collecting maxims (not the lad mag)

I am officially old. Only old people collect maxims. They post them on their GeoCities pages and send them to coevals in chain emails, in hotlink blue, thirty point font. 

Anyway, some of these I picked up somewhere. Some I've made up. 

1. Create before you consume.

There's little that throws my creative game off more than the creativity of other people. It isn't a comparison thing. It's just an welp, now my brain is full thing. I need to be brimming with my own ideas.

2. Don't hold people against themselves.

At least not in small scale interactions, or low stakes relationships. Inconsiderate people are inconsiderate. Neurotic people are neurotic. Don't let the quiddities of others bother you. 

3. Keep your crazy to yourself. 

If I get caught in a really bad anxiety spiral, I try very hard to stay calm and self-contained. It's all too easy to throw myself onto someone like a lifeboat. 

4. Ignoring toxic, conflict-seeking, gaslighting people is a superpower. 

When you don't respond, your silence says that you are perfectly confident in your last communique, and that you don't need the last word. You show that preserving your inner peace is more important than they are. And that's infuriating and intimidating as fuck to people like that.

5. Write weekly or write weakly. 


6. The less you need to be happy, the more powerful you are.

This has been a fascinating life lesson. I've known so many terrible, tribalistic rich people in my life. And the desperation with which they consume their own wealth in seeking happiness is truly wild. Meanwhile if a nice sunset and a phone call with a friend is all you need, you're set

7. In this house, we try things. 

This is a thing I say to myself all the time. It's important to me that I explore new things - new habits, new interests, new approaches, new systems, new whatevers. It's important to me that I never stop trying. You never know what small, simple thing could level up your happiness. 

8. Recognize exit ramps.

I have a habit of holding on to people longer than I should. I tend to linger around broken connections. This has never once led to anything good. So I'm learning to recognize exit ramps. An exit ramp is when a person who is bad for you does something that perfectly encapsulates exactly why it is you don't want them in your life anymore. That's a gift. That's an opportunity to let that be your final, lasting impression of them, and move on.

An exit ramp can be something they do, or say. It can be a memory you decide to stake them to. You have complete control over what the exit ramp is, and that's a real power.

9. Pity is a weapon for which there is no defense. 

People hate to be pitied. It is a secret, lethal weapon you can deploy at will. They don't need to know. But you know that if they did know, it would inflame them. Let that be enough. 

10. Let feelings find you.

Don't hide. Don't self-medicate. Don't distract yourself. No way out but through.