Sunday, November 29, 2009

When I count all my blessings, I get a smile on my face.

So it’s Thanksgiving, and of course it’s a necessary tradition to go around the table and say what you’re thankful for. For me, the list goes on and on. I have such an incredible family, I don’t think they understand how much I love and appreciate them. I have wonderful friends, I’m getting an education that some don’t get the chance to get, I have food on the table for every meal, I have a warm bed to sleep in every night. The other night, I saw the movie “The Blind Side.” It seriously brought tears to my eyes when I realized that some people really don’t even have a bed, or even anywhere to go for the night. I know that it’s normal to take things for granted when you don’t realize the other side of things, but I feel so selfish when I think about what I have and how little I appreciate it. My dad works pretty much 24/7 so that I can eat and attend a prestigious private school and buy clothes that I want. He doesn’t expect recognition, and nor do I give it to him most of the time. He’s the most selfless person I know, besides my incredible superhero of a mother, and I don’t know what I would do if I had a different set of parents. My siblings are my rocks. They don’t judge nor do I judge them. Sometimes, they’re the only ones I can count on when I’m having a terrible day or when I need to just vent to someone without inhibition. It kills me to be away from them, but I know in the end, it will make us all stronger. I also have the most incredible friends, both new and old. My life is what most would see as perfect. I’ve got the most incredible God on my side, the most amazing family behind me no matter what, and incredible friends to keep me going on the toughest days. When I count all my blessings, I get a smile on my face.


Thursday, November 26, 2009

"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 meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh nevermind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.

But trust me, 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 and how fabulous you really looked.

You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry in general, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.

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 everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts. Don’t put up with people who are 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 the 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.


Don’t 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 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

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 the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either – your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.

Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don’t be afraid of it, or 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 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.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are the best 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 onto.

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.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old. And 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 have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, 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.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

--Mary Schmich