A List of Brutal Truths

  1. Grace is a healthier standard than perfection.
  2. Your loved ones aren’t required to withstand all of your bullshit to prove their love to you. You’re confusing enabling with love.
  3. Life will not await for you to get that degree, to get the raise, to lose the weight, until you have the time to get good. You’re young now. Your kids are growing up now. Life is running away with itself whether you tag along or not.
  4. Time can’t heal all things, but they sting less the more they drift into memory.
  5. Being good at most things in life relies on paying attention, being fully present in that moment, and being open to feedback.
  6. The people who want to be in your life make a concerted effort to be there, to stay there.
  7. Mocking people who dare to get in the arena while you remain an unsupportive spectator doesn’t make you cool. It makes you an asshole.
  8. There is no perfect time to say how you feel. Let the hard, sincere words out now. Unburden yourself of things unsaid.
  9. Life is a messy, messy business. Living doesn’t happen inside of a box or in isolation. You’re not going to be clean or tidy in the thick of life.
  10. Some things we cling to as truths now will fossilize and age poorly. That’s ok. That’s growth.
  11. Your attractiveness has very little to do with your weight or the size of your nose and a lot more to do with your confidence, how you command your skin through a room.
  12. Everything has a price. Make sure you get what you pay for.
  13. You don’t have to explain your joy to people, but others’ responses to your joy explain a lot.
  14. Even the greatest love of your life will have a price of admission (IE: are you willing to put up with this habit/ quirk/ thing to be with this person).
  15. Someday, you’ll share a poem, a song, a story you cherish with someone who it won’t resonate with. And that will sting more than you expect it to.
  16. Human beings are defined by the way they treat those who cannot advance them.
  17. It’s harder to accept love than most of us will admit to, but not accepting it is the surest way to end up alone and miserable.
  18. The choice not to tip people in the service industry is a reflection of a person’s character– how they value the labor of another human being.
  19. You don’t have to stay until things are rotten, irrevocably broken. It’s better to leave when you feel the twinge of departure. It’s easier to leave on good terms before everything sours.
  20. Anybody who perpetually holds your worst behavior and moments against you is committed to viewing you as your worst self. Find people who see the best in you.
  21. If you question your congruency to your values, ask what someone observing your behavior would say your values are– it’s a good test.
  22. You can’t expect people to live YOUR values. You probably don’t know what their values are.
  23. Family Matters. Even if you feel like it doesn’t, it does.
  24. Another person’s inability to love you is a defect in them, not you. Quit reserving space for people who might not show up. Make space for the good people, even if you don’t know how to just yet.
  25. Sometimes, you are the problem. Take accountability for yourself, get better, try better, say sorry and mean it. The best apology is changed behavior.
  26. At some point in your life, you will hear the words you wanted to hear way later than you wanted to hear them, and those syllables will sound hollow and stale– like empty calories to the ear.
  27. Mentors will save and change your life.
  28. There is an exception to every rule.
  29. Your partner is not your therapist. Your friends are not your therapist. Get a therapist. What you can’t name, you cannot tame.
  30. You are not defined by the way you make a living.
  31. Your job isn’t to fix another person’s pain. It is to bear witness to it, to acknowledge it, hold vigil for their joy, and remain with them until joy returns.
  32. Nice people are useless. Avoid yes people. People who will tell you the things you don’t want to hear but need to– the ones that love you enough to risk the relationship so you can grow– hang onto those people forever.
  33. There are no saints among us, only human beings.
  34. Despite all appearances, most people are just doing the best they can.
  35. One way you heal yourself is to become the person you needed when you were younger, and the only way you get there is to live, to get better, to go on.

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