Thursday, March 06, 2008

**3 Things Learned The Hard Way**

Thanks to my homey, E-Ski for this one.

1. You Teach People How To Treat You.

If someone walks all over you and you say it's OK, they'll do it again and again. You're saying "I'm not worth it, you don't have to respect me." While I'd like to think everyone that I care for would return that adoration by being respectful of boundaries, the fact is that the world just doesn't work that way. It's not easy when you're someone who always wants everyone to "like" you as I once did, to my own detriment. It's VERY Hard to confront people when you want very much for things to always be smooth sailing. But once you start doing it, it gets a helluva lot easier to say "You know what, you're being a dick. Cut it out or take a hike." This goes as much for romantic relationships as with friendships, natch.

2. Never apologize for liking what you like.
I have loved the movie Xanadu since I saw it when I was 6 years old. It makes me happy. In a world full of lies, bullshit and evil it is one of a handful of things that just transports me to somewhere fun and safe and enchanting. Is it a god-damned Ingmar Bergman masterpiece? No. Does it feature the lead from the Warriors AND an Australian country-Western singer gone pop mainstream superstar on roller skates? Hell, yes. And that right there is, to me, priceless. For so long, I felt kind of bad about this- especially in New York, the land of film school refugees clad in black cargo pants, Adidas Sambas and sporting goatees, who all want to reference Kurosawa while subtly stroking the semi-hard boner they've once again given themselves under the table. You know what? I want that time back. I want that time I wasted being unfair to myself to try and "fit in" with a bunch of cretins BACK. Point being- don't waste yours not being yourself.

3. Being financially independent is very, very attractive.
Rich people who were born with $100 bills jammed up their assholes are not financially independent. People who settle into marriages and proclaim they're totally happy being "stay at home Moms/Dads"- unless they have a couple of years of savings in the bank- aren't, either. Being financially independent to me means simply that you live within your means and you know what's going on with your money at all times. Not obsessive- not checking what Jim Cramer said about stocks on your iPhone every 5 minutes. And not blowing through cash like a drunken lottery winner from an Alabama trailer park in the K-Mart. And while we're at it, not going out to bars and waiting around trying to get drinks bought for you. Add that to the list. Buying your own fucking drinks and having enough cash to do so- now that is something. How about buying a round for a really great group of pals, just because? Because that's the kind of shit people who are financially independent can do because they know what the hell is up. They know when to spend and when to save. They don't whine about having no money and then eat out every night and expect you to, too. Nope. They know when rent is due and don't go out on a spending spree right before, and they have a $1 hot dog when needed without complaint to make sure that bills are paid on time. It's not quite cheap- because they are not stingy per se. They are sensible. Just being in charge of your financial well-being is great. And letting other people do it for you or influence you, that is lame.