A Young Person’s Manifesto for Navigating the World for the Next Five Years or So

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[Image: Grainy picture of Sage, head-to-shoulders, in a black coat. Water and island with rocks and trees behind them].
1. I will prioritize travel over stability even though it is easier to prioritize stability over travel. Whenever possible, I will attempt to travel to faraway lands, explore exciting places, and go on adventures.

2. I will find a way to make some kind of living from my art, even if I am just living for my art. Whatever else may pull at me, such as school or a job, I will know that, above and beyond, at my core, my art is the most important.

3. I will perhaps find a partner but I will not marry them or have children. Marriage is not for me, and children, if they ever happen, can wait to happen after five years or so.

4. I will find a healthy community of friends who are real, true friends and who will become like family. I will go on adventures with these people and I will hold them close. They will be equally as important to me as any romantic partners I may have.

5. I will not commit to anything for more than a year. I have been tied down by high-school and then by university. Eight-and-a-half years have passed. It is time to embrace more freedom than this. Any jobs or places will not hold me for more than a year.

6. I will attempt to expand my compassion for people with radically different viewpoints from my own (from vastly different communities than my own), even if their viewpoints harm me. This does not mean that I will allow them to hurt me, only that I will continue to see them as valuable people with some goodness inside of them, somewhere.

7. I will prioritize my mental health over ideas about “success” and other people’s expectations.

8. I will live a radical, as opposed to conventional, life. I will figure out exactly what that means to me.

9. If I am unhappy and a year has gone by, I will move on. I will not worry about “climbing the career ladder” or working towards a comfortable future. I will move on.

10. I will not get bogged down in a “plan” for my future. I know now that you cannot plan for your future.

 

Note: Other young people, or older people, are welcome to embrace, alter, or otherwise use this manifesto.

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