Nineteen eighty-nine was an amazing year. It was the year that Ted Bundy was executed, the Game Boy was officially released, and burning the American flag became a form of illegal protest. It’s also the year that people look back upon, with a sense of longing for the way things used to be. And, finally, it’s the year I was born.¹
Obviously, I’ve learned a lot of life lessons – from my own mistakes or from the people I’ve crossed paths with – since I was born. However, there are twenty-eight (you know, one for every year) that I am prepared to share with you. ***Disclaimer: This is going to be fun and make you think. Grab some coffee.***
- Don’t cry over spilt milk. This one can be taken literally or figuratively, but either way, it’s true. When you screw something up, try to clean up the mess, but don’t put too much time into it because it’s already spilled. You have to either pour yourself a new glass of milk (or make yourself a new goal) and continue forward.
- Some people aren’t forever. Unlike diamonds, friends don’t always last forever. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As you go through life phases, you will make new friends and, sometimes, you’ll leave others behind. The way I look at it is that some people are meant to be in your life for a specific moment. Cherish the memories, but it’s okay to move forward.
- Some guys aren’t meant forever.² Even after a relationship ends, it feels as though there is an empty space in your life where they used to fit. Although it is an optimistic hope that you and your ex will stay friends forever, there’s also the realistic thought that you won’t. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but life will force you into a new phase eventually and you will then realize that maybe friendship isn’t something you actually need.
- It’s okay to try and not succeed. This is important because, regardless of how perfect and lucky you are, you are going to eventually be unsuccessful. Get up, brush yourself off, and try again – maybe using a new method or perspective. As SuperChick put it, in the song Fall Down, “To fall is not to fail, you fail when you don’t try.”
- Always know where your spare key is. Like so many of my other lessons, this can be taken metaphorically. Basically, what I’m saying is, always know what your back up plan is and be prepared to execute. An example is, if you lock your key in your car, it’s important to know where your spare is in order to resolve the situation.
- Never judge a book by it’s cover. People, books, locations… everything in your life has an initial appearance/impact. Although it’s important to go with your initial instinct, don’t be afraid to give someone – or something – that looks a little weird a try.
- Have unique friends. It’s important to create yourself a mixture of friends. Although they might not always get along with your other friends, it’s great to have different mindsets, goals and careers around you. It kind of spices up an ordinary life.
- Have adventures. Go places, see things and taste the world. Travel to places you’ve never been, absorb different cultures and experience different lifestyles. Don’t hold yourself back for any reason.
- Find the place you love and live there. As important as I think it is to travel and experience as much as possible, find a home base. Make a place in this huge world your place. Somewhere you can return to after every trip and somewhere you want to build your life. You may have to travel to find it or, after traveling, you may find it’s not very far from where you started.
- Listen to your mom. Seriously, she’s pretty much always right. If you really don’t think she’s ever experienced what you’re going through, remember that the apple never falls from the tree. In other words, your mom probably has first hand experience with the majority of situations you end up in because – as much as you deny it – you’re probably very similar to her.
- Read. Read, read and read some more. Not only will it enhance your ability to communicate with others, but it will seriously contribute to the amount of first hand knowledge you have. I think it even helps with your ability to remember things. So read, read novels, read newspapers, read blogs, read magazines, read smut, read philosophical collections, read poetry… read everything.
- Don’t be a packrat. Even though that sweatshirt you have from fourth grade might fit your daughter one day, throw it away. Don’t hang on to useless shit unless it really has a huge value to you, it’s not worth it. It takes up space and makes it more difficult to clean things.
- Be different. As a child I was constantly made fun of because my hair was frizzy and curly, because I wore glasses and because I loved to read on the school bus. My lips were too big and I was just plain weird. Fast forward fifteen years and the things I was made fun of for allowed me to standout against my competition during interviews and allowed me to be a unique adult.
- Let it go. In life, you will constantly face challenges and crappy endings. However, if you insist on keeping them cramped inside, you will never move past them. Forgive the people who did you wrong and move forward. As an empath, I literally will feel guilty if I don’t.
- Get a hobby. I don’t care³ if you scrapbook, knit, crochet, read a book a day or devote your life to watching every series on Netflix, but do something. Let yourself become the “person who _________”.
- Learn to cook. If not to save your wallet, do it to save your body. Learning to cook allows you to choose what you put in your food and lets you choose to eat healthier alternatives than grease soaked McDoubles with a side of oily fries.
- For God’s sake, save money. Start now. I know it sounds crazy, but money is important for the rest of your life.
- Call your parents. Mainly, because their your parents and they love you. One day they might not be there anymore, so love them while you can.
- Be yourself. I swear, right now my biggest regret is not being myself. Let your guard down and let people see you, because otherwise you might lose someone who wants to truly love you for who you are.
- Challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone and try new things, go new places and taste the world around you.
- Take pictures. In a world full of cameras (on our phones, computers, watches… the list goes on and on), take too many pictures. These moments your living through, they are precious. Save the pieces for those days when getting out of bed seems like too much of a challenge.
- Keep your home clean. And, if your feeling motivated, your car, too. You never know who might walk through the front door or need a ride home from a special event.
- Love with your whole heart. As Elvis puts it in Can’t Help Falling In Love, “wise men say only fools rush in.” However, which wise men were those? Let your walls down and fall. Fall for everyone. Cherish the happy moments because, in today’s world, the sad tend to be more frequent.
- Listen to a variety of music. As a lover of country (old, new, everything), I prefer to listen to country. However, I honestly love almost all genres of music. So, break the walls down and get out of your shell. Try a new song!
- Get a library card (and, please, return your items on time). Right now, I have like six overdue library books sitting on the shelf in my bedroom. The thing is, though, libraries are crammed full of new information and awesome books (among other things).
- Listen to audio books. If you’re taking a road trip or have a long commute, listen to audio books! They make time go faster and you still get to read a new book 😉
- Don’t base your social life on what “social class” you belong in. There are interesting people in so many different levels of our societies “not discussed” hierarchy. Even though you may think you know everything, you probably do not. Get to know new and different people with different backgrounds.
- Never become to smart to learn. Never become so smart that you think you know everything. As some may say, the wisest man knows that he doesn’t know everything.
¹So something important did happen, thank goodness.
²I write my blog for what I hope will be a mainly female audience. If you have other sexual preferences, please do not take offense.
³Actually, I don’t really care if you do anything with your life. I don’t know you and your lack of motivation to succeed does NOT impact my life.