*I turn 26 next month. 25 feels … Extraordinary. Quarter of a century. Quarter of a century of experience & here’s what I know.
Twenty-Five things I learned by twenty-five
1. Never, ever, think you are too old to need your mom. Ever. You will forgive her for everything she said when you were thirteen and you can only hope she’ll forgive you for what your teenage years brought her. Because you will find that you need her more than air sometimes. She is the first person I turn to, with good or bad news. And I am so lucky that I have her. I love you mom.
2. It’s okay for simple things, like peonies and Taylor Swift songs & your favorite TV shows, to make you truly happy. & if you’re lucky, they will.
3. You will somehow make it without the things you thought you never could. Be it a boy or a girl, a job, a pet, or an old best friend. and you will be stronger without them. Because, you have to be.
4. Always say yes to traveling, just trust me.
5. Write. When you write, the moments and people that are thought to be gone forever now remain alive. So write them down. In a journal, through a keyboard, on a post it. Always write something down.
6. Sometimes (more often than you’d think) you’re going to want to sit in your room, in dim light, with slow music, without human contact & without pants. And that’s okay. When you feel that way, do that.
7. Sometimes it’s okay to lose sleep. Some of the best days of my life I didn’t get much sleep at all; and some of the most inspiring things I’ve taught myself came about around or after midnight. Lack of sleep might make you cranky (sorry, friends) but it won’t kill you; carb loading, massive bacon intake, taco bell. These things might kill you, but dont be afraid to give in to a lack of sleep. Live your life.
8. Go away. To college, after college. Just go. Make sure you leave home. Your appreciation for it will not arrive until you’ve gone. And that appreciation is worth every step you take.
9. There are good people left out there. Honest, caring, optimistic people. It’s in your best interest to be one of them.
10. Sometimes you’re going to cry in the shower, and while brushing your teeth, and in front of a grocery store all alone & as you fall asleep. and in these moments you’re going to feel like things will never get better. When this happens, you have to remember you are wrong. You are human; you will pull yourself together in time, and you will learn how to fight the urge to breakdown because you are relentless. And you’ll find your true self somewhere within that struggle.Even now, still partially broken, I know this to be true. & so will you.
11. Nobody understands the concept of a “trim.” I don’t think you’ll ever be satisfied with your haircut. Ever.
12. The best people aren’t always the prettiest. The best people make your belly flutter and your palms sweat; they raise your pulse. Don’t settle for the pretty face. Wait for the rush. I promise, it’s worth it.
13. Ice cream really is always a good idea. I’ve never been sorry I ate ice cream.
14. High school is not the best days of your life. I wouldn’t even say it’s the start. High school is just the end of free & public schooling. Just try to remember that.
15. Take a lot of photos. The only photos I regret are the ones I didn’t take. Even if it’s hard to look back, it’s harder not being able to.
16. Walking aimlessly around Target is therapeutic. Do it.
17. Make inside jokes with people. There is something wonderful about feeling inclusive. Make inside jokes about things that embarrass or scare you, and then laugh. Always remember to laugh.
18. Make a bucket list. It’s important to have things to look forward to & hope for.
19. Make your own dreams come true. Book the trip to Hawaii, call him, get the concert tickets, board the plane, nail the interview. Leave your nerves and doubts behind and make your damn dreams come true.
20. Have the courage to end something that no longer brings you joy. Don’t wait for it to get better, it never does. End it, have the ice cream we talked about, and move on.
21. Be honest. Tell people when you’re hurt. Tell people when you don’t understand. Give people your true feelings and opinions on things. Never feel like you have to say the “right” thing. The right thing is always the truth. Brutal honesty is a rare commodity, it is so refreshing. & welcomed. People may be taken aback at first, but I promise you’ll be happier with yourself if you can just be that friend.
22. “Just because something creates challenges doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen.” Read it again. Let it sink it.
23. When you feel like absolute shit, and it will happen, get up. Even when you feel like it won’t help, it will help. The longer you sit still the worse you become. Take a walk, make some popcorn, go for a drive, call your dad or your sister or friend. Always get up. The sitting still is never right when it feels this way.
24. Leave it in the gym, really. Even when you don’t want to go. Change your clothes & tie your shoes. Working out not only does the body good, it releases endorphins that boost your mental awareness in a positive way. I’ve never walked out of the gym more upset than when I entered it, there aren’t many places I can make that same statement about. Always go to the gym, to play a sport, for a run or a walk. Always.
25. Everybody is different. Just because you don’t have a baby, or a car, or a house, or a clue today & all of your friends do, that doesn’t mean you are behind. &It doesn’t mean you will never have those things. It just means you aren’t there yet. You’re on your way.
& it’s okay to still be on our way at 25.