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Families Letters

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What was your biggest "shit, my parents were right" moment?

A phrase my mom always said to cheer me up while stressed in university: "If it was easy everybody would do it." Sounded so stupid at the time but I've used the same line to cheer up countless friends who were stressed with exams etc.

Said to me as a young teenager... "I know it's hard to imagine now but the age of 40 really isn't that far away. Before you know it you'll hit 40 and wonder how that happened so fast".

It's really quite simple. How many memories do you have from age 17? Now how many memories do you have from 35? Not as many? There you go! When you're older you stop doing fun stuff. Every single day is the same as the last. Nothing to remember. So your life becomes forgettable. And time passes quicker.

I would rather say that you stop doing new stuff because you have already experienced them. When you get older you have less new memories because you don't experience remarkable things. There is no reason to create a memory out of something you have experienced a hundred times. So you have to work harder to create new memories, they won't just come to you automatically anymore, you have to seek them out.

It is a lot harder to be surprised when you get older. You start predicting what things will be like from all your experiences. Plus if you live long enough you start to see cycles. The same movie plots repeated, the same clothing trend returning as "retro", the same promises from politicians, etc.

90% of people just fall into the trap of I need to work to survive by the time they are in their early 20's and with that often comes a mortgage and kids. Way too many people I grew up with have barely done anything with their life apart from get a job and have kids, the only ones I knew who traveled and had fun are the ones I met in uni, now they are slowly settling down but none of them have kids, they still have an emphasis on doing what they want to do so get to experience new things every year. The average joe who ended up having kids gets a 2 week holiday every year to somewhere warm where they sit by a pool getting drunk.

A week or two ago, John Carmack wrote on Twitter how he was enjoying a day entirely to himself and was doing a lot of reading. People asked how he managed to do that and he replied that it was a Christmas gift from his family. It's been a while since I was jealous of somebody else's gift.

Well it seems you're doing exactly what's being talked about here. Just cause you're not traveling all the time or whatever doesn't mean that you're not creating new experiences. If you're happy with your day to day life then it probably means that you're creating these new experiences every day! I think what's being criticized here are people who decide to stagnate and stop growing by using their jobs or family as an excuse to be miserable. Plus this is all relative since life is all about the ups and downs. How would you know that you're happy if you don't have bad memories to compare it to?

I lost my job last June, so money has been a bit tight while I look for a new job. In the meantime, I didn't want to be bored and I really wanted to do something new. I reached out to some friends involved with theater and ended up writing and producing a show with them. It was a ton of work but didn't require any real money from me, just effort. I ended up building props and learned how to use a jigsaw and fireproof stuff for theater use. I helped pick music for the DJ and edit video for projections. All stuff I'd never done and was allowed to do simply because I had the time. I know it's possible time is in short supply for you, too, but there are a ton of experiences out there if you're willing to lose some sleep.

"You're lucky your parents still kiss". They would always tell me that after I got grossed out when they kissed as a little kid. I didn't really realize the huge truth behind that until I started going to friends house's more and seeing their parents almost always argue and stay in separate rooms or something like that. Be thankful your parents smooch god damnit

I'm 19 years old and I can honestly say I've never seen my parents kiss before.
what ethnicity are you? i ask cause im 1st generation american, and despite my being born and raised in the states my native chinese^ parents have never so much as hugged in front of me. wondering if it's a cultural thing.
I'm a white American and in 26 years of life I've never seen my parents kiss or hug. My dad held my mom's hand at her mother's funeral a decade ago, but other than that I can't think of a single time I've seen them really affectionate towards each other in front of me.
I walked in on my dad fingering my mom in the kitchen when I was 8
My MIL and FIL held hands when walking down the aisle behind the coffin of her mother. It was so strange to see since they simply hated each other
Definitely a cultural thing.
Also: based on having about 90% Chinese immigrant friends growing up, Chinese families generally seem to dislike each other. Especially given the ever present Chinese Parent Guilt Trips and very high pressure to get top grades and get in to Ivy League or equivalent schools.
Most of my Chinese friends, now in their late 20s or early 30s, with decent paying jobs and fancy degrees that should make their parents happy have blocked their parents from their lives entirely since their parents continue to be pretty nasty to them.
My Thai and Vietnamese friends seem to have a more functional relationship with their parents though.

My dad is (second gen) Chinese and my mom is Italian, where do I fall in the mix?
You were born to make noodles. Embrace it.

At age 18 you'll know everything.
By age 25 you'll realize the world isn't as simple as you think.
By 30 you'll be frightened that people trust your opinion when you know you don't know very much about a subject.

"You shouldn't eat an entire cake, it isn't good for you" First thing i did when i moved out from my parents house was buy a cake and eat it, all of it. Because i was an adult and i could do what i want. It hurt.

That means you're not doing it enough. You gotta eat more to build up a tolerance. Like drinking

Don't trust modern pyrex
You want the old completely clear Pyrex, not the new shitty chinese stuff that has a blueish tint to it.
Pyrex was perfect, wtf were they thinking.
Also, buy your pyrex at garage sales. Look for clear glass, heavy for it's size weight, and thicker glass.
"Not all your friends need to be 'forever-friends', some people are just meant to be your friend for that particular time in your life"

This is what my friend's mother told me about dating girls. That this girl you're with will probably not be your wife so let her go when the time is right. Ugggh, mine told me "don't date what you wouldn't marry". So. Many. Missed. Opportunities.

This advice isn't saying go into a relationship with the expectation that it won't last. It is basically saying just because you are dating someone, even if you are in love with someone, doesn't mean you have to marry them. If the relationship shows that you are incompatible, you don't need to struggle to try to make it to death do us part. It is okay to say, "Okay, I love this person, I think they are great, but we just have too different of goals. It is okay to break up and find someone who has similar goals." I think this is very relevant to young people who are new to the dating world. Love is new, different, and none of us knew what we were doing. We romanticize it and say shit like, "Okay, this person is controlling, and is driving away all my friends. But, I love this person and we can make it work." Or "I love person so much, even though this person is joining the peace corps for 5 years. The power of our love will help us prevail!" It seems like we are hesitant to break things up because of love, even though there are glaring red flags that the relationship should not continue forward. Somehow there is the belief that if we love hard enough, nothing else matters. It creates tunnel vision.

This advice is saying you can love a person deeply, but don't ignore the other factors that make a good partner. As we date, learn about people, and fall in love multiple times, we learn what is important in a partner. Eventually through experience, you'll find a partner with characteristics and goals who you also love where you can more accurately say, "This is the one who I can see spending the rest of my life with."

I used to date a lot. I think there are a ton of benefits. I was able to see the type of people that I like, or identify the personality traits I need in a partner while also seeing personality traits that did not work with me or my personality.
It also improved my confidence because the more I understood myself, the more sure I became.
I think too many people limit their options without really going out and meeting/seeing what's out there.
To be completely transparent, it was very fun and it was about the sex in the beginning. As time progressed, it became less about the sex and more about finding happiness.

How true this is... I had to let my most current ex go after she spent my birthday under some other guy. It just seemed like the right time to end it.
Man you are harsh. Ever think it might have been his birthday too?

My Mum told me that I get to choose the person I become. All you have to do is to keep that thought in your head when making decisions. Also every action has a reaction, so make sure that reaction will be a good one.
It wasn't something I really listened to at the time, now those thoughts stay with me all the time, and I have definitely become a better person for it.

Sounds like my mom. "Every action has a consequence, whether they're good or bad, doesn't matter. Every action has a reaction. It's up to you to determine the outcome. And sometimes the consequence isn't what you were expecting, but it's your responsibility to accept the outcome and make the most of it." Thanks mom.

"You need to try and pay for as much school out of pocket as you can, loans will come back to bite you."

Whenever my work hours would go over 25, my grades really suffered. I actually regret working so much in the beginning, since I ended up paying more in the end, and with my post-college job my loans are ridiculously easy to manage.

My brother did this same thing, while I took loans and only worked 15hrs/wk. He really regrets missing out on college because he was working too much- I really do not recommend this. I'm a few years out of school now and have paid off all my loans in a much more efficient, high paying way.

Dad: Go to college and get a degree, you don't want to work like this your whole life.
Went to college, fucked around, didn't get degree. Currently working the way he said I didn't want to work my whole life. He was right, this sucks.

Try working a few months in costruction during the summer. Thar will give you all the motivation you need. I didn't want to study anymore, and my dad took me with him during the summer break. I was very excited that I could have my own money. Believe me, doing roof tiles replacement during the mediterranean summer is an experience I'll never forget.
It also made me respect my old man a lot more for never complaining about the hard work he's doing so he could put food on our tables every day.

Learn how to study. That was one of my biggest problems. Everything in school came so easily to me that I graduated with honors without ever opening a book. It doesn't work like that in college. I got there and realized I had no idea how to properly study and I was in way over my head.

Research the Pomodoro Technique, it's great. Someone also recommended to treat college like a full-time job: 9-5 5 days a week on just studying, going to the library if you have to etc. Those are more tips for after you know your methods to actually study though....

Everyone is different when it comes to retaining knowledge. You might need to try a few different approaches before you find what works for you, but the important thing is you at least try and pay attention to whether it's working or not. If it isn't, try something else.
To give you an example, I thought I could get by just by reading through my notes before exams. It took me til my 2nd year of university to discover that, yes, I can remember things I read, but it was much more effective for me to write things down again. I found this out by accident, because some of my engineering classes allowed us to bring a hand-written 'cheat sheet' to the exam. I realized I didn't even really need to consult with the cheat sheet much because I could remember what I'd written on there.
So most of my studying after that point started to involve re-writing my class notes or writing up point-form summaries of important bits of my textbooks, and suddenly my exams became a whole lot easier despite the classes getting much harder.
You need to find what works for you.

I had to meet with an academic counselor and she highly recommended this method. One thing I forgot to mention was that she told me that where they see the most test improvement is in distributed learning (going back over notes every day, adding a bit on each time), and self quizzing/testing. Cornell Notes kind of make you do both of those things. They also saw the least improvement in rereading the book, highlighting, etc. I know a lot of people make flashcards but she dissuaded me HARD because they didn't work that great, and took way too much time to make.

"You'll hate everybody you work with if your try to get into film. I know you like movies and like making them, but most of the people you'll have to deal with will be insufferable."
One day into my intro to film studies course and I couldn't take it anymore. I never looked back.
As a former film editor, I can attest to this. The film world is full of pretentious "self-made" assholes who always know better than you do. About everything.
Perfect, I'll fit right in
I have a good feeling about you. I've always had an eye for talent.
Whats the other eye for?

Same goes for music. I was a guitar prodigy as a child, and I played a lot of gigs as a kid and a teenager, then as soon as i started to learn about money, I realized I was getting shafted by everyone. Then when I joined a band I realized how musicians are unprofessional narcissists, and venue owners are dishonest slobs. I learned that the industry is about who you know and who you fuck, and even then getting a break is like getting struck by lightning while getting bitten by a shark during a plane crash.

I recently quit my band to go to college. I know that feel man. I know musicians that work harder than anyone I know who are still below the poverty line. I also know many more musicians who dont do shit that make the same as the first group. No way in hell was I doing that.

Not all musicians are like that though, most are just trying to make a living--same as you were. There are dicks like that guy but I've found them to be more the exception than the rule. Most musicians I've met are actually really nice people; in a highly insular community like this where you work within the same pool of players and promoters on lots of different gigs, the people who act like toolbags don't get hired again because there are plenty of good players out there who can do the job and act like adults. Venue owners might have a little more room to be immature, but the vast majority of musicians I've met are not "unprofessional narcissists." In an industry where getting gigs is all about good word of mouth from other musicians, you simply can't act like that and still have steady employment.

This is exactly my experience. It's a living and all of my friends are working musicians and we all know each other and if we don't know someone we know someone who knows them.
Every once in a while a douchbag will surface in some rant on a local Facebook musician's network and he'll get quickly shuttled to the back of the line and find out that gigs are suddenly harder to get.
The moment that I let go of ridiculous notions of Making It Big and realized, ultimately, I'm a sideman that makes a good living, has the respect of my friends and fellow musicians, and am sought after as an asset by people I've never met personally, I changed my definition of success in the music business. At the local or even regional level, where I do most of my work, there is just no need to tolerate entitled asshats.

Exactly. Getting gigs is not a matter of "You play better than everyone else, therefore I will hire you." It's more like "You play well enough to hang in with this band, just like these 15 other people, but I know you and like you and you have a reputation for being on time and prepared, therefore I will hire you." Once your musicianship is at a certain level, getting gigs is more about how easy you are to be around and less about how well you play. Dickheads don't tend to get a lot of repeat business in that ecosystem.

I've been in the television industry for just under 10 years. In my experience very few of those people you're referring to actually make it to the top. Nobody, nobody wants to work with a douche. And the douches that I have had to endure, the douches that people are willing to put up with, are usually amazing at their job. If you talk the talk but cannot walk the walk, nobody in TV will hire you. Despite the size of the industry, everybody knows everybody (it seems) and you will not be able to get work. One of the things I love the most about my career is the people I work with. You get a bad egg every now and then, but that's life. It takes a special kind of person to deal with the constantly changing, physically demanding nature of this field. That being said, I totally understand how somebody would not want to be a part of it. There are plenty of careers that will challenge you in a way that suits you and is edifying. But you'll find douches in those fields too.

"If you're the smartest person in the room, you're in the wrong room."
You're missing the full quote. The second half is often far more practical than the first. "If you ever find you're the smartest man in the room, either find a different room or bring someone smarter into the room" - Michael Dell

Not so much my "parents were right" as "Holy Shit that was his plan"
I have a 5 year old and live in Texas. Mowing the lawn is a bitch in the summer heat. I'm mowing the lawn one summer and my 5 year old is peaking through the window from inside the Air Conditioned house drinking a juice box. I think to myself damn I can't wait for the boy to be old enough to do this bullshit. I should get him one of those bubble blowing lawn mowers to get him used to the idea. Then it hit me.
My parents had a picture of me following my dad mowing the lawn with my little toy mower. Which in retrospect is super dangerous, I'm lucky I didn't get hit with a rock or something.
The old man wasn't trying to spend time with me, he was training his replacement.

My dad taught me and made me mow the backyard on the old push-mower that he used as a kid. Absolutely hated it.
"Oh, well... hey! Your gramp's got an old gas-powered one. Little rusty, but it still works great. You might like it better!"
Boy, was I suckered in. He knew exactly what he was doing.
He Tom Sawyer'd me with that old thing, to trick me into using the gas mower.
My dad did the same, he gave me the gas powered push mower to mow part of the lawn while he mowed with the riding mower. Our lawns is fairly big though so the push mower takes a while. Once I was told I can upgrade to using the riding mower I was all for it.

My mum always said "everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end."
That's kinda stuck with me throughout many breakups, many jobs going south. It keeps me optimistic, and makes me work towards being better.

My dad always told me not to be in a rush to grow up. I wanted to be 16 so I could drive, 18 so I could go on those porn websites, 21 so I could go to the bars—now I'm 30 and I wish I was 12.
18 so I could go on those porn websites
Should we tell him?
nah, he's 30 now, he'll be fine.
Dude, they make you check a box and everything. You can't lie on that.
Maybe he meant it exactly literal. He might be providing source material...
Man, 18 is EVERYTHING here in Europe. Drinking, driving, heroin. It's great.

Being smart or talented don't mean shit. Being focused, driven, and hard-working does.

"You'll end up being just like us some day"
This is something I actively try to avoid.
me too, my dad's dead.
My parents were never right about anything. Narcissistic, criminally neglectful, and socially numb. I took 95% of their "parenting" and flipped it 180 to raise my own kids.
My sister and I are really proud of breaking that shit in 1 generation. Our kids are awesome, and we tell them.
I agree. Everything I learned about being a father, I learned by doing the opposite of what my father did. Sometimes an example of what not to do is just as good as an example of what you should do.

Save money when you are young. Start saving in your twenties. It does not have to huge and ambitious; 20 dollars each pay and do not touch it. You will have money to return to school if that is a great desire, a fund to invest, but do not spend it unless it will further a goal. A vacation is not a goal, the trip of a lifetime might be.

My parents didn't imbue any advice that I particularly remember. My grandfather on the other hand is a sage. "It's not how much you make, it's how much you spend. That's the trick to becoming wealthy" Man was he right. So many people get raises over the years and inflate their lifestyle. I've doubled my income while keeping my lifestyle comfortable but stagnant and put the extra income into savings and investments and it feels great. Want to know true freedom? Be debt free.

"Oh you wanna pick up chicks? Get them talking about their favorite subject, which always talking about themselves." Thanks Dad.

When attending a party/event/hangout: -Bring some form of food or drink. -You can never be overdressed. -Always offer to help out. Ive felt like an asshole plenty of times for not doing these things.

The one that has stuck with me the most as I have grown and experienced the world is: "The only thing lost by politeness is a seat on a crowded bus."
Even when everyone else is rude, unaccommodating, and generally mean to one another, that's the phrase I hear in my head over and over in my feeble attempt at being a decent person. Hold the door, put your shopping cart in the return area, and for goodness' sake, give up your seat to the older people and children.

"Take a good look at her mother, that's what shes going to turn out to be." Thanks dad.

"Don't be late, or you won't get a top comment on those reddit threads you talk about."

My father told me when I was around 13, and started asking about piercings and whatnot, that: "If you really want to rebel against society, ignore the people who claim to be rebelling". I'm now 26 and can see plain as day that " rebelling " (at least in the fashion sense) is now the norm and there is almost no more room for weird.

You know those little tiny things you do for people in high school? Like picking them up when you're the only one who can drive, or or always paying for them to do stuff with you since you're the only one with a job? Yea. You'll never talk to them again. Don't waste your time.
Wait a minute. Just because you aren't going to know someone you entire life doesn't mean that doing solids for them is all for nothing. You never know when you're going to need help from someone, if you scratched their back, they're more likely to scratch yours.
They can sometimes. Most of the time though, especially in high school, those people will never remember.

"You can't turn a hoe into a housewife."
this is great, i might need to get this tattooed somewhere to remind me this when my mind starts to wander.
Incoming: the white knight army.

"If violence is not working, you are just not using enough of it "

"It's all fun and games until you have to start shaving your ears. Genetics don't lie."

The people you choose to surround yourself with say a lot about your character to others.

Whichever ancient ancestor told my ancient ancestor that going north was a bad idea. Fucking Sweden winters man.