Twelve Pieces of Unsolicited Advice

This week has been a bit of a jam, and even though my workload is slowing down, I don't have that much to say about any one topic, and certainly nothing I could throw together in a blog post. Thus, I will offer all of you (many of whom are older and wiser than me) some bits of advice that no one asked for, and in no particular order, on no particular topic. Enjoy! 

1. Learn the affects of caffeine, sugar, gluten, protein, and alcohol on your body honestly and safely. Don't be that person that thinks intense headaches, nausea, stomach cramps, muscle weakness, or blackouts are normal. 

2. Read things outside of your subject field/interests/beliefs. There are two huge reasons for this: 1) you will date an engineer. Or a novelist. Prepare accordingly. 2) You don't know what you don't know you like. As it turns out, I have a secret love of interior design and fashion. BONUS: It'll help you keep your nose out of pointless controversy. 

3. Ask "Is This Normal?" Every now and then, check in with friends, mentors, and family about your experiences and your health. You never know what you might be compensating for instinctively. 

4. Make sure your jeans fit. According to the minor goddess Stacy London and the ever-fabulous Mercurial Clinton Kelly, jeans exist to make your butt look good (and to give you something you can wear 3-4 times between washes). If your butt doesn't look good, get a different cut or size. The number on the tag doesn't matter. Cut the tags out of your clothes, and suddenly you'll feel like a ten (ba dum tish). 

5. Reflect, but don't dwell, on your pain. Pain festers if you pretend it doesn't exist, and it will eventually handicap you. Give it to God, and process what is happening honestly. Allow yourself honest grief and honest recovery. "This is my current state. It has not always been, it will not always be. God, this is where I am. You are I Am. Be here in my 'I am in Pain.'" 

6. Text your friends when you think of it. If you see something that you think someone would laugh at, send it to them. It will probably get a smile. 

7. Don't participate in chronological snobbery. An idea or philosophy is not inherently bad because it is old. Be discerning, but allow works to affect you as if they were written last week. Does it seem novel and relevant? It's probably a good thought. Approach things from a place of respect; your elders might know something you don't.

8. Get massages. Watch funny movies. Eat good food. Have kind people around. Take care of yourself. 

9. Make a budget. Everyone's budget looks different, and everyone needs a different kind of budget. Figure you out and make it happen. 

10. Like unabashedly. Is your favorite movie Attack of the ClonesCitizen Kane? Anchorman? You're allowed to like what you like. Your tastes are not evil. 

11. Love unabashedly. You can love who you love. There is something incredibly important about saying, even if only to yourself, "this person matters to me," and living that way. That doesn't mean to throw yourself at people, but it does mean that cowardice is not the place for love. Perfect love casts out fear, and perfect love is based on action. Act in love, and fear will melt. This is not my strong suit, and neither is this next part: when your heart gets broken - as the heart of every lover does - there is permission and grace to grieve the love lost. Love, in the right ways, at the right time, but love. Always, the greatest will be love, for it is love that hopes, love that has faith, and love that is itself. 

12. Drink lemonade. And tea. Always tea.