Advice to my teenagers:
Mom and I have been your age, we live different lives in a different generation. Many things have changes, but the fundamentals stay the same, and I hope you can take some of this into your lives as you grow and see more of the world.
- More than anything else, your most valuable possession is your mind. Take care of it. Nurture it.
- Raise your words, not your voice. Flowers grow with rain, not thunder. (These words have meant more to me than words can express.)
- Advice is free, and if you respond to it with “I know” then you’re probably not gonna figure your problem out. That is called being dismissive.
- Be comfortable in the wilderness alone.
- The Tree remembers. The Axe forgets.
- Life moves very quickly after leaving school. Years go by faster as time marches on.
- Learn how to cook. It’s way cheaper and usually faster than takeout. It’s healthier too!
- There is always more to life. Right now isn’t the be all and end all.
- Community service is good for your sense of place, and belonging.
- Cashiers will not care if you buy condoms. Everyone has sex.
- If you expect others to be intelligent and to care, then you should be intelligent and caring.
- If you don’t have a passion, learn new skills. You might find your passion or something you’re good at, but if you do have a passion, embrace it and don’t be shy about it.
- Do not take naughty pictures or record videos.
- The goal of education is not only in learning about a set of subjects, it also serves to build a greater capacity for understanding and appreciating the world you live in.
- If you want to drive fast, learn to race on a track like I did. When you get to driving you need to realize that the laws of physics apply to you. They aren’t out to get you, they’re just indifferent. Slow down and don’t mess around. You’re driving a very heavy machine at speeds we did not evolve to travel at naturally, so be safe when other lives share the road with you.
- Travel to another continent. Pick a destination and and stay there for at least two weeks.
- Niceness in the absence of kindness is just cruelty in disguise.
- Hold yourself accountable for how you want the world to be. Be a part of the world you want to live in: show up in your dreams,
- Most of your friends are the product of geographic convenience. Logically this also means that most of your enemies are the product of geographic inconvenience. Just because you grew up being friends with a neighbor or a fellow student, doesn’t mean you owe them your undying loyalty when they start treating you like shit.
- Learn to trust your gut when in strange situations. If something feels off / wrong, it probably is. Don’t go along with something if it feels wrong. And don’t feel bad for not going along. Do what’s right for you.
- While you shouldn’t believe those who say these are going to be the best years of your life, try to make the most of it. Enjoy the ride, and have fun.
- Every feeling you have deserves to be expressed in any constructive manner.
- Don’t fear rejection from those you like/love. Tell them and come what may.
- Know your rights, stand up for them.
- Don’t be an asshole
- It’s OK to say “no”
No matter what, we will always be there for you.