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Well, I’m 30. God, it hurts me to just write that down.
When you’re in your 20s, there’s always a sense of time. You’re not an adult yet, it’s okay that you are still figuring shit out. That disappears when you hit the big 3-0. When a child hears that you are 30, they’ll gasp in awe at seeing a fully formed adult. Someone who has their life together, who has a purpose. When you tell a stranger, they think that you’ve moved past the part of your life where you do dumb, irresponsible shit. You’re assumed to have a 401k, a house with no unframed posters on the wall, non-plastic cutlery, and at least three pairs of pants nicer than jeans.
I definitely meet that criteria, but at the same time, I’m still the same scared idiot I was five years ago. I’m on my first serious girlfriend, I’ve never had a pet bigger than a fish in my life, I’ve debated changing my career path, and my idea of a perfect day is playing League of Legends alone for ten hours at a time. I am not an adult, yet today I’m forced to confront the fact that I am expected to be one.
In college, my then-roommate and best friend told me a truth about myself that I don’t like to admit but I’m proud of nonetheless: “You’re generally kind of a piece of shit, but just like to people you don’t know or like. If you don’t care about someone, you have no problem being an absolute dick to them. But your friends and family, man, you’ll walk through fire to take care of them.”
That’s who I am, generally a piece of shit but a good person when it comes to people who love me. With that in mind, here are 30 things I’ve learned from a lifetime of not liking most people, but loving a few.
*disclaimer, don’t take any of this shit as gospel or follow it blindly. As I just admitted, I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing and you’d be just as dumb to follow the advice of an idiot like me.
1. Sex without a condom is just better than sex with one. I know, I know, safe sex… prevent pregnancy and STDs… all well and good. I’m just saying if you can do it with someone you trust, it’s way better.
2. There’s no shame in quitting. Seriously, if you are struggling with something, you don’t enjoy it, you dread it, just quit. Forget all that bullshit about commitments and finishing what you start, don’t do something you hate and that causes you mental pain.
3. A good man knows his limitations. If you’re not athletic, don’t feel bad if you’re not in amazing shape. If you’re not an intellectual, don’t wring your hands that you can’t read good. Lean into your strengths, don’t force yourself into some image that’s unrealistic.
4. A fool and his money are easily parted. Be the guy who does the parting.
5. No one gives a fuck about you. Outside your friends/family, no one in this world cares if you succeed or fail, live or die, prosper or suffer. Everyone just cares about themselves and their circle, trying to get through each day to the next. Don’t expect others to care or think they’re out to get you. They don’t care enough to be out to get you.
6. Never attribute to malice what can be attributed to stupidity instead. People are stupid, they will always do some dumbass shit. Doesn’t make them a bad person for doing something bad, sometimes they did it because they were a dumbass.
7. Having said that, people are very rarely stupid twice in a row, let alone three or four times.
8. If you want more money, ask for it. If you think you deserve to be making more money than you do now, ask your boss. If they stonewall, lie and say you have a job offer somewhere else and you’ll stay as long as they match it or come close. Also, always be looking for a new job if you’re not happy with your current one.
9. Have sex with enough people that you can experience truly bad sex. If you’re not sure if you’ve had really bad sex, you haven’t.
10. Don’t let other people tell you what you’re supposed to like. A million people can tell me how exhilarating skydiving is but I don’t want to do it. And just because a million people think it’s boring to play Skyrim for two hours doesn’t mean I don’t have a blast doing it. If it makes you happy and doesn’t hurt others, do it.
11. Don’t forgive, don’t forget, but move on. Don’t dwell on the things others have done to hurt you, but you don’t have to soothe their souls with forgiveness. And if you get the chance to fuck them over, take it. Trust me, the satisfaction of screwing over someone who wronged you is a thousand times better than “a life well lived.”
12. If you’re going to be good at something, be good at lying. If you’re a good liar, you can be good at anything.
13. It’s always better to spend more on quality. In particular, invest more on your mattress, your technology, your safety, and your alcohol.
14. Don’t argue with an idiot. They just drag you down to their level where other idiots like them reside, and the other idiots won’t understand you either. The trick to beating an idiot is to just make sure everyone knows they’re an idiot and you’re not. People tend to side with someone they perceive to be smart, even if they don’t understand them.
15. Silence is the most deadly weapon in your arsenal. People love to talk, especially about themselves. Let them. They’ll dig themselves a grave with their words.
16. It’s perfectly fine to tell someone they’re a nice person, but you’re just not attracted to them.
17. If someone won’t take the hint, stop dropping hints. Drop mean truths. They’ll think you’re an asshole, but no one wants to be around an asshole.
18. Girls don’t like assholes, they like guys who don’t need them. Not caring, not being needy, not desperately seeking their approval or sex, that’s what’s attractive. On the other hand, a lot of guys just want to fuck the most attractive girl they can.
19. Don’t date girls who had a horse, girls who did ballet past the age of 12, or girls who don’t pay their own bills (whether it’s their money or not, they should be the ones who actually paid the bill). Don’t date guys who have tattoos above their collarbone, guys with pets that are not cats or dogs, or guys that brag about being an Eagle Scout.
20. Everyone has problems. Don’t delegitimize the problems of others just because you don’t think they’re serious or they conflict with a solution to your problem. At least acknowledge that they have a problem and try not to make it unnecessarily worse.
21. Don’t be the guy who never pitches in to buy a round of drinks. But also, don’t be the guy who is tallying up who hasn’t bought drinks.
22. If you post thirst-trap/bikini photos, there is a 100% chance that someone you know has jerked off to them and a 60% chance someone you don’t know has jerked off to them. If you’re not comfortable with that fact, set your Instagram to private.
23. Clear your browser history every month. Change your passwords every three months.
24. You don’t have to vote. If you can’t give at least one reason why you’re voting for the person you’re voting for—about their political philosophy, not personality—don’t vote. Vote because you believe in a candidate and what they’ll do for their constituents, not because they’re in one party versus another or because you hate their opponent. And those people who tell you “if you don’t vote, you’re part of the problem,” can go fuck themselves because they’ll be the first to call you an asshole if you don’t vote the way they wanted you to. They don’t want you to vote, they want you to vote for their guy.
25. People who say “violence never solves anything” forget that violence did solve little problems like Hitler and slavery.
26. It’s fine to make fun of or criticize someone for what they do, but don’t make fun of someone for who they are. People have control over their actions, but not their personality.
27. Bad things are going to happen to good people, bad people are going to have good things happen to them. That’s life, its unfair and random. Don’t blame others for getting dealt a better hand because you think it’s unfair, suck it up and try to make the best out of what you have going for you. Just because your life has been difficult doesn’t justify your acting like an asshole.
28. You’ll definitely regret the things you did more than the things you didn’t do. Just ask anyone who got their heart broken or contracted chlamydia.
29. If money can’t buy you happiness, it’s because you don’t know what will make you happy.
30. Don’t bother trying to mend relationships devoid of love, loyalty, and kindness. If someone won’t give you those three things unconditionally, they aren’t worth being in your life. .