16 Things I’ve Learned in 16 Years
By Jasmine Hanna-Funk
- Expired mascara is no joke. Most tubes claim a shelf life of 12-24 months, ignore that. 6 months and it’s gone. On that same note, buying a $20 mascara tube every 6 months isn’t worth it either. L’Oreal Lash Paradise is a dupe for Better Than Sex Mascara, you’re welcome.
- “If he writes her a few sonnets, he loves her. If he writes her 300 sonnets, he loves sonnets.” I didn’t write this, but I read it once on the Internet, where everything is true. I think it says a lot so I won’t ruin it with too many words, but it applies to a lot more things than boys and sonnets.
- Memories will always matter. I remember things I said or did or heard and give me that uncomfort in the middle of our rib cage, that cringe, whenever I think of them. I’ve realized that those memories shouldn’t be treated like the experience that made me cringe, it should be given the same respect as all your other thoughts, don’t ignore it. Experience the cringe. Let it sit there in your chest and keep the memory for when you look back and don’t cringe anymore. And the cringe will leave at some point, I’m just not there yet to comment on it.
- Read One More Thing by B.J. Novak. That’s all. Here is B.J. Novak personally reading you one of his wonderful short stories:
- Maniac advice. A long time ago, a friend of mine started giving me maniac advice. Whenever I go to her with a problem, she gives me maniac advice first. Maniac advice is the wildest thing she can think of to solve the problem, something I’m hesitant or nervous to do, something she probably wouldn’t do herself. I’ll either take the advice and try something bold, or I’ll chicken out and she tells me what she would really do if she was me. It works every time. So, find someone that gives you a healthy balance between the two.
- Public apathy is dangerous. In the Psychology summer reading, I read about the Kitty Genovese case. A woman was stabbed in a parking lot with witnesses, and no one called the police. She crawled out to the street that night calling for help, and no one answered. She was stabbed again on the street, then in the hallway of her apartment building, and she died there. There were more than 20 witnesses and no one said anything, with no explanation. Psychologists believe that the more people present the less likely each person is to do something to help a situation because everyone expects someone else to do it. Not every example is that serious, it could just be a mistake on a test no one is pointing out to the teacher, but don’t let public apathy fool you.
- Dr. Bronner’s soap has listed 16 uses on their bottles and they’re lying about at least one of them. Never again will I shave my legs with that glorified oil in a ridiculously sized jug, I don’t care if it’s an aesthetic.
- Don’t start a conversation with a complaint, or anything about the weather, or the day of the week. I’m not saying everyone should follow this, but I like to use this rule for myself. It forces me to make more creative small talk, and I’ve noticed that I don’t enjoy when other people start conversations with these topics so I don’t think it fair to inflict them on other people.
- If none of your friends hurt your feelings, no one will be there to tell you when you have food in your teeth. A lot of people think this is true in theory but actually bringing problems up with friends seems rude. Chances are, if this problem is really bothering you, you’ve mentioned it to other people. Telling other people is worse than just telling the person directly and kindly in private, and the other option is not telling anybody but sometimes that’s unrealistic if it’s a real problem.
- Everyone at a party wants to be somewhere else. “Everyone” is an exaggeration, but I find comfort in the absolute. I don’t particularly enjoy parties or school dances, and I’ve found it’s because I never want to be where I am. When I’m not there I wish I was, but when I’m there I wish I was standing with different people, or at a different party, or even at home. I haven’t found a solution to this problem yet but for now I find comfort in the discomfort, somehow knowing that you’d feel the same if you wherever you wish you were makes where you are a little better.
- In a world where people have been taught to hate themselves, loving yourself is an act of rebellion. I don’t remember where I saw this first, I won’t claim it as my own, but think of self love as an act of defiance. Personally, thinking about confidence like this makes it easier to accept my flaws, and understand the importance of self care. You’re stickin’ it to the man.
- No one is looking at you more than you look at other people. I read this in a corny book from a garage sale when I was younger, and it’s still true. If you’re worried about how you look, or what you’re wearing, or that pimple that’s big enough to name, try and remember the last time you thought less of someone else for the same problem. Try and hold yourself to the same standards you do other people.
- Find your extra stuff, the little things you like about yourself when you’re feeling down. I know that I can make people laugh sometimes and I can get goods grades and I can do my makeup pretty well but when I’m not feeling alright, those things are so easily dismissed. I can so easily fight back with “I’m not funny, my grades aren’t as great as others, my makeup is terrible.” It’s important to have little things about yourself that are always there– personally, I really like my piercings. I have two pairs on my earlobes, one stud in my cartilage, and my industrial bar.
Each of those makes me feel better about myself, along with all the bracelets up and down my arm and the freckles in the shape of the little Dipper across my left eye that just appeared when I was younger and never left; all of these are small and purely physical and almost insignificant, but they’re there when I need them and I’d rather have something small to love about myself than nothing at all. :))
14. Getting involved in politics isn’t an active choice that the loud and obnoxious make to annoy the mild mannered sensible citizens who ignore the news. It’s the duty of any citizen in a democracy, or whatever the United States is claiming to be at the moment.
15. Write things down. Use a notebook to write down things you want to remember, tape or stick in things you collected from the day, date each thing and keep it all together. I’m on my third notebook, and you’ll be thankful later to remember the things you thought you’d never forget.
16. Everyone has their own groove. I am a work in progress, and I’m a teenager so I’m still in the early revisions. So once I learn something new about myself, I give it the attention it deserves. For example, I recently learned that I love pecans. And instead of just enjoying the pecans artfully placed on that delightful salad I was eating at the time, I made it a point to eat more pecans. I’m eating them right now, they’re wonderful.