooding because I feel like there’s a certain profundity of thought you can only experience if moody. You become extraordinarily self-aware and assess situations from newly critical manners; you’re more willing to challenge deeply ingrained social norms and reevaluate your priorities after having unchained yourself from agreeing with this or that or a million different sentiments asserting you should think a certain way. Things that are easier to accept with that smile we plaster onto our faces every time we walk out the house, every time we slip into that public persona with which we laugh at every joke no matter how unfunny and nod at every opinion no matter how excruciatingly incorrect.
Now there is a difference between sadness and depression. I’m not going to delve into the two except to say that the former is a temporal emotion even healthy individuals feel from time to time, one that paints our perception of life with an extra layer of complexity, reminding us that the one-dimensional emotional plasticity which the media and our peers expect us to embrace is unhealthy and unreal. The latter is a serious and real ailment that does require professional attention. I am by no means condoning the latter, nor am I a psychology expert (so friends, correct me if I’m wrong). But to conflate the two is to continue eschewing an essential facet of our humanity, one that allows us to more deeply connect with one another and to perceive life in a far more comprehensive and fulfilling manner, to begin chipping away at the big questions that both define and maddeningly complicate our lives.
I’m glad that another person was able to so eloquently to put this in words. Everyone feels sad sometimes; some more than others. And that’s okay. Sadness breaks us out of our constant pursuit of happiness and puts life in another perspective; it gives us introspection and reflection, and forces us to reevaluate ourselves.
Today my friend died. He was struck by a 26 year old. I’m sorry i wasn’t there with you, Ride in Paradise Roger, Dreams are Made by pedaling.
It’s always a sad day when this happens. Remember to ride safe, everyone…
Wear a helmet, check your shoulders, and be aware of your surroundings.
“Cold Pastoral,” [a short story] in which a college student is forced to reassess her relationship and herself when she reads her boyfriend’s diary after his death, has a skillfully controlled comedy to it: “A lot of time was spent being consciously romantic,” the narrator says. “Making sushi, walking places, waiting too long before responding to texts. I fluctuated between adding songs to his playlist and wondering if I should stop hooking up with people I was eighty per cent into and finally spend some time alone.” At the same time, it shows an acute, almost clinical understanding of the mixture of arrogance and vulnerability, of pretense and emotion, with which its twenty-something characters pursue and evade real attachment.
An incredible short story from a twenty-two year old who passed away in May— beautifully written, tragic, and all-too-real. Here’s to Marina.
“I have an idea that the only thing which makes it possible to regard this world we live in without disgust is the beauty which now and then men create out of the chaos.”
— W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil
this right here.
I think the reason why twentysomethings are so fixated on age is because we feel a pressure to be a certain way at 23, at 25, at 29. There are all of these invisible deadlines with our careers and with love and drinking and drugs. I can’t do coke at 25. I need to be in a LTR at 27. I can’t vomit from drinking at 26. I just can’t! We feel so much guilt for essentially acting our age and making mistakes. We’re obsessed with this idea of being domesticated and having our shit together. It’s kind of sad actually because I don’t think we ever fully get a chance to enjoy our youth. We’re so concerned about doing things “the right way” that we lose any sense of pleasure in doing things the wrong way. Youth may be truly wasted on the young.