Rule #8: Always hold something back!

I can tell you a thousand things about me but, I will always hold onto one.

I can tell you a thousand things about me but, their always must be something that separates us–one from another.

man wearing t shirt holding book
Photo by Min An on

My journey as an Adulting millennial-like many–has not been easy. Learning, tussling, and often losing sleep over the tortious task of discernment between what oft seems as to mutually exclusive counter-weights.

Transparency and Discretion.

Openness and Reservation.

Friends and Associates. 

True Progress and In-place stagnation. 

In my struggle, I have learned many lessons in the tug-of-war of competing interest:

Transparency and Discretion.

Not sharing enough of yourself and people find it hard to relate to you; society stops seeing you as human and begins viewing you as alien. Conversely, share to much of yourself and you are either ostracized for being an oversharer or being seen as unable to keep a secret.

Openness and Reservation.

If you are too open, society gazes upon you in question of your genuineness and authenticity. Seeking to determine what may be the nature and purpose of your openness. On the flip side, if you are too reserved then you are viewed as weak and lack the grit to get ahead.

Friends and Associates. 

Similar goals, similar hopes, similar dreams, similar backgrounds, similar struggles. Friend or associate? The fine line of between being friend and being an associate is one that differs for each person. Requiring careful introspection to determine the values, duties, and obligations of friendship–undying loyalty? truth above all else? agreement even in light of heartfelt concern? Whatever your criteria is for friendship, know them and examine your relationships in light of them. If you do not know them, spend the time figuring them out.

True Progress and In-place stagnation. 

There will come a time when you question, have you made true progress or simple kept your self busy resulting in-in place stagnation? Figuring out if the task you completed, the day that is closing out, the job you are working is moving you closer to your life’s purpose, your divine calling is a never ending task…

But one that is learned only by thoughtful reflection and continuous action( see rule #1). 

Above all, what I have learned is that life is a continuous transition from one stage or phase into another–the moment you feel you are getting the hold of things is the very same instance in which things change. During these transitions we are always learning new ways to balance competing values, interest, and objectives; we are always being given new values, interest, and objectives to balance; and if we take the time, we should always be learning more about the world and ourselves.

While these transitions are occurring and balancing is being learned, it is important to remember rule #8: Always hold something backNot because you seek to be untrustworthy, disingenuous, or unrelatable but because during your life’s transitions and balancing acts you are in a vulnerable and malleable state. The scared part of you, the essence of your personhood–the very part of you that is inexplicably linked to the very unique spark that pulsates through you in giving you life– must be protected. Protected so that is nurtured, groomed, weeded, disciplined, and developed in a way that allows you to reach the true masterdom of your character and personhood without being broken or destroyed by the vicissitudes of life and sometimes evil perils of people.

Rule #1: You are born, life is tough, you die! (simply state: life is hard!)

When I was younger, I believed life was not hard but we, as in people, made it difficult. I still believe this is the case. However, while Adulting, at some point in time, I realized life really was…is…hard!

It’s hard for several reasons, in millennial bulleted fashion:

  1. there is always something you don’t know
  2. there is always something you don’t know that you don’t know
  3. there is always someone who has nothing better to do than to concern themselves with what you are doing, why you are doing it, and when you are doing it
  4. at some point in time you are likely to suffer, or are suffering from the disease known as more (where what you have is never enough and you want more)
  5. at some point in time you are bound to fall asleep behind the wheel, and when you wake up your life has been side-tracked–and you are not quite sure how to get it back on track
  6. the pain of believed sunken cost will consume you (i.e. I have already spent 3 years of my life as an English major, why change now– by the way I was a poli sci major, this is truly an example)
  7. sometimes life is plain and simple difficult and you do not know why
  8. Bullsh*t rolls down hill
  9. if you were born into a financially challenged family (because broke and poor are words that should be used sparingly) it may seem like you are in a never ending press to get ahead or if you were born into a family of comfortable means are always trying to escape the privilege or shadow of those means (so I’m told, I still am working on arriving)
  10. As your mom told you when you were younger, simply because….

Regardless of the reason accept that life is hard but never let it stop you from being even tougher. Roll with the punches, and when the opportunity presents itself, or you make the opportunity–throw a few blows back!

Rule #1: Life is hard…so deal! 

Follow me on Twitter @AoAMillennial or on Instagram @theaoamillennial 

Rule #72: When giving a f*ck is too much work…don’t!

On the Adulting journey, some days you wake up with little to no cares.  Your general disposition, attitude, and psyche can be summed up with this face:


Some how you need to still pull yourself: (1) out of bed; (2) brush your teeth; (3) take a shower; (4) get dressed; (5) get to your destination; and then (6) interact with your colleagues, friends, associates, and strangers…. But wait, as if that did not call for all the effort and energy you already do not have, you need to interact with others with a smile, or at least some feigned interest, care, and concern.

Meanwhile, your mind is going about as fast as the pour-over cup of coffee you are making (assuming you were able to afford coffee that month–who am I kidding, you are always able to afford coffee, maybe not food, but definitely coffee) scrambling with the real important questions of the day:

What’s for dinner?

If I pack everything up right now and move back home, am I failure or am I being financially prudent?

Hmmm, as to that last question, what is the difference between begin a failure and having failed?

Oh, Sugar, Honey, Iced, Tea—I forgot to lock the door! Wait, I did lock the door(phew!)

…Wait, did I lock the door?! Oh, yeah, I did !(at least that’s what I am going to tell myself because I simply cannot deal with anymore disappointment and not locking the door may very well break me right now)

Will I be able to pay my rent, car payment, utilities, and buy food this month?… Oh shot, I will– God is shinning down on me this month!!

After being side-tracked by contemplating real issues, you are snapped back to the misery of the day by some overzealous colleague, customer, client, stranger–person–needing something. A lot more something then you have to give.

At which point you scrounge up every bit of the little energy you have, to provide to the best of your ability a thorough and pleasant response. This act continues person-after-person, hour-after-hour, until your day comes to an end.

Finally, you gather your belongs, the remainder of your energy, wit, and mental capacity and shuffle off to your next destination…and finally home!

At long last you reach home…but wait, you have no energy to read the magazine article you planned to read, work on what you are sure will be the next great American novel, or paint a portrait that would put Da Vinci to shame. The endeavors you know some how in your soul will turn your situation around–reading that article will unlock the financial plan that will have you retire a millionaire at 30, or writing that novel will turn you into the next Stephen King.

So, rule #72: when giving a f*ck is too much work, don’t!Use this rule with caution– sometimes you have to pull yourself through the day, but remember always save a little energy for yourself and your own endeavors.

Follow me on twitter @AoAMillennial or instagram @theaoamillennial.