When I was a little kid, I was a lot of trouble. I was curious, I got into everything, and I had no fear. So a word I heard frequently during my childhood was “stop.” Stop trying to paint the poor dog’s nails with mom’s nail polish. Stop climbing out of your crib at 2am to pull out all of the clothes in your dresser. Stop giving your little cousin a haircut with the nail scissors you somehow found on the top shelf of the medicine cabinet. Seriously, I was a tiny little terrorist.
Anyway, as a result of hearing that word so often as a kid, I became pretty averse to the word “stop.” For a long time, I hated when anyone told me to stop doing anything, even if what they were saying was in my best interests. But recently, maybe as a result of maturing or maybe because I realize my life is a hot mess, I’ve come around to thinking that there are quite a lot of things I – and probably you – actually need to stop doing – asap.
Stop Trying To Fit In.
At Boston University’s 2015 commencement, Meredith Vieira made this point: “The shark on the right knew every dance move…But it was the left shark, the one who went rogue and danced to his own crazy beat, who stole the show. So don’t ever be a conformist for convenience sake.” Listen to Meredith – be the left shark. There’s always going to be someone prettier or smarter or cooler – but trying to imitate them isn’t going to get you anywhere. You’re pretty awesome just the way you are.
Stop Bitching…Most Of The Time.
Ok, we all complain, and frankly it’s good release of stress and tension. But at the end of the day, most of us have it pretty good, and it’s time to stop the (incessant) whining. Plus, no one likes to be friends with a Negative Nelly… although, I’d really like to be friends with “the” Nelly.
Stop Wasting Time On Shitty People.
Whether it’s the friend you should definitely break up with because she’s as toxic as nail polish remover or that guy that makes you feel crappy about yourself, you need to stop squandering time on them that could be spent on good friends and nice guys. Life is too short to spend it on people who suck…and who suck the life out of you.
Stop Saying No.
No is the reflexive response to things we are scared of. Maybe we are scared of making a mistake. Maybe we are scared of doing things outside of our comfort zone. Maybe we are scared of rejection. Not to be cliché, but we all know that the best things come when we are willing to go “there.” So stop saying no and just do it already. What the hell are you waiting for?
Stop Being Afraid to Say No.
What? Didn’t I just say…? Yeah, I did. But as much as you need to stop saying no to things that scare you, you also need to start saying no to the things you simply don’t want to do, but are afraid to decline. You don’t have an interest in dropping $250 bucks to see Beyoncé with your #squad? Opt out. You have meeting at 8am, but your roommate wants you to pick her up at the airport at 2am? Suggest that she take an Uber. Your boyfriend realllllllllllllllly wants to try #buttstuff and it’s just not your thing? Tell him the only thing going near your ass are your Vicky’s undies. Accept that sometimes it’s ok to say no, even to people that you love. If they don’t accept that you aren’t a doormat, ask yourself exactly how much they love you back.
Stop Trying To Be Trendy.
I can’t wear knee high boots – my exercise of choice is biking and my calves are just too big. But yet I KEEP TRYING TO BUY KNEE HIGH BOOTS. Like, I can’t stop. I try them on constantly, they never fit right, and I always get bummed out. All because I love the knee-high-boot trend and want to be a part of it since it looks so cute on everyone else. But we all – myself included – need to accept that there are some trends that just aren’t going to work for us, and there are some that will (god bless booties). So dress for you, not for trends. And on that note…
Stop Wearing Jean Shorts That Are Cut So They Look Like A Jean Diaper.
Don’t act like you don’t know what I mean. Remember a few years ago when one of the diaper companies came out with a denim looking diaper for babies that we all thought was a joke and it wasn’t? That’s how those jean shorts look on everyone. So let’s all agree to just stop those, ok?
Stop Holding Onto The Past.
Whether you are holding on to “the way it used to be” that you wish it was now, or you are letting old mistakes haunt you, you can’t move forward if you are always looking back. Just.Let.It.Go.
Stop Being Afraid To Do Nothing.
I find it very hard to do nothing. Hell, I’m writing this column while I’m on vacation. As much as I joke about sitting on my couch and binge-watching “Murder Mountain,” I’m usually doing with that with my laptop open or a school book in front of me. While I like to think of it as being some kick-ass multi-tasking (which it obviously is), it’s also not relaxing, and we all need to actually relax once in a while. As long as you aren’t going to miss a major deadline or flake out on a responsibility, it’s fine – even good for you – to do absolutely nothing once in a while.
Stop Being Fine.
Fine is the most contradictory word in the English language. It’s the word we use when we are anything but actually “fine.” We use it when our boyfriend does something that pisses us off, but we don’t want to make it a big deal; we use it when a friend hurts our feelings, but we don’t want to let it show; we use it any time something or someone offends us, but we are afraid to say something. We all have a right to our feelings, and it’s about time we stopped saying we’re fine when we’re not. Saying how you feel isn’t crazy; it’s standing up for yourself.
There’s only one good kind of running, and it involves sneakers and cute work out gear. All of the other kinds – running from your problems, running from your fears, running from relationships, running in a way that doesn’t involve a race, but does involve competing with others – aren’t good for you emotionally, and they certainly aren’t cardio.
Stop Having #SquadGoals.
#SquadGoals are for Instagram. Aim for having real-life, legitimate friendships that you don’t need 1000 takes or a filter to capture.