Get Happy
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Life Lessons Learned from Orange Is The New Black

I confess I’m four years so embarrassingly late to the saga of Orange Is The New Black. An avid follower of many other series, I don’t know how I managed to blindly skip this one. But since getting a brand new curved smart television (which really is just the same as any regular flat screen television, except it’s curved and way more awesome), I’ve been watching the tube a lot.

You have to know, I’m not much of a TV person. I find my mini laptop suffices (although if you saw the size of it, you’d probably recommend I switch to a more sizeable machine).

But now that Netflix is literally a click away on the big screen, I’ve been on it for much more than I should admit.

To kick things off, OITNB is pure remarkable. The plot is no ordinary plot; the script deftly, poignantly, and beautifully written; the characters so fitting they are the actors or the actors are them; all in all the sui generis spectacle deserves all the success it has reaped.

And most importantly for our sake, it teaches us life lessons we may never obtain elsewhere. Unless of course we religiously binge-watch all three seasons in two weeks. We now gather some of our favorites from the past three seasons as we go back to being our normal, ordinary selves in our normal, ordinary lives until OITNB season four returns next year.

Know your literature and respect it.
When we were little, being called a bookworm meant you were a laughingstock. Don’t sweat it. In fact, embrace it. Being well-read will only make you a better, more well-rounded person. And you’ll be able to do name-drop all over your non-bookworm friends. Does that make you smarter than everyone else? Sure does.


Embrace your weirdness.
You’re weird, they’re weird, everyone’s a little weird. If you know someone who is not weird aka normal (whatever normal means), it’s likely you just don’t know them well enough. There’s always a place for weirdness for people who choose to like and love you. As for those who don’t? They are not the people you want to be around.


Don’t be a rude person.
It’s simple, really. Maybe you aren’t the kindest, sweetest, most affectionate person in your family, or among your friends or coworkers. And that’s okay. But at the very least spare everyone of your bad manners. Or you may, one day, get run over by a high-speed prison van. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.


Get your grammar straight!
Grammar ignorance is never a bliss.


Ugh, people.
It’s okay to get away from people and the noise and clutter of people. Sometimes we just need to be alone. There’s no shame in being by yourself.


Know your lady parts.
Um, what? Yes we mean it. Do you know them well? Maybe your eighth-grade teacher didn’t do that good of a job teaching them or you slept through most classes. Either way, refresh and educate yourself (and relevant others) on the what and where of your private elements.


Bitches gots to learn.
Don’t screw someone over if you don’t want to be screwed over. Life is messy enough as it is; don’t add to the mishmash.


Pizza never gets a bad rep.
Never. Over centuries, pizza has somehow earned a seat in the food empire as being one of the most longstanding, influential, and adored fare in the world across cultures, oceans, and continents. But the amazing this about pizza? It remains humble. It doesn’t brag or try to bring others down. It’s no wonder everyone loves pizza.


Kindness is underrated.
In this world we often think of as cruel, kindness is irreplaceable.


True friends tell it like it is.
Honesty—yet another virtue many of us find so difficult to express. How else are your loved ones going to know if you don’t tell them the truth? Sugarcoating is for cupcakes and cookies.


Don’t be cheap.
You are a lady. Act like one.


You gotta look your part.
Appearances matter. Even Mandela said so. You may feel confident and great on the inside, but the outside is what counts to the people around you because that’s the measure by which they judge you (fortunately or unfortunately). A big part of your image is shaped by what you look like on the outside and the outside can also help boost the inside.


When all else fails, get a haircut.
Ever feel like you are just stuck in a rut in life? Nothing, big and small, is going right. You don’t get the promotion you expected. Your pet iguana dies allegedly of pneumonia. It’s rainy season and the roof of the house is leaking. You’ll find a solution to your problems we are sure, but one small thing you can do right now to boost your mood: get a haircut. Chopping off those locks can somehow free you and introduce a new leaf.


Don’t be blind to others’ kindness. There are things and people in this world in this lifetime you may never be able to repay. But at the very least, try.


Your problems are so small.
Your favorite ice cream flavor is sold out. Your wool sweater gets tangled with a tree branch. You’re in the shower and realize you’re out of soap. Our everyday problems seem so huge at the time. But we all know how little they really are. It’s all a matter of perspective.


Appreciate the littlest things.
You’re so sick of mashed potatoes of dinner. You’re tired of having to take the bus every morning. And that ugly, ugly sweater. You hate it all.
Until you have none of it anymore.


Let go of whatever you can’t change.
Let’s accept that most things are beyond our control. We can and should only try to make the most of a situation, good and bad. Sometimes we forgive not because the other person deserves it; it’s because we deserve peace.


Filed under: Get Happy


Stephanie is the founder and curator of Chléa Living, and copywriter for Chléa Consulting. A peanut butter lover and a sucker for big band music, Stephanie loves to bake, karaoke, and obsesses over making lists. Her biggest pet peeve is a messy space, which is why she loves cleaning and organizing. While she loves waking up in the morning to make a smoothie and meditate, her secret dream is to win an eating competition (shhh). Follow @stephaniejaya on Instagram for a daily dose of all things sunny, happy, and yummy!


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