18. Date yourself. That movie you are dying to see, that restaurant you walk by every day—take yourself! Don’t wait around for anyone else. Get yourself a large popcorn on a Friday night and go make yourself comfortable, damnit. I cannot tell you how much I enjoy doing this.
19. Money does not buy happiness. Count your blessings, not the number in your bank account. Some of my favorite moments happened when I couldn’t afford to go out.
20. With that said, be careful with credit cards. Fear them. Do not buy anything with a credit card that you cannot afford with what’s in your bank account. You won’t realize you are in a financial hole until you are stuck (and panicking) watching those numbers climb every month because you are unable to pay them off.
21. It is so important to say “no” every once in a while. Give yourself a break– pour yourself a glass of wine, turn on a movie and order pizza to your bed. Chances are, people don’t really care if you go to the party or not.
22. No one really knows what the hell they’re doing. It wasn’t until I graduated college that I realized life isn’t linear. There isn’t a step-by-step instruction guide on how to reach a certain goal or be at a certain stage in which society claims to be appropriate for your age. We’re all on different timelines, shoveling our way through life to reach different goals. Define “success” in your own terms. Those who matter in your life will love you for you—not because of your paycheck or where you spend your days.
23. Do not let anyone intimidate you. You might be intimidating, ever think of that?! Everyone is insecure and nervous from time to time and it is crazy how much we can get in our own head. People are just people. Do not let differing personalities make you feel less. You don’t need to be loud, harsh or Type A to make an impact. This will take a while to learn as well.
24. Most of the things you worry about never happen. Worrying and overthinking is only praying for something to go wrong.
25. Follow your heart. Because we learn about trusting our gut only after we haven’t. And we are only able to learn about love after digging through the trenches of heartbreak.
26. There is no short cut to growing up. I needed to learn every last thing on my own, and in my own time. Because it has been how I have learned each thing that has shaped the person I now am–and the person I’ll be tomorrow and the day after, and the year after next. And I’m very happy with that person.
27. Learn to laugh at yourself. Let people laugh at you. Pronounce things wrong. Trip over your own feet. Spill coffee all over yourself. Accept it, people will love you more for it.
Here’s to 27. I think it’s going to be a good one.