The time I give you completely unsolicited, but totally heartfelt advice


lucy-advice-boothYou know, I don’t know much. Or maybe I do. I don’t know. I’m not claiming to be a wise sage, or even to be someone who has had a particularly remarkable life thus far. I’m willing to bet actual money, however, that my life experiences are both completely unremarkable to some and truly extraordinary to others. Here’s the thing: it can be both at once. That’s the beauty of experience – it’s all relative! But, regardless, it’s my life, and unique to me, and I have learned things that I want to share. And what better way to share those thoughts than in something that I wrote for my blog. So, I’m goin’ for it!

I will say this; I know a lot about the stuff that I know. Let that little Angeism sink in there for a moment.

While I wouldn’t ever presume my experiences are especially profound so as to give me some sort of platform to dispense advise, I do think I’ve picked up some pretty stellar gems of wisdom in these first 38 (39 as of next week! Gasp!), years of my life.

Take this as you may, for what it’s worth, agree or disagree, laugh and snicker, or nod in enthusiastic agreement; you do you. But here, for the offering, are some thoughts I jotted down recently, little pieces of…whatever you want to call them – advice, wisdom, nuggets of truth, bullshit (?)…that I wanted to share. Perhaps you’ll find something in this list that speaks to you. Perhaps you’ll disregard it all as nonsense. But I hope you’ll at the very least, receive it with the honest and earnest intention with which it was written.

Here we go! Fifty pieces of advice from Ange:

  1. Memories are created in music. Sing all the time. Listen to music whenever you can. Make music a part of everything you do.
  2. Answer the phone when your mom or dad calls. There is a time and place for screening your calls, but when your parents are calling you, answer the phone.
  3. Everything in moderation. I know this is a tried and true piece of advice, but it really is a good one. As my girl Erma Bombeck once wrote, “think of all the people who waved off the dessert cart on the Titanic.”
  4. Don’t watch too much TV. I’m guilty of this one at times, but it really does suck hours out of your life. Read a book instead. Or do a craft. Or cook. Or call a friend.
  5. Give yourself time with your thoughts. Sometimes, I find myself just sitting on my couch, staring off into space, thinking about stuff. This is important.
  6. Be just as comfortable by yourself as you are with people. If you don’t like you, how can you expect others to?
  7. White lies don’t really hurt anyone, but try not to tell them too often. It’s less to keep track of.
  8. Don’t lose your patience with people, especially children. Everyone has their own stuff they’re dealing with, and the universe doesn’t revolve around you.
  9. Write a lousy first draft. As long as you keep writing, you’ll find the gold.
  10. Don’t judge people by the chapter in their life you walked in on.
  11. Don’t fish for compliments. It’s obnoxious and exposes you as weak. The same goes for one-up-manship.
  12. Don’t punish yourself for your body’s appearance. There’s nothing you can do about how someone else will interpret your body. Just be you, live in yourself, and love your body, whatever it looks like.
  13. Go out for a meal by yourself every so often. No book, no phone, no “armour,” just you. It is an incredibly centering experience to just be with yourself. Solo dining is a great barometer for your mental health.
  14. Don’t gossip. It’s hard to resist, and you will slip sometimes, but try really hard to be a person who doesn’t engage in gossip. There is a fine line between gossip and venting; don’t cross it.
  15. Say “I love you” often. But not so often that it loses its meaning.
  16. Don’t smoke. It’s a terrible habit and one that is only bad for you. Just don’t try it, and you’ll never have to experience the pain of quitting.
  17. Pay a compliment to at least three people a day. You really could be making someone’s day simply by saying something nice to them.
  18. Always go with the choice that scares you most. It’s the one that will require the most from you and make you rise to the challenge.
  19. People do the best they can with what they know at the time. When you know better, do better.
  20. Play board games with your friends and family. It’s a lot of fun, but it’s also a really great bonding experience.
  21. Take vacations. It costs money, and you have to take time off work, but you really do only live once, and it’s experiences that enrich our lives. I highly recommend beach vacations; you’ve never been more at ease than when you’re basking in the sun and sand somewhere in the Caribbean, trust me.
  22. Trust your intuition. If you’re getting a weird vibe from someone, don’t over-analyse it, just accept that it’s your intuition telling you something. Listen, and steer clear.
  23. Don’t spend a lot of money on designer or expensive sunglasses. They end up scratched, broken or lost anyway, so save your money.
  24. Wear sunscreen.
  25. Learn the basics of cooking. Even if you don’t enjoy it, you’ll be well served in life to have a few staple recipes in your back pocket.
  26. Be present in the big (and small) moments in your life. At the end of it, you’ll want to be able to reflect on and tell stories about them. So, when it’s happening, don’t get caught up in the details.
  27. Try to always see things from the other person’s perspective. You’ll be more empathetic for it, and it will better arm you in debates and discussions.
  28. You can never ever kiss and love too much.
  29. Always kiss those you love goodbye and if you forget, go back and kiss them. You never know if it’s the last time you’ll get the chance.
  30. Don’t live vicariously through your children. They are their own people, with their own thoughts and feelings. Get to know them for who they actually are, not for who you want them to be or think they are.
  31. Don’t let your past mistakes own you, but keep the scars from those mistakes close at hand. They’re part of you, and you learned from them. But remember, you are not your mistakes, don’t wear them as your identity.
  32. Aim for altruism; do good for good’s sake.
  33. Don’t assume that people are looking out for your best interests. Some may be, but most are not.
  34. Admit when you’re wrong, apologize sincerely (none of those bullshit “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I’m sorry you were offended” non-apologies) and move on.
  35. Have a bucket list and actively work towards crossing things off of it.
  36. When it comes to your relationships, keep your word and follow through. People don’t have time for flakes.
  37. Ask questions. Ask the big questions to help understand the “whys” of things, and the small questions too – sometimes it’s important to know the details.
  38. Fitting in is overrated. Embrace who you are, and the things that make you different.
  39. Always carry some cash and have ID with you. You never know what kind of a situation you might find yourself in.
  40. Don’t mooch. Pay your fair share.
  41. Don’t ignore the signs – if your boyfriend/girlfriend criticizes you in front of others, if they are inappropriate with your friends, if they are anything less than your biggest fan and champion, beware.
  42. Develop your vocabulary. Don’t use slang expressions too much such as “like” or “you know” or “absolutely” or my biggest pet peeve, the one that drives me to drink, “literally.” (Unless you’re using that correctly, in context, then that’s OK).
  43. There are always strings attached.
  44. Find mentors early, be one later in life.
  45. Just because someone chooses you, does not mean you’re obligated to choose them back. Have self-respect and make decisions based on what is best for you and what you want.
  46. Accept compliments gracefully.
  47. Address people by their name. State yours with confidence.
  48. Know when to speak up and when to hold your tongue. This one can be tricky; especially with the people we love the most. Sometimes people have to make their own mistakes, and learn things in due time, even though you can see how it’s all going to play out, clear as day. Sometimes they need to hear what you have to tell them in order to save them from disaster, or for their actual safety. Learn to understand the nuance of that difference.
  49. Learn to be a good gift giver. The best gifts are often simple, thoughtful, from the heart and usually involve giving of time and/or an experience.
  50. And this classic, as my dad says (because his dad used to say it), SMILE! Sunshine’s good for your teeth!

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