It’s coming up on the end of the school year, and it makes me a little sentimental. I can’t believe that so much life has happened since my graduations. I feel like such a different person now: hopefully a little wiser, definitely a little more confident.
Have you ever heard “The Sunscreen Song”? It’s a spoken word song by Baz Luhrmann; but based on a Chicago Tribune column, which author Mary Schmich wrote as a hypothetical commencement speech. I remember hearing that song on the radio and thinking the spoken word and funky sound were odd. But reading the words puts it into perspective. Everyone can connect to it, and they are incredible words of wisdom.
In honor of the song, new life experience, and my embarrassing sentimental side, I’m sharing my Sunscreen Song today with all of you. I’m not an expert on life at this point. But there are just so many things I wish I could tell my 13, 17, and 22 year old selves. And, okay, maybe myself now, too. Perhaps some of this will be helpful for you, too.
Wear sunscreen. It’s been said, but I’ll say it again.
Wash your face. Lotion doesn’t hurt either.
Put your phone down.
Say what you’re really thinking. Life is too short, and it’s too exhausting to try to be agreeable with everyone. Don’t make them try to figure you out, or see if you really mean what you say. Just mean what you say.
Don’t always say what you’re really thinking. Is it necessary to share your opinion on that? Really think about it before you do.
Talk to your grandparents. Ask them every little thing you can think of – about their professions, their families, their favorite things. Someday you will want to learn all these things. But you might not be able to hear the answers straight from the source.
Drink lots of water.
Give yourself a set time, maybe five minutes, to cry out of self pity. And then move on. Self pity feels good in the moment but is useless in the long run.
It’s not always about you.
Enjoy all the chances you get to be spontaneous. If you ever have kids, they will demand your spontaneity, along with your sleep, your energy, your love, and your imagination. I hope you get the chance to be a parent, because they give you so much in return.
Figure out what makes you, you. Find out what you love and what makes you feel loved. Try not to apologize for those things.
Get out of the house, out of town, out of the state, out of the country, if you can.
Have an audience, big or small, that listens to what you have to say. Also, find a small group of people from that audience who tell you what you need to hear.
Failure is not the worst thing that can happen to you.
Stop worrying about what people think all the time. They can’t eat you.
Don’t believe everything you see on social media. Don’t respond to everything you see on social media. Be off of social media more than on.
Find something to put your faith in, something lasting, something to give you purpose. There is too much junk in this world to make it worth living without any purpose.
If life is a pie, enjoy your own, the whole thing, every bite. You don’t have to run around trying to hoard as many pieces of one giant pie as you can. You don’t have to compare your pie to someone else’s.
Decide what’s most important to you, and put your effort towards those things. You can do anything, but not everything.
Hug the people you love as much as possible.
And lastly, eat dessert. Always end your dinners, your conversations, your trips, your speeches, with the sweetest part.