By Joanna Bastian
June is a metamorphic month. The month when graduations and weddings take center stage. The ending of one life experience and the beginning of another. A time full of expectations and introspections.
It is during these life events that the rest of the world stands ready to offer the gift of advice. In my short lifespan I’ve collected enough advice to fill 40 city blocks of warehouses. Shelves and shelves of archived advice reaching from the floor to the ceiling in the hallways of my mind.
Advice can be good or bad. Even the bad advice has value when taken as an example of what not to do. For instance, my grandmother’s advice, “use a coupon.” I totally ignore that advice. Not because I have anything against coupons, but typically the generic brand is cheapest even when you have a coupon for the other stuff. And honestly, I’ve only seen coupons for junk food, never for healthy food, like fresh fruits and vegetables.
Which brings me to the good advice:
Eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day otherwise you won’t poop. True story.
Greet the people you love with the same joy and exuberance that your dog displays every time you walk through the door.
When someone hurts you, turn around and do something nice for someone else. You will soon feel the satisfaction and peace of making someone else feel special and this will lessen the sting of disappointment from the earlier experience.
Stay interesting. Read a newspaper, listen to different genres of music, read a non-fiction book, listen to a radio program, watch a documentary. Stay informed on current events. These habits will make you a better conversationalist, help you make informed decisions and it also makes you appear sexier.
A gem floating around social media at the moment is, “Choose a major you love and you’ll never work a day in your life because that field probably is not hiring.” My drama coach in high school drilled it into his students that actors were a dime a dozen. The most serious of my classmates did go to college in theater, but chose an education that allowed them to work on the technical side of the art. Don’t run towards your dreams without a plan — do a little research to find the best route, make a road map and then be open to different paths of possibilities. Education is just the key that opens doors, not the battering ram.
The way you perceive and react to the world is a choice. There is a distinct difference between choosing to react with emotion or to respond with mindfulness. In other words, you can sit and cry about how unfair life is, or you can do something. Do nothing, or do something — either way, you have made a choice.
And finally, the best piece of advice I have ever received: take Dramamine before getting on a boat. Or in moving vehicle. And possibly a plane. Contain your drama with Dramamine.