Day 29/30: 33 Things I Learned In 33 Years

10:08 PM

Happy birthday to me! Happy birthday to me... No, I won't sing the whole song. Relax! I never got around to posting because yesterday was my birthday, so I'm polishing off this challenge by cheating and covering two days in one post. So sue me. 

(Please don't. You'll get nothing but books, shoes, and skincare items).

Since I turned 33 yesterday, I was feeling contemplative and started jotting down some of the valuable lessons I've learned in life. Some of them aren't remotely groundbreaking, and some are even silly, but hopefully one of them will be helpful to someone else. 
1.) When you find someone whose weirdness compliments your own, hang on for dear life. Everyone's talking about "squad goals" these days, and I love the idea in theory. But I would rather have a small group of friends I know I can count on than twenty people who are sort of my friends, but they vanish when times get tough.

2.) Always wear sunscreen. When we told the waitress it was my birthday, she asked me how old I was and was shocked to hear my age. She thought I was a decade younger. Skin cancer is bad, and hey, who doesn't want to look 23 when they're really 33?

3.) Stop caring so much about what other people think of you. If people really knew how infrequently others thought of something as trivial as their tattoos or the length of their skirt, they would realize how silly it is to worry.

4.) Someone can only lie to us if we let them. And, chances are, most of us have a good idea of who the liars are, which leads to the next point.

5.) Trust your intuition. Have you ever gotten in your car to go to the grocery store and taken a different route "just because" only to find out there was a massive wreck the way you usually go? Some would call this a coincidence. I call it "my intuition just saved my ass." Trust your gut. Unless it's gas. Then take some Pepto.

6.) Silence is often the best answer. Sometimes people just need to vent, and the best thing you can do is stay quiet and let it happen. 

7.) Never let someone tell you that your way is the wrong way; it's simply your way. Do things the way that feels most natural for you. We all heard our mothers ask us, "if everyone jumped off a cliff, would you do it?" If making our own choices was important then, it's even more important now.

8.) Stay in the present. Anxiety is usually caused by dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. 
9.) Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. This quote has been attributed to so many people that I can't verify the original source, but that doesn't make it any less true. 

10.) Listen to music every day. Music is a universal force. It can make you feel when you're numb, happy when you're sad, or just serve as a reminder that someone, somewhere, has felt the way you do. 

11.) Hatred does not exist. Wind is a natural force. We breathe oxygen. We drink water. Hatred only exists in our minds. Once we accept that, it's a little bit easier to let go of it.

12.) You have no control over others. Sure, you might be able to influence them to a degree, but the only real control you have is over what you think and how you behave. 
13.) Traveling is one of the best ways to discover new things. And I don't just mean the local sights. I've had some of my greatest epiphanies (can I call them epiphanies, or do I have to be some wise, learned old woman to use that word?) on the road. 

14.) And it came to me then that every plan is a tiny prayer to Father Time. Death Cab For Cutie said it best. Every time you plan a get together with friends or family, you're not thinking of the possibility that it might not happen, that tragedy could strike. Don't become paranoid and expect the worst, but cherish each day. All we have is time, and we don't have much of it.

15.) Sleep when you're tired. I obviously don't mean you should curl into a little ball on your desk and sleep through the workday, but if you're tired on break? Take a nap. Americans don't sleep enough.

16.) Be honest with yourself. If you're friends with a liar, you can end the friendship. If you lie to yourself, you're royally screwed. 

17.) Never apologize for being passionate about something. I've noticed lately that people tend to apologize for liking a certain band or being into comic books. Don't. Jocks never apologize for liking football. Wear that nerd badge with honor.
18.) Black cats are the best cats. Don't get me wrong! I adore my little bengal-margay child, but as far as temperament goes, black cats are the absolute best. 

19.) Women belong in the kitchen. Men belong in the kitchen. Everybody belongs in the kitchen because there is food in the kitchen. Seriously, we should all know how to cook a few staple items. If I can learn to bake, you can learn to make a pot of chili. 

20.) Never mistake kindness for weakness. People who tend to treat others well aren't always pushovers. If someone is nice to you, don't take advantage of them, and if you're a nice person, never be afraid to stand up for yourself. 

21.) Reality is subjective. And it's what you make of it. Say you're late to work, and someone cuts you off. You can get angry and think, "what an entitled asshole," thus putting yourself in a shitty mood. Or you can think, "What if he has a relative in the hospital, and he's trying to get there in a hurry?" As with Schrodinger's Cat, neither can be proven or disproven, so both are true and untrue. Isn't it just easier to think, "I hope everything is okay," than to feel shitty all morning?
22.) Stop to smell the flowers. When you're feeling down, go out for a walk, or just go sit outside. Admire the trees and flowers. Remind yourself of the beauty in the world, and take a step back from what has you upset. 

23.) Do or do not. There is no try. Take a cue from Yoda and change your way of thinking. If you believe you can succeed, you'll find a way of making it happen. If you believe you're doomed to fail? Well, the phrase "self-fulfilling prophecy" exists for a reason. 

24.) You are not a body; you have a body. Paraphrasing the quote about souls here, but it's true. We tend to focus so much on how we look that it's easy to forget how miraculous our bodies are no matter their size and shape. I can get up and do yoga whenever I want. I can go bowling. I can swim. So many people can't say that. Appreciate what you have.

25.) Our prejudices say more about us than they do about the people we judge. Just... let that sink in. Think about it. 
26.) Treat yourself. Doesn't matter if you're on a diet or just want to eat healthfully because it's better for you. Don't forget to treat yourself every now and again. You deserve it!

27.) Save your change. I bought my first iPod because I squirreled away every penny I found on the floor. It may not seem substantial at first, but fill up an old Maxwell House coffee tin and see what happens. 

28.) Learn to let go. Some things will always be painful to think about, and that's okay. Just make sure you don't dwell on the old hurts. A wound will never heal if you continuously rip the scab off.

29.) Fear, not money, is the root of all evil. The rich subjugate the poor because they fear losing their wealth. Politicians try to win votes by playing to the fears of the public and claiming they are the only person capable of protecting them. Learn what you should really fear. 

30.) No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. Having a realistic self-image will go a long way in protecting you from put-downs. Whether they come from work, fashion magazines, or rude kids if you're in school, be sure of who you are, and no one will be able to make you feel less than.
31.) It's okay to be girly. Or a tomboy. Or whatever the hell you want to be. Being interested in skincare and nail polish doesn't mean I'm not well-versed in politics and international news. 

32.) Be kind to animals. This is a no-brainer for me, but I wish everyone would take it to heart. My mom was knocked down by a stray dog today and could have been seriously injured. If you have a dog, take care of it!

33.) The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return. Love your friends and family. Accept love. It isn't easy for some people, but it is important.

Well, it's been fun. I wasn't totally consistent with blogging every single day, but who knows? I may try another challenge some time!

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4 comments

  1. Nice post. They're lessons everyone should learn but few people take time to. Happy Birthday! Here's #34 Try out the keyboard on your laptop before you buy it and realize you have to correct things five times before sending.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! LOL! Yes! Always a good idea. Try before you buy!

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  2. Love this! My favorite was "When you find someone whose weirdness compliments your own, hang on for dear life." My best friend and I still finish each other's sentences, we are our own brand of weird. It's the best!

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    1. Thank you! I have a best friend like that. Having your own brand of weird just can't be beaten!

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