37 Things I Know At 37

  1. Where you come from shapes where you end up, one way or another.
  2. Better living through chemistry is not only possible, but transformational.
  3. Living the unexamined life sounds kind of restful sometimes, but who are we kidding.
  4. Heartbreak is not fatal.
  5. I am lucky that I escaped my bar years without becoming a drunk–or becoming dead.
  6. We should all read more poetry.
  7. I have the best mother and sister in the world.
  8. In my head, I feel as young at 37 as I did at 17 ( except in some of my joints.) It is shocking to realize I’m not, and I mean truly, deeply shocking.
  9. My anti-authoritarian streak might prevent me from ever being happy working for someone else.
  10. I’m still sure I’m supposed to have kids, but I’m no longer sure I’ll be able to make it happen.
  11. The sticky toffee pudding at Queen Vic on H Street is the best thing there is to eat in DC.
  12. My idea of what a successful life looks like for me is much simpler than I ever imagined it would be…but simple doesn’t mean easy to attain.
  13. I’m not an atheist.
  14. Well- groomed eyebrows magically improve everything.
  15. I should have pursued a truly, boldly creative life.
  16. Never skimp on Ziplocs, trash bags, Kleenex, or toilet paper. The cheap versions suck.
  17. Caring about how much other people like me has been the single most limiting factor in my life. I wish I knew how to stop.
  18. Writers write. Me too.
  19. Things are connected in irrational and inexplicable ways. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
  20. Emotional intelligence is the best kind of intelligence.
  21. Finding someone to fall in love with is only one tiny part of the battle.
  22. Prescription sunglasses are the bomb.
  23. I should have taken much better care of my skin when I was younger. Now, putting my makeup on in direct sunlight ruins my day.
  24. I need to increase my tolerance for discomfort from its current level, which is zero.
  25. I really, really, really want to live abroad at some point.
  26. Friendships last for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Believing this lessens the pain of the ones that can’t go the distance.
  27. Sex should often be funny.
  28. Err on the side of kindness. You never know what’s going on in people’s lives.
  29. I need to become, simultaneously, much more open and much more armored if things are going to go the way I need them to.
  30. Hating my younger self for her poor choices is a waste of energy, but hard to stop because OMFG what a weak-willed, short-sighted idiot.
  31. Always, always, always go to the funeral. There is no busy/awkward/they won’t notice excuse that is acceptable. Learning how to deal with grief is an essential part of being a grownup.
  32. Grating nutmeg freshly each time really does make a huge difference.
  33. Orgasms can cure headaches, insomnia, boredom, and sadness, especially if someone else is in the room with you.
  34. Class warfare is a real thing and if you don’t think so, your staff definitely does.
  35. Just sing if it makes you happy. F-ck the haters.
  36. Actually, f-ck the haters in general. But not with your loins.
  37. This is a marathon, not a sprint, so set a pace you can keep. TC mark
image – Scarleth White

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  • http://twitter.com/1chicklette One Chicklette

    Well done. I agree with a lot of these.

  • i see what you did there


    Better living through chemistry is not only possible, but transformational.” and by ‘chemistry’ you mean ‘drugs’, right?

    • Guest

      I assumed she meant anti-depressants. 

      • http://twitter.com/HilarityInShoes Hilarity in Shoes

        She did.

  • esavestheworld

    I love this.  This resonates.  And I’m only 31.

  • http://www.facebook.com/summer.gillen Summer Gillen

    This is so scary. Trying to picture myself learning these things in the next 15 years is daunting. Well done, thank you!

  • http://twitter.com/CowboySandtoes Cowboy Santos

    good list. 

  • http://twitter.com/sarahannelloyd Sarah Anne Lloyd

    “In my head, I feel as young at 37 as I did at 17 ( except in some of my joints.) It is shocking to realize I’m not, and I mean truly, deeply shocking.”

    Crap, so that never goes away?

    • http://www.facebook.com/grc15r Gregory Costa

       You’re only as young as the man you feel.  Anybody want to be 26? 

  • Veronica

    Your writing is so spiritually fulfilling for me, somehow. Thank you :)

    • http://twitter.com/HilarityInShoes Hilarity in Shoes

      What a nice thing to say. Thank you.

  • Tressie

    Number 10 hit home. 

  • http://twitter.com/kelvin_lee Kelvin Lee

    “Caring about how much other people like me has been the single most limiting factor in my life. I wish I knew how to stop.”
    So critically true… HOW DO WE DO THIS.

    • Blank

      drugs. lots and lots of drugs.

  • concerned youth

    number 15 really worries me as a 19 year old 

    • jess

      same age and same here

  • Lcdoe13

    Absolutely awesome, thank you.

  • liv

    thank you for number 3. 

  • Deirdre

    This really makes me think about how I want to spend the next 20 years of my life. Thank you!

  • Guest

    thank you for # 2. that makes me feel much better about making a decision I was absolutely terrified to make

    • Guest

      I didn’t understand #2. Care to explain?

      • guest

        I perceived it as not being afraid to take medicine for things like anxiety or depression, because they really can help

  • LazyReader

    I just turned 41 yesterday, so I’ll give you the next 4 years here:
    38. Inner beauty begins with pretty panties. In other words: it starts with you, deep down where the rest of the word doesn’t get to look, and it starts when you get up in the morning and ready for the day. If someone else gets to see it, they are lucky.
    39. Friends are the family we choose for ourselves. Choose wisely.
    40. You can always take a deep breath and say “This just doesn’t matter. I will not worry.”
    41. Are you living a life that is the result of your choices and yours alone? Then you can’t really complain, because you’re doing what you want to do on your own terms. If you don’t like it, it’s time to make a new choice and change. No one can actually, truly stop you.

    • matt good

       I’ve found #40 to be possibly the best advice to follow. It’s made me, if not happy, not unhappy and more accepting of the present and hopeful for the future.

  • Jessica Baumgartner

    “Orgasms can cure headaches, insomnia, boredom, and sadness, especially if someone is in the room with you.”

    AND menstrual cramps. sorry if this is too much information, but… it’s true. 

    • Anonymous

      works like a charm #overshare

  • guestin'away

    “Actually, f-ck the haters in general. But not with your loins.” Now those are what I call words to live by!

  • Annika

    Ciara, you’re truly my favourite writer here.  We’re not the same age
    but I’ll be heading there one day soon and I can totally relate to most
    if not everything you’ve written. 

    “In my head, I feel as young at 37 as I did at 17 ( except in some of my
    joints.) It is shocking to realize I’m not, and I mean truly, deeply
    shocking.

    I don’t think I’ll ever outgrow this.  I’m not immature but in my head I
    still feel as if I have never left my teens. I feel that something is
    wrong with me sometimes because I am much rather excited with new music
    released by a favourite band, than planning to to buy a car, etc., not
    that I can ever afford to, but I know people my age are into this, and
    according to facebook, many of my friends too.

    Number 10 depresses me…because as much as I don’t want to admit it,
    I’ve actually been thinking about it a lot.  I want to be a mum, and I
    can totally imagine myself being a good mum.But I’m afraid that won’t
    happen… I am broke and unstable, single (and nobody’s interested).
    Adopting is out of the question.  I didn’t think about these things
    until a year or two before, but now I am obsessing with the idea. I am
    not even the least bit jealous of friends who have kids (in fact they
    annoy me when they post their kids stuff – but that’s a diff story), but
    I want my own, sad but I don’t think it will happen. 
     

  • Guest

    #13, #15, #28 and #35-37 are just magnificent. This resonates with me as someone still in my early twenties! Keep up the great writing.

  • Anonymous

    I love that this list is a prime number, and well done! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1636013073 Ef Villegas

    18, 33 and 35. :) GMH ma’am.

  • Kate

    38. Be here now.
    39. This too shall pass doesn’t just apply to the good things. 

  • Sophia

    “Just sing if it makes you happy. F-ck the haters.” Words I live by! Thanks for this list, it’s awesome.

  • Kate

    prescription sunglasses really ARE the shit

  • http://lifeisnotamovie.net Robin

    If you can, just let it go and if you can’t try to understand it. 

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