If I could offer one tip for the future…
Sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proven by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will gladly dispense this advice now 🙂
Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh, nevermind. You probably won’t understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in twenty years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you may not be able to grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how uber fabulous you really looked. You are NOT as fat, short, tall, frumpy, bland, boring, or pimply as you think.
When in doubt, go left. And choose ‘A’.
Do not worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindsides you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.
Do one thing every day that scares you.
Do not be reckless with other people’s hearts. Do not put up with people who are reckless with yours.
Don’t waste time on jealousy; sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind. The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself.
Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.
Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.
Go out of your way to make someone smile. You never know how much they might really need it.
Do not feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40 years olds I know still don’t.
Get plenty of calcium.
Do NOT keep food in your tent.
Maybe you’ll get married. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll get divorced at 40. Maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken at your 75th wedding anniversary. What ever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance, and so are everybody elses.
Enjoy the body God gave you; use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people may think of it. It is and will be the greatest instrument you will ever own.
Dance. Even if you have no music. Or two left feet. Or nowhere to do it but in your own living room.
Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.
Do NOT read beauty magazines; they will only make you feel ugly (99.9% of all images you see have had the magic Photoshop wand run over them anyway).
Get to know your parents; respect them and don’t for one second take for granted all of the times they got rid of the monsters under your bed, made you pancakes on Saturday mornings, coached your little league team, gave you driving lessons, helped you move and unpack at college, and just, were simply there for you.
Be nice to your siblings; they are the link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.
Understand that friends come and go, except for the precious few you should hold on to. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Don’t be scared of a little dirt. Jump in a puddle, roll down a grassy hill, have a foodfight.
Ice cream is good. Chocolate is good. Ice cream and chocolate combined…very good.
But trust me on the sunscreen thing.