A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy….Oh shit. Sorry! That’s the Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx. My bad.
My manifesto is a lot less contentious, eloquent and well…communisty.
Terrible pseudo jokes about deceased European leaders aside, my manifesto is inspired by blogging bad-ass Nicole from Nicole Is Better. Part pep talk, part advice to myself and part ridiculous – my manifesto basically outlines the way I want to live my life.
I hope you get as much out of it as I do, but if not — no big. Know your heart, choose your path and write your own manifesto.
You are Lisa Simpson. A writer. Just because you don’t do it professionally yet, that doesn’t make it any less true. You’ve won awards. You’ve been published. And you know what? Even if you hadn’t, it wouldn’t make it any less true. It isn’t what you do. It’s who you are. Don’t let the bastards get you down, kid. You are a writer.
Buy the ticket. Take the ride. I know, I know — I totally ripped that off from Hunter S. Thompson, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Think of opportunity as a particularly persistent Avon lady — always rap-rap-rappin’ on your chamber door. Open it! ‘Cause otherwise, that sound is just going to make you nuts. You don’t have to buy what she’s selling, but check it out anyway.
Drink more water. Order the cheese plate. Get fries with your burger. Eat more real food. Get more calcium in your diet. Sit up straight. Drink less Diet Coke (seriously, asshole. It’s so bad for you).
Go to the gym more regularly. You know you kind of dig it. There is nothing wrong with being the girl reading a book on the stationary bike. You are not as fat as you think you are and you need to stop looking in the mirror and pinching yourself. It’s thousand proof poison. If someone else did this to you, you’d falcon punch them in the throat (and by that, I mean immediately start crying, compose a mean blog entry and then delete it before publishing). Self-sabotage is the worst kind of betrayal.
Read more. Books, magazines, lyrics, blogs and anything else you can get those tiny little hands on. Except for right-wing blogs because you know what? They just make you angry and you’re giving them traffic and it’s just bad juju all around.
Listen more. To the people around you. To new music and different opinions. To chirping birds, whirring espresso machines and the sound of silence when you come across it.
Don’t waste your time with people who make you feel bad and do not allow anything on Facebook to affect you. Ever. Yeah, Person X has a cute baby/job they love/awesome home but they have to contend with being wrist deep in poop and only getting 2.5 hours of sleep every week/co-workers they probably dream of shanking/a mortgage payment higher than the national debt.
Listen to good jazz on Sunday mornings. Take pictures. Keep a paper journal. Play guitar. Make scrapbooks, cards and care packages. Feed people both literally and metaphorically. Be generous. Kindness is an increasingly rare commodity in this world. Cultivate it. Find opportunities to be shockingly kind and take them.
Not knowing if you believe in a higher power does not make a bad person nor does it make you spiritually bankrupt. Asking questions is never wrong and don’t let anyone make you feel that way. Believing that there’s no fluffy happily-ever-after in the sky doesn’t mean you loved the person any less.
Wear frocks. You’ve got some killer gams, kid. Paint your nails more often. Learn how to dress like a grown-up. There is more to style than, “Pants go on bottom. Shirt goes on top.” Work on loving your natural hair. Wait. No. Don’t. Your natural hair sucks and your flat-iron is a glorious invention second only to the printing press. Baby, you were born this way but that don’t mean you can’t improve on it.
Don’t be an asshole until the situation calls for it and believe me, there will be times when there will be no other recourse. Don’t whine. Don’t seethe. You know how you replay moments from your life in your head and formulate scathing comebacks you’ll never spit out? Yeah, stop doing that shit. You’re smarter than that.
Happiness is a choice, change is a constant and two of the best qualities one can possess is adaptability and good attitude. Bend, kiddo. Because this life will try to break you and well, it’s so much more satisfying to know you came out on top.