The Internet is a fantastic place to be reminded how horribly shit you’re doing in life. From the scads of personal achievement lifestyle blogs, to the endless Pinterest boards full of crafts that you’ll never ever actually do – it’s a daily reminder that whatever successes you’ve seen while you go around the sun are never good enough.
Nothing is a stronger reminder of your personal failures than the scores of numbered lists reminding you that your high school guidance counselor was right: you’ll never live up to your potential.
Like this right here ensuring that no matter what milestone you’re proud of, you should truly feel like a loser if you can’t tick off these from their condescending advice. I have a massive amount of tattoos, so I’m totally boned.
How about this insane list that suggests by the time you’re twenty-five you should be done experimenting with your hair cuts? And God motherfucking forbid you have a bad one night stand after twenty-five! You should be able to determine before you have sex with a person that you’re either going to stay with them forever, or use your magical brain powers to determine that they’ll be a jaguar in the sac.
Or what about this mess of an eye-roll clickbait piece that made me want to stab my brain’s frontal cortex? This one says that by the time you’re thirty you should have learned when to love and when to walk away – like the relationship version of Kenny Roger’s “The Gambler.”
I honestly hate read these two pieces of absolute bullshit which said that women in their thirties can’t own or wear the following: band posters, beat up sneakers, personal game systems, fuckin’ HAMSTERS, blue eye shadow, leopard print, and oversized glasses.
I made it halfway through a list about things that people in their thirties shouldn’t do anymore, but spat at my computer screen after reading something about waiting to take the trash out. Honestly?
So I made an alternate list, it has numbers alongside so you know it’s legitimate. It’s a numbered list of all of the reasons those other lists are such bullshit.
- 36. Those lists exist as nothing more than clickbait, which I am sure is obvious. But having worked writing web content I can confidently say that bulleted and numbered lists are the easiest way to finish an assignment without having to expend energy on fully recognized ideas. Numbered lists are easy to read, send an immediate message, and – more importantly for the copywriter – easy to write. Add a flashy title along with a halfcocked idea, and all of the sudden our shitty article is getting re-posted everywhere. Also, add gifs
- 45. They almost universally exclude the existence of class, intersexuality, people who are disabled, the trans community, and PoC. These articles come from such a point of hilarious privilege (THROW AWAY YOUR SHITTY OLD SNEAKERS, YOU SCUMBAG) that they’re basically the definition of microaggressions. I’ve never read a single one where it doesn’t read like it is coming from a single, straight, white, middleclass person. Additionally, they are so antithetical in regards to even basic feminism, or the existence thereof, that one of those jammers actually said that by the time you’re twenty-five you shouldn’t have a pregnancy scare. What the fuck? Seriously?
- 13. They pit people against each other and make you feel bad about yourself. There is already plenty of competition, unnecessary flaming, and animosity on the Internet that the proliferation of MORE shit that makes you feel like you’re unsuccessful is completely unnecessary. Reddit, exists you guys, let’s pack it up.
- 6. Lets just all admit that they’re terribly written.
- 26. They are completely arbitrary.
- 86. You don’t need a nameless mergatroid on the Internet determining what does and doesn’t make a successful life, no matter what your age is. You just don’t. You’ve got this life shit figured out. A list on the Internet knows nothing about you: what you like, the things you’ve overcome, how good a friend you are, how good a person you are, that you make the dankest cupcakes in the apartment complex, that you just adopted a pet in need, or that you taught your kid not to be an asshole. You have life figured out even if you enjoy clubbing at forty-five and still have “flatmates” when you’re sixty.
Here is my list of suggestions. But I’m not going to number them.
Wear whatever you want. However old you are. No matter what. No one should tell you what to wear, no matter your age, race, class, abilities, or gender. You like wearing sparkly butterfly clips in your hair? Dope. Yesterday I wore a torn-up tutu over an Adventure Time bathing suit to the bar. I’m thirty now and I’ll wear that till I’m one hundred and thirty.
Celebrate whatever milestone actually makes you happy. When I was sixteen my best friend and I decided it was Happy Lisa Frank Day. We poured glitter over our face and hair, and stuck Lisa Frank stickers on lockers and handed them out to students and teachers. It was one of the greatest days of my life. My best friend and I got faux married when we were twenty-three. There was a professional photographer and vows written on the back of Wawa receipts. I’ll cherish that day until I’m dust. Both of those days were days of great achievement for me. But neither are on any list that I can think of.
Eat what makes you feel good. Today I ate pasta, pizza, and candy. I’m going to drink mad beer tonight because it was a hard day at work. I’ll probably have a hangover tomorrow. But I’ll still go to work and do my job. The only person that gets to tell you what you should eat, drink, and indulge in is you. If drinking Mountain Dew and eating Funions is your thing? Enjoy. Want to eat only kale and corn chips? God bless.
Do you. Or don’t, whatever you want. The other day while talking to my mom on the phone she said the following, “Every person is a genius these days. So who cares? Everyone should just do what they want.” Straight from the funniest person I know. You’re a genius. My mom just said. Don’t listen to shitty lists telling you that you should wear this, have accomplished that, or that you need to change your you. You’re a genius. Fuck those lists.
(All gifs other than the ones of my face and friends are owned and credited to their makers. I did not create them, they’re just boss).