Life Lessons from Kiki’s Delivery Service

Kiki’s Delivery Service was one of my first movie memories, and it continues to be high on my favorites list to this day.  It struck a nice blend of the magical and mundane; the push for autonomy, stability, and maturity balanced with the need for comfort, good friends, and a good laugh. To me, this film is a perfect bridge between childhood and adulthood.

Kiki, the plucky young witch in training, discovered herself and her true passion, but not without uncertainty or hardship. Here are a few lessons that Kiki’s Delivery Service helped me carry into my own life:

1) You can’t be friends with everyone.



Making friends isn’t easy for a lot of people. Even the nicest, most outgoing person in the world won’t like or be liked by everyone, and while it might be hard not to take it personally sometimes, it’s not something you can force either.  Seek out the people you like, and who will like you for who you are. Don’t spend a ton of time stressing or trying too hard.

Thankfully, unlike in Kiki’s Delivery Service, we have the Internet now. New friends can be just a few clicks away.  🙂



2) On a similar note, not everyone will appreciate you.



It sucks when you go through a ton of effort for someone who doesn’t appreciate it. Whether it’s for a customer, boss, friend, or family member, it’s going to happen eventually, assuming it hadn’t happened already.

Try not to let this sour you. A good deed can be its own reward, but my advice is to stop doing so much for people who consistently don’t acknowledge or reciprocate it. There is a line between being generous and being used.


3) Moving away from home is harder than it looks.



Whether it’s going off to college, moving out of your parents’ house, or just moving to a new address, the first time is always the hardest. You might enjoy it or you might be nervous, but at some point or another, you’ll probably feel a little down or awkward.


This is normal. Just power through it. Big steps are called big steps for a reason.

4) Balancing a social life and “adult life” can be really, really hard.

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Having a job is great, unless you hate it. Having a social life is great. But try balancing the two on top personal time, school, and everything else, and things don’t always work out the way you want them to. The call of the bills is a powerful one, and I suggest that you enjoy not having to pay them as long as possible.

The key to balance is prioritizing, time-consciousness, and keeping your expectations realistic. It’s not always ideal, but you’re less likely to be bummed out when plans fall through.

Some days, you might just be too tired to do anything.



5) Even your favorite jobs will have slow days.


It’s just a fact of life: not every minute of every day can be exciting. I say don’t smile if you don’t feel like it, but try not to wallow in misery either. A worthy distraction can do the trick, so set your mind to a task or plan to do something fun when you have the chance.



6) Inspiration comes and goes.



Creativity is a strange thing. Sometimes, it comes naturally, and other times it doesn’t. There’s nothing seriously wrong with you when that happens, and it doesn’t make you bad at what you loving doing.

It’s easy to envy others when you’re not sure what you want to do, but even the most passionate, committed people have doubts and slumps. You are different, so how and what you discover may be entirely different from someone else’s path.


7) It’s okay to be alone.



When I was traveling in Tokyo, I went with a small group of other college students. At first, we all stayed together, a bit lost and overwhelmed by such a different place, but in time, we branched out and explored more. The two other girls on the trip weren’t very nice to each other or to me, and I finally decided that in my free time, I would either do things with the guys or go off completely on my own. I would have rather taken a trip like this with my best friends or family, but I refer you to lesson #1 above.

Sometimes if you don’t go off and do things on your own, you won’t end up doing anything at all. It’s okay to want time to yourself. It’s okay to strike it out on your own. Friends are nice, but you can’t wait around all day for someone to be available. You definitely can’t expect friends to move with you.



8th, last, and most importantly of all: Always sit on your skirt.

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Enough said.





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