1. Find someone who will do hot yoga with you and hold your hand when you do a Supine Twist.
There is nothing like twisting out the weekend’s toxins with the one you love. My boyfriend and I took advantage of an awesome yoga deal and committed to it together. There is something to be said about dragging your ass to the gym together, getting sweaty together and then waking up feeling sore together. It is a spectacular thing.
2. Remember that that cup of water that makes your coffee in the morning counts toward your 8.
Really try to drink these 8 cups. Sneak them in there. A full cup with your vitamins, a cup with the green tea that you should have every day, the water bottle you gulp after your workout. Make it happen. It does wonders for your skin.
3. Wash your face every single night.
The day is rough on your skin. Even if you just splash some water on your skin to rid your face of the day’s dirt, something is better than nothing.
4. Pick at least three hobbies that you really enjoy and commit to maintaining your practice.
Don’t sacrifice this. Keep up on these. Be diverse. There is nothing like a weird hobby to strike up conversation. Nothing says keep talking to this woman like, “I can’t stay out late because I have target practice in the morning.”
5. Exercise even if you hate it.
Exercise now because the older you get, the harder it is to stay healthy. I get so damn bored working out. It is my attention span, I swear. So change it up. Do lots of different things. Run. Walk. Do yoga. Prancersize (watch that video too). Skip around. Have copious amounts of (protected) sex. Just get sweaty. Your body will thank you in 10 years when you have babies running around you and you need to keep up.
6. Never call yourself ugly, you do not know how beautiful you are to other people.
A friend told me this once. Even on your worst, worst days, there is someone out there who thinks you are the most beautiful human soul that has ever walked the face of the Earth. Embrace this. And thank that person when you are feeling your worst.
7. Read real books sometimes.
Kindles and iPads are pretty fabulous, but not nearly as soothing as closing the back cover on a good read. And smell those books. Inhale the scent of every letter. Know that nothing beats the weight of a real book in your messenger bag.
8. Don’t be afraid to touch other people.
My best friend and I were in yoga last night. A silent room, mind you. I just walked in and lay on top of her and felt her breathing. Yes, we are the closest of friends. But also we are not scared to be near one another. We are comfortable and we have known each other forever. I looked over at her in Cobra and just thought to myself, “Goddamn this woman. She is so incredible”. Be okay with that. I don’t just mean this kind of familiar touch though. I also mean the person who sits next to you on the crowded train. Don’t be scared when people touch your arm by accident. Don’t be disgusted by strangers. We are all in this together.
9. Be okay with your past.
I have been in the best and worst relationships. I have learned. I have learned what I want and what I do not want. I have learned what I have to watch in my own behavior and the flags that may be red to me but to no one else. I have learned that it is okay that these are my red flags. This just means it doesn’t work for me. I learned what I am ready for and what I am not ready for, but most importantly I learned that it is okay to be ready in a little while and to just be at peace with right in the moment. It is of course a beautiful moment.
10. Be okay with your significant other’s past.
They love you now, right? They sleep with you at the end of the day, right? And do all the silly shit that lovers do with you too. So, be okay with all the people they were with before you. Breathe it in. Accept it. And let it go. Don’t be jealous of what they had. He chose you. Don’t compare, don’t over think, don’t obsess.
11. Keep dear your friends who live afar.
I am blessed beyond words for the beautiful girlfriends that I can call my own. Many of them, however live hours away. This just means I get to send more packages, write more letters, make more phone calls and make more road trips. Keep up on the lives of these friends. Keep up on the lives of the ones they love. Send their loved ones birthday cards, call these friends on important days, make an effort.
12. Work in the service industry or retail industry at least once in your life.
I have worked in both of these industries and value the hours on end I spent with the people I met, the people who managed me and those who I managed. It is only by doing this that you will have patience for the cashier at the grocery store who takes forever to ring you up, understanding for the ticket agent at the movie theater who overcharges you and sure as hell the only way you will fairly tip the waitress that gets your order wrong. We have all been there.
13. Give people second chances, even third ones, but know when they cross the line.
I learned this the hard way in my not yet late 20s. I let the same human mess up time after time. I made excuses for her. I forgave her. I comforted her at her lowest points. I told her it wasn’t her fault. It was in fact her fault. Every single time. She lied to my face about people that were and are very important to me. Know that the second someone looks you in the eyes and lies to you intentionally, they should be let go. Immediately.
14. Remember that is someone is talking shit to you, they surely talk shit about you.
This goes for not only the women in your life, but for the men in your life too. If your man talks smack about his exes on the regular, you should wonder about two things: 1. Why is his ex on his mind so damn much? and 2. When you two call it quits, which you will because he is not a keeper, what will he say about you? Get away from this man. Now. Women can be bitches. Don’t be that bitch.
15. Know that it is always okay to change your plan.
I have a Master’s degree in policy studies and I am going to take yoga teacher classes this summer. And that’s okay. I work for a nonprofit and I want to work in a profitable private school. And that’s okay. I really want to open a bookstore that sells tea in a few year and teach yoga there at night. And that’s okay too. I know that I will work my ass off in everything I start and finish strong. No matter what I want to do. I am a professional doer. And proud that I know it’ll be okay.
16. Honor the people who have seen you at your worst. Year after year.
There are certain people in your life that have seen you in the worst state of mind. Drunk. Stupid. Bitching. In pain. Sad. Needy. You get the point. You have used them and they have surely used you. But you were kids then. And you both grew up and somehow figured that there must be some unbreakable bond the universe created that allowed you two to remain ever present in one another’s life. Honor that. And respect the space and boundaries your lives have laid out for you. There’s a reason this happened or that didn’t happen. Be ever aware of the reason these people are still in your life. In whatever role they play now and in whatever space they occupy.
17. Have patience with your parents.
You get to this point where it stops making sense to fight your parents. We are all adults, right? You get to the point where you realize they did the very best they could. Each parent is different. Each parent does their thing a little bit differently. While you are busy bitching about becoming another schmuck in their late 20’s, they are gracefully figuring out what to do next. Be there with them and realize how goddamn lucky you are to still have them grace you with your presence.
18. On that note, have patience with the people who you know are unhappy.
This is a tough one and one that I definitely struggle with. I work with a jackass in my real life, grown up office job. This person is angry at the world and this person takes it out on everyone. This person is sad and this person is angry. Send people like this good vibes and send them on their way. Now, don’t mistake this for allowing yourself to be a jackass’ punching bag, but just know it’s not you, it’s them, really.