This Saturday I turn 25 for the third time (so weird how that happened, right?!). Actually, I’m turning the big 2-8 and while I would normally be freaking out just a little bit, I’m surprisingly pretty chill about that fact that I’m inching ever so closely to my thirties and…ohmygoshimgettingsodamnoldhowdidthishappen?! Okay. I’m maybe slightly possibly kinda sorta freaking out about it. But ever the more reason to celebrate, right?!
So celebrate I will, damn it! Friday night I’m going out with some friends to whoop it up downtown Denver and then on Saturday the sis and I are going up to Ft. Collins to see my friend play in his band. It should be a great time and a perfect way to ring in my
25th x 3 year 28th year.
But before I put my party hat on and dig into the cake, I wanted to take a second to reflect on not only this past year (which has been pretty amazing, if I do say so myself), but all of my 28 years thus far. I like to think as you get you older, you get wiser. You experience new things, you make mistakes, you learn, you grow. As you get older, you also begin to form a sort of perspective about life; love, relationships, your career and yourself. You recognize the things that you value most–the things that are important–and the things that aren’t. I don’t think I would be where I am at right now if I hadn’t done those things. It’s actually fun to look back and see how you have changed; to think about those experiences you would do over again; my first concert, sky diving, moving across the country and landing my dream job and those that you probably wouldn’t; my first kiss (sloppy, just so sloppy), my obsession with crimped hair and Doc Martins (basically all of sixth grade) and when my grandma lost her battle with cancer.
Through all of those experiences, I’ve changed, I’ve grown and have gone through some pretty crazy hair styles.
Here are 28 things that I have learned in my
25 x 3 28 years so far:
1. Mom really does know best.
I’ve always been close to my mom, but as I’ve gotten older a whole new respect, admiration and love for her has developed. She is the strongest woman I know and I can only hope to be like her one day. And those things she has always told you (always carry a jacket with you just in case it gets cold, listen to your heart—it will never steer you wrong, and all you need is a little faith) were absolutely right!
You never know the impact you may have on another person simply by smiling at them or saying hello.
3. Do what makes you happy.
As long as it’s not a felony, basically. Life is too short to miss out on all the chances to be happy, to experience new and exciting things, to live the most kiss-ass life ever.
5. Plans will change.
According to the plans I made in my early 20’s, I should be married with 2.5 kids, living in a cute cottage on the lake somewhere while working on the follow-up to my NY Times award-winning novel right now. The reality is that I’m about as close to living the direct opposite of that life as humanly possible. Cue ironic laughter. But you know what, that’s okay. Where I am right now is pretty alright. Things don’t always work out the way you planned them, and not just the big stuff—sometimes you will be handed a chocolate chip cookie, when all you wanted really was a peanut butter one. It’s important to embrace what comes, unexpected or not, and just roll with the punches. Sometimes the best laid plans are those that aren’t….planned, that is.
6. Tell those that are important to you how much you love them as often as you can.
7. Love your body.
‘F’ fashion, ‘F’ photoshop, ‘F’ the media. If you treat your body well, move it, put good things in it, care for it–it doesn’t matter what it looks like. You only have one body, there’s no use in hating on it because (in case you didn’t get the memo) you’re literally stuck in it. Embrace what you have and shake what your momma gave you!
8. The truest beauty is found from within.
It’s really not that hard to be a good person. It mostly just means being considerate of other folks and not being a jerk. Being a jerk actually takes more effort to do than being a good person, because you have to actively do jerk-like things, whereas being good is as simple as a smile (see above).
9. There’s always room for dessert. Always.
10. Read for the sake of reading.
Don’t do it to be smart or to impress anyone. Do it because you want to get lost in a story, you want to feel all the feelings and see what it’s like to live in somebody else’s shoes. It doesn’t matter what you read; just read. Also, there’s no such thing as having too many books. Take it from someone who does.
11. You’re never too old for blanket forts and Play-Doh.
12. Pizza is never a bad idea. Have another piece.
13. Life doesn’t necessarily ever get better.
There are good times and there are bad times. Always. You just get stronger and learn how to laugh at yourself.
14. Never miss an opportunity for car karaoke. Ever.
13. The only thing more crippling than the fear of failure, is the realization you’ve missed or thrown away opportunities due to your fear of failure.
Do. Try. Make as many mistakes as you can. Another piece advice from my mom (see above) is that you will never know unless you put yourself out there and just go for it!
14. And if you happen to fail—which you will, and that’s perfectly okay, dust yourself off, get back up and try, try, again.
15. Make pantless Saturday nights in a thing as much as possible.
16. This is the best show in the history of ever. Do not even try to fight me on this.
17. You’re never going to be able to make everyone happy. And that’s okay.
Be honest, open to new experiences and opportunities, and dedicate time to activities that are constructive and make you happy. Worrying about what others are thinking of you is not going to achieve anything. So just do you.
18. Laugh hard, laugh much, laugh often.
19. Travel hard, travel much, travel often.
20. If someone doesn’t look at you the way you look at a burrito, then move on.
This whole love thing is hard. In fact, it’s a battlefield. But one of the things I’ve learned is that it really shouldn’t be. If it’s good and pure and true love, it should just come naturally, it should be easy. I don’t think I’ve found my burrito…yet, but I know that when I do, it will be amazing and wonderful and will put Chipotle to shame.
21. Pick up the phone and call your friends/family.
No texts, no i-messages, no emails. Just talk. Every once in a while real convos with the people who mean the most to you are just the thing that you—and they, need.
22. You’re allowed to say no.
23. But you also shouldn’t be afraid to say yes.
24. Giant, suffocating bear hugs are the best.
26. Banana, stuffed with marshmallows and chocolate, wrapped in tin foil over an open fire.
27. Don’t you dare give up. Ever.
28. Life is crazy.
It’s unpredictable and weird and absurd and completely bonkers. You will meet amazing people and see incredible places. You will fall, get back up and fall again. You will have your heart broken, only to have someone walk into your life and put the pieces back together again. You will wonder, you will dream, you will inspire.
Life is crazy. But it’s also pretty damn amazing.
I may be turning
25 x 3 28, and it may be a bit scary, but if this is what I have learned, what I’ve been able to experience so far? Bring on the next 28 years, baby!