1. There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them.
2. Never cancel dinner plans by text message.
3. Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.
4. If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.
5. Always use ‘we’ when referring to your home team or your government.
6. When entrusted with a secret, keep it.
7. Don’t underestimate free throws in a game of ‘horse’.
8. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
9. Don’t dumb it down.
10. You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.
11. If you’re staying more than one night, unpack.
12. Never park in front of a bar.
13. Expect the seat in front of you to recline. Prepare accordingly.
14. Keep a picture of your first fish, first car, and first boy/girlfriend.
15. Hold your heroes to a high standard.
16. A suntan is earned, not bought.
17. Never lie to your doctor.
18. All guns are loaded.
19. Don’t mention sunburns. Believe me, they know.
20. The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.
21. Take a vacation of your cell phone, internet, and TV once a year.
22. Don’t fill up on bread, no matter how good.
23. A handshake beats an autograph.
24. Don’t linger in the doorway. In or out.
25. If you choose to go in drag, don’t sell yourself short.
26. If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.
27. Never get your hair cut the day of a special event.
28. Be mindful of what comes between you and the Earth. Always buy good shoes, tires, and sheets.
29. Never eat lunch at your desk if you can avoid it.
30. When you’re with new friends, don’t just talk about old friends.
31. Eat lunch with the new kids.
32. When traveling, keep your wits about you.
33. It’s never too late for an apology.
34. Don’t pose with booze.
35. If you have the right of way, take it.
36. You don’t get to choose your own nickname.
37. When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.
38. Never push someone off a dock.
39. Under no circumstances should you ask a woman if she’s pregnant.
40. It’s not enough to be proud of your ancestry; live up to it.
41. Don’t make a scene.
42. When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.
43. Know when to ignore the camera.
44. Never gloat.
45. Invest in good luggage.
46. Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day, too.
47. When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.
48. Sympathy is a crutch, never fake a limp.
49. Give credit. Take blame.
50. Suck it up every now and again.
51. Never be the last one in the pool.
52. Don’t stare.
53. Address everyone that carries a firearm professionally.
54. Stand up to bullies. You’ll only have to do it once.
55. If you’ve made your point, stop talking.
56. Admit it when you’re wrong.
57. If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.
58. Look people in the eye when you thank them.
59. Thank the bus driver.
60. Never answer the phone at the dinner table.
61. Forgive yourself for your mistakes.
62. Know at least one good joke.
63. Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.
64. Know how to cook one good meal.
65. Learn to drive a stick shift.
66. Be cool to younger kids. Reputations are built over a lifetime.
67. It’s okay to go to the movies by yourself.
68. Dance with your mother/father.
69. Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.
70. Always thank the host.
71. If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.
72. Know the size of your boy/girlfriend’s clothes.
73. There is nothing wrong with a plain t-shirt.
74. Be a good listener. Don’t just wait for your turn to talk.
75. Keep your word.
76. In college, always sit in the front. You’ll stand out immediately.
77. Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.
78. Be patient with airport security. They’re just doing their jobs.
79. Don’t be the talker in a movie.
80. The opposite sex likes people who shower.
81. You are what you do, not what you say.
82. Learn to change a tire.
83. Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.
84. An hour with grandparents is time well spent. Ask for advice when you need it.
85. Don’t litter.
86. If you have a sister, get to know her boyfriend. Your opinion is important.
87. You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest. But you can be the toughest.
88. Never call someone before 9am or after 9pm.
89. Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.
90. Make the little things count.
91. Always wear a bra at work.
92. There is a fine line between looking sultry and slutty. Find it.
93. You’re never too old to need your mom.
94. Ladies, if you make the decision to wear heels on the first date, commit to keeping them on and keeping your trap shut about how much your feet kill.
95. Know the words to your national anthem.
96. Your dance moves might not be the best, but I promise making a fool of yourself is more fun then sitting on the bench alone.
97. Smile at strangers.
98. Make goals.
99. Being old is not dictated by your bedtime.
100. If you have to fight, punch first and punch hard.
1. You’ll find that you look back on good memories more so than the bad ones. For example, you won’t remember how painful it was to fall off your bike and scrape your knee on the concrete, but you will remember how it felt like you were flying the first time your mom let go to the back of your seat and you were riding on your own.
2. When someone is upset with you, they’ll say things out of anger that they will later apologize for because what they said was in the heat of the moment. Similarly, when someone is in love with you, they will make promises out of happiness that they will later break because what they said was in the joy of the moment.
3.Education is important, but your academic performance does not define you. Good grades do not equate intelligence. Never stay up until 3 in the morning pulling your hair out over a chemistry test the next day. Better you get a D on the midterm than have permanent rings of anxiety stamped under your eyes. Always try and work your hardest, but don’t cripple yourself. Being at the top of your class is not worth your sanity.
4. No one should be more important to you than yourself. You are your top priority. While it is human nature to love and to be loved, to nurture and be nurtured, you must never put another’s needs before your own. This is the foundation of any toxic relationship. Dependent on another is the worst thing you can be, because if they decide to walk away from your life, they will take what you have given them and you’ll have nothing left to put yourself back together with. Always leave enough for you. When push comes to shove, you are the only one who will never abandon you.
5. Actions speak louder than words. It’s one thing to paint someone colors on a canvas, but it’s another to give them the rainbow.
6. Self-harm will never make them pay for what they did to you. After all, it’s called “self” harm. You will wear the scars on your skin. Never let a cold, lifeless piece of metal take away from your beautiful existence. Overcome the torture they’ve inflicted by building your character, don’t succumb to ultimate destruction. The best revenge is happiness.
7. A boy can stop loving you overnight. The same guy that grabs your hips and whispers forever in your ear could be recycling his promises to you with another girl six months later. This does not mean you should be afraid to open your heart to someone. Thrive in love while it lasts, but when it ends, don’t disintegrate. Be glad you were brave enough to love in the first place. It is not the end of the world, despite the hollowness in your chest. You lived before him, and you can live after him.
8. Some people are mean because the way they’ve been treated has made them bitter. This does not excuse their behavior. It simply gives us a better understanding of why people are the way they are and why it’s important to act otherwise.
9. Something as simple as smiling at a stranger or holding the door for someone can make your whole day. And theirs. Pay it forward.
10. You are a human being and you will make mistakes. This does not mean you deserve to be punished, nor does it mean you are anything less than extraordinary. You made a bad choice, you are not a bad person. All you can do is learn from your mistakes and take the initiative to ensure that you will never make the same mistake twice. Others will doubt you. Let them. Proving your worth to yourself is more important than proving it to someone who doesn’t hesitate to bury you, even if you were the one who dug the hole for yourself.
11. Don’t cancel plans just because you don’t feel like it. Life is short. Show up for it.
12. Time doesn’t heal all wounds, but one night, months after he’s gone, you’ll be trying to sleep and then, it will hit you all at once that you don’t feel enveloped by his absence. You won’t even notice the sunken place in the mattress where his body used to be. If it feels like his skin cells are jumping like fleas around your sheets, don’t worry, because suddenly it will happen — your bed will be yours again. Just like that.
13. Death is inevitable. Grieve. Mourn. Allow yourself the heartache. But understand that life goes on, and we must go on with it, despite who is no longer there to continue the journey with us. It’s okay to be sad, but whatever you do, don’t ignore the living.
14. Abuse doesn’t always come in the form of hidden bruises under your shirt. His words can be just as harmful as his hands around your throat. Just because he hasn’t touched you doesn’t mean that he hasn’t destroyed you. He’ll make you feel worthless then later tell you he’ll always be there for you. It’s not love because he says it is. If he truly loved you, you wouldn’t be sitting up in your bed at 4 in the morning, so beaten down that you’re blaming yourself for what he said.
15. Asking for help isn’t something to be ashamed of. An architect can’t build a castle without the blueprints to guide him.
16. Give chances. Give chances until they get it right. There is nothing to gain from walking a path with no obstacles. So if they hurt you, and they will hurt you, remember that they too are learning, growing, and evolving into a better version of themselves — and that they have chosen you to take that journey with them. To have another person swallow their pride for the sake of your affection is a privilege. As long as they keep trying, they are worth keeping.
17. You cannot save people, you can only love them. The only person who can save oneself is, in fact, oneself. It is not your responsibility nor your right to keep someone from self-destructing. You should not acquire battle scars from someone else’s inner war. A person who is struggling cannot be salvaged by anyone but his or herself. We can love them, we can certainly help them, but we cannot save them. Get it out of your head, so you can focus. It’s not your fault they’re imploding.
18. The only kind of relationship that can be successful is when two independent people love themselves enough to share their love with another person. Two beaten down individuals coming together to thrive off the comfort and dependency of the other is not healthy for either one involved. The thing is, you can love another person if you don’t love yourself, and they can certainly love you back, but if you don’t love yourself first, you’ll never think you deserve what they give you. You’ll always be searching for something your partner simply cannot give you, and the relationship will fail. Not only this type of love dangerous and toxic, it is extremely difficult to recover from. Until you love yourself first, you are not ready to love another.
19. Everything happens for a reason. Be grateful for all that is given to you, even under bad circumstances. A man once went to CVS before work to get band-aids because his new shoes gave him an uncomfortable blister. Thanks to that inconvenience, he was not in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11th, 2001. Next time you’re stuck in traffic, don’t curse the universe for your bad luck, but rather give thanks for the air in your lungs. Remember that, sometimes, not getting what you want is a blessing in disguise.
20. Nothing is guaranteed. That is why it’s important to be honest with people while you still can. Don’t wait until you get a phone call that your ex is hospitalized, in a coma, from a car accident to run and tell them at their bedside that you’re sorry and you love them and you regret the days you didn’t spend with them while you had the chance. Just be honest with people about how you feel. Chances are, your “what if” is your “I wish.”
Disney is my heart and soul.
Done in Old Sacramento, CA
I said I’d never let you fall and I always meant it.