Wednesday, November 19, 2014


While talking with some of my students today and then with some of my grad student contemporaries (who are also significantly younger than I am), it occurred to me that this up and coming generation desperately needs a sunscreen song.

You remember the sunscreen song! It came out in the late 1990. It is actually called “Everybody’s Free (to Wear Sunscreen)”.

Well I am not trying to write the new sunscreen song, but all day I have been making dumb notes to myself about the really terrible advice I would give out if I were in any position to be giving out advice (which I rarely am, on account of my consistently poor behavior).

Below are some of the notes I have scribbled to myself. These are oddly upbeat for this blog, given that I am normally busy here doing my best Jean Paul Sartre impression. However, it is possible that this is a list I am going to revisit from time to time, until - you know - it is good.


Advice I Would Give if I Gave Advice.

Advice I Would Give if I Gave Advice.
by james bezerra

Don’t worry so much.

Your life is going to happen whether you agree to it or not.

Take a year off.

Or at least fantasize about it.

But definitely spend a year unloading trucks, or skinning fish.

Occasionally do things that don’t look good on a resume.

Do things so big and so weird and so messy and so strange that they never even make it onto your resume.

While you’re at it, make mistakes.

Make 'em big.

Make them full speed ahead.

Be scared.

Because - at times - you’re going to be anyway.

Sometimes the world is a scary place and that’s okay.

Learn to make friends with the scary.

And along the way, learn about failure, because it is the best education you will ever get.

And learn how to fail with implacable grace.

Learn to love the people who prop you up when they have to reason to.

Learn to be skeptical of anyone who is trying to sell you anything.

Have that second glass of wine, because no one ever sat there dying, looking back at their life and say to themselves, “I really wish I had had just a little bit less of a good time.”

Accept that you are just one of seven billion people stuck to a not terribly important wet rock spinning around a second-rate star in the boondocks of a weird looking galaxy tumbling endlessly through a universe that was probably some kind of mistake in the first place.

More than 100 billion people have lived on this planet so far and not a single one of them has gotten to live your life.

So be forgiving of yourself.

And be forgiving of the people around you. Everyone you’ll ever meet is living their own first draft in real time.

Don’t worry so much.

It’s entirely possible that no one has any of this figured out any better than you do.



Below is a piece that I revised for my creative non-fiction class. If you come here often, then you might remember that a really early version of this has appeared on this a long time ago. I never felt like I got it right, so I have been using my class to hone it. I’m still not sure if I am done honing it. I may have to continue honing it. Honing is a weird word if you type it enough …

All of the examples referenced in the piece below are taken from fact. Ish. Let’s just say that they are honed from the truth.