1. That feeling right after you shave your legs for the first time in a while and you can’t stop running your hands up and down your silky marble columns and you imagine that this is what a mermaid must feel like.
2. The sleepovers you used to have with all your girlfriends where you would eat junk food, read girly magazines, and watch scary movies. (As well as the realization that you can now have the same exact sleepovers, except this time with alcohol!)
3. When you magically find a foundation or tinted moisturizer that’s in your shade. You hold it up to the sky as the clouds part and Jesus himself floats down on a ray of sunshine to be like, “It’s your time, girl. Cover those blemishes with ease and grace.” And then he butterfly kisses you and floats back up.
4. When said moisturizer doesn’t cost 60 dollars.
5. Giving yourself an orgasm and realizing, hey, I’m not with some lame guy that I have to pay attention to. I can do this shit as many times in a row as I want!
6. Sex toy parties where everyone starts with coquettish giggling and finishes handing by each other double-ended vibrating dildos and high-fiving over cocktails filled with dick-shaped ice cubes.
7. Being able to conceive, carry, and give birth to — or adopt and mother as your own — another human life. Whether or not it’s your personal choice to do so in life, it’s still pretty awe-inspiring and incredible to think about. Big ups to my mother for giving birth to 10 pound, 4 ounce baby me, and then raising me through my My Chemical Romance phase. Neither of those things could have seemed rewarding in the moment, but she soldiered through it like the boss bitch she is.
8. Boobies, and that one freakum bra that every girl has in the back of her drawer that makes them look deceptively perky and squishy and round and perfect.
9. The hours-long conversations you have with a girlfriend where you start off talking about some minor thing that happened in your day and somehow end up going through a mystical voyage through every ex you’ve both ever had and analyzing their existential meaning in the universe.
10. The feeling of riding around on your daddy’s shoulders when you were teeny tiny and feeling so high up and indestructible.
11. The weird surge of “Let me love it forever” and “Why do I want to eat it?” that flows through your whole body when you see a particularly cute baby, or a really on-point DILF playing with his little girl. (This goes triple if said little girl is dressed in a ballerina/princess outfit.)
12. Motha. Fuckin. Tea. Parties.
13. When you see a couple of little old ladies laughing and having a cocktail or a pot of tea in the middle of the afternoon, trading gossip and talking about what you hope is all the rockabilly-era dicks they tore through.
14. Imagining what it will be like when you and your BFF are both 80, gossiping out in the sun and watching people go by.
15. The relative freedom you have in terms of what you wear to the office. You’re not limited to a boring pair of khakis, or the same stifling suit (no matter how hot they may look). You can mix it up and wear everything from Michelle Obama classic jewel tones to Meryl Streep Devil Wears Prada extravagance.
16. The feeling when you’re with a good group of girlfriends and have the deep relief of being able to be fully and completely yourself. You can quote Sex and the City, you can order the chili cheese fries, and you can discuss the merits of various nail polish brands at length, without even a moment of guilt.
17. When you run into your ex and you’re wearing just the right dress, and you just flash that over-the-shoulder look like “Yeah, you hopped off this train at the wrong station. Choo choo, asshole.”
18. The five seconds before “ugh, my period” where you’re like “yisssssss, my period!!!”
19. Putting on a facial mask and enjoying the green, swamp-creature-esque look in the mirror way too much to take it off.
20. When your hair is having one of those days where everything is bouncing and curling and shining in the right proportions and, instead of just turning around to do something, you swish with all the elegance and radiance of a Pantene Pro-V commercial.
21. The days when your bra and panties match and it literally feels like you could become President as a direct result of this.
21. When you see a nice candid photo of yourself laughing and you realize, if only for a moment, that that is what is actually beautiful about you, even if you look a little silly. It’s not the makeup you’ve been buying, or the clothes that nip in just at the waist, or the time someone told you you were sexy in bed. It’s when you’re happy, and un-self-conscious, and radiating a generosity of spirit. Sure, it might fade immediately, but it’s sure a nice antidote to everyday life when it happens.