Yesterday, on September 16th, I turned a quarter-century. According to me, I'm just an older twenty-something than I was two days ago. According to popular consensus, I am officially old and should have everything figured out. Whoops. On the bright side (there is always a bright side), I'm old enough to rent a car. So that's cool. If you had asked me when I was 15 years old where I thought I would be in ten years, I would have straightened out my El Toro Song uniform and told you something like this: "Well, like I'll probably be married. Hopefully. Ugh, can you imagine if I'm still single at 25?! I'll have two kids and a career in the fashion industry. Oh, and I'll definitely be living in New York City. Okay, maybe just one kid. Maybe no kids." Guess what? That's not my life, and my goals have changed. While I may not be exactly where I want to be, I have made a lot of progress in the past year. I'm twenty-five years young. And you know what? That doesn't scare me. In fact, I think this is going to be the best year of my life.
25 Things I've learned Thus Far:
1. Gratitude is happiness. There is tremendous power in positive thinking.
2. No matter how bad you screw up, you are capable of changing your course. You can create the life you want. Never give up.
3. Friends come and go, and that's okay.
4. Sunscreen is important. I know this because I have had the same square tanline on my tush for over a year now. #OutsideLands2012
5. Having expensive things is only temporarily satisfying. Friendship, love, and adventure are worth so much more than fancy possessions.
6. Always be honest. Trust is easily broken.
7. As cliche as it sounds, life really does fly by. When I was in elementary school, I spent so much time wishing I was older. Now that I am officially old, I realize how important it is to breathe and stay in the moment.
8. Never take your family for granted. They can be gone, or become ill, in an instant. Cherish every moment.
9. Leggings are not pants. Cover your ass.
10. Never compare yourself to others and what they have. We each have our own special journey. You are exactly where you're supposed to be.
11. I don't care how tired you are. Red Line is not something you should ever put into your body. Unless, of course, you get a sick thrill from an almost-heart-attack.
12. Say yes. Eat the escargot. Jump out of that plane. Take the trip. Take a chance.
13. Suit up and show up, no matter what. Nobody likes a flake.
14. Your struggles and fears can help another person. Don't be afraid to speak up and share your story.
15. Endorphins are real. Make fitness a priority.
16. The world will disappoint you. Your heart will break. But know this: No feeling is final.
17. Ignorance is not bliss. Zip up your damn purse. You are not immune to pickpocketers.
18. That piece of pizza won't kill you. Carbs are okay. No...carbs are awesome. Moderation is key and imperfection is beautiful.
19. Just do it. Procrastination is a great way to move backwards.
20. Don't waste your time feeling bad for yourself. If you're experiencing self-pity, snap the hell out of it. For the most part, you are in control of your own happiness. If you're in a deep depression, seek out help.
21. Some people are idiots, but there is no reason to send hatred towards anyone.
22. Embrace fear. Walk through it. No...run. Look fear in the face and say, "SUCK MY DICK."
23. It's okay to start over more than once.
24. Waking up early is always a good idea. The snooze button is always a bad idea.
25. You might neglect your blog for almost a month. Realize that this is a terribly selfish thing to do, but don't beat yourself up. Just keep writing.
Thank you so much for all the birthday love. I send the love right back! The texts, voicemails, and Facebook posts made my day. And a special thanks to Noah for driving 400 miles to spend the weekend with me. I appreciate it all.