I’m sorry for the times I’ve made you want to rip your hair out. But I love you for counting to ten and not putting me into the street with a sign that read, “Free Child” during those times.
I owe you everything.
* * *
1. Wash your face every night, no matter how tired you are.
I don’t care how many beauty bloggers tell you to have makeup wipes by your bed. A makeup wipe will never do the same thing that scrubbing your face with a cleanser will do. So even though you might not be at your soberest or most motivated to bust out the exfoliant and the moisturizer, just take the two minutes to actually wash your face. Not washing your face is never worth the night zits.
2. You can’t just expect for good things to happen to you.
Truth time: the universe simply doesn’t owe you anything. If you want to see success and have good things happen, you have to work for them. You can’t expect for happiness to just fall into your lap. And if that’s what you’re waiting for you’ll be waiting for a long, long time.
3. Don’t bite your nails or your cuticles.
It can be a really hard habit to break but you really should do your best to stop messing with your nails. How fun is it actually to peel off the enamel on your nails? The answer is not fun at all; it’s just gross. And every time you start messing with your cuticles it turns into a Black Swan situation and nobody likes that. Just leave your fingers alone – it is not worth the blood, pain, or nastiness.
4. It is okay to cry at commercials, TV shows, the radio, and anything else.
You are a human being and those Budweiser commercials will tug at every heartstrings and that is okay.
5. Cherish your pets.
Your friends are the family you choose and your pets are the furry, slobbering, siblings you choose. However, they are not around nearly as long and after they make those messy, paw-printed or hoofed impressions on our hearts they are gone. So make the most of it while they are here. Don’t just think of them as a barking or meowing accessory to your apartment; love them to pieces.
6. Clean your bathroom like it’s a hotel.
Bathrooms can make or break your living situation. Think honestly right now: if someone went into your bathroom right this second would you have some explaining to do? You shouldn’t. Scrub your shower. Lysol your counters. Windex away the toothpaste splatters on your mirror. Don’t allow it to collect layers of makeup, the hair you shed like crazy, or just general germs. Happy Bathroom, Happy Life.
7. Write thank you notes.
Is it tedious? Kind of. Is buying stamps annoying? Always even when they have fun designs. Would you rather being scrolling through Instagram for the 13th time that day? Probably. Still, the fact of the matter is that people like to be acknowledged, even if only in a three-sentence card from Target. No one will ever scoff at you saying thank you. We all like being appreciated and we all could (and SHOULD) say it more.
8. People will try to take advantage of your generosity, but that doesn’t mean you should lose it.
There will always be assholes out there who will never offer to get the next round or hit you back after you pay for comedy show tickets. But just because there are people in this world who don’t worry about taking advantage doesn’t mean you should start being selfish. Just be smarter about who you are generous with and learn to say, “Sorry you didn’t bring your debit card. I guess I’ll catch you later.”
9. Anything can be made new with some spray paint and some love.
Some of the greatest pieces of furniture in my apartment were things I snagged for less than ten bucks and then refurbished to make new again. All it took was an afternoon, a bolt of free fabric from the craft store, and some green spray paint. And now I have one of a kind chairs that are undeniably me and not the same Mellby every 25-year-old has from Ikea.
10. Take a deep breath and count to ten.
Things are almost never as terrible as they initially seemed after you take a solid ten seconds. What once felt like the end of the world will probably just be something that sucks minimally. Give yourself a second to process things before reacting. You’ll feel far less impulsive and probably end up with a better outcome every time.
11. Curse less than you think you should.
(Please note that this is coming from me, I have a fairly colorful vocabulary, and I’m wearing a necklace with a curse word on it. Love ya MOM.)
Swearing for the sake of swearing makes you sound unintelligent. If every other word out of your mouth is some derivative of an f-bomb I just assume you don’t know what a thesaurus is. Swearing should be used for emphasis, not a lack of knowing any other words. Curse words should be the hot sauce of your meal, not the main course.
12. Love yourself first.
The only person you are stuck with forever is you. It doesn’t make you self-centered, it doesn’t make you cold, it doesn’t make you a brat. It makes you smart. If you give away all of your love to other people you will never become someone who you are proud of being. You have to love your own reflection, have to be able to say, “Yeah! I’m pretty great!” Love yourself and others will follow.
13. Clean your microwave and light a candle after you make popcorn.
Seriously. It doesn’t smell good; it smells like something died. Just do it.
14. Call your mom more.
Because she loves you, she’s your damn mom and is great, and she deserves to hear from you.