Don’t Have Children

This may seem counter intuitive, but having children is pretty much the only sure way to squash enjoying your youth as a meaningless void marked only by shame and regrets.
Nothing stunts childish behavior like an actual child. Children make you wake up, eat, and clean; life’s top three productivity staples. Let’s face it, you can always adopt. But you can’t always wake up under a pool table in Chinatown drunk and high at noon on a Tuesday, consequence and fancy free, if you’re a parent. Unless you want to deal with the guilt and/or the law. And you don’t.
So smash your biological clock and get a pet – a fish or a plant – something you won’t ever have to bury or explain life to, and that you can’t go to jail for killing. Go ahead and waste your precious and fleeting youth the way you want and the way man intends — single, sexually active and barren.


Follow a Band

Not a big band. I’m talking about living for some small scene that no one’s heard of…Yet. Become consumed with a local band with any bit of a following that boasts attractive yet accessible band members who are featured routinely in the local free paper. Romanticize their talent and convince yourself that by going to all of their shows and partying/sleeping with them that you’re part of something big, on the ground level. Spend your time between shows shopping for ironic outfits and procuring illicit drugs to cement your allure.
Just know that somehow the whole scene will blow up and they’ll take you on tour with them to remote Eastern European locations (not to mention the on-stage shout outs and the liner note thanks). Plan on how you will someday slip into casual conversations, “Oh, I used to hang out with Pony Mountain way back when in Baltimore…” winning the respect and admiration of all those around you. It’ll be easy to convince yourself of their impending stardom as you’ll never hear the band sober or during the daytime. Plus, you have absolutely nothing else going on.


Move around a lot. Every couple years or so, to keep a sense of chaos and upheaval. It takes less than that to get sick of your tiny room and the nagging existence of your roommates anyway, so it’ll be easy. Just find the best deal and live there for as long as you can stand it. Then repeat. If you get sick of one city, move to another, or to another country. Ironically, travelling is a good way to stay in exactly the same place in your life.
Move around a lot, and be certain to have nothing to show for it. Maybe even lose a journal, some film, or artwork in one of the moves.
Continue to tell people you are an artist as you shuffle your meager belongings from one shoddy living situation to the next. Just keep working your increasingly excruciating day job and managing (at least a little) between sobs and hiccups to get a few words down, drawings sketched, tunes hummed. Nothing substantial. You are a gypsy, a bohemian, an artist, a pioneer. Cling to these euphemisms and forge on into working class mediocrity, combing your greasy bangs in front of your downward gaze with your nail bitten fingertips.