Writing an advice article can be tricky; I firmly believe in my following wisdom, but I do have a real fear of sounding like a prick-headed know-it-all. I'm not such a disgusting creature, believe me. I'm just a humble thirty-eight year old eccentric bald-headed bastard writer with the benefit of some hard-earned wisdom. SO GIVE ME MY GODDAMNED DUE.
This article is aimed towards men, but I hope anyone of any gender (weird as that can get these days) will benefit from my ramblings. Except my ex-wife, of course. Nobody, and I mean nobody , can give her advice.
Criticize me, think me conceited, whatever... I don't give a ding-dong diddly goddamn. BUT! If the following advice helps just one young guy avoid some grief, I'm a happy slack bastard.
1) Don't get married too fast.
You may think you've met the love of your life. Marriage sounds like a great idea! Why not get hooked up early because you just KNOW she's the girl for you?!?
My advice: Wait. WAIT. WAIT YOU HORNY SON OF A BITCH. You'll be surprised how fast relationships can sour: you rush into marriage and two months later you hate your wife so much you're eyeing your power saw and the basement freezer. Not that I'm talking from personal experience, of course.
You DO NOT want to be a teen or in your early twenties facing divorce and possible alimony. You'll need that money for education, saving up for helpful crap like a car, decent clothes, etc. A broken marriage will break your bank account and, more than likely, break your heart so bad you may not ever recover
Trust me. Don't get married early. Since we're on the subject...
2) Don't have a kid.
Nothing will brutally mature you faster than being the father of a child, and that's probably not the right thing for you to go through as a young guy. Having a few years of experience under your belt will only serve you better if/when you decide to become a father. For now, hold off on showering your spermatoza all over the female population and use these years for yourself . First you gotta learn what makes you tick before you try to wind someone else's watch, especially an impressionable child.
NOW, if you've already gone off and fathered a child, Life may look pretty bleak, but it's not. You have a responsibility to the child, yes, but you have an equal responsibility to yourself to be a happy and well-adjusted person. You and the mother of your child have to sit down like two adults, maybe find some sane and balanced older adults for advice and mediation, and talk things out. And talk. And talk. You and the mother must mutually decide the relationship you'll have, both with her and the child. Lack of communication is a mistake I made in my life, and it lead to my son becoming estranged to me, and I regret it every day. Of course, my ex was no prize peach herself, but I'll stop right here before things get litigatable.
I could go on and on about this particular topic, but then this article would be a freakin' book. Just remember, in any relationship, honest and open communication is the key. (Unless your girlfriend catches you crying during a sad movie; then it's okay to lie that you have "something caught in your eye".
3) Get a higher education IF it suits you; if you do get a higher education, pick a useful one.
Success is not guaranteed by an education; many very successful people didn't go to college or university, or even graduate high school. The main value of higher education is two-fold: one, to gain knowledge and skills; and two, to get a piece of paper that allows you to bullshit yourself into a higher paying job.
My advice is to go for higher education, but learn something that will be genuinely useful, for babbling christ's sakes. If you get a diploma in "Museum Management", "General Communications", or "Classic French Literature", chances are you're going to be saying, "you want fries with that, sir?" for a good chunk of your life WHILE paying off student loan fees with your minimum wage earnings. OH, THE JOY.
Fill your brain with something actually useful , like computer programming or the basics of running a business or, hell, learn videography if you aspire to be a porn director. Find where your interests, education, and the good jobs meet and you'll have a damn better chance of having a better job than wiping out the grease traps at McDonald's.
4) Be aware that the shit may very well all rain down one day. (civilization collapse)
Yes, I know, GRIM. But be aware, young man, that the few people in power now are seriously pissing off the millions and billions of good folk on this planet. Save up some profits from your porn business for emergency funds, and keep your eye on the news from ALL sources, main and independant. Be critical: most of the mainstream newsfeeds feed bullshit and lies to the masses, while the small news services (both paper and Internet) sometimes get to the real truth in a story.
Stay informed about the world: if and when society beings to collapse around you, you'll have a running start away from the doomed masses...hopefully. Beyond that, hell, I don't know... scour the barren nuclear wastelands for scraps of metal to sell to the mutants for food.
5) Avoid the corporate money trap (buying fashionable items, etc)
Popular media WANTS you to buy, and buy, and buy! Stay in fashion, or you'll never get the girl or be as popular as those shiny bright happy people on television.
Bullshit. Buy what you need, and treat yourself only when you've genuinely done something worth elebrating. Fashion? Fuck it. I wear jeans and a t-shirt... a BLANK t-shirt. If someone is interested in me only for money or trendy clothes or possessions, I could give a rat's plague-infested dripping anal sphincter about their personal welfare. But if someone likes me for whom I am (and that's one weird mofo indeed, both them and me), then they are a friend for life. I don't need fancy goddamn STINKING COLOGNE FOR THAT!
6) Choose friends you know you can depend on.
Be picky about your friends. There are a lot of people out there who'd love to be your friend for their own agenda, be it absorbing your cash, emotional energy, or apartment: "hey, I just need to crash at your place for a few days, budddddyyyyy..."
Give every potential new pal a probation period before calling them a friend; instantly becoming good buddies with everyone you meet will make you a genuinely bitter, angry, and mal-adjusted person (such as myself).
7) When choosing a vice, choose marijuana.
Alcohol and tobacco have claimed millions of lives; I've personally lost a
couple of uncles due to their excessive drinking. Cannabis has caused ZERO deaths. And while smoking anything isn't good for you, if you're gonna have a vice (and who DOESN'T?), my advice would be to go for the "kind bud".
Yes, it's illegal. But we all know that's wrong. The sooner we stop sending money to the alcohol and tobacoo industries and start using a natural beneficial plant we can grow ourselves for low cost, the sooner those huge economic monolithes will stop draining us. And when was the last time you saw two potheads get into a fight? Usually they forget what they were arguing about, unlike alcoholics.
I'm not advocating you smoke cannabis. If you're living free of all vices, good for you (not that I'm going to follow your example). But if you want to alter your brain chemisty, have a joint.
8) Outer confidence is mostly an act for many people as they learn their inner confidence.
Hey, it's true. There's confidence in yourself, and that's good... but if you're still working on that issue, learn to bullshit people into thinking you're one mean decision making motherfucker. Don't be aggressive, be assertive: stand up for yourself, but don't lose your temper. Show a strong face to the world and
save the crying fits for your personal alone times, or close friends if you need someone to talk to.
Cold advice, I know, but it's a cold world. It's also a bullshit world, so feed the bullshit right back to 'em.
9) Trust no one in a position of power, trust those you respect.
Understand that the good politician who genuinely wants to serve the people is the rare exception, not the rule. Many of the laws on the books serve only the wealthy few, certainly not you. Always question why the government wants you to do a certain thing, or pay a new tax, or stay at a new "re-assignment center" for awhile (okay, maybe a bit extreme, but you can see where I'm going with this). If you don't keep trying to find the truth in why you're being manipulated, the lies will continue to control you.
Instead of looking to the powerful and popular, look at the people around you. Seek those approachable friendly bastards who have something to teach, some helpful wisdom to help you avoid the shit-traps of reality. These people ARE around you, more than you know: you just have to be humble for a goddamn second and LOOK.
10) Realize your POWER.
You're a young man. You've got your whole life ahead of you, and all that happy-crappy cliche lemon souffle. But the cliche is true: your youth is POWER. Don't fret about what you DON'T know, BE FREAKING JOYOUS in all the interesting and outright COOL stuff you can learn and do...
There's old people in dusty retirement homes right now, my young friend; their life is over, death is only a few machine pings away. Did THEY do something with their lives? Probably not, since you or I don't know any of their names. Do you want to end up regretting what you didn't do with, well, the juicy lickable vaginal opening that is LIFE? NO! YOU DON'T! Hell, I'm only thirty-eight and I'm ALREADY regretting a lot of stuff I didn't do in my younger years.
You have power now, in your youth and future, that is glorious & precious; many people would give their souls to regain this power, even for a single day. This power is YOURS for many years... but sure as hell not forever. MAKE yourself grow in wisdom, awareness, and knowledge, both in self and the world; your confidence, abilities, and satisfaction will grow more and more every single day, and you will live a goddamned happy life.