Rants and Whimsy

Bad life advice

February 24, 2014


Recently I celebrated a birthday. I was 28. My first thoughts on approaching 28 were something along the lines of “Hey! I’m not in 27 Club. I’ve survived!”

Which sounds like a good thing, until you really mull it over and realise that you’ve achieved far, far less than a bunch of alcoholics, even though you’ve taken special care to remain sober for large chunks of every day so as to remain employable. The system isn’t working for me. It seems my husband was right when he told me that the liver is evil, and it must be punished. I’ll get right on that.

Anyway, this birthday conclusion that I have somehow squandered my time thus far and failed to make any measurable impression on the world was followed up by thoughts of all the terrible life advice that is routinely shoved down our throats. Especially by those morons on social media who love an inspirational picture, or 50. Every half hour. While they’re supposedly run off their feet looking after 5 kids and a business. Given half the chance, they’ll throw bad life advice at you every day of the week. So let’s take a look at the most irritating examples:

1. Do something every day that scares you
This is fucking terrible advice. Ask anyone who’s actually had to live every day in fear and they won’t tell you about what a great experience it was. Sometimes it’s good to do something out of the ordinary, something that makes you nervous and perhaps a little anxious. Once you get through it and come out the other side victorious you feel a little stronger and more competent. Assuming you come out the other side victorious. But, mark my words, start doing anxiety inducing shizz every day and your nerves will be shot. You don’t have to feel terror every single fucking day. Some days are perfect for drinking tea in your pajamas and avoiding the judgemental glance of the hairbrush. A day you spend relaxing and rejuvenating isn’t a wasted day simply because you managed to retain full function of your knees for the entire 24 hours. For the love of it all, you need to take some time to look after your head. You’re the one who has to live in it.

2. Dance like no one is watching
No. This implies that the only way anyone really wants to dance is badly and everyone is just longing to jerk about awkwardly if the rules of polite society would only loosen a little to accept this mischief. If you are worried about what people think of you when you’re dancing then take a class and learn to dance. Or stop caring about what other people think. Or choose your dancing moments wisely. There’s no shame in taking the time to learn a skill and doing it well. When appropriate, of course. Quite frankly this life advice lacks parameters. When should you dance without fear of your observers? Only at night clubs, or functions where dancing is to be expected? Or just randomly throughout your day? At the bus stop, or while waiting to use the photocopier, for instance? Because if this is the case then I think it will affect how other people treat you, especially if you’re doing it badly. You may think you don’t care about other people’s opinions, but you may find the pangs of caring bearing down on you when the person with the large stack of cupcakes avoids you, lest your spasmodic limbs knock the precious cargo onto the carpet, or when the men in the long white coats come to drag you away. And, conversely, if you really can dance well you probably do want people to watch you, in the hopes of impressing them and making yourself feel good. Maybe the saying should be “When the time comes to dance, dance well.” Not as catchy, but generally better life advice than the previous.

3. Live every day as if it’s your last
As in, don’t worry about ever having to take responsibility for your actions, ever? Be reckless and have all the fun now with no thought to the future as it’s probably not going to happen? Well, this is foolish in the extreme. If you are able to read this, then more often than not, you have woken up and gone about your day and it hasn’t been your last. Ok, one day it will be, but really, how do most people spend their last day? Deathly ill and strapped to an expensive machine that makes habitual beeping sounds, probably. Is this what the inspiration squad want you to do with your time? Well, if so, I don’t recommend taking expensive hospital equipment away from people who actually need it. Lie in your own damn bed and strap seven high end blu-ray players to your person if you must. Throw in an iPhone and you can schedule in an alarm for some important beeping. Get you, living life to the full. What would you really do anyway, if you knew that it was your last day? Probably a combination of crying, moaning and terror-vomiting. Again, not a great life plan. Maybe you should plan ahead and live everyday as if your decisions are important and memorable, and you’ll have to spend the next 50 years dealing with the consequences of what you’ve done and how you treated people. Grasshoppers and ants, peeps.

Right, those 3 are the most insidious. To sum up: be happy, be a skilled and appropriately timed dancer and be nice to people. Now, go forth and give Monday a good kicking!

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