Today marks 25 years since I entered this big, bad world of ours. I was born on Super Bowl Sunday in 1988 to a very happy couple of new parents. I really cannot believe that I am 25. Bernie and I were talking about this the other day. I think I feel 22 years old. I always thought 25 was so old. 25 year olds totally have their shit together. They know what they want. They have careers, houses, boyfriends, cars, kids, etc. Well, I don’t have all of those things, but I think I have my shit together pretty well, at least for now. I’m definitely still flying by the seat of my pants, but I think all young 20-somethings are, especially when you live in a large city. I’m just taking every day as they come. It’s been a pretty stressful January to say the least, and I’m happy that it’s over, and what better way to end the month from hell than with a birthday. Bernie and I are headed out tonight for a celebratory dinner at Legal Seafood Harborside. The restaurant overlooks the Boston Harbor and looks incredible. I can’t wait to faceplant into a delicious cocktail and some fresh seafood. I also took tomorrow off from work. Best. Decision. Ever.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of my birth (whoa, weird. 25th anniversaries are big deals right?!) I thought I would share 25 things that I’ve learned in the 25 years I’ve been alive.
25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years
1. If you have negative, toxic, manipulative, unauthentic, and just downright not nice people in your life, cut them out now. There is no use trying to be friends with someone who doesn’t give you the same love and attention that you give to them. It may hurt – you may feel like that person is your friend – trust me, they aren’t.
2. Say yes. One thing I learned in my improvisation acting classes in high school was to always say ‘yes’. Never say ‘no’. Saying ‘no’ during improv shuts the moment down. It gives your acting partner nothing to play off of. Life is pretty similar to improv class. We never know what’s going to happen next, but we have to be open and receptive. Say ‘yes’, even if the idea of the thing you’re saying ‘yes’ to scares you or makes you uncomfortable.
3. College is for experimenting. There is no other time in your life where changing complete directions or mindsets on different practices, ideas, or concepts is as accepted. Want to try a fun art class? Go for it. Want to change majors? Go for it! Want to date different people? Go for it! Find yourself.
4. Moisturizer and sunscreen are your friends.
5. Clothes are fun and all, but don’t waste your money on silly items. Ugg boots? Yeah, I had like 3 pairs. 3 years into college they weren’t popular anymore. That was a good $400 wasted that I could have spent on something else like a trip to visit a friend.
(new running shoes and argyle Pro Compression socks? Not a silly purchase at all)
6. Travel. This is not a waste of money. Take the time to visit other places and experience other people and cultures. Your life will change because of it.
7. Organic food is worth it, but be realistic about it. Know your dirty dozen and the clean fifteen lists. Also, buy organic and cage-free, free range, grass fed, etc. when it comes to meet.
8. Learning to cook healthy meals is the best investment in your health you can make.
9. Exercise often, rest as needed, listen to your body. Don’t I know it all too well.
10. Don’t waste your time on men who don’t value you. If he’s not taking you out, calling/texting you back, not introducing you to his friends, and being all around “weird” or “shady”, dump him like a bad habit. The saying “he’s just not that into you” is more true than you think.
11. Running is hard; running will always be hard. But it will change your life.
12. Your parents who you worshiped as a child, despised as a teenager, and missed as a college kid in another state – are amazing. Don’t take them for granted. They will do more for you than you ever truly deserved.
13. Your sister is your best friend. You may not have gotten along as kids, but she will always have your back, even when it doesn’t feel like it.
(and she’ll happily keep you company while you take an ice bath)
14. Never take family for granted. They can be gone in an instant. Listen to their stories, head their advice, and treasure the time you have together.
15. Work hard. Play harder.
16. Laugh hard and often. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh and who laugh with you.
Here are some photos that make me laugh:
17. Embrace change. As much as it may be stressful or unnerving, it’s the only way you will grow.
18. Learn how to handle a hammer and nails, spackle, and other home improvement things. You’ll be thankful for learning even just a little bit.
(I did this. By myself. Pat on the back for me)
19. Embrace and love your body. While this may be hard and how you feel about your body fluctuates, love it. Don’t try to change it with unhealthy diets or workouts. It will rebel. Treat it well by eating healthfully. Everything in moderation.
20. Any stress can be dissolved with an hour spent in the saddle.
21. Embrace your roots. Love where you’re from – it made you who you are. Every experience, negative or positive, has shaped you to be the person you are today. Stop trying to knock it down.
22. Get to know and explore where you live. Try different restaurants. Go to museums. Become an expert on your town, so that when your friends visit you and ask you “Where’s the best place to have ____ cuisine?” “What should we do while we’re there?” you’ll have a really good answer. Also, take part in any sort of large activity going on in the city. The celebration parade that happened when the Bruins won the Stanley cup after 4,508,489 years – epic.
(Brad Marchand TOTALLY looked me dead in the eye for this one. I swear. *swoooooon*)
23. There is no right or wrong way to live your life. Some people will force you to follow certain paths. If that path isn’t right for you, don’t follow it. It took me a lonnnngggggg time to realize this, and it’s still a work in progress.
24. Stay away from scallops. Just a note to myself.
25. And the biggest thing I learned this year and am still working on daily: Stop. Breathe. Move on.
Readers: What are some of the things you’ve learned over the years? Can you relate to my list? Share me yours!