10 May

Do not expect anything to be given to you in this life. Despite what certain New-Age shite-peddlers will tell you, wishing for something will not make it appear magically. You have to work for it – good fortune may throw you a bone every now and then, but it won’t drop a cushy work-free lifestyle into your lap. (Unless you win the lottery.)

Don’t play the lottery.

When driving, treat everyone else on the road as five-star lunatics who might do something completely unexpected and hideously dangerous at any second. This may make you a little edgy, but it’ll cushion the inevitable.

Optimism is often misplaced, but cynicism is often too easy. Learn to strike a balance between the two.

Learn how to be alone. You know the kind of people who, as kids, could never just amuse themselves to pass the time – they always had to have other kids around? I knew lots of those people when I was eight, and I still know most of them now at twenty-one, and they’re mental. You might not like learning how to be alone, but it’ll stand you in good stead for the low points in your future.

About that – there’ll be low points in your future. People try to smooth over this as much as they can – the people who’ll tell you it’s a candy-coated wonderland are wrong, but they’re just as wrong as the people who’ll tell you it’s a crapsack world of sociopaths and lunatics. You will spend the first twenty-odd years of your life trying to decide for yourself one way or another. This is entirely normal.

By the time you’re fifteen, you will have learned all that television and movies can teach you. I’ve spent at least the last eleven years scouring pop culture for the answers, but none of them have appeared yet. Read books. It’s a better use of your time.

Letting people push you around is an incredibly bad idea. Always fight back. You have nothing to lose but your teeth. 

Remember that there is no situation that you cannot simply walk away from. The trick lies in learning exactly when to do that.

Your parents almost always have your best interests in mind, but they’re not infallible. They’ll forgive you for disagreeing with them (in fact, they’ll probably get a little bit worried if you don’t pick a fight with them every now and again).

The following people are not to be trusted – politicians, phone company representatives, customer support staff, bank managers, army recruitment officers, people who’ll promise to tell you the secrets of the universe for a fee, people who work for major airlines, people who represent organised religion, and people called Vince.

Yes, some people will surprise you with their hidden depths and heretofore unknown virtues. Other people are just bastards. Learn to recognise them from an early age and you’ll have a much easier time of it.

Don’t idolise people. They’re just people.


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