28 Things I’ve Learned In 28 Years of Life

Because I possess the wisdom of a freaking sage…

1) It’s important to have a hobby. When everything else is boring and crap, you can always turn to your garden or collection of finger nail clippings.

2) Never keep your collection of finger nail clippings in a place a potential love interest might see it.

3) Education is important, but it comes in the form of more than just school books and academic papers. Get the hell out of the classroom every once in awhile, and get the hell off of the internet. (Except when reading my stuff.)

4) Falling madly in love is overrated, and staying single for the sake of being independant is far more romanticized than it should be.

5) Being jaded isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it just means you’ve experienced a lot of shit. What you do with your jadedness is an entirely different thing.

6) Unless you’re a member of a 1920s mob squad, there’s no reason to wear a fedora. Ever.

7) Be kind to everyone you meet, but don’t confuse kindness with niceness. They are not the same, and the latter is just window dressing.

8) Quit following back everyone that follows you on Twitter, Instagram, and/or The Best Social Network Ever®. Take charge of the content you fill your life with.

9) If you’re religious, that’s great; but don’t expect everyone else to live up to your spiritual/moral expectations. That’s unfair and ultimately pointless. Forced morality is not genuine morality, and therefore, not morality at all.

10) Be completely honest with people, in spite of how uncomfortable it can be. Don’t confuse white lies with protecting someone else when you’re really just protecting yourself from embarrassment/judgment/anger.

11) Temper your honesty with empathy. Nobody likes getting told off by a dick.

12) While mankind is prone to incredible evil, it has quite a bit of—if not equal—capacity for good.

13) There is a very big difference between guilt and shame. One of these things is not like the other, as the other is a worthless crock of shit.

14) Get really into artistic expression, no matter how pretentious it feels. Art IS pretension, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less valid to the one experiencing it.

15) When you think someone “just doesn’t get it”, don’t be a jerk about it.

16) Don’t be afraid of swear words, because they can really help drive home a damn good point; especially if you’re a Christian. People know when Christians are cussing, shit is serious.

17) Not everything you read on the internet is always true, including some of these points. Use your brain.

18) For the love of Dostoyevsky’s cat, read a damn book every once in awhile. I’m not talking about the teen romance/bondage story du jour. Try something a little more timeless. A professor of mine once said in regards to books for his class, “If the author isn’t dead, their books won’t be read.”

19) Søren Kierkegaard. Start with him.

20) Try allowing yourself to endure an incredibly awkward and uncomfortable moment at least once a day. They have a lot to teach us.

21) Spend a lot of time in coffee shops, as long as your laptop is closed and the conversation is open.

22) If you’re single and you see an attractive girl or boy, approach them. Strike up a conversation. Just take a chance. It doesn’t have to go anywhere. Learn the fine art of awkward conversation with a member of the opposite gender.

23) If you’re young, don’t let old people stifle your dreams, but don’t be so arrogant you ignore their stories and warnings, as well. If you’re old, just remember you were once that idiot kid that’s ruining the country for the members of the previous generation.

24) If you’re in high school and everything sucks, just remember all that bullshit will matter ZERO percent when you’re an adult. Be a band geek. Be a drama nerd. Be a basketball star. Be whatever you are, and remember that the idiots making fun of you for it will live a sad and lonely existence for as long as they remain dickheads.

25) Don’t be the dickhead. Trust me, it gets you nowhere. If you’re a dickhead right now, you probably know it. Stop that. Never place a low premium on respect for your fellow human.

26) Create something. As often as you can. No matter what. I don’t care if it’s a sculpture of your collected belly lint. (Just as long as you keep it away from me.)

27) Never take for granted the importance of a good surrounding group of friends and/or family. “Community” is often an overused word to the point of being trite, but it’s so very important.

28) Get a dog. You’ll find out just how large your capacity for being a terrible human being is, but they’ll love you regardless.

BONUS: Quit reading lists of life lessons written by some douche on the internet. These are mine; go learn your own.


4 thoughts on “28 Things I’ve Learned In 28 Years of Life

  1. Luke Shumaker says:

    I like this list. Clever and humorous, but true. Also, I like the swearing (can’t decide if my strong affinity for that aspect is immature or not). At any rate, I stumbled upon this blog while looking for a book of a similar name and realized that Jared Murray, my past youth-pastor, was responsible for writing it. Jared, I wouldn’t mind “catching up” if that’t even possible over the internet. This is Luke by the way. Luke Shumaker from all those years ago at County Line when Derek and I used to throw our shoes at you and you took your pants off in Derek’s sleeping bag. Good times. All that to say, I hope you are doing well, Jared, and I would enjoy “catching up” via the somewhat less personal less effective medium of communication that is the internet.

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