November 12, 2015


Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '99
Wear Sunscreen
If I could offer you only one tip for the future,
Sunscreen would be it
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists
whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now...

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth
oh nevermind;
you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded
But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself
and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before
you and how fabulous you really looked…

You are not as fat as you imagine
Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as
effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that
never crossed your worried mind

the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday

Do one thing everyday that scares you

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts

don't put up with people who are reckless with yours

Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind…

the race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself
Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults

if you succeed in doing this, tell me how

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life…
the most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives
some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't

Get plenty of calcium
Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone
Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't
maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't
maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding
what ever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either
your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's

Enjoy your body

use it every way you can…

don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it

it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own

Dance…even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room
Read the directions, even if you don't follow them
Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good
Be nice to your siblings
they are the best link to your past
and the people most likely to stick with you in the future

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle

because the older you get
the more you need the people you knew when you were young
Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard
live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft
Accept certain inalienable truths
prices will rise
politicians will philander
you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young
prices were reasonable
politicians were noble
and children respected their elders
Respect your elders
Don't expect anyone else to support you
Maybe you have a trust fund
maybe you have a wealthy spouse
but you never know when either one might run out
Don't mess too much with your hair
or by the time you're 40, it will look 85
Be careful whose advice you buy, but
be patient with those who supply it
Advice is a form of nostalgia
dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off
painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth
But trust me on the sunscreen

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