“This is what I have found: to let ourselves be seen, deeply seen, vulnerably seen; to love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee … to practice gratitude and joy in those moments of terror, when we’re wondering, ‘Can I love you this much? Can I believe in this this passionately? Can I be this fierce about this?’—just to be able to stop and, instead of catastrophizing what might happen, to say, ‘I’m just so grateful, because to feel this vulnerable means I’m alive.’ And the last … is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place that says, ‘I’m enough,’ then we stop screaming and start listening; we’re kinder and gentler to the people around us, and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.”
(I know—this is really cheesy.)
5. Have an open mind (and go outside your comfort zone)
I went through a period this spring where I decided to adapt a “yes man” approach. Unless it was something like “Hey, let’s go murdering,” I consciously accepted every offer anyone presented. This phase quickly became destructive and didn’t last long, but it certainly taught me my limitations, and it also taught me that having an open mind and trying new things is the best thing you can ever do for yourself. Throwing caution to the wind, I experienced the most intense joys of my entire life—as well as the most intense remorsefulness—and in the end, I’m better off for all of it.
4. Trust your gut
Seriously, it’s always right. Go with it.
3. Being kind is the least you can do
Kindness attracts kindness. Reach out to people, befriend them, listen to them and accept them. You’ll find yourself with an arsenal of amazing people in your life. Forgive people who have hurt you and move on with a smile. Haters gonna hate (on everything, always) and you don’t need that kind of energy in your life.
2. You are responsible for your own happiness (and happiness requires work and commitment)
If you’re bored, unhappy, lonely, angry, self-loathing—DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Being happy is a choice, and it isn’t an easy one. It’s easy to fall into slumps, and it’s up to you to pull yourself out of them. Try new things, meet new people, stay active, laugh as much as possible and realize that no one can make you happy but yourself.
1. Everything will be okay!
Some days you’ll be so depressed/mortified/angry that you won’t want to get out of bed. You’ll have bad days, weeks and months, and you’ll wonder if you can ever get over whatever’s holding you down. Remember that really awful period you went through X years ago? Aren’t you much happier now? Keep in mind that nothing is ever the end of the world (unless the world is literally ending).
I will turn 25 tomorrow, in Chicago, with some incredible people, raging to MSTRKRFT, and I couldn’t be happier.