Five Rules For Life: R18 Writer Julia Casella

What you may not know about former R18 intern/current Birchbox Social Media Associate/R18 writer Julia Casella is that she is the wind beneath my WINGS. From being my stunt-double at events when I’m traveling or on deadline to contributing content to the site to testing out curly hair salons (Julia’s blessed with gorgeous natural curls), to informing me about the Italian translation of “tiramisu” (lift me up, literally) as she’s first-generation American with both Italian-born parents, to educating me about must-have apps like Weather Pup to sharing her insights on awesome Italian beauty products to making me majorly jealous of her NYU schedule of classes like Rise Of Internet Media (can you even?!). She even emails me with lovely suggestions for books and movies I’d like, and she’s always right. I like to joke that her former Lucky and Marie Claire beauty department internships make her much more qualified to write my blog than I am, but I’m somewhat serious. If I had a time machine, I’d have done college just the way she did it instead of spending the majority of my years at BU laying around on various roommates’ beds talking about boys peppered with chapters of Camus and Sartre and “working” at the law school’s faculty services department doing research for a field in which I even knew then I didn’t really want to be employed. Since I learn a lot from Julia, I asked her to school my lovely readers with her Five Rules. Here they are, in her words.

1. Own an agenda.

I plan, therefore I am.  I honestly do not know how I would function without my agenda—everything I need to do is so neatly outlined in pencil (always pencil!) and sticky notes. And while I am an Apple/ iPhone fanatic, I enjoy my old school planning and don’t see myself taking going fully digital anytime soon. But if that works for you then iPhone away my friend—just be organized! It really makes all the difference.

2. Only boring people are bored. 

The most annoying thing a person can say is “I’m bored”. Fine, I understand that you can be bored “with” something (job, boyfriend, nail color) but shut up and do something about it. And never be bored “I have nothing to do” bored—this confuses and frustrates me. How can you possibly have nothing you want to do?

3. Be nice, but you know, not nice.

I don’t particularly like the word nice; I feel like it is often used negatively, and almost synonymously with the word naïve. But it’s important to be nice—as in actually nice. Remember, we are all human so treat people with respect, don’t assume everyone is out to get you and be sensitive to the fact that we all have bad days.

4. Count your blessings. 

Whenever I am stressed or overwhelmed or just plain sad I remind myself of all the great things I have. This isn’t the “Finish your dinner, there are starving kids in Africa” approach—that is all about guilt and doesn’t even work. Instead, if you think about all the good things you have, you will instantly feel happier—it might not change the problem at hand but I guarantee it will change your perspective.

5. No heavy baggage. 

I think it is important to work on dealing with the things that weigh on you instead of letting them loom and intensify. Making peace with yourself and those around you will only bring you closer to that crazy elusive feeling we humans call happiness.

And literally: don’t have heavy baggage. I have paid over-weight luggage charges far too many times in my life and it is not worth it.  I used to make packing lists and live in fear of forgetting something but you know what…you can always buy it at your destination or better yet, learn to live without it.  Just don’t forget a really good moisturizer.

Thanks, Julia! Stay tuned for more Five Rules.

 “Five Rules,” is a series on Rouge18 in which I ask others to share their five rules for life about anything and everything. You can learn a lot about a person by reading which five things govern their actions, no? 

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