When I was 38 I contemplated beginning a two year Associates Degree in Radiography. I was talking to a friend and had almost talked myself out of doing it. I said “I’m too old to start that. I’ll be 40 when I get my degree.” My friend said “If you don’t do it, you’ll still be 40, but without the degree.” I’m nearly 60 now, and that degree has been the difference between making a decent living, and struggling to get by.
My mom was dying. A friend told me “you have your whole life to freak out about this– don’t do it in front of her.”
It really helped me to understand that my feelings are not always what’s important. It IS possible to delay a freakout, and that skill has served me innumerable times.
Don’t be a d*ck to your dog. He’s a few years of your life, but you are all of his
After getting rejected by a bunch of colleges in the same week, my dad (who is a writer) said “I was rejected by Stanford three times, and now my books are in their library. You’ve got to be better than them.”
I met a person who was in a wheelchair. He related a story about how a person once asked if it was difficult to be confined to a wheelchair. He responded, “I’m not confined to my wheelchair – I am liberated by it. If it wasn’t for my wheelchair, I would be bed-bound and never able to leave my room or house. “
Next year, you’ll wish you had started today.
You know you’re an adult when you can be right without proving the other person wrong.
“It’s only embarrassing if you’re embarrassed.” Changed my life forever.
People won’t remember the words you say but how it made them feel.
“Think of a time you were embarrassed, easy right? Now think of a time someone else was embarrassed. It’s a lot harder to do isn’t it?” I don’t really worry about being embarrassed anymore if no one but I will remember it!
“Education is expensive, but no education is more expensive”. Definitely took school more seriously after someone said that to me.
“If you’re scared of doing it because you’re afraid that people will judge you, trust me they won’t even remember it after a year.” Something like that. Made me a little daredevillish.
“How would it make you feel?”
It’s the sentence that changed my stance on gay marriage. Without context, that seems silly, but I’ll offer up a shortened version. I grew up in suburban STL to conservative Christian parents (and they weren’t remotely tolerant) and pretty much never left my comfort bubble. I moved to Kansas City when I was 20 to finish college. My roommate was good friends with a gay couple, and this was my first encounter with gay people (that I knew of, which was ignorant. There’s no way it was my first). Inevitably, we got into a debate, and they basically went into a tirade about how much it sucks to constantly be berated and made fun of, and how it sucks to be treated unfairly because of something they can’t control. I reverted to the classic “it’s a choice!” line of thinking. They responded with “why would we f*cking choose this for ourselves? Why would we choose to constantly be made fun of, to constantly be judged, and constantly be denied rights? How would it make YOU feel?” It was pretty much that exact moment when I, who I consider to be a logical person, realized I was being an illogical asshole and that I was just regurgitating the sh*t I picked up from being raised in a conservative Christian household. From that moment on, I start undoing all of the programming in my mind from years of living in a sheltered environment. My views have since changed on nearly everything, from gay marriage to abortion to religion. One sentence from one conversation with two gay men changed me in a huge number of ways, and now I scoff at the idea that you can’t change someone’s mind about these things.
As a child, my duty was to empty the dishwasher.
I was something like 10, that day. I was always trying to do that fast, so I had more time to play SMB on my NES.
Only my dad was home, gardening. I grabbed the coffee pot that was in the dishwasher and it slipped off my hand, to broke loudly in pieces on the floor.
I was ashamed and afraid of my dad’s reaction. Like a lot. He was (and still is) a nice guy, but for me it was like a big mistake, and for my child brain, this pot was worth a lot of money. He would be mad.
It took all my courage to go see my dad and tell him, but I did. I was almost crying of shame, while still having the handle of the pot in my hand, as a proof.
My dad, calmly looked at me, and said “Breaking something happens when you work, that’s ok, don’t worry”.
It’s silly, but I think of that almost every day. It’s okay to make mistake, at least you are trying to do something.
We’re all tired, we all just want to sit on our couch in front of our TV’s. But that’s not living, man.
-My buddy, when I told him I didn’t want to go out because I’d had a long day.
This is a philosophy I live by now. My life is so much better for it.
In terms of love and romance, the truth is, the only person you know you’re definitely spending the rest of your life with is you.
Everything else is simply not guaranteed -no matter how much you believe in “true love” and all that it entails. People die. People leave. People change their minds. When all is said and done, you end up with yourself. So you better f*cking like who that is. In fact, you better LOVE who that is. Work everyday to be your best self. And don’t let ANYONE EVER define who you are without your permission.
“There will be something you hate in every job. The trick is finding a job where you love the good parts enough to make up for the crappy parts.”
That might sound like a dumb one to list here, but whenever I have problems related to work (which seems to be where I need most of my motivation) I like to think back on this and take a deep breath. It’s ok to hate where you are sometimes. The trick is to remind yourself what else you like, and power through.
When I was young and having what I thought was a serious relationship talk with my first real SO, I told her that I just wanted to find the right person.
Without missing a beat she said, “Everybody is looking for the right person, and nobody is trying to be the right person.”
That stopped me in my tracks.
I was 13 years old, trying to teach my 6 year old sister how to dive into a swimming pool from the side of the pool. It was taking quite a while as my sister was really nervous about it. We were at a big, public pool, and nearby there was a woman, about 75 years old, slowly swimming laps. Occasionally she would stop and watch us. Finally she swam over to us just when I was really putting the pressure on, trying to get my sister to try the dive, and my sister was shouting, “but I’m afraid!! I’m so afraid!!” The old woman looked at my sister, raised her fist defiantly in the air and said, “So be afraid! And then do it anyway!”
That was 35 years ago and I have never forgotten it. It was a revelation — it’s not about being unafraid. It’s about being afraid and doing it anyway.
A friend of the family’s five year-old child died in a freak accident, where the father had just left the room for a minute to go to the bathroom, and the child climbed on top of the TV, and it toppled and crushed him. The family was in pieces, and the father undeservedly blamed himself for the death of his child. I remember telling my dad, a stoic man who has only said he loves me maybe three times in his life, that this is a reason that I don’t know if I want children. I don’t think I could handle something like this.
His response was: Even one minute with you in my life is worth whatever pain I would feel if you had died.
To hear that from him really showed me how strong that bond can be, even if a parent doesn’t show it openly, and changed my mind about wanting children.
H/T BoredPanda, Preview photo credit: Internet