If I were to die today, I’d hate to know that the last thing people remember reading from me was some gibberish about “big belly girls.”
Today being my 25th birthday, there are many things I’d love to say. I decided, finally, to share 10 thoughts, ideas, beliefs that have helped me to make the most of my life, so far. I believe that they may help you, no matter what stage you are at.
So, in no particular order:
1. Real change is possible.
I was in my late teens when the fierceness of this truth hit me like a speeding trailer. We – human beings – can change. Isn’t that remarkable?
You and I can be whoever we want to be. No matter what people tell us or however hard it may seem, we can turn away from the worst things and towards the best things. (Philippians 4:13 makes it so much easier by the way).
2. Books contain some of the best keys to worthwhile change – ideas and truth.
York Castle High School, 3rd form or 9th grade (whichever you ascribe to) – I saw a sign hanging in the library that I have never been able to forget. It said simply: “Reading Maketh a Man.” The idea consumed me.
The sign was true. Today, I am not just an adult male, but a man in every sense of the word because of priceless books. For example:
- A Man For All Seasons in 6th form literature, was the first book to inspire in me a desire to be noble. To have integrity. To be a man who chose right, regardless. Still my aim.
- The Autobiography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr (the first ever book I purchased with my own money! On Kings Street, Downtown Kingston, Jamaica) – awakened a passion to think about and to treasure justice.
- The Pilgrim’s Progress – I was caught up with every bit of the imaginary world that was every bit like my daily life.
- The Screwtape Letters (C.S. Lewis) – taught me in the most critical theological and philosophical truths, in the simplest ways and in the darkest period of my adult life.
- The Bible – The most important book in the entire world. I first found meaning in this book, at age 17, around the same time that I found meaning in life. Coincidence?
3. There is no replacement for a great family.
Have you ever hit a wall in your life so hard that you can see and feel and imagine no possible way out? Have you ever screwed up your life so badly that you’re pretty sure you’ll never recover? Do I have to tell you what living in the real world is like?
People assume you’re arrogant because you blog. You fail at things you pour your heart into. Things don’t always go our way. Mothers die. Dreams die. Friends leave.
If there isn’t somewhere for you where everybody knows your guilt, calls your wrong and yet there is no shame – God help you.
4. Giving up on the idea of true love is sad.
I’ve heard so many girls say, “I’ve given up on the whole happily ever after.” They have good reasons most of times. I may also have pretty good reasons to cut chocolate from my diet, but you won’t see that happening though.
5. There are no such thing as “true” friends.
Just friends. Who is a friend? The bible tells me:
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.( Proverbs 17:17)
Those descriptions are good enough for me.
So what about the other people? Well, think of them as the people you happen to know when times are great. Enjoy their company, but don’t count on their loyalty.
6. God is not big on the idea of second chances.
God, as far as I can see in the bible, absolutely hates the idea of “giving a second chance.” He’s not the counting type. He’s not the, “This is your fifth chance Andrew – if you ever screw-up now,” type. If he were, I would never be here today.
For all my non-Christian readers, one of the most amazing things about my faith is the idea that when I am genuinely regretful for my actions, Jesus removes the record of my wrongs as far as the east is from the west, and completely forgets them.
And as long as I try, he will help me (a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish).
He’s not the God of “a second chance” (that’s how we treat people) – he’s the God of “another and another and another chance.”
7. Fridays are for ice cream.
My (first) mom had a great philosophy – whenever she got her pay she’d go buy herself an ice cream. Although we couldn’t afford it – she and my dad would take us to hotels and parks across Jamaica and overseas every summer. She was so serious about family time, that once she actually took a loan from the bank for our Disney Vacation.
Well, it was a good thing she wasn’t waiting until we could afford it – she died 10 years ago on an otherwise ordinary day in the prime of her life.
There are many reasons for deferring enjoyment – ensure they are valid.
8. Being bitter at life is overrated.
Everybody is bitter! Are we compelled to join that line? Is there some free prize at the end of life for the most drab and cynical outlook?
I want to join the line where dreams are still in colour, where I blog because I believe people will read (lol), where I wake trusting God for what he says about my future.
I’m not going allow myself to be poisoned by bitterness in this life. Neither should you.
9. There are absolutely no things as valuable in life as forgiveness and hope.
Treasure it when you have it.
Deprive no one when they lack it.
Know your source and make sure your source is one that can guarantee it unwaveringly.
10. Living with the end in mind, makes the present sensible.
“So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12).
I certainly didn’t expect to reach 25 so quickly. I have screwed up so many years, months, days, hours and minutes. For me, it is the passion to at least end well that is driving every move I make at this stage. Moreover, it is the realization that it will end eventually, at a time I’d hardly have thought, that drives me to keep trying. Think about it.
25 Random Stuff I’d Like to Say:
- What people think about you is important. As important as you choose to make it.
- Ditching faith and religion to seem intellectual and cultured is a bigger gamble than ditching the appearance of intellect and culture to have faith and religion. I’m with stupid.
- Stephen Wildes turned out to be a great brother, he’s a web genius, my blog partner and the owner of what will be the No.1 financial blog in the Caribbean by the end of 2012: MoneyMax101.com.
- Monroe Wisdom and Leighton Fisher are two of the people I know for certain would never let me die on a lonely road in the night if they can help it.
- There are treasures in Trinidad and Tobago so rare that to not do everything possible to assess their true worth would be reckless.
- Lawyers earn their pay.
- I think Khamaal Collymore is one of the greatest musicians in Barbados and a good yute.
- Talking to yourself is the most underrated, over-scrutinized and therefore utterly wasted means to maintaining sanity.
- People will only take you as serious as you take yourself.
- Most people just assume I’m brave. In fact, perhaps the most used, most invaluable verses in the bible for me is Psalm 56:3.
- Chocolate never killed anybody.
- If you think my list of 15 women to avoid makes me picky, it means I probably can’t tell you about my list of 186 things that I’m looking for in a woman.
- I believe in making long ridiculous lists of what I want, so that I’ll know I have it when I see it and miss it when I don’t. You should try it.
- Imperfections are beautiful – freckles, dimples, bow legs and the rest.
- I’ve been teased all my life about having big lips and yet those I would never trade – would never trade them.
- A woman should take care of her hair.
- I’ve never felt uncomfortable about my lips since the 3rd grade when, after complaining to my mom that the children called me “Lippy,” she told me to tell them “It’s my beauty” and I did (with an attitude to boot!).
- Blogs are tremendously helpful both for writers and for readers.
- Michael and Gabrielle Wildes have been two of my best friends ever, even though I tried to kill them both when we were younger. Like literally.
- There are people waiting for you to see, to listen, to hear and to help.
- “Times are bad because men are bad.” – The Life and Death of Mr. Badman, by John Bunyan.
- Not voting does not make you a bad citizen, anymore than voting with your eyes wide shut (and your lips tightly sealed) in light of abominable corruption makes you a good citizen. But both are undesirable.
- Loving your step mom because she is your mom in every single sense of the word but biology, has absolutely no bearing on how you feel about the mother that gave birth to you – besides, mind your own business.
- Some things happened in my life at ages 10, 17, and 24 that neither evolutionary biology or secular humanism could ever explain.
- Life is good, because God is good.