I turn 35 on March 18. I thought I would impart what wisdom I have accumulated thus far. If you can call it wisdom…
1. Don’t let other people’s opinions of you change the way you look at yourself. You’re awesome. Trust me.
2. Be kind to everyone you meet. You never know when they might pop up again in your life. But if someone is a dick to you, be a dick back. Fuck that guy.
3. Take good care of your teeth. You can have crooked teeth and have it be adorable, but no matter what, they should always be clean and white. When you haven’t flossed since the last time your mom made you its gross. Floss and brush and you don’t have to worry about your teeth falling out or heart disease later.
4. On a similar note, keep your nose hairs in check. No one like to look at protruding hairs – and the older you get, the more unruly they become. I highly recommend getting a nose hair trimmer – available for less than $20 at your local drug store!
5. Here’s my dating advice: If you see someone you think is cute, ask them out. The worst they can say is no. Even if they do, I promise you they will let you down easy and won’t say “Eew! NO!” You might waste an evening of your time with them if you don’t get along, but what’s one evening out of your life? And maybe you’ll gain a lover, a friend, or at least a good story.
6. Be considerate of others. Pay attention to the space around you. Other people deserve the respect you expect from them. Please be considerate when playing your music, using your phone, driving, walking around – Awareness, please.
7. READ. I devour books by the truckload. I love to learn and can’t wait to see what book is going to blow my mind next.
8. Be honest. Telling people what you really feel helps pretty much every situation there is. Which leads me to:
9. Pay attention to your instincts. When you meet someone and a little voice inside tells you that’s there’s something off about them, listen to that voice. Humans are amazing creatures and our body has a little defense mechanism built right in – that most people plow right over intellectually. You will save yourself from dangerous situations in every facet of your life with this.
10. The Beatles are the greatest band on Earth. If you don’t like the Beatles it is either because:
a. You haven’t listened to enough of their songs. You need to explore the deep cuts – there is a little something for everyone. I guarantee you that I can find you ONE Beatles song you would like, regardless of your music tastes.
b. You are contrary and reject them because everyone has told you your whole life that The Beatles are the greatest band on Earth. But if you let this go, you would actually like them. ( see letter a. above)
11. Converse were, are, and will always will be the coolest shoe on the planet. Black high tops go with absolutely anything, in any style. Preppy, gangster, punk, goth, nerd – Chuck Taylors know no societal boundaries. When I see someone wearing Converse I like them a little better.
12. Braces are a fucking scam. You will get your braces off and your teeth will be perfect. BUT YOU WILL NEED TO WEAR YOUR RETAINER EVERY NIGHT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IF YOU WANT YOUR TEETH TO STAY AS THEY ARE. Truth.
13. Life is too short to waste time matching your socks. The only people that see you in your socks are your close friends and family, so who cares? Oh, but the TSA guys at the airport are going to tell you EVERY TIME you go through that your socks don’t match. Humiliating-1984-esque body scans AND hilarious jokes? It’s almost too much to bear.
14. Punctuality. I am always on time. I think making other people wait for you is very disrespectful and suggests that you consider your time more important than theirs. I understand there are exceptions when you legitimately couldn’t help but being late, but 95% of the time you could have made it on time, you just didn’t.
15. Stand up for what you believe in. I felt so moved when I found out that movie studios were going to stop making 35mm prints that I felt compelled to create a petition to ask the studios to continue sharing their prints with revival cinemas indefinitely. It sparked a debate in film circles and lead to me making my first feature film. At first I wasn’t going to do anything because I didn’t think an online petition would make any difference – but then I realized that fighting for what i think is valuable is more important than how many signatures I got. I’m so glad I listened to that little voice. (See #9)
16. TCB. Take Care of Business. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Don’t hem and haw and maybe get to it two weeks later. After I raised the money on Kickstarter to make Out of Print, we were shooting the film less than a month later. I finished the entire film, soup to nuts in a little under a year.
17. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself. You are just as important as everyone else and you deserve to be treated as an equal.
18. Movies – and the art of watching movies with an audience – is one of my very favorite things. Nothing makes me happier than being in a darkened theater surrounded by like minded people enjoying a brilliant film. End of story.
19. Don’t buy into your own hype. Living in Hollywood, I have seen folks get famous and consequently act as if they are suddenly better than you and too busy to be your friend, or are simply “ON” all of time. It’s exhausting and a major drag. True friends are ones that won’t agree with you on everything, but will tell you when you’re being a major chump.
20. Traveling is the best way to discover who you are. Seeing how the world works (or doesn’t, in some cases) and how everything around the globe is so different yet so incredibly similar is a real mind opener. Food, clothing, sights, weather, customs…the wonders of travel never cease. And when you return, I promise you’ll see your own life in a new way, too.
21. If a restaurant looks dodgy, the food is not good. I had been living my life by the old “Hey, it’s in a dingy shopping mall and the people looked shocked when I walked in the door and everything is covered in grease but maybe its a HIDDEN GEM” mantra. Folks, that mantra has failed me more times than I care to count. I could write an entire separate post about the abominable meals I have been served in Los Angeles. I’m an experimental girl and I love exploring the city and am always up for trying a new place, but ain’t nobody got time for lousy food.
22. No one wants to hear you complain. Not even your mom. Venting is a normal human response – I’m not saying keep everything bottled up inside – just don’t let your life become overwhelmed with negativity. If you spend just one day noticing how much you and the people around you complain, I promise you’ll want to cut back.
23. Always take the time to appreciate an amazing ass.
24. If you start a fight club and proudly walk around with a black eye as a woman, people will think you are a domestic violence victim.
25. Be silly. Don’t trust people who aren’t.
26. No woman is immune to the biological clock.
27. Electric blankets are the fucking best. I wish I could time travel back to my childhood and tell myself to buy one, post-haste. Instead of shivering under your covers for way too long in the winter, just crank this little puppy up ten minutes before you jump in the hay, and you’re in for warm, snuggly heaven.
28. Cookie Butter is the life. Find me a substance more delicious than this – I double dog dare you.
29. Whether you are a very poor man or a very rich man, it is always in bad taste to talk about money.
30. Be wary of corporations and cities that white wash everything. They are out to kill your soul.
31. Whatever you fantasize about is okay. It’s in your head.
32. Love at first sight really exists.
33. Don’t be embarrassed if you don’t know something. Ask. No shame in it whatsoever.
34. Stay away from talking about politics and religion.