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Next week, I will be 27.
It’s just close enough to 30 where I feel justified and absolutely no shame in “forgetting” my age here and there. As the day has been creeping up, I’ve been trying to think about what I’ve learned, what I am still learning, and what I’ve blatantly ignored (and shouldn’t have).
I believe some things can only be learned through a hand-in-the-fire method; we have to make the dumb decision and get burned before it sticks in our head. But I also think there are some things that we don’t need to do that for.
I don’t know much, and I still act like a damn fool, but here is what I’ve learned so far in this life:
1. Wear some freakin’ sunscreen.
2. Your credit matters.
Don’t spend money you don’t have! And don’t use those creepy emergency loan companies.
3. That boy who is treating you wrong (most likely) does not matter.
4. He’s making you feel like you don’t matter? Run.
And take the flight home that your mom buys you.
5. If they’re secretly messaging other people, you’re allowed to be mad.
(This is the time when you should just leave.)
6. Stop making excuses for people who make you feel sh*tty.
7. You’re awesome, but you’re not an anorexic daddy long legs.
Learn to love your damn body!
8. No, you probably don’t need another drink.
9. Just pay for the Uber.
10. It’s okay to say no.
It’s okay to make boundaries. Read this one again. And again.
11. Don’t be afraid to walk away from them.
12. Make that dentist appointment.
13. Yes, today, you are lost, but there is something on its way.
14. Don’t get so stressed about it.
See, I don’t even remember what that “it” is anymore. It couldn’t have been that important!
15. Know your alcohol!
There is a difference between a single and a double shot. (Insert “facepalm” emoji.)
16. No, you should not cut your own bangs.
Even if you feel like you have no control over your life, this is not how you regain it.
17. You should be kind, but you should not be a doormat.
Don’t apologize for sh*t that you don’t need to own.
18. Recognize that you have it pretty good right now.
You think you’re tired now? Get ready for a whole different beast.
19. Yes, you have ADHD.
20. Shut your loud mouth sometimes.
Even if you think you’re being logical, sometimes it just will not be received. Period.
21. Open your mouth.
Don’t be afraid of what others will think. it’s important to speak up, even if it’s an unpopular opinion. Those people probably won’t be around in a few years anyway! And if they are, they will love you as you truly are.
22. Try to find balance.
Don’t be a pendulum swinging from completely neurotic to completely reckless.
But don’t follow a boy (emphasis on “boy”) who will leave you emotionally abandoned. Don’t follow anyone who is not willing to be a true partner.
24. Stop trying to save them.
They need to do that themselves.