5 Great Lessons I’ve finally learnt about life

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When I turned seventeen or eighteen, I thought I knew myself.
I had spent a great deal of those years on self-discovery, and then to finally come to terms with this person. I had come to accept and love this at times, incredibly insufferable being, and figured out that this complicated, complicated person could now be finally understood. If not by anyone else, at least by me.
Give a little growing for a few years, and suddenly everything I ever came to know about myself, everything that I ever wanted, had been turned on its head. Like a sudden dawn of a new day, epiphanies would come pounding in my thick skull. It was in conversations with friends, found in words in books, in movies, in what my sister said, or any one and all of these grand accumulations expounded in that single moment when the dim lightbulb finally decides to click.
Which brings us to great life lesson number one:
1) Life is a paradox
…that we don’t have to figure out.
I’m strong to some, yet weak to others. I’m funny and I’m sad. I want something, but when I have it, I wish I didn’t; And when its gone, I wonder if I’ve made a mistake. And I was always left wondering why.
I remembered that one of the many mantras I had back then was that
“life is a mystery, but don’t let that stop you from searching.”
These days, its more like “its okay that life is something I don’t understand. I can look for all the answers, but in the end we never really know for sure.” Because there are always things that come along and completely turns our preconceived notions on its head, and I think I like it that way. 
Great life lesson number two, 2) Don’t think too much
Jowee circa 2005-2007 used to pride herself in being ‘complicated’, a ‘thinker’ and an ‘analyzer’ amongst many things. Now I just chide that person who I used to be, and am glad that I’ve learned to keep it simple. Simple friends, simple food, simple problems, simple pleasures. Its like a children’s coloring book- because it has those simple black outlines that makes the picture, you get to fill in the gaps with whatever color you want, and make the picture whatever you want it to be.
You get to fill friendship with love when it isn’t complicated by ‘benefits’. To fill your simple job with passion when it isn’t under complicated hierarchal structures and pressures. Suddenly your problems aren’t that big because you’ve narrowed it down to a one track solution- pan mee (soup).
I also like stupid movies. Blow things up. Make crude jokes. Have Seth Rogan in it. Be an over-rated, over-budgeted spin-off. I don’t want to have to analyze that unbelievably slow-paced movie in black and white in French that all the critiques say is ‘SO GOOD’ (anymore). 
Great life lesson number three, 3) Don’t take yourself too seriously 
We get too sensitive when people pose a threat to our ‘intelligence’ or whatever we think is good about ourselves. Have a sense of humor about life, and especially about yourself. No one’s really thinking of you as much as you think of yourself anyway. I learned this one the (hard) humiliating way.
Life lesson number four, 4) you are not who people think you are 
Along the course of my life, people have said so many different things about me. All sorts of people, all at near opposite ends of the scale. One said I am scatterbrained, one said I am wise. I ” dress weird” and I “love your fashion sense”.
Don’t listen too hard. There isn’t one comment that means more or less than the other unless we let it be; anything else is just ‘difference‘. And difference is just difference. 
you are also not who you think you are 
I thought I was a writer. I thought I was a ‘creative’ and not a one of the ‘logical’ or the sciences. But I realized only much later on that I am very much inclined to reason as anything else, that I can be an entrepreneur if I wanted to and make good money for it; or if I had gone down a different path, I could’ve done equally well and make a really good psychiatrist.
I’ve placed everything I had on the ‘writing’ thing, and the problem with this is that if it becomes your security, strip that away and you have absolutely nothing. You’re threatened all the time because there will always be better people doing better things with their skills. Don’t ever make anything your everything – either by person or thing.  
Our best bet is to live wider, and find more greatness to invest in. 
Plus you don’t have to be known for any one thing to be interesting. You’re interesting when you’re interested.
5) Make friends like a five year old
“Hello my name is Tee Jowee. What is your name?”
” Do you want to share my cookie?”
The five year old in me shares my sandwich, picks up a friend’s book that drops on the floor, and is virtually fearless when starting conversations. I want to be my five year old self more often, because she doesn’t think so much, laughs more, and walks into the crowd unaware that anyone is watching. 
And these are often more powerful tools than any other thing we use to attract people.
As always,


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