Daria was one of my favorite television shows growing up. It aired between 1997 and 2002 which was the exact time I needed to watch this show. I mean, I was reaching my teens and was afraid of high school, I didn't fit in, I was a nerd. I didn't have any heroes.
But my mom sat me down one evening and said, "Paul, let's watch this together". So we did and I learned so much about myself, the world around me, and life in general. And that made me realize that pre-teens and teens today can still learn so much from the fictional character that stole my heart at a young age.
Here are the 10 most important lessons I've learned from the love of my life:
1. The Importance of Coffee
When someone says that they "believe in coffee for everyone". There must be something really important about it. And, man, was she right. I'm glad I learned at a young age that coffee is the fuel that powers the engine of my brain-car.
2. How to Deal with the Over-dramatic People
Back then I didn't know how this would apply but these days, I recognize that -- sometimes -- the best way to react to someone who is constantly complaining is to just shut them down. Or maybe make them realize that their problems aren't as giant as they think they are.
3. How to Stay Professionally Patient
For as long as I can remember people have been asking about dream jobs, careers, etc. And at times, I would feel defeated and confused because all of my peers had these ideas in their head while I didn't. But Daria taught me that it's important take my time with these kinds of decisions. I wasn't the same person I was when I was 15 and I won't be the same person when I'm 45, so I have to remember that I shouldn't lock myself into something at such a young age.
4. How to Look Through Corporate Bullshit
Let's face it. All of America is a commercial. If something isn't trying to make you buy something then it's probably a wild animal you saw when you got home at 4 in the morning after a long night. It was important for me to remember that there are bigger pieces in motion than what is shown to me.
5. How to Stop Being So Goddamn Naive
I was a very trusting kid growing up. It led to a lot of shitty people in my life that weren't actually friends and it made me realize that I should keep some distance between myself and others. Now, this at times can seem like a pretty terrible thing to do but it's also a good way to gauge the people in let into your life.
6. That I Truly Don't Fit In with Society
I spent most of my youth thinking, reading, and writing weird stuff in journals. This doesn't fit into the society's idea of what they want you to be. I think the awareness of self and where you do fit in is important to one's growth. So if you're a teen who doesn't fit in that's reading this, there's a very weird place for you to actually grow. Just acknowledge that where you are now is not that place.
7. How to Do Everything with Purpose
Sure, the screencap above is funny in that cynical kind of way but it's also pretty thought-provoking. If you go through life "smiling" at everything "without reason" how will your later "smiles" have any significance? How will you know you're not doing something because you're told to instead of doing something because you want to? Daria gave me reason -- as ridiculous as that sounds.
8. How to Sarcasm Properly
Sarcasm is probably the most important weapon in one's verbal arsenal. You can literally take people down a peg with one sarcastic remark. And with that same remark you can make others laugh until liquid shoots out of their nose. Perfecting the Art of Sarcasm is something that'll take you far in life. Probably (this is sarcasm).
9. That the Exterior is Not as Important as the Interior
Sometimes we all get wrapped up in trying to "look good". Whether it's the clothes that we buy or the way we style our hair or the way we edit our Instagram/Facebook photos, we all get wrapped up in it. But it's important to remember that this isn't what matters at all. It's the conversation, the mind, the interesting experiences have and the way you share them with others is what's important.
10. Proper Relationship Goals
Hashtag: Relationship Goals wasn't a thing when I was growing up but they all seem to be really weird and invasive. I think one of them was like "Touch Him While He Plays Call of Duty". Which is unhealthy and disgusting, I mean if you wanted to be with someone that doesn't pay attention to you why don't you date a wall? Anyway, Daria is right. The only thing that matters is the common interest in "pizza toppings". And if you unpack this a little bit, you can say that the only real relationship goal you should have is having the same interests and the ability to share them with that person. That's the only Hashtag: Relationship Goal I have.
And there you have it. 10 pearls of wisdom young folk can learn from two older folk (even though one of them is a cartoon and the other is a ghost). Keep these things in mind when going about your life and share them with your friends. It'll only result in a better, more rewarding life.