I’m turning 27 on Monday and I can sincerely say that the last two years have been crucial in my personal development. I think about who I was on the cusp of turning 25 and the difference between then and now is so drastic it’s hard to believe that it’s the same person, never mind that I’m that person. Below, I’ve made a list of things I wish I could tell 24 year old me.These are in no particular order. Enjoy.
1. There is no right or wrong way to grieve-just healthy or unhealthy
Healthy: Taking an unplanned moment to shed a few tears because they are relentless.
Unhealthy: Doing so heavily intoxicated in the bathtub.. on a regular basis.
2. Going into work hungover stopped being cool last year. It becomes sadder the older you get.
In fact, getting hammered on the regular stops being cool around this time too. Your body agrees with this.
3. On the other hand, leather jackets are VERY cool. You are the kind of girl that can pull one off, you just don’t know it yet.
You will meet her in a year at the TJ MAX in Dorchester and it will be a religious experience. You will feel more confident in this thing than you ever did in a pair of heels. Added bonus, the confidence will stick around, even when you’re not wearing the jacket.
4. It’s just a job.
Say this over and over again until you believe it- It is just a job. See it this way, if it were a relationship and it made you this miserable, would you stay? No. Don’t be afraid to walk away and do whatever you got to do to get there.
5. Awesome things will happen the minute you stop being afraid of people reading your writing.
Even if your writing sucks, it could make you rich- just ask E.L James.
6. Remember when people said you and your best friend will lose touch after she gets married? LIES.
In fact you guys will get closer. How? Because neither of you define yourselves entirely based on your relationships and you both are really into your interests and each other’s as well. Don’t sweat this one, really.
7. It’s empowering to turn down going out because you have shit to do. (And by shit I mean Netflix and sushi.)
Me time. Sweet sweet glorious me time. Sometimes you will only need a day of this. Sometimes you will need weeks of it. Either way, indulge.
8. Just cut your hair off already.
Look at you girl, all fierce and sexual looking! Damn.
9. You’re going to move to Chicago. It’s going to be terrifying but totally worth it.
The most important thing you will get out of this is that you will know anything is possible. Crazy, right?
10. When you remove expectation and start loving people as they are, you have much more fulfilling relationships.
With everyone, including yourself.
11. That being said, remove toxic people from your life and don’t let toxic people in.
Ain’t NOBODY got time for this. Believe it or not, you will have less time for this than you ever had before.
12. You will start feeling too old for this shit.
This sort of relates to #11. This is a good thing-it means you’re growing.
13. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re not enough of anything-especially a guy.
If someone tells you you’re not girly, cute, funny, smart, or whatever enough- tell them to fuck off in the most poignant way possible. Don’t change for someone ever. The only person you got to lose is yourself. I know right? Big deal.
14. It’s OK to have emotions.
Don’t hide them just because you think other people don’t have them.
15. It’s OK to not like kale.
You will meet a dude named Kale and he will be your friend, but in terms of the veggie type thing, people will be all about it all of a sudden and it just wont be your thing. In fact, a lot of things just wont be your thing that people you know will be all about. Differences are awesome, just don’t be douchey about them.
16. On the other hand, holy fuck cilantro!
It’s like the basil of Mexican cuisine! But really, herbs are to food as accessories are to outfits. You will have a moment when you will start to understand them and it will oddly have this profound effect on you. Enjoy it.
17. Notice how you’re not sad that everyone is getting married and having kids and you’re not?
GOOD. You just started to learn how to judge yourself by your own path. A lot of people don’t figure that out. I could say to hold on to this little pearl of wisdom with everything you have but it won’t be difficult for you.
18. You’ll lose people you care about, some in major ways and others in more of a metaphoric sense.
You won’t be ready for it. This isn’t to get you paranoid, this is just to help you understand that A LOT is out of your control. Trust the process. Grieve, adjust, carry on.
19. When you bike, wear a helmet.
Chicago drivers don’t get bikes. Don’t assume they can see you either.
20. Try yoga again. You will like it this time!
And you will start to hate it if you miss a week. The stretching will feel good, you’ll get the endorphin high, and all the Down Dog will tone up your abs. Glorious!
21. People talk with their insecurities and it comes out in the form of hate.
Remember this when someone is rude to or is gossiping about you. People who are secure in themselves don’t gossip because they don’t care and because they have better shit to do.
22. You will wish you had done all this sooner.
Be happy that you’re doing it now.
23. It’s all beautiful, even the messy parts.
Even the sad, gut wrenching, empty parts. It’s all part of the process. It’s all part of life. Try to get something out of each experience, even if you have to go digging for it. Doing this will leave little room for bitterness.
24. Sometimes, you just have to celebrate the little things.
You got out of bed on a day you really REALLY didn’t want to? You saved someone a tongue lashing they probably deserved? Hell, you got lost in your new city and found your way back without having to call your roommate? Celebrate with a glass of wine, a bubble bath, or by wearing your favorite dress tomorrow. It’s OK. You’ve earned it.
25. Keys, phone, wallet, glasses.
I can’t believe I still have to tell you this.
26. You will start to learn how to invest in yourself.
And it will be the most rewarding thing out of all of this. Trust me.