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How Do You Win the Game of Life? 🎲
You don't keep score!
Happy Wednesday, my dearest Twenty-Somethings! I hope everyone’s April is off to a lovely start. I got my first vaccine dose yesterday, and I’m more hopeful than ever for new beginnings!
This week, I’d like to talk about comparison: the thief of joy. I often think of a question my dad always asked (and answered) when I was growing up.
How do you win the game of life?
You don’t keep score.
As Twenty-Somethings consumed with social media in an era of hyper-competition, it’s hard not to compare ourselves to others. But now more than ever, we need to come to terms with the reality that we’re all on our own paths.
When it comes to our careers, our relationships, and our own personal growth, this transitional period comes with enough stressors. We’re worried about paying rent, dating, moving up the corporate ladder, all while making time for ourselves, and seeing our peers’ achievements can be especially discouraging.
So stop comparing your behind-the-scenes to other people’s highlight reels!
Some of us are married with babies and some of us are job-hunting from home. Whether you’re still debating grad school or launching your own business or getting your third promotion—you’re right where you’re supposed to be. I don’t know if I believe in fate, but I do know the pandemic has thrown many of us off the track we thought we were destined for.
Focusing on what’s in our control and—yes, I’m going to plug The Four Agreements yet again—not making assumptions, always trying our best, and, my personal favorite, not taking anything personally, will lead us to personal freedom. Or, will at least help us to take off our comparison goggles and see a little more clearly.
Let me spin you one more tale: My mother, who is otherwise the most patient, kind person on the planet, is notoriously impatient at restaurants. If people who were seated after us get food before us… Let’s just say it isn’t going to be pretty. But Susan, just let service workers work! And stop keeping score! Let the universe do its thing and focus on where you’re at. You’ll get that seared tuna salad when it’s ready—much like that gig, relationship, or apartment.
Must I remind you that how we spend our days is how we spend our lives? So grab your twenties and squeeze every drop out of them. After all, it’s spring, baby! You have the rest of your life to worry. 💗
In case you needed a little more inspo to move at your own pace, as the story (or oft-repeated inspirational LinkedIn post) goes…
At age 23, Tina Fey was working at a YMCA.
At age 23, Oprah was fired from her first reporting job.
At age 24, Stephen King was working as a janitor and living in a trailer.
At age 27, Vincent Van Gogh failed as a missionary and decided to go to art school.
At age 30, Harrison Ford was a carpenter.
At age 30, Martha Stewart was a stockbroker.
Julia Child released her first cookbook at age 39, and got her own cooking show at age 51.
Vera Wang failed to make the Olympic figure skating team, didn’t get the Editor-in-Chief position at Vogue, and designed her first dress at age 40.
Stan Lee didn’t release his first big comic book until he was 40.
Alan Rickman gave up his graphic design career to pursue acting at age 42.
Samuel L. Jackson didn’t get his first movie role until he was 46.
Morgan Freeman landed his first MAJOR movie role at age 52.
Take your time. Do what’s best for you. Feed your soul and your spirit. Pay attention to which flowers you water. And with that, here are a few picks to get you through the week:
Yet another bad girl anthem! Grandma, you can go ahead and skip this one…
An oldie, but a goodie. “Yeah, my boyfriend’s pretty cool, but he’s not as cool as me.” Name a more iconic line!
Tamia’s classic “So Into You” gets a fresh twist via Childish Gambino. Enjoy!
The Cut: “Catching Up With NYC’s ‘Vaccine Daddy’” - We could all use a feel-good read these days. Huge Ma is an icon, and everyone needs to learn how he helped thousands of New Yorkers get vaccinated!
New American Best Friend by Olivia Gatwood - For all my sad-but-beautiful-bad-girl poetry lovers! I’ve shared her poetry with you before, including my favorite poem of all time, “Alternate Universe In Which I Am Unfazed By The Men Who Do Not Love Me,” which is in this book. Enjoy!
Vogue: “From Fit Pics to Fashion Week, Personal Style Is Better Than Any Trend” - Celebrate yourself. The times, they are a-changing—do you wholeheartedly and unapologetically! And watch the Vogue video below.
Survivor - Did you know there are two seasons of Survivor on Netflix and 34 seasons on Hulu? Was I the last to know? Instant classic.
Vogue’s “I Love New York” - If you haven’t watched this yet, please do. And feel alllll the chills.
Tarte Shape Tape Concealer - The best concealer of all-time, hands-down. I tell everyone I know about it. And look at all those shades!
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Lip Balm - For all my chapstick queens! I got lemon-lime at my local market, and it’s incredible.
Head & Shoulders Royal Oils Deep Moisture Masque - My dry scalp drinks this stuff up! Super moisturizing with coconut oil, it leaves my hair soft and silky.
Jammy Soft-Boiled Eggs - These are perfect, gooey and delicious. And pretty much fool-proof!
Tahdig - This crispy Persian rice is easy to make and goes with everything. Add your protein of choice or fave salad to complete the meal. Yummmmm.
“If -” by Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream — and not make dreams your master;
If you can think — and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings — nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And — which is more — you’ll be a Man, my son!
Question of the week: What qualities do you value most in yourself?
Next week’s newsletter is all about shooting your shot. If you’re a Twenty-Something with a story about how you’ve taken a leap of faith in any capacity and you’d like to be included (anonymously) in next week’s newsletter, fill out the survey here. Much love!
Thank you endlessly for supporting me—it means more to me than you’ll ever know! I’m always looking to improve my work, so leave a comment or send me a message about what you want to read about in future Dear Twenty-Somethings! I’m all ears.
If you liked what you read, send this newsletter to a friend! Heck, send it to 10 friends! Sending love and light to you, wherever you are. 🌟
Cheers & happy Wednesday! See y’all next week.
xoxoxo, Quinnie <3