It's official. I'm 33 years old.
Don't worry, though. I'm still not above mixing a classic red lip with a Cats Playing Keytar with Lighting Bolts t-shirt.
I wrote the bulk of this post at 1 a.m. the morning of my birthday because I've been juggling both an insanely hectic work schedule with a super secret side project (see #7).
I also always get a little pensive on my birthday, I figured I'd take a page out of Sarah Von of Yes and Yes's book and write out 33 things I've learned in 33 years.
IT WILL BE THE TITS. THE TITS, I SAY.
Anyway, without further ado:
33 Things I've Learned in 33 Years
1. Water is your best friend. Drink lots of it. People will comment on your skin and--after you stop peeing 17 million times a day--you will feel awesome.
2. There is no such thing as "arriving." You will never stop learning. Just when you think you ARE done, the universe will slap your ass and call you Sally. Or something.
3. Remember those mean, dramatic people from high school? They either stop being like that or they get much, much worse. Learn to spot the difference early on before your life becomes all Regina George'd like whoah.
4. Relationships of all types take work. Be prepared to work harder than you'd like sometimes. It's usually worth it. Sometimes it's not. But at least you'll learn a lot for the next one.
5. People communicate in two main ways: what they actually say, and what they actually do. Many people have the gift of doing both of these things at once. Some people do not. For the latter, believe the action, not the words, and react accordingly.
6. Events that seem traumatic now may in fact be the events that make you who you are. Don't shy away from the emotion or pain. Feel it, learn from it, experience greater joy on the flip side. (Easier said than done.)
7. If you get bored easily, take on projects for yourself, if for no other reason than you love the work and producing something magical with your brainspace.
8. Bills do not magically go away if you refuse to open them.
9. Paying off debt accumulated because of your own stupid-fuckery can make you feel humiliated, then proud. It's weird...just try to remember the humiliation part more than the pride part so you don't fucking do that again you idiot.
10. Resolving to be kind to someone who just doesn't like you much can have an astonishing affect...and probably more on you than the other person.
11. Emotions are tricky, nuanced things. They can both lie to us ("I miss him so much! I must be in love!") and shed light on the truth ("I am never happy when I'm around him. It must be time to go").
12. Seek the approval of your parents, but not at the cost of your own integrity. At the end of the day, only you can give yourself the approval you need.
13. If you stress out because of a terrible job, then eat a lot of food, stop working out, and spend hours and hours addicted to television, you will get fat.
14. Losing over 20 pounds is hard. You will not do it in a week. It'll probably take around three years to get it off and keep it off, and you'll have to start lifting heavy things to do it.
15. Your friends should like the person you're dating because a) they know you and have your best interest in mind and b) it's just SO MUCH EASIER that way.
16. Remember that you might be one of those people who only likes cats in theory, not in practice.
17. If your hair is extremely curly, do not cut it shorter than your shoulders. Ever. You are not Carrie Bradshaw, and you will look ridiculous and hate it.
18. You can politely say "no" when people ask to buy you a shot. If they buy you a shot anyway, you can still politely say no. I KNOW, RIGHT!?
19. People you know, and even many you don't, can be more generous, loving and supportive than you ever expected.
20. People you know, and even many you don't, can be the worst pieces of shit ever to walk the earth. Ever. You will want to punch them in the face. But at the end of the day, you can't obsess about it, because you will obsess forever, and there's no sense in being as miserable as they are.
22. It takes practice to stop prefacing your own desires and wants with "I'm sorry," as if they are somehow bad, wrong, or "less than"...especially if you're a woman.
23. If you're a woman, show 'em what you've got at work, keep it together, and don't give them any excuse to marginalize or sideline you...and don't you dare fucking cry until you get home.
24. Some of your greatest friends will be the ones you only see once or twice a year.
25. The things we judge the most harshly in others are often the things we would hate most about ourselves. Go easier on yourself, and you'll be able to go easier on others.
26. Coffee is good, but you probably shouldn't drink a pot a day.
27. Sex is good, but it's best when shared with someone you have both a physical and emotional connection with, and with whom you "fight" to both give and receive during Bone Town Time. HEY-O!
28. Watch, listen, learn, adapt. Stop talking so much. Breathe.
29. Wear a padded bra, a girdle, a slimmer, or Spanx if it makes you feel more comfortable about your body in clothes. But don't let these things be a substitute for real confidence and adoration of the shell you inhabit.
30. Stop being so afraid. Go to that movie alone. Try a new class. Eat a strange food. Say yes to a date with that person you wouldn't typically say yes to. You never know what might happen in the absence of fear.
31. Practice makes perfect. It'll make you faster, more efficient, more confident. Be disciplined enough to practice, even when you don't want to.
32. Macaroni and cheese is still good. But now that your metabolism has played a cruel joke on you, only indulge in the really, really good stuff when you really, really want it.
33. No one can do it but you. No one is responsible for looking out for your feelings but you. No one will learn that lesson for you, or be brave for you, or be forgiving for you. If you want it, get it.
Soooo...that's about it! What have you learned in all your years of wisdom?