My Philosophy of Life
You might not think I have a philosophy of life, because I always expected to die before I was 30. Somehow I didn't, so ever since then I haven't had a "plan." I've just been kind of skidding through life without brakes or a net. Going with the flow--or in my case, against the flow. The operative word is that I've been going; proving that you CAN careen haphazardly down the road of life without a map or directions of any kind.
What I HAVE always had are guidelines. I'd call them rules, but that would creep me out and remind me too much of my family military background. Some are just nebulous thoughts; others are facts, still others are more in the "don't do this/do this" genre. All of them combined in a martini shaker and tossed around until they all sort of blend together, are my philosophy of life.
- Always try to be the only dragon in the water.
If you don't know this reference, ask me and I'll explain it in person. Or ask Stephen. It'd take too long in print.
- Don't ever take anything too seriously.
Keep a sense of humor about everything, including yourself and what you do/create--especially if you're any kind of a creative. There's nothing worse than someone who thinks he or she is an "artiste." And if you do feel the need to start yammering about your "creative process," assuming my feet are glued to the floor and I haven't been able to run away immediately, don't even think about asking what mine is.
- "Everyone" does NOT have to like you.
Really, it doesn't matter who likes you or doesn't like you as long as you like yourself.
- Friends are one thing, acquaintances are another.
Having a few truly close friends is better than having a ton of people who you don't really know, and who don't really know you. Can you say "superficial"? See "everyone doesn't have to like you" above.
- Don't suffer fools gladly. EVER!
- Treat other people, especially the ones you love, the way YOU would want to be treated.
Does it get any more basic than this? I don't think so.
- Don't overthink.
Believe me, I don't advocate not thinking at all--the severely lowered intelligence standards of today are proof that not thinking is very, very bad. But you can't think about something so much that you don't take any action at all. It happens to all of us; sometimes we just get paralyzed and that defeats the whole purpose. Think, decide, take action. The other peril about thinking too much is that you feel the need to ruminate so much, that eventually you take something that is perfectly fine and turn it into something not fine in your head. The key here, with so many things in life, is knowing yourself. Do you really tend to overthink in the bad way? Then realize this, and start to accept things at face value. Know in your heart that something IS okay, and try to put those thoughts out of your mind.
- All you need is Love.
Yes, I did steal that from the Beatles. But it's as true today as it was in 1967.
- Style is not fashion.
Style is individuality. It's not what's in, or what's out; it's what you make it. Never be afraid to be style-forward. Two groups in particular will probably make fun of you. The first is drab, uptight old farts--you know, corporate types and people who wear corduroy way more than it should be worn. Don't care about them in the least. Besides, whaddya they know? These are the same people who think women look good with their feet crammed into those cockroach-killer pointed high heels. (All I can think of when I see that is the pigs from "Animal Farm" walking around in shoes. . .)
- Cynicism and optimism CAN work together.
I know because I'm an illogical conflicted mass of both of them in a fight to the death. Metaphorically, of course. Otherwise I'd be selling tickets and doing a Webcast. . .
- Ditto the above for:
Insecurity and ego, shyness and arrogance, stupid and clever, deep and shallow, antichrist and mother teresa, etc. You get the picture; blame my planets. And my parents.
- Never use the word "executive."
It's an archaic concept and term that's as useful and relevant as the partriarchy itself. And if someone refers to him or herself as an "executive," run away really fast. (But before you go, kick him or her for being a pretentious A-1 jerkoff.)
- If you make a mistake or screw up, admit it--especially if you're in a relationship.
Trying to blame someone else all the time is one of the most heinous traits ever. I have no problem admitting I'm an idiot--possibly because I get to do it a lot and have gotten used to it. And if someone else points it out and calls you on it instead of/or before you admit it? Don't get all defensive and feel like you're being attacked and immediately go into "petulant teenager" mode. After all YOU'RE the one who screwed up; listen and deal with it. (It's called being able to take criticism like a grown up.) Admit it and apologize right away. Really, it's easy, and if you don't you'll just make things worse. A relationship without real adult communication is just, well, then it'll just be one of the many dysfunctional relationships on "The L Word"--is THAT what you want? Yeah, I didn't think so.
- Save the drama for your mama.
Drama is a tool used by egocentric, selfish people who want the world to revolve around them. These are the people who have to turn something inconsequential into a major incident; who have to dredge something up when anyone else would just let it go or ignore it. All this uneccessary sturm und drang is a major waste of time. Of course, we're all guilty of being overly dramatic sometimes, but when it turns into a lifestyle instead of mere occasional forays to Look-At-Me-Ville, you've crossed the line to queendom. Stop it. Oh yeah, and passion and drama are two very different things, so don't even think of going there.
- Have an opinion, even if it's the unpopular one.
Don't say "I don't know." You DO know; you may just not want to admit it to yourself. And if you REALLY don't know, you're just a retard. I always say that I would rather have someone disagree with me rather than have no opinion at all, and I still mean it. And just because I disagree with someone it doesn't mean I'm not seeing his/her side, or that I'm not listening, or I'm closing my mind or whatever. It only means that I have an opinion and we disagree, period.
- There's nothing worse than new money.
Except, of course, new money with power.
In a similar vein...
- Money doesn't buy class.
The universal two-word explanation for this concept: Paris Hilton. Also, I could tell you stories about the ugliest faux Rococo office I ever saw at my old job that would curl your hair.
- I have finally come to terms with the fact that anyone who's creative/artistic is going to be at least slightly insane (in a good way); that includes me.
And this isn't a bad thing. (Unless it's over-the-line crazy, as in "one foot perpetually in Crazytown." That is not an acceptable level of crazy.)
You can never have enough hats, gloves, and shoes.
- When it comes to relationships. . .
First rule is that you should ask someone else, but no one else is here so I'll have to do it. Here are some things to make a note of. First are the more "theoretical" ones, and after that are the concrete, "Oh my God, how the hell did I let this happen to me" type. (Yeah, the real fun ones!)
- Don't think that the person you're looking for has be just like you. They don't, the important thing is that they want to love you for who and what you are, and that you do the same. Relationships are all about realistic compromise.
- Don't assume that because you don't get that "oh my God, she is so bitchin" physical attraction vibe when you first meet someone that it might not show up later when you figure out that she's a great person.
- Conversely, you can start out thinking someone is a total babe, get to know her more, then discover she's NOT such a great person and the cuteness goes right out the window. Plus If it's something REAL, it's all about a whole lot more than looks. OR sex. (Yeah, that's important, but it's definitely not THE most important thing by a long shot.)
- If you catch someone in a pretty bad lie and she/he tries to explain their way out of it by saying, "I fucked up, I think you know what kind of person I am," seriously think about getting out. Because the problem is you have just learned what kind of person they are: a big fat liar. And it will happen again and again, and pretty soon you won't know if they're ever telling you the truth. And chances are, they never will be. Okay, I'm oversimplifying; I know there are times when basically good people DO screw up, and that's NOT the kind of person they are. But unfortunately that's not the way it happened to me.
- If someone your age—and I'm assuming that most people that are reading this are in my general age group (let's just say "baby boomers" and leave it at that...)—has a MySpace or Friendster page or posts on an online bulletin board where most of the other posters are (at least) half their age, get out. I'll spare you the heartbreaking details, but it's not as harmless as it seems. I suppose as with anything, it depends on the particular person. But I got so incredibly hurt and badly burned by this one, I don't care. (And I still have major trust issues because of it.) I don't want to date anyone who posts on a bulletin board like the one I'm describing ever again. I want to be with a mature person who doesn't need or want an adult version of junior high.
- But I think the best advice I can offer about relationships is: if you have someone who loves you, and who makes you happy, accept it and cherish it. Try your best to make it work instead of constantly looking for things wrong with the situation. And don't ever take her or him for granted. Because if you do, one day that person will finally be gone for good.
- Don't sit next to anyone on a train, plane, subway or bus who's reading the bible or anything with a picture of Jesus on the front.
Especially if they're highlighting passages. And if you do have to sit next to them, DON'T make eye contact.
- Wearing black all the time isn't artsy, it's boring.
- I think if you take most average people and whack their heads with a stick
prizes would fall out. And I don't mean that as a compliment. Even though it might be kind of neat sorting through all the prizes.
- No one can teach you to be creative.
You either have it or you don't, period. You can argue this with me til the proverbial cows come home, but I'm not budging or changing my opinion so we'll just have to agree to disagree. I think you can learn to be a better creative, but that's it. If you're not a writer, you're not a writer. If you don't have an eye for good design, you don't have an eye for good design. And if you think PowerPoint is the ultimate creative tool, then you must work in the wonderful world of PR (AKA the ninth circle of hell for anyone who is actually a creative).
- All idols eventually turn to clay.
Think about it. (I'm not saying don't admire people; if that's where you're going, you missed the boat on this one.)
- Diamonds ARE a girl's best friend.
Although platinum and cash are very close seconds in my book. So is getting something I mentioned that I wanted and having someone remember and then buy that for me. (Yeah, I'm pretty cheap AND easy...)
- Good manners are a must at all times.
There's no excuse for not being polite, no matter what kind of mood you're in. (You don't have to mean it; it's a civilized gesture.) Don't ask for something without saying "please," and always say "thank you." Unless you're dealing with someone who's a real dick. Usually I don't believe in stooping to their level, but there comes a time when you simply have to stop wasting good breeding on the classless. (I am going to lobby Senator Hillary Clinton to try to get New York to make dueling legal again.)
- Instant Karma IS gonna get you.
Trust me; behave accordingly or when you least expect it Karma's gonna kick your ass royally. Concerning other people who "done you wrong," I know in many cases you feel the need for the personal satisfaction of seeing that person get his or her just desserts, but unfortunately it doesn't work that way all the time. You need to have faith that it will happen and move on.
- Don't trust anyone who believes his/her own press.
You know the ones--they don't have projects, they have "major critical projects"; they don't just have a job, they have "a very important job"; they're not just attractive, they're "extremely good looking," and everything they talk about is "of the utmost importance." Fact: everything they're saying is rarely true, because if it was, they wouldn't have to say it.
- Never trust a monkey.
Especially a drunk one. Eeeek eeeek.