26 Things I Learned Being 26

Today, I am officially 27 years young. But before I go off on an existential tangent over whether 27 is “late 20s” or “mid 20s” and how, either way, I’m three years away from 30… allow me to share with you the 26 things I learned this past year.

1. I learned that if a guy wears a $650 David Yurman Star of David necklace, he’s probably a no.

2. I also learned that with the perfect diet plan and work environment, you can gain 10 pounds in a year – easily.

3. I also learned that making completely new friends is really hard and terrible. Dating is a joke compared to friend finding.

4. I learned that, no matter how uncomfortable the confrontation, it’s always better to call or text them rather than email them.

5. I learned the difference between every day and everyday. Every day means literally every single day. Everyday is an adjective, i.e. “everyday jeans.” Sure, I write for a living but that doesn’t mean I’m an editor.

6. I learned to control my online shopping problem. I went from six boxes waiting for me in front of my door on a weekly basis to zero (okay, maybe one).

7. In direct relation to the just-written statement, I learned that Nasty Gal is almost always ill-fitting and not okay, which subsequently fueled my weaning off internet shopping.

8. You can still enjoy cinnamon cereal without devouring an entire box of sugary crack cocaine that destroys your innards (Cinnamon Toast Crunch). The name of said substitute? Cinnamon Chex.

9. If a guy has only ever ejaculated twice in his entire sexual history… it’s NOT you.

10. I learned how to peel a banana the right way – yes, from the bottom. Don’t question me on this. It’s the true way whether or not you want to conform.

11. Dating a man in uniform isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – especially if that uniform is a flannel, a baseball cap, and glasses.

12. As much as I absolutely hate doing it, storing salad in a specified salad container does keep it fresher longer. So annoying and responsible, though.

13.  I realized, even though it’s still very hard for me to remember in times of desperation and upset, that 9 out of 10 times… everything works out. It really does. So many minutes and hours of my days have been (and will probably continue to be) wasted on agonizing over the smallest, stupidest shit that amounts to nothing in the end. If I had a dime from every time I got stress zits over deadlines that ended up being pushed back a week, I’d have enough money to buy top-of-the-line zit cream and also maybe not have to work a full-time job.

14. Kimonos with fringe at the bottom look really cool, but if you’re under 5’8″, they will simultaneously attempt to murder you by way of tripping throughout of the course of the day.

15. Not that I didn’t already know this, but you can literally learn whatever it is you need to know in mere nano seconds via Google. The internet truly is amazing (still and always). If I couldn’t Google things like “how do I insert transitions between every slide on iMovie,” I wouldn’t have been able to make my sister sob like a baby at her rehearsal dinner.

16. I learned that I actually enjoy encountering stand-offish humans because it dares me to be even more uncomfortably open and honest than usual. If I can tell this person is both awkward and disinterested, I like to keep on keepin’ on until they crack a smile or conclude I’m the worst.

17. Sober first dates are mutually exclusive and I won’t hear any differently.

18. I learned that, not only can Bluetooth allow me to make calls hands-free while in a moving vehicle, but it can also stream my music via Pandora, Spotify, what have you into my car speakers and out to my ears. Yes, I didn’t know that before this last year. And yes, I’ve had my same car with Bluetooth technology since 2010.

19. I learned that if someone in your life ever admits to you that they feel second fiddle in your company, run. Run as fast as you fucking can and don’t look back.

20. I started taking vitamins. This is probably the newest “learn” I have. Did you know that water is necessary after vitamin intake because your body has to use more H2O to digest the ‘mins? Well, now you do. #healthnut #healthnutwholovesanythingunhealthy

21. I learned this past year that your mood can change for the better, always. Even if you start the day on the completely wrong side of the bed – I’m talking you wake up like UNDER the bed, naked and confused – your day totally has the ability to turn around. I’ve marveled a few times in the past handful of months at how a bad day or bad attitude I’ve had has transformed into a good one. But the trick is, don’t consciously try to make it happen. Just let it run its course.

22. I just don’t think I was born to be a loyal retainer-wearer.

23. There are many nights where you’re just not going to get drunk. Stop trying to make drunk happen – it’s not going to happen. Realize your body isn’t responding and just call it quits. Close your tab, take your last pee, and go home.

24. I learned that nothing is anything unless the DTR talk happens. There’s no two-ways around it. Either put your big girl panties on and DTR, or be prepared to feel fucked then dumped no matter the circumstances.

25. I heard for the first time and will now find daily ways to use the term “conscious uncoupling.” Some examples: “Chipotle and I are consciously uncoupling for a month. #swimsuitseason.” “GAP thongs and I have decided to consciously uncouple. They finally realized they’re a poor excuse for a substitute Hanky Panky.” “I’ve been trying to consciously uncouple from my love of craft beer for years now, but it keeps pulling me back in.”

26. I think the big idea I’m taking away from this last year and into every year hereafter is the best really is yet to come… and I truly believe that. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Dallas-based writer for Thought Catalog. Curly hair, bright lips, big mouth.
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Keep up with Emma on Twitter and emmagolden.com

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