Thirty-three. In human years. 400 in lizard. It’s my Jesus year (the one when he got crucified, not when he invented candles of himself) as my boss enjoyed informing me way too much. I have learned things. Factoids. Some strat. Mostly how much I don’t know. I have spent and, specifically, wasted too much time on this Earth that I will never get back. I’m not a garbageman but I sure am a waste expert. Please enjoy some tips and thoughts on life from a glorious idiot.

CLICHES part. 1

Be smart about how you utilize your time. As a former junkie, the biggest regret I have is lost time. Blackouts are the Absolut* (*Sponsored content) worst. You literally choose to throw away a memory of your life instead of making a new one. It doesn’t get much sadder than that. Alcohol blinds you worse than staring at the sun. It fills you with regret like a shame-piñata. I still live in a world of “what-ifs” and it gets ZERO stars on Yelp. I do not recommend (the apps are delicious, that can’t be denied).

And drugs. Drugs are somehow so deviant they manage to be even more horrendous and consume more of your soul. When you do drugs you push the fast-forward button on life. You toss days, sometimes years into a garbage disposal. That crushes me. How many stories, sunsets, books, kisses, and nightmares about clowns did you miss out on? You don’t get it back. I’m there now. I’m learning from it but it won’t stop stinging. A black eye in your soul.

CLICHES part. 2

Did you know your friends think about you more than you’d ever know? And you’re probably too busy repelling them, convincing yourself that they have a secret, a reserved hatred of you for reasons you’ve materialized out of thin air and too much free time. I know this because I’ve lived this. Snugly.

Here’s my magic, patented advice: stop feeling sorry for yourself.

I’m a recovering apologizehole; that’s someone who constantly says in their mind, “I’m sorry but you don’t know how bad I’ve had it.” Sorry to break the bad news but there is a tendency for this group to consist mostly of straight, white guys (my age) who grew up idolizing suicide and ‘Donnie Darko’ (that’s not most white guys, just the ones that fit the qualifiers). I enjoyed ‘The Doors’ too, I have no need to hide my shame anymore, like an outed nudist. I was supposed to die like Kurt Cobain and Bill Hicks. I actually had the same stomach problems as them. I wore all these shit-stains as badges. Girls just DIDN’T UNDERSTAND ME AND I WAS THE ONLY PERSON ON EARTH WHO HAD THIS FEELING IN THE HISTORY OF ALL AND EVER AFTER.

Learning maybe?

I’m not black. Surprise! I’m not a woman or gay or the lead singer of a ‘Rush’ cover band called ‘Hurry’ either. Those facts may come as more of a shock to some of you, especially my former bandmates. But now that I’ve had time, years actually, to truly try to process and reflect on what it would be like to inhabit the body of someone who faced daily oppression, who had struggles that I could never understand. I can now calmly look any stranger straight in the eye and say, “I have no fucking idea what it would be like.”

All I know is that it would be a million times harder than most things I’ve ever faced.

I know. I’m projecting a lot onto you. All I know is what I’ve been dealt and the only struggle I face on a day-to-day basis is with my pants and my rent. I don’t get hassled because of the way I look despite the fact that I’m aggressively handsome.

I’ve finally realized the beautiful, simple truth: you shouldn’t have to imagine what it’s like to be someone to try and figure out why they deserve your respect, attention, or love. They are a human being so they deserve the world, just like you. They deserve nightmares about clowns too.

Cliches pt 3

Human contact is everything and you deserve it. But it won’t just come to you.

Social media is great to meet new people. Don’t let it consume you. Missy Elliot that shit. As someone who has spent more nights on than off the Internet in the last five years, I know what it’s like and “it’s like” Hell. You are the fully realized cliche of the person that stays in and watches Netflix every night while refreshing your five tabs. Do you know how guilty you feel when you do that while living in NYC? I could be taking in a breathtaking view, get introduced to a new type of cuisine but instead I’ll watch ‘Enlightenment’ for the third time in its entirety and no, the irony is most certainly not lost on my thick skull.

Message people. Make new friends. Some of my best friends are cartoon avatars. But don’t get trapped into thinking this means something. Twitter especially is a fun forum and great place to practice writing but you will die, any day, and when you do, don’t be like me. I used to screenshot when I got RTd by a big name (my heart is sinking while I write this), I convinced myself that Lena Dunham would hire me based on a surreal parody account. Oh cool, I just threw up all over myself from that last sentence. I let my ego take control and it crashed the car.

So let’s summarize: don’t be gross, practice common sense, go out more. Be a nice human being because you are a human being. Read more books. Don’t talk about shit, do it.

If we haven’t hung out and you live in New York, let’s make plans. I can always cancel them at the last minute and finally catch up on ‘Enlightenment.’