1. Stop reading comment sections on articles which you know are only going to make you angry and disappointed in humanity.
2. Stop engaging with said commenters if you do go down and read their Hitler-referencing drivel. Arguing with anonymous trolls will not get you anywhere.
3. Tell people all throughout your life how much they mean to you and how much you love them.
4. Dare to kiss someone first when you want to kiss them, instead of waiting agonizingly for them to make the first move.
5. Start making your own granola when you get a little time to keep in a jar or Ziploc bag for your breakfasts/snacks. Homemade granola offers perhaps one of the best effort to long-lasting deliciousness ratio out there.
6. Pick a physical activity which you don’t absolutely hate, so you can do it regularly. (Or at least find a podcast you love which makes jogging bearable.)
7. Delete phone numbers in your contacts list which you know you should no longer be texting while drunk or answering calls from.
8. Donate a little bit of your time to doing something for the good of society — even if it just means picking up a little bit of trash that you see and throwing it in a recycling bin, or starting a compost, or making a lunch for the homeless in your neighborhood once in a while. Focus on making the first step towards being more useful with your time.
9. Forgive someone you’ve been holding a grudge against long after they’ve apologized.
10. Decide what you actually want sexually, and start making an effort to communicate it effectively to your partners, instead of living in disappointment.
11. Stop watching terrible reality shows that you know only make you more of a shallow, simple person.
12. Go to see more movies alone on weekend afternoons, especially ones which make you cry and/or feel way too many #feelings.
13. Forgive yourself for dating people who were wrong for you, even if you knew they were wrong for you from the get-go, even if they ended up breaking your heart.
14. Take a chance on a date you normally wouldn’t accept, just to see where it might go and learn a bit more about what you like and don’t like.
15. Remind yourself often of how young you actually are and how much you have ahead of you.
16. Have crepes with Nutella and bananas and/or strawberries for breakfast once in a while. (If you haven’t done this yet, your entire body hates you and you just don’t know it.)
17. Eat lunch in the park, instead of at your desk or in a crowded restaurant, whenever you get the chance.
18. Learn how to do minor repairs on your clothes, such as replacing buttons or fixing a small tear, and keep a needle and thread with you when traveling or going somewhere important. You never know when you might need it.
19. Dance more by yourself in your room, to whatever absurd music you like to listen to when you’re alone.
20. Sing louder in the shower.
21. Accept that, in many situations, you are going to be the one who ends up loving more, loving longer, and loving more painfully. Know that this doesn’t make you a bad or faulty person.
22. Start being more selective about your online presence, and to whom you give the privilege of learning your stories.
23. Send handwritten cards to thank people for things, instead of just a thank-you email. Taking a moment for a handwritten card truly make all the difference when it comes to saying thanks, and makes people feel like you really appreciated them.
24. Make a concerted effort to remind yourself of the parts of your body you like, and what you can do to treat your body better and make it more energetic.
25. Don’t saddle yourself with unreasonable expectations about what you’re going to be able to accomplish or sustain over the course of one year, but push yourself to make the small, doable steps towards your goals.
26. Don’t judge your success or your failure over the course of the year by your waistline.
27. Be honest with yourself about which friends are not challenging or encouraging you in the right ways, and which friends may even be bringing you down or preventing you from doing the things you want to do.
28. Remind yourself to be proud of your accomplishments, even if you’re not used to congratulating yourself or savoring your accomplishments.
29. Keep the plans you make with your friends, even if it means going out of your way. Understand that a time when most of you are unmarried, independent, child-free, and within drivable distance of one another is something which will not come again in life, and take all the advantage of it you can.
Starting a new book is a risk, just like falling in love. You have to commit to it. You open the pages knowing a little bit about it maybe, from the back or from a blurb on the front. But who knows, right? Those bits and pieces aren’t always right. Sometimes people advertise themselves as one thing and then when you get deep into it you realize that they’re something completely different. Either there was some good marketing attached to a terrible book, or the story was only explained in a superficial way and once you reach the middle of the book, you realize there’s so much more to this book than anyone could have ever told you.
You start off slow. The story is beginning to unfold. You’re unsure. It’s a big commitment lugging this tome around. Maybe this book won’t be that great but you’ll feel guilty about putting it down. Maybe it’ll be so awful you’ll keep hate-reading or just set it down immediately and never pick it up again. Or maybe you’ll come back to it some night, drunk or lonely — needing something to fill the time, but it won’t be any better than it was when you first started reading it.
Maybe you’re worn out. You’ve read tons of books before. Some were just light weights on a Kindle or Nook, no big deal really. Others were Infinite Jest-style burdens. Heavy on your back or in your purse. Weighing you down all the time. Maybe you’ve taken some time off from reading because the last few books you read just weren’t worth it. Do they even write new, great works of literature anymore? Maybe that time you fell in love with a book before will just never happen for you again. Maybe it’s a once in a lifetime feeling and you’re never gonna find it again.
Or something exciting could happen. Maybe this will become your new favorite book. That’s always a possibility right? That’s the beauty of risk. The reward could actually be worth it. You invest your time and your brain power in the words and what you get back is empathy and a new understanding and pure wonder. How could someone possibly know you like this? Some stranger, some author, some character. It’s like they’re seeing inside your soul. This book existed inside some book store, on a shelf, maybe handled by other people and really it was just waiting for you pick it up and crack the spine. It was waiting to speak to you. To say, “You are not alone.”
You just want more of the story. You want to keep reading, maybe everything this author’s ever written. You wish it would never end. The closer it gets to the smaller side of the pages, the slower you read, wanting to savor it all. This book is now one of your favorites forever. You will always wish you could go back to never having read it and pick it up fresh again, but also you know you’re better for having this close, inside you, covering your heart and mind.
Once you get in deep enough, you know you could never put this book down.