I spent a lot of time today talking to a very good friend of mine- a girl who knows me inside out, has been with me through the best and worst days of my life and knows my biggest secrets. She contacted me as she was worried how I was after reading yesterday’s post. I told her my fears, my worries about never finding happiness, my thoughts about my efforts not being good enough.
She is a girl that is always straight with me. She will never tell me something because it’s what I want to hear, she will give me the stark honest truth whether I like it or not. She told me to listen to the Baz Lurhman ‘Sunscreen’ song, and take from it what I could. The lyrics are extremely powerful for a song that was a novelty hit 20 years ago.
“Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth, oh, never mind . You will never understand the power and the beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in twenty years , you will look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now, how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked . You are not as fat as you imagine.
Don’t worry about the future or worry that know that worrying is as affective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum . The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind . The kind that blindsides you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday
Do one thing every day that scares you, sing Don’t be reckless with other peoples’ hearts Don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours, floss . Don’t waste your time on jealousy . Sometimes you’re ahead, sometimes you’re behind . The race is long and in the end, it’s only with yourself
Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults
. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how
. Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements, stretch. Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what to do with your life
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives . Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t . Get plenty of calcium . Be kind to knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.
Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t Maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t . Maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the “Funky Chicken” on your 75th wedding anniversary . Whatever you do, don’t congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either . Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body, use it every way you can Don’t be afraid of it or what other people think of it . It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own, dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but your own living room . Read the directions even if you don’t follow them . Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.
Brother and sister together will make it through . Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there. I know you’ve been hurting, but I’ve been waiting to be there for you . And I’ll be there just helping you out, whenever I can.
Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good. Be nice to your siblings, they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future. Understand that friends come and go , but a precious few, who should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle , for as the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young . Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.
Travel, accept certain inalienable truths. Prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old . And when you do, you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders
Respect your elders, don’t expect anyone else to support you . Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you’ll have a wealthy spouse, but you’ll never know when either one will run out . Don’t mess too much with your hair or by the time you’re forty , it will look eighty-five . Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.
Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of wishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off , painting over the ugly parts and recycling for more than it’s worth. But trust me on the sunscreen.
Brother and sister together will make it through, oh yeah . Someday a spirit will take you and guide you there. I know you’ve been hurting, but I’ve been waiting to be there for you . And I’ll be there just helping you out, whenever I can.”
I think we can all take something from those lyrics. One day, for all of us, it will be far too late. Too late for anything anymore. To have that one last dance, that one last chat, that one last chance to tell someone what they mean to you. Don’t live in regret, don’t live a life of ‘what ifs’. Be thankful for every breath you take, because every breath is one more closer to being your last.