Things I learned this year (2019 edition)

A little late, and I will admit, for a moment I did wonder if it really was a good idea to allow myself to be as jaded as I was. I hesitated posting this, and I thought on it a bit more. In the end, I came to the conclusion that fuck yes, it is ok to be this jaded, and I was right all along.

2019 was the year of toughening up. It was the year I realized I should have advocated for myself a long time ago. It also made me realize that it pays to wait for the right people, even if it means that the wrong people will get scared off. So here it is, my list of things I’ve learned in 2019. (And for previous Things I’ve Learned, check out my 2017, 2018, and 2019 Mid-Year Edition.)

Don’t save his number until he’s earned it.How do you know when he’s earned it? When his number pops up in your phone consistently enough that it’s usually near the top of your messages and calls list, and consistently enough that it’s familiar. Bytch has gotta earn that gigabyte real estate. He’s gotta realize that having a specific set of gigs dedicated to just his information is a fucking privilege. And he’d better realize how lucky he is once you do choose to save his number. Because it doesn’t happen to just anyone.

Stop apologizing. Apologizing just makes people think they can guilt you or take advantage of you. Fuck that. Stand your ground. If you actually are sorry and actually have something legit to apologize for, then yeah, apologize. But I’ve spent so much time apologizing for things that either 1) were not my fault, or 2) I didn’t actually need to apologize for, and I realized that it wasn’t doing me any good. 

You don’t owe anybody anything. Just knowing that is liberating. Don’t let anybody make you feel guilty for YOUR choices. Only you know what’s best for you. Your life is yours, no one else’s. You don’t need to do anything to make them happy. You sure as hell don’t need to sacrifice your own happiness for them. You owe them nothing. 

It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission. When you ask for permission first, it puts the power in someone else’s hands. On the other hand, if you follow your gut, you’re the one with the agency–not them. When in doubt, do what you think is best, and if no one says anything, then great. If someone says something, say oops and move on. 

Take risks–just make sure they’re the right risks. Risk a big career change into a field that you are incredibly passionate about, even if the field is super hard to break into, and even if it means living frugally for a little while to make ends meet. The reward is worth it, and you owe it yourself to try. Risk getting in trouble by speaking up and giving a voice to things others choose to ignore. Risk getting called out for calling someone out who did you wrong, or did someone else wrong. Risk the consequences for going against the grain in any way, if you know that going against the grain is the right thing to do. On the other hand, don’t risk a broken heart by taking back the guy who ghosted you or made you hurt in any way. That’s the wrong kind of risk. 

Guy friends are often better than boyfriends. The difference between a guy friend a boyfriend? A guy friend won’t make you carry all the emotional labor in the relationship. With guy friends, you won’t have to “just tell him what to do and he’ll do it.” Guy friends know what to do without you needing to remind them. They’ll check in on you because they know you need it, not because you asked them to. Guy friends are like boyfriends, except fully-functioning adults. 

Don’t be the girl who changes her plans for a guy. Be it Friday night plans, career plans (BIG no no), or life plans (HUGE no no)…no guy is worth changing for, in any capacity. The right guy will support the plans you have for yourself, not expect you to change them for him. 

Men, before age 33, are useless. If you want a real relationship and not a FWB or a “let’s see where this goes”, date someone over age 33. Boys in their 20s are basically children and don’t know what the fuck they want. They are obsessed with “good vibes only” and “wanderlust | Ibiza | Chiang Mai | hustle | grind | $$.” Sorry, but every single person in their 20s goes to Chiang Mai. Every young guy loves to “hustle” even though not a single one of them knows how to pole dance and con rich Wall Street pigs. Boys in their 20s will talk a big game about wanting a partner “who challenges them,” but when you actually express interest, they’ll backtrack. Moreover, boys in their 20s don’t know basic shit like how to cook an actual meal that isn’t microwaved. Guys who are between 30-32 generally are functioning adults, but some of them will want to squeeze out the last remnants of their bachelorhood and will say they’re “not quite ready for labels.” But from 33 onward, most of them start to grow up and want to commit.

Ursula was only fulfilling her end of the business transaction. Ariel knew who she was dealing with, but she made a deal with Ursula anyway. Whose fault is this, really? 

Scar really was surrounded by idiots. 

In a world full of Gabriellas, be a Sharpay. Sharpay doesn’t apologize for going after what she wants or being who she is, even if people doubt her or undermine her or make fun of her. Also, Sharpay and Ryan were way better than Gabriella and Troy, and they totally deserved the lead roles in all the musical productions. Sharpay and Ryan worked at their craft, and theatre was their lives and their ambition. Gabriella and Troy were amateurs, and for them, the musical was just a hobby. But don’t worry, it works out for Sharpay. See: Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure. (Don’t be afraid to have your own fabulous adventure, whatever that looks like.) 

The older you get, the more you realize that Disney villains kind of had a point for being angry. And the more you realize that Disney heroes are kind of….vanilla. 

Thanos’s logic was low-key correct. 

When I was a kid, and a teenager, I aspired to be like Hermione Granger. Instead, I ended up more like Bellatrix Lestrange. Oddly, I’m okay with it. 

Ginny Weasley still sucks, and if you think “her character in the books was actually badass though!”, I WILL judge you. Call it what you want, but she was a fuckin’ Mary Sue in the books. Nobody likes a ship shoved down their throats.

You don’t have to forgive, but you have to stop caring. If you’re having trouble moving on from someone, you don’t need to forgive them. But, you need to stop caring about what they do with their lives because honestly, it doesn’t affect you, and wondering about them is a waste of precious brainpower. Is he thinking about me? I don’t know, and respectfully I don’t give a fuck, ’cause I’ve got more important things to think about. What would you rather think about: the next pair of thigh-high boots you’re going to buy, or what he’s up to? Exactly. Guys come and go, but Stuart Weitzman is forever. 

It’s better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both. This is one of those hard-to-swallow truth pills. Look, I want love just like anyone else. But real, true, unconditional love? That shit’s hard to find. Even most families don’t quite have that kind of love. They love their kids most of the time, but all of the time, even in the midst of epic failure? They’ll say they still do, but they’re lying. So, since love is much harder to find, focus on being feared. If someone truly loves you, they’ll love you. But if someone doesn’t care about you, then you better make them fear crossing you, because if they’re not a little scared of you, they won’t respect you and they’ll think it’s fine to walk all over you. So prevent that shit; you are not a sidewalk. This isn’t a Shel Silverstein poem. Grow a thick set of scales and sharp set of teeth and go out into the world and show them what you’re made of. 

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