My friend, Dr. Jacqueline Irwin, posted the following on facebook:
“I’m looking for 6 Sac State Alumni to participate in an advice project for the summer/fall terms. It entails writing or videoing yourself now and then when the term comes, giving some feedback to their questions. The format is 24 pieces of advice/thoughts on life, as I have a theme going now over the last year plus.”
I quickly realized this is basically what I am doing with this blog – albeit far more long-winded – for my tiny human.
So here are my twenty-four…
Teddy Untitled Edition
Be grateful for the little things, especially on the worst days. One exercise that helps me a lot on the bad days is to stop and count ten things I am grateful for. On some of the worst days the list started with, “I am grateful for having my two thumbs. Without them it would be hard to hold things.”
Never follow anyone blindly. Trust your gut and ask questions; I apply this to all situations. It has both gotten me in hot water, and saved me, but most importantly it has taught me how to ensure everything I do is done with integrity.
If they have to yell it to sell it, it’s probably a scam. This applies to everything: purchases, relationships, and so forth. If someone has to work very hard to convince you, they are likely trying to deceive you.
Learn to enjoy time alone. I know what you’re thinking, “you’re crazy b*tch! Covid is over!” Hear me out: 2020 was hard because many did not know how to appreciate alone time. Alone time is what you make of it. Spend it however you want without worrying about anyone else. There is a real freedom to that.
There is no such thing as normal. It is normal to breathe, eat, sleep, think, and have emotions; the fundamental elements of being carbon-based are normal. Beyond that, confining your actions based on an imaginary standard limits your ability to truly explore and flourish into your potential self.
Be your own cheerleader. Be your own hype-person. Celebrate your accomplishments, big or small. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you are a badass. You got this.
Your identity should not revolve around one aspect of your life. I see this so much and it makes me cringe. I will preface by saying I am a Queer Mexican immigrant of Mesoamerican descent, single mother, with C-PTSD, and covered in tattoos; but none of these things define who I am, nor do I feel the need to “other” people who are not like me. And in that spirit…
Be who you are without taking away from who someone else is. Live your life experience without telling someone else that theirs is not valid. Read that again. I may be a mix of things, and celebrate who I am, but it does not mean that those unlike me are not allowed to live their lives with their cultures and beliefs.
Never be willing to accept less than you deserve in your personal life. Never behave differently to appease a friend, partner, coworker, or family member.
In the beginning, be willing to accept less than you deserve in your professional life. That CEO job may not be the first job you are offered. The company just needs a chance to see you shine; see your skills. I started answering phones and was promoted 4 times in one year. Work hard and be humble.
The smartest person in the room is the one who isn’t afraid to ask questions. You don’t know everything, and it is stupid to think or act like you do.
Accept people for who they are. This will make your life so much easier. The moment I stopped expecting people to be more/different than who they are, I was able to let go of the frustrations those expectations caused me.
Lead with love and leave with love. Basically, always try to show compassion. Walk into situations coming from a place of love and understanding; but do not be afraid to leave situations with love and understanding.
Find people who you are willing to disagree with. Having things in common is great, but also being able to have a civil discussion with opposing views will be beneficial to growth and understanding.
Be uncomfortably honest. Do not avoid the truth because it may make things uncomfortable. Get into it, be uncomfortable, but be honest. I promise the temporary discomfort you may feel, is nothing compared to the wonderful feeling of freedom of living in honesty.
Never present a problem without also offering possible solutions. This is mainly a work thing, but also applies to other situations. I have found that the most effective way of finding solutions when presenting a problem to your boss/partner/parent/friend is offering solutions even if the solutions are not used. This shows that you have made an effort into solving the problem, and you are being thoughtful and considerate of the other person(s) the problem affects. (Also, bosses love when you do this!)
You catch more flies with honey, but you also catch more flies with shit. In an obstacle be a Sour Patch kid; either sweet, or sour, depending on which will be more effective. Sometimes the best way is to be sweet, but sometimes it is way more effective to be an a**hole.
Strawberry Jam and Jalapenos are good in grilled cheese. Don’t be afraid to try new things. You might find a delicious surprise.
You are not the only one. Sometimes it may feel like no one understands you, or like you are all alone in the world, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Somewhere on this big blue marble there is someone else who also likes jam and peppers in their grilled cheese; Or who has been in this same situation you find yourself in. When all else fails, take comfort in that. You’re likely not the first, nor the last.
If you can, get a pet. Pets are amazing. They are such good therapy, family, companions, and house mates.
Make time and space for a creative outlet. Creativity is important. It helps us express ourselves and brings depth to our lives. Not to mention helps us keep our sanity during times such as a pandemic.
Be unapologetically yourself. Who cares what other people think or say? And sometimes, they will say some mean shit, but if someone does not accept you for who you are, then you do not need to waste your time on them. When people hate on your uniqueness, it is a reflection of their insecurities.
Travel with an open heart and an open mind. Travel the world and embrace other cultures and customs. Even if they feel unusual to you, force yourself to experience them.
Always eat the dessert. My grandmother who is no longer with us used to always say, “if I died tomorrow, I would be really pissed off that I didn’t have that piece of cake.”
I am a Mexican immigrant of Mesoamerican descent. I attended school at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; Sacramento State; and University of the Pacific. Among some of my degrees, I earned by BA and my MA in Communication Studies at Sacramento State. I have been a Graphic Designer for 17 years, and focused specifically on web design for the past 10 years. Using my Communication Studies background, I work in Public Affairs for the State of California. I am a single mother to a wonderful toddler I lovingly call Peanut, and two sweet adopted dogs, Charlie Brown and Professor Walter. My hobbies, in my limited spare time, are tv and tattoos.