I love lists.
But if I see one more, “14 lessons you survive in your 20’s” or “6 reasons as to why you should embrace your credit debt” or “3 men you should meet in the bar bathroom“, I will come up with “10 reasons to jump off of a cliff” and I won’t get past reason one before pulling an over-achieving reading swan dive off the nearest building with some stellar altitude and some killer bird-like grace.
And to be clear, it’s not that I don’t enjoy the occasional inspirational though-provoking list. On the contrary, there is nothing I like more than a solid inventory of poignant reasons 1-10 which temporarily improve my view on the world/my own existence.
But lately, I don’t feel like these lists are occasional. I feel like I’m being force-fed them like nail art on my instagram feed full of girls I knew in college that I can’t unfollow without offending. Which is stupid and petty but in the same way I can’t unsee these stupid nail images I can’t stop myself from reading these insightful little thought nuggets on what it’s like to be in my 20’s.
And I can’t help but think ultimately these lists are just incredibly unhelpful. If reading advice about what to embrace and discover and learn from and avoid really ensured we listened and followed such advice, I think we’d be a much smarter, wiser, skinnier and less judgmental demographic don’t you think? Instead, I’m exactly the same person minutes later and most of the time I just feel worse about myself. Oh the 15 people we will love in our 20’s? Well shit Sherlock, I haven’t met any of those people. I haven’t even really been in love. Oh the 7 places I need to travel to before 30? Talk to my student loan debt because my wallet ain’t listening asshole.
But I can’t. stop. reading them. I can’t stop comparing myself against the author of said piece, thinking oh well yeah, I am totally taking control of my financial and emotional responsibility. I have list FOMO. What if this list changes my life? What if I read this and get so freaking self-actualized that I actually perform successfully every task and change my life and stop binge eating string cheese and binge shopping at Nordstrom? Do I need this pair of ‘perfect summer flip-flops?’ HELL YES I DO!!!!! I mean… No. No, I don’t. Right. I can do this. Cheese samples at Trader Joes don’t count, I’m going to have 5. Bite me thought provoking top 10 list about how to curb your impulsiveness. Free food samples are a life hack.
And I WILL have the best summer ever through these 10 steps. That’s all it takes? A pina colada and the desire to get laid in the shade? Done! Sign me up for the next top 10 list of excellent season-ery because I am going to make this summer my bitch. Where’s my two piece? Where’s my carefree, sun-soaking cheese-dog loving personality? Oh there you are, right under my rent check and receipt for 3 pairs of life-changing platform wedges.
So I’m going throw a white flag hashtag on #enough right now for everyone involved. Stick this on your pinterest and suck it. Hard. Because my YOLO is half empty and lists about life’s lessons are sending me right into a social media insanity. I can take 100 more pictures of silly catz. I can take your baby pictures. Your quotes you found on tumblr. Your picstitch dedicated to your bestie of 10 years omg. But the lists. The lists have got to stop. I love good writing just like the next little blogger, but let’s put some imagination into the mix hmmm? ’10 ways to fake sickness on your tinder date’ is something I’d love to read. 10 ways to make 10 dollars last until you get paid on Thursday is something I would totally bookmark. But the lists about 20 somethings and all our faults and shortcomings and ways to improve our existence, must end. quickly. Like Game of Thrones last night.
Let’s all make a pledge!
Let’s pledge to stop binge-posting self-help lists. We all suck and are bad with our money and are going to get our hearts broken and drink too much and stay up too late and most of us will fail at life for maybe forever. Also, if you don’t travel you’ll be unfulfilled and make sure to fall in love 6.25 times or you will die. But you might die anyway. So live it up. Or whatever that means. Anyway, I summarized every list in the history of ever. So now you have more time to post pictures of your nails and sunsets and your happy hour drink.
Carpe Throwback Thursday.
Seize the selfie.
Go forth and filter my instafriends. Because this is not a list.
And thank god.