Tomorrow is kind of a landmark: I’m going to be a whole quarter of a century old! So in lieu of my usual Friday book review, I thought I’d do something a little different.
I’ve been reflecting on what it means to grow older, and how I’ve changed and matured in the years that I’ve been a resident of Planet Earth. I thought I would share some of those insights with the internet in the hopes that they might amuse or delight.
So, with no further ado (and in no particular order), here are twenty-five things I learned in the twenty-five years that I’ve survived as a human being!
1. Older does not equate wiser. I’ve met wise eleven-year-olds and infantile forty-somethings. If you don’t use your experiences to update your outlook on life, then wisdom will always elude you.
2. Travel. Doesn’t matter if you hop on a bike and explore your neighborhood or catch a plane to Thailand. You may not find yourself, but you’ll find awesome things while you’re looking. The experience will be rewarding either way.
3. Whole Foods will steal your paycheck. And you’ll let it happen.
4. You’re going to make mistakes in life. You may pick the wrong major in college. You may date the wrong people. You may pick the wrong outfit for that party you got invited to. It’s okay. Move on. Try to make better decisions next time.
5. Don’t buy anything because it’s “trendy.” The trendier a thing, the quicker it will become ridiculous. I’m talking to you, harem pants.
6. All those people told you you’d get over horses when you found boys. You didn’t believe them. They were right.
7. Be as close to yourself as you can get. That means don’t try too hard to fit in, but also don’t try to hard to be different.
8. Baby talk is never, ever cute. Especially if you’re a grown-ass woman.
9. Puking in public is extremely humiliating.
10. Try to make the world a happier, more beautiful place.
11. A party with a theme is always better than a party without a theme.
12. It’s okay to have doubts. Doubts make you think. Thinking is good.
13. Not everyone will deserve your kindness, respect, and love. That doesn’t mean you should stop trying to give it.
14. Movies are not representational of anything resembling real life. For example, cars don’t explode when you crash them. Thank god.
15. Never ride a bike with anything hanging from the handlebars. It will end in tears.
16. If a friend is easily lost, they may not have been much of a friend.
17. Memories are some of your most valuable possessions. Treasure them well.
18. Never assume you know enough about anyone to judge them.
19. Don’t be afraid to be weird.
20. Learn an instrument. Take lesson, or get a book out of the library and muddle through. Worst case scenario, you give your friends something to giggle at. Best case scenario, you have fun and learn an awesome skill.
21. If someone tells you something unpleasant about themselves (like “I’m kind of a jerk,” or “People think I’m selfish”), believe them. They probably wouldn’t tell you if it wasn’t true.
22. Get out of your comfort zone. There’s a whole fascinating uncomfortable world out there.
23. Everyone should wait tables at least once in their lives. If this was a law the world would be a better place.
24. Never treat anything so seriously that you can’t laugh at it once in a while.
25. YOLO. You Only Live Once, or You Obviously Love Owls, or You Oughta Look Out. Either way, work it.