I don’t really do much of putting my thoughts out on the internet lately, but I’m about to turn 22 in a few weeks, and here are the things I am figuring out lately:
- Pursue whatever gets you stoked - just make sure the things you enjoy are worth your time. For me, this means being an earth doctor (geological engineer). If there is anyone out there wondering what to do to have not just a meaningful (for more people than just yourself) life but a meaningful career as well, go into science! This does not dismiss other disciplines as less meaningful at all - I just don’t have any formal education other than a scientific one. Science gives you the opportunity to make sense of the world for yourself, to have an educated opinion, to increase the wellbeing of as many people as you possibly can.
- It also gives you the power to fight dumb-assery… Just most of the time dumb-assery isn’t worth fighting with. In fact, listening to people rather than fighting with them seems to have a much higher success rate.
- That being said, actually getting a scientific education is going to suck a lot of the time. But recognize that things worth doing are going to be difficult. And that the longer you do something hard, the easier it gets.
- To balance out how much getting learned can suck, find things that allow your heart/mind to breathe, rather than just your brain. Love these things. If you love them, the pursuit will never be half hearted. I love slack lining, yoga, photography, riding my bike aimlessly, laying on my porch at midnight and smoking a bowl (completely legal, by the way). I fucking hate having to learn the language of math (although knowing it is pretty dang cool). The point is, that if you do things that are easy for you to love, then it is easy to love or at least find value in the things that are hard. Finding a balance between things that are intuitive vs counterintuitive is much more difficult, but worth it.
- Appreciate the fact that all people are under the burden of both day to day and life-long struggles. That by being kind, and compassionate, and understanding, and trying to relate to/see all people’s individual behaviors in an empathetic light you really might just be making that burden a little more bearable. Because your grandma might have just died, and you might have three exams in the next week, and you might have broken two arms and your back within a year of each other and are really just trying to make it until the summer.
- Be aware of how much you are consuming. Try and only take what ya need… And for the love of god just recycle.
- Do things worth doing. Don’t be a dick to humanity. Or rather, place value on making a contribution to society. If that means you have to go through excel data for hours a day for an entire semester just to prove that an ostensibly unimportant body of water is being polluted, value the fact that you are hopefully going to make your entire water shed a bit less terrifying to drink without a filter.
- So have goals. Goals that are worth fighting the good fight for.
- Stop dismissing aphorisms and things you hear all the time as cliche or stereotypical or whatever. There is a reason psalms and stuff stick around… Cause they help you be a good person.
- You are what you choose to be. For better or worse. Even when you know you are choosing to not be your best version, recognize that it’s just temporary. A phase or whatever. Something will change and you will decide to become better. It’s always a decision though, no matter how shitty the circumstances are.
- That being said, allow yourself to slack off or be a less than ideal version of yourself. Be patient with yourself. If you are patient, then you never have to forgive yourself or compensate for when you were being a shithead.
- Be present. Don’t worry about all the shit due tomorrow and don’t focus on the things in the past that make you unhappy. But acknowledge that planning for things ahead of time will provide for future situations that allow you to really be present in a way that means you won’t have to worry about the past anyway.
- Bonding comes by enjoying the same things as other people. These things can be literally anything. By saying yes to as many opportunities as you can, you extend your heart’s roots outward. Spreading wide roots is beautiful. It makes you feel deep belly happiness. Seeking out genuine connections will improve your quality of life unimaginably.
- Ask for help. Don’t internalize grief because it will make you crazy. Let the bad shit out before it turns into a demon.
- When it comes to dealing with demons you acquired while growing up, just decide you are ready to do it.
- Get off the internet. If you’re on it for fun, chances are there are adventures outside you don’t even know about. And don’t let excuses be a reason (IE not in shape, don’t have the right shoes, whatever…) that stops you. Have adventures. Your clock is ticking.
- Priority #1: don’t die. Priority #2: have fun. Priority #3: be good.
- Think good thoughts. You choose what you believe. Believing in the best of people despite the empirical evidence for the stupidity of humanity will keep your heart soft and mind open.
- Love the trees. If you can’t justify loving them inherently, just remember that without them, you won’t have any oxygen to inhale. And if we kill them all, a lot of CO2 will be released which is not good for anybody, despite what Fox News tells you.
- Get your news from as many different sources as you can. Filter it as objectively as humanly possible. When possible, just read facts —> but know that facts are really just scientific observations that have been substantiated by nonpartisan science that has been peer evaluated. Making an opinion (especially an important opinion) based on another’s opinion shouldn’t be good enough. Have objectivity standards for what you believe in!
- Judging people is a waste of time. Getting to know people isn’t. First impressions (for me) are usually wrong. I hated my two best college friends when I first met them. And I disliked them because I was the one with a closed mind.
- Think highly of yourself. And be selective about whose opinions you care about. There are seven billion people who can have an opinion about you. Like 99.99999999999999% of these opinions will not be necessary for your wellbeing. Just care about the opinions of people you really respect.
- Never undervalue respect. In fact, I think it is good to put a lot of emphasis on respecting people even when you think they’re totally 100% bullshit. Because you are wrong. Probably.
- Fill your heart with love. It doesn’t need reasons to love. Love the branches, blades of grass, rocks, lichens, the sidewalks, libraries, the stranger who has chronic resting bitch face and is aiming it in your direction. Love for no reason.
- Keep things in perspective. The continents and oceans and everything we interface with daily is just a thin veneer on top of a 3000km thick layer of rock under so much pressure that it is a viscous solid, which in turn rests upon molten iron core that surrounds a solid iron core. So if you took the earth and cut it in half, you’d see that like humans are just the sprinkles on a banana suspended in a giant tub of ice cream.
- And marvel! We know everything because a bunch of dudes were pretty smart. All of human knowledge is just that - knowledge gained by a bunch of random, regular people such as you and I.
I will probably keep rambling after I get out of class in three hours. All of these things only really apply to me, but you might find them valuable too hopefully.
~After class and procrastinating thermodynamics homework due tomorrow~
- Sustained effort over time is the way to go. Allow yourself enough time to have breathing room to slack off.
- Love the people around you. Tell them you love them. Tell them often. And don’t always tell them with words, because showing someone you love them is more meaningful than telling them sometimes.
- For the people who are gonna be in your life for a long time, one of the most understated ways to tell someone you love them is by doing unexpected and nice things. And telling them you appreciate them. Recognize others’ efforts - everyone is in need of validation every now and again.
- Be amused! Have your own hilarity folder filled with things that make you laugh. You don’t need reasons to laugh… The statistical probability of having your particular collection of atoms being organized in a manner that sustains life is like apparently 1 in an infinite universe. Why are humans ostensibly the height of universal carbon based evolution? I don’t know. But it’s funny.
- Romantic love is weird. That’s just life. But embrace the weirdness, try to help the other person grow - in doing so, you too will grow as a person. A lot of people are going to appear to be the right people at the wrong time. And that’s hard/shitty/complicates things a lot, but is still beautiful. Love selflessly - without ego. Or do your best.
- Just try. Effort and attention are some of the smallest ways to show gratitude towards a person/the universe.
- Embrace things that perplex you. If you are the smartest person you know, you’re doing it wrong. If you aren’t confused like 88% of the time, you’re probably staying inside your comfort zone.
- I personally think it is important to never be what people expect. Be paradoxical. Be a cheerleader who writes poetry and deals with depression and decides that she is going to abandon art for science and move two thousand miles away and then join a sorority but actually spend all of your spare time trying to learn how to walk on a slack line that is over 300 feet long. Decide to take a bus to Montana instead of flying (it’s cheaper and definitely a foreign experience). Carry around a yoda lunchbox and have absurd stickers covering all of your personality-less things. Or go minimal. Most of, be able to surprise yourself.
- Regularly ask yourself “when was the last time I tried something for the first time?”.
- Pick your words with care! If you are not going to improve upon the silence, don’t break it.
no mom I don’t want a boyfriend I want a kingdom