Inspiring Adages Reimagined by a 36-Year-Old Writer-Slash-Server

There is no “i” in Team. But there is an “i” in Savings Account, and there’s only $121 in yours.

Shoot for the moon! Even if you miss, you’ll land amongst all the artists who quit in their thirties to become life coaches.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. And the journey to your serving job at an Italian restaurant begins with two trains, then a bus, and then a half-mile walk.

Seize the day. For Christ’s sake, just wake up earlier.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. While you’re waiting for lightning to strike you in the ass, maybe try volunteering to help people who have real problems. Or at the very least just pay your bills on time.

When God closes a door, he opens a window. Because you will never, and I mean never, have central air conditioning.

Never give up. Ok. But… what about health insurance?

You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. But you also miss 100% of your nephews’ birthdays because “weird Aunt Gina” either can’t get her shift covered or she’s booked to read an essay in the back of a bar for five audience members (re: the other performers).

It is never too late to be what you might have been. Oh really? So anyone can just up and pivot to ironwork?

Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted. In other words, time you enjoy googling symptoms of degenerative brain diseases for no reason is not time you could have spent earning money to save for retirement.

The sky’s the limit, unless you hate social media and refuse to “brand” yourself like a bag of chips. You don’t make “content,” you make art, dammit, and as far as you know, James Joyce never had to prove to any literary agents that a bunch of strangers “liked” his Instagram posts before they entrusted him to write a book people would read.

There’s no such thing as a free lunch. However, there is such a thing as posting your Cash App on Instagram to beg your friends for money during hard times instead of getting a job. You vow to never be one of those people unless you need help for your degenerative brain disease.

Dance like nobody’s watching. Or, in this case, write like nobody’s reading. Because they aren’t. At least not the precious drivel that you work so hard to produce and send to hundreds of slush piles for decades, your reproductive years spent crashing into the wall of rejection over and over.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But the decision to publish your work is in the hands of editors, and none of them want your disgusting personal essays about the time you wore a catheter or the time you met a “kissing specialist” in Thailand.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. But there are only three ways to publish a memoir:

  • Be a celebrity whose life story is already known by the whole world.
  • Be someone who has suffered through such singular trauma that the public will gobble it up in one sitting while laying on a beach.
  • DO NOT be a server at an Italian restaurant.

Keep your eye on the prize, but it really helps if that prize is not the Pulitzer. Maybe the prize should be something like becoming a nurse.

But also, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. You could drop the basket and break all the eggs with no omelet to show for it, arrive at the end of your life as a nobody with many regrets, arthritic and demented from a lifetime of late nights and bad sleep, a broken back from years on your feet slinging spaghetti, your dreams of artistic greatness dashed when it was too late to change course, your only company the tank of oxygen that follows you from room to room in your public nursing home because instead of having children who could have cared for you in your old age all you birthed was your little stories.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Sure, you went to grad school. The question is, why?