I’ve never been a big fan of “the birthday.” While I certainly appreciate the extra love on Facebook from people I haven’t seen since Myspace was the accepted social network, I just don’t feel the need to be celebrated for a full 24 hours. What did I accomplish? Being born? Shouldn’t you be sending wishes to the woman who went through horrific labor in order to literally squeeze me out into this world? I mean, really. Nonetheless, regardless of how undeserving I may feel of the cakes and checks, I can’t help but reflect on what I’ve learned up to this point and how I’d like to use those lessons to keep the mid-life crisis at bay.
I’m just a 26-year-old girl, sitting in front of a screen, hoping that you won’t make the same mistakes that I made. But if you did, guess what? Everything ends up working out just fine.
What I’ve learned:
1. Gratitude is happiness. There is tremendous power in positive thinking.
2. No matter how bad you screw up, you are capable of changing your course. You can create the life you want. Never give up.
3. Friends come and go, and that’s okay.
4. Sunscreen is important. I know this because I have had the same square tanline on my tush for over a year now. #OutsideLands2012
5. Having expensive things is only temporarily satisfying. Friendship, love, and adventure are worth so much more than fancy possessions.
6. Always be honest. Trust is easily broken.
7. As cliche as it sounds, life really does fly by. When I was in elementary school, I spent so much time wishing I was older. Now that I am officially old, I realize how important it is to breathe and stay in the moment.
8. Never take your family for granted. They can be gone, or become ill, in an instant. Cherish every moment.
9. Leggings are not pants. Cover your ass.
10. Never compare yourself to others and what they have. We each have our own special journey. You are exactly where you’re supposed to be.
11. I don’t care how tired you are. Red Line is not something you should ever put into your body. Unless, of course, you get a sick thrill from an almost-heart-attack.
12. Say yes. Eat the escargot. Jump out of that plane. Take the trip. Take a chance.
13. Suit up and show up, no matter what. Nobody likes a flake.
14. Your struggles and fears can help another person. Don’t be afraid to speak up and share your story.
15. Endorphins are real. Make fitness a priority.
16. The world will disappoint you. Your heart will break. But know this: No feeling is final.
17. Ignorance is not bliss. Zip up your damn purse. You are not immune to pickpocketers.
18. That piece of pizza won’t kill you. Carbs are okay. No…carbs are awesome. Moderation is key and imperfection is beautiful.
19. Just do it. Procrastination is a great way to move backwards.
20. Don’t waste your time feeling bad for yourself. If you’re experiencing self-pity, snap the hell out of it. For the most part, you are in control of your own happiness. If you’re in a deep depression, seek out help.
21. Some people are idiots, but there is no reason to send hatred towards anyone.
22. Embrace fear. Walk through it. No…run. Look fear in the face and say, “SUCK MY DICK.”
23. It’s okay to start over more than once.
24. Waking up early is always a good idea. The snooze button is always a bad idea.
25. You might neglect your blog (or *insert passion here*) for almost a month. Realize that this is a terribly selfish thing to do, but don’t beat yourself up. Just keep writing.
26. Draw an imaginary circle around yourself–invite people in or keep them out.