I wish I knew when I was 3:
Left shoe goes on left foot, right shoe goes on right.
Picking my nose isn’t great.
Neither is carrying my blanket wherever I go.
Be open to foods outside of PB&J, pasta, and M&Ms.
Whine less, love more.
I wish I knew when I was 13:
Mullets don’t look good.
Stand up straight.
You can be “an independent thinker” and still not dress like your clothes fell off a refugee palate.
Socks don’t look good pulled all the way up to the knee.
Homework matters. Smarts without diligence = no Ivy League.
The Ivy League matters.
Make eye contact.
Take pictures of you and your friends. Someday these moments will be gone and impossible to re-capture.
Your mom is one thing, but normal people don’t necessarily love it when you stare into the distance, go off on a judgmental or topical rant, then slump your shoulders and act like you just said “So, what’s for dinner?” Yeah, might want to watch that.
Girls matter, but thinking about their beauty all day isn’t healthy.
Making lists of songs and movies and actors is kinda…lame.
There are better current musicians than The Police, Billy Joel, and Phil Collins. (I think there must have been some reason I liked 40-year-olds while my friends were rocking 25-year-olds. I haven’t figured that one out yet.)
Get Mom to buy stock in Apple.
Being a nerd isn’t as bad as I sometimes think.
These 1000 comics I own are going to be worth something someday. (Ok, I knew that one.) When possible you really need to buy two of any issue with a “#1” on it – one to read and one to keep in mint condition. (I knew that too, but didn’t listen to myself.)
I wish I knew when I was 23:
Don’t wait for them to make the “Archie” movie.
You don’t have to settle for a jobby-job. Live your dreams.
Stop worrying about all these little things, like rent and utility bills and home issues and diet and social obligations. Cut all that out and focus on what you want out of life.
You could parlay this whole “voice-of-a-generation” thing from Newsweek and the “Gen X” book into more than just…hanging out and proving yourself right.
To buy stock in Apple.
To travel the world.
The internet is about to become a thing. Stake an early claim, don’t sound like an idiot, and you might actually self-start a writing career.
Musical taste is cool, but I don’t need to spend quite so much of my life learning about bands and making mix tapes and going to shows.
Like Bill Cosby said, “I don’t know the sure road to success, but the sure road to failure is trying to please everyone.”
Remember what your heroes said and did. Say and do THAT.
Considering you just got 1400 on the GREs, maybe you should actually apply to grad school.
You could try stand-up comedy and see where that goes. (I had this idea for a Gen-X Archie Bunker thing back then, but now Louis C.K. has done better with it than I ever could have.)
Being thin and six feet tall is a lucky advantage. You shouldn’t act like you’re fat and five feet tall.
I wish I knew when I was 33:
To buy stock in Apple.
To travel the world.
Stop waiting for people to tell you what a genius you are. (I mean, seriously, STOP!)
To really be the person you say you want to be, instead of always cutting corners and expecting others to just get how great you are anyway.
Your mom may not be around forever (she’s going to die unexpectedly in a year). Spend as much time with her as you can. At least return her calls consistently.
White people tend to age way worse than other races. Better hurry up and be who you want to be.
Not to act like the world owes you anything…it doesn’t.
The internet is a thing. People are getting jobs from blogs. You could too.
There will someday be something called facebook. Thus, don’t be a dick to people when you don’t have to be…could come back to haunt you.
To appreciate my family – my cousins, uncles and aunts – every day.
To always be the feminist that I was raised to be.
You’re still spreading yourself a little thin, socially.
To spend more time with all sorts of older friends. They won’t be around forever and they tend to appreciate it.
Rejections of your independent film aren’t the end of the world.
The rejection from USC (to go from the MA to the PhD) isn’t the end of the world.
Just because friends are married with kids, and you want that, doesn’t mean they’re happy or that you should try to be like them.
To truly be grateful for every miraculous day in this lifespan which is so microcosmically short in the life of the universe.
I wish I knew, now that I’m turning 43 today:
If I should dump stock in Apple.
When I’m going to have time to travel the world.
What will be the last ten languages spoken on Earth? (Seriously, think about it.)
If autism will find some kind of “cure” in my lifetime.
If my boys are ever going to see me and say “Daddy!”
Who will die first, me or wifey (I hope it’s me, because I don’t want to live without her…but then I don’t want her to be stuck taking care of these two bambinos…I hope it’s me in about 60 years).
If Mom is really looking down and watching. I know she didn’t believe that, but I could choose to believe it for her.
How long before Manhattan is underwater? 30 years, 40?
If this blog will lead to jobs.
If there’s still time to write all the stories I’ve thought of writing.
If there’s still time to have the kind of job/notoriety that I’d like to have, or if my window has passed.
What to do now that I am grateful for every miraculous day in this lifespan which is so microcosmically short in the life of the universe.
Today I drink to the known unknowns, the unknown knowns, and the unknown unknowns. Today I get Rummy. It’s a beautiful circle of life, so happy Pi Day everyone!