1. Everyone should get the same chances with you when you first meet them
regardless of race, age, sexuality, socio-economic background. There are people in this world who, when you first meet them, come across as cold and don’t want to know you. Maybe they consider they have enough friends, or you are not worth their time. Moving around a lot means making the most of friendships where you can, and appreciating the effort people put in to include you.
2. Don’t live outside of your means. It’s okay to go without sometimes.
Being a poor student for four years made me appreciate the things that I had, and made the things that I really wanted or needed stand more clearly outline in my short term future. It’s a cliché – but – sometimes the best things in life ARE free, like running down the chilly autumn leaf street.
3. Get a tattoo, pierce your body. Express yourself.
Don’t do things just because everybody else does. If you want a tattoo that says “Pineapples forever” because you LOVE pineapples then do it. If you got a tattoo because your friends all got one and you don’t really like it and it doesn’t really mean anything, then you are a dumbass. On a side note, ladies, do remember that our bodies stretch! Also, a bride with a fugly tattoo on the shoulder blade is gross.
4. Be nice to your little Brothers. They grow up to be bigger than you.
Something I learnt the hard way as a 5 “2 fourteen year old, with a 5”3 twelve year old brother.
5. Eat that extra Cupcake. We’re here for a good time, not for a long time.
Don’t calorie count unless you are aiming for something specific (a goal weight for a wedding dress, a school reunion where you need to snub the heifer-like, once popular bitch that didn’t invite you to her birthday party). Life is short. Be (for the most part) healthy, exercise, and eat right. But for god’s sake don’t pass up that cupcake! It won’t hurt you really, and that feeling of denial is hurting you more.
6. Walk more, See more.
Not only is it exercise, you never know what you might stumble upon! Today I saw an old Chinese man with a hip radio walking slowly through a sun-filled park as the radio blared, “I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it.” It was a cute and funny life moment.
7. Be with somebody that deserves your love, and don’t beat yourself up if it’s over.
8. Wear clothes that make you feel sexy.
You never know who you might bump into.
9. Appreciate and look forward to the little things,
Like home cooked meals, package from someone far away, or sunlight streaming across your bed.
10. Don’t give up on your goals.
There are plenty of people out there who don’t think you can succeed. Don’t let yourself be one of them.
11. Give more than you take.
Whether it’s time or money – helping others fulfills you like nothing else.
12. It’s okay to cry and be upset sometimes.
Get into bed (or my favorite, the shower) cry your tears, take deep breathes, and then move on. The world doesn’t stop when you do, and you aren’t helping yourself by indulging in misery. Sometimes things go wrong/suck. They won’t always!
13. Do things that seem random/or scary.
Going to work in a summer camp in North America is something I had been talking about for years, but then I thought I had the next few years mapped out in my brain. When the TV show I was working on got cancelled and my boyfriend dumped me, I just knew the time was right to do something I’d always wanted. And now here I am, still in Canada 4 and a half months in my new home! Best decision, and teaching me new things every day.
14. Painters Paint, Singers Sing, Writers Write!
I am the biggest procrastinator of all time, but to be considered a “writer” I actually have to write. Get moving! Action not daydreaming will get you there.
15. Read books that open your mind to new ideas. You can travel far from yourself by reading widely.
16. Don’t yell at service people.
My mum used to get frustrated and angry quite quickly at servers, people on the phone, etc, and I would always beg her not to as a kid. Sure, be firm but don’t blame the person in front of you for something that may be out of their control. Also remember that they are human and having a day of their own. Do you really want to be the person that ruined it by getting unnecessarily frustrated? Put yourself in their shoes.
17. Take pictures. Lots of them
People always comment on how many facebook pictures I have, or how many albums I upload. Yes. I live far away from my family and that is how I show them what is in and around my life. Okay sure, I never want to be someone that has to document EVERY single thing, like the meal I am eating, or the shoes I want to buy. But if there are wonderful people/things around you, then capture them in photographs. Enjoy them in the moment too, but save those sunny pictures for a rainy day.
18. Love your body!
We’ve all got good bits and bad bits, wobbly bits and wrinkly bits. I’m a curvy 23 year old at peace with the fact that I’ll probably never enjoy H&M changing rooms and probably always feel fat in Hong Kong. But I’ve got a great smile, and green eyes, and MASSIVE boobies which make for awesome cleavage in my tight top. So I love the bits that are great and accept the bits which need work.
19. Travel as much as you can.
20. Getting in touch with people is soul nourishing
I’ve been walking to work and taking that time when I’d usually be squished in a subway car to talk to my brothers and parents on the phone. 12 hour time differences make me feel far away and disconnected with their life, so even taking 20 minutes to catch up on their day is so refreshing. And skyping with friends is the greatest!
21. Treat your friends well and treat them to dinner or drinks now and then.
In my new adopted city of Toronto, my friends are my family right now. This motley collection of people I’ve only known for four months, took me to various dinner spots and shouted me dinner. They invite me to their family homes, include me in their confidences, and generally make me feel like I belong. For their generosity of spirit, I think I can be generous with some meals.
22. Don’t argue a political or religious point unless you are ridiculously well-informed, and prepared to be argued with.
Note the crazies at the westborough baptist church. I’m not saying don’t speak up for your rights or the rights of people, but just prepare yourself for the fact that everyone has different opinions.
23. It doesn’t matter how many things you’ve learned in how many years. There is always more to see/learn/do.
Steve Jobs said, stay hungry.