If you want to accomplish something special, original and truly new, you have to be relentlessly unapologetically determined. Be true to yourself, be true to your art, never take it for granted. You don’t have to conform, you can be as raw as you need to be and as raw as you want, but never change who you are. Remember that you can’t please everybody and you shouldn’t even want to. Treat everything like it’s your greatest opportunity. Stay focused. Keep going. Do your best. Then do more. Quit fucking around.


Wear Sunscreen

Wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it. The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own experience.

I dispense this advice to you now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. You will not understand this power and beauty until they’ve faded but in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you, how good you really looked, and how wonderful you really were.

Don’t worry about the future. Worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4PM on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.


Do not be reckless with other people’s hearts.
Don’t let others be reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your 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. Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people don’t know at 22 what they want to do with their lives. Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds still don’t know.

Be kind to your knees. You’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance with enthusiasm and energy on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much, or berate yourself either. Your choices are half chance, same as everybody.

Enjoy your body. Use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it or of what other people think of it. It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own. Dance, even if you have nowhere to do it but your living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them. Do not read beauty magazines. They will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents. You never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings. They’re your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go, but with a precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths: prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old. When you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Be careful whose advice you try, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth…

Mary Schmich


Two Emotions

Men have two emotions: “Hungry” and “Horny.” If you catch him without an erection, he’s looking for lunch. Show up naked at his place with some bacon in your left hand and a beer in your right. You’ll instantly become the perfect girlfriend, mistress, or wife.



You can’t wait around expecting some kind of perfect payoff, where all the loose threads are neatly tied. Remember you are as blind and crazy as everyone else. Do not obsess over your mistakes. You can’t fix everything. Some bad choices you just have to accept. Try and rebuild as best as you can. Accept things for what they are. Say you’re sorry, make amends and move on.


The Blame Game

Kiss me

People have an almost absurdly difficult time taking responsibility when they should, saying “I’m sorry” when they should, without following a bogus sorriness up with still somehow trying to explain things away, and ultimately blaming someone else. Take some goddamned responsibility. Say “I’m sorry” when you should be and when you actually are, work to fix whatever shit went wrong. Say, “I’m sorry,” fix it, and move on. Saying “I love you” also seems hard for some. Just say it. When you feel it and mean it, fucking say it.

Also, get out there, be radiant, conquer, crush, and have some fucking fun. Love yourself, love others, learn as much as you can, give as much as you can, be brave, be incredible, fucking enjoy yourself, and do whatever is in your power to help make shit more awesome. Who do you love, and what do you love to do? Why are you waiting, and what are you waiting for? Get out there and crush, say “I’m sorry” when you are, and “I love you” when you do. Time waits for no one, so there’s no reason to expect it to wait for you.


You Better

Are you doing all you can, giving all you got, is this your best you? Life is too short to be complacent. Make good art, be kind, be generous, and be creative. Getting everyone’s approval and having everyone like you is not the ticket. Achievement and self-respect that’s both earned and deserved is it. It’s important to love, but it’s important to be lovable too. Before it’s too late, you better love somebody, and you better let somebody love you. Care and be cared for, love and be loved, there is no other story.


The Light That Shines From Within

Go where you are celebrated, not just tolerated. If the people you are with in the place where you are can’t see your real value, it’s time for a new start. Then you can begin to live from the heart. Never let others dictate what you should look like, who you should be with, who you should be, or what you should do. This all is just another way of saying fuck the haters and don’t let the bastards get to you. Life is not for hiding away, worrying about what other people think, or being afraid. Purse first, hunties. Don’t let a goddamned thing stop you. Rise up, sally forth, conquer the day. Challenge all systems, look gorgeous and adorable, be brave and memorable, and always enjoy yourself while you slay.


And She Walks Away


When she says, “I’m fine,” she is not fine. If she says, “Nothing’s wrong,” everything is. When you’re fighting and she walks away, you must go after her. Everything takes effort, even love. The harder you love, the better love is. You cannot live if you don’t forgive.

Everything good is on the other side of apathy and fear. Whatever you are putting off is the only thing that is important. Do what’s hard. Do what scares you. Talk to a stranger. Go somewhere new. Learn another language. Teach yourself an instrument. Take a class. Travel. Read. Turn off the TV.

If you’re not ready to help make the world better, then keep quiet, and don’t complain. To stay young, you must stay positive. Every day is a new chance to improve. If things get better or if things get worse is up to you.