Things My 25-Year-Old Self Would Like to Tell Me on My 50th Birthday
By Paul Brandeis Raushenbush
Don't try so hard to be respectable. Speak from your heart about what you truly believe, even if it makes you look naïve or sentimental.
You can radically change your life when/if you need to. You don't need to keep doing what you have been doing, just because you are in the habit of doing it.
Being friendly and open to meeting new people in random places can lead to cool adventures and friendships. Don't get too comfortable in your present circles of acquaintances.
You need way less money than you think to survive, stop obsessing about it, and just spend less.
It's OK not to know what you want to do for the rest of your life. Leave space for the completely unexpected to happen.
God loves you even more because you are a bit of a freak. Don't hide your light under a button-down bushel.
Leave your door without any purpose once in a while and see where the city takes you. Don't just stay on the path between your apartment, work and the gym.
Hang out with your long-time friends more and contact those with whom you have lost touch. You don't seem to have as many friends as you used to.
Ambition is overrated. Stop trying so hard to be "successful."
It's a good thing to believe that a utopian society where everyone is treated with dignity and equality is possible and worth working for. Cynicism doesn't make you intelligent -- it just makes you cynical.
Create art every once in a while. Even though you aren't particularly talented and nobody really loved your 'nude portrait under autumn leaves' the creative process is good for your soul.
The next time you hear yourself reminiscing about how you "used to do something," make a plan to do it. Studying dance, carving pumpkins for Halloween, and doing improv shouldn't all be thought of in the past tense.
Don't just give money, go volunteer somewhere so you can have direct interactions with people. Your life is too antiseptic and it is making you a bit boring.
You should be so crazy thankful that you found love with Brad. You spent a lot of time very lonely, never thinking you would find such an amazing guy. Don't let a day go by without remembering how fortunate you are.
Try a new sport! The routine of cardio and weights just to look decent is getting old. You were an athlete! Get back into swimming and sign up for the race across the East River or take up boxing.
When did you become such a preppy bore? You used to not be afraid to stand out and it wouldn't kill you to wear something a bit more fashion-forward once in a while.
Your parents were there for you, even when you were going through rough times and, frankly, a bit of a brat. They need you now. You will never regret the time you spend with them.
Find ways to be alone in the woods or on the water by yourself. Don't forget how much you value solitude in nature.
Find a group that has been formed within the last five years and buy a new CD.
Stop beating yourself up about mistakes that you have made. It's good to be self-critical, but you need to be compassionate as well.
If you can be a parent to a child of your own then do it! You've always wanted to have a family. If that doesn't work out, be the best uncle to your nephews and nieces. They make you so proud.
Value every day you have. At 25 I never thought you would live to be 50. Celebrate your life.