This is the New Year

Looking back, 2013 was a hell of a year. In a way it feels as though it was two different years, one in which I was still in school and the other in which I’m kind of a grown-up. Graduation seems like ages ago, even though it was only a few months. I certainly feel like a different person than I was at this time last year. And in a very good way. So cheers to steady progress!

I came up with a few resolutions for 2014 as well as a D.C.-specific-bucket-list of things I’d like to accomplish before July. Check them out on my new page.

While I was thinking of resolutions, of ways I’d like to live my life differently, ways I’d like to improve…a lot of strange things kept popping into my head. Naturally, I wrote them down.

General Rules to Live By

  1. Never cut into baked brie before it has had a chance to cool. The floodgates will open. (If in the unfortunate event that you do happen to make this mistake, stuff a piece of bread in the opening and put the whole thing in the fridge)
  2. Pick up worms off the sidewalk and put them back in the grass. It is good for the earth and there is something very cathartic about helping the most helpless of creatures.
  3. Volunteer often. Go alone or with friends, but not the ones who will make you reject new and unfamiliar opportunities.
  4. Go to movies alone. Enjoy not sharing the popcorn.
  5. Give the world to the people you love.
  6. People crave contradictions. The tattooed man who likes cats. Salted chocolate. Quiet girls with wicked tongues. Keep them on their toes and never let them predict you. Happen to be a bookworm? Learn the lyrics to some vulgar rap songs. The surprised reactions are worth it.
  7.  Learn your spices and how to season things. It will make you seem like a better cook.
  8. You may not be able to make yourself taller, skinnier, smarter, or funnier…but you can whiten your teeth and a pretty smile goes a long way. You can also wear perfume/cologne. People like other people who smell nice.
  9. Be productive in boredom. Do push-ups, read the news, help a friend…do something, so at the end of the day you can feel as though you have done right by your body, mind, and/or those around you.
  10. Learn how to make good pancakes, coffee, and chocolate chip cookies.
  11. Don’t cancel plans via text message. Especially if your reason for not going is because you’re feeling lazy/tired.
  12. Never assume you are more important than you are. Be humble.
  13. In situations when you are unsure what is culturally appropriate, the safest best is to shut up and not touch anything.
  14. It’s not cool to talk about how much alcohol you drink. It’s also not cool to drink too much alcohol (but if and when it does happen, give your phone to your most trusted friend so you don’t wake up to some messages you regret).
  15. Call your grandparents often and try to make more than small talk.
  16. There are times to pretend you know what people are talking about, but most often it is best to admit you don’t know rather than look stupid later. It is easier to accept ignorant people than liars.
  17. Put away your phone when you are with people. Unless you are a parent or are expecting to hear about a job interview—it can wait.
  18. Don’t create problems for yourself. If you think something might all be in your head….it probably is.
  19. The best way to network is to not talk about work.
  20. Read books to children when they ask. Kid’s books are hilarious. Also be sure to not skimp on the voices.
  21. The next time you think something unkind about another person, re-evaluate your own insecurities.
  22. Most importantly, never ever change yourself to impress someone. If you find yourself suppressing the real you, its not going to be worth it in the end.

Any suggestions to add to the list?

I read this the other day and it spoke to my heart. To this and every year:

The year of letting go, of understanding loss. grace. of the word ‘no’ and also being able to say ‘you are not kind’. the year of humanity/humility. when the whole world couldn’t get out of bed. everyone i’ve met this year, says the same thing ‘you are so easy to be around, how do you do that?’. the year i broke open and dug out all the rot with my own hands. the year i learnt small talk. and how to smile at strangers. the year i understood that i am my best when i reach out and ask ‘do you want to be my friend?’. the year of sugar, everywhere. softness. sweetness. honey honey. the year of being alone, and learning how much i like it. the year of hugging people i don’t know, because i want to know them. the year i made peace and love, right here. -Warsan Shire

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