Sunday, September 30, 2012

Unsolicited advice, part II

In just over 2 months, I will hit the quarter of a century mark and enter the second half of my twenties. I'm only looking forward to this because, if you know me at all you know, I love my birthday. I love an entire day about me. Granted, I'm the only one who celebrates it that way and to others, December 6th is simply the day before Pearl Harbor was attacked. So, in honor of the proximity of this special day and the fact that list making is on my mind (birthday lists don't just make themselves, people!), I have decided to share with you the top ten things I have learned from my early twenties and/or advice for your early twenties, in no particular order.

un: Blondes do not have more fun. This is an absolute myth that has been proven wrong by yours truly. All blondes have is the tendency to get bad roots and dried out hair because really, when was the last time you saw a natural blonde in their twenties?

deux: The person you think you are at 20 is not the person you are going to be. At all. Okay, maybe a little bit of you will stay the same (ideals, morals, etc) but your personality will change as you start to come to terms with behaviors you can't stand and people you do (and don't) want to be around. Maybe a breakup will cause you to lose all inhibition, maybe a book will inspire you to learn a new language and move to a new country, but regardless, you will change. It's only 5 years but so much will happen to shape who you are.

trois: Those days of making friends with everyone in the room are long gone, and that's okay. We're not supposed to get along with everyone because we're all so different and the second you stop trying to please everyone, you'll be a much happier person. And remember, people change so if someone you liked three years ago does nothing but annoy you now, cut the cord and move on.

quatre:  While friends are necessary, take time to be alone. This is the time in your life when no one else is completely dependent on you, so if you want to go see that movie, do it. If you want to spend two hours running at the lake, do it. Do not tie your life to someone else just yet, enjoy your independence.

cinq: Get a pet. Cat, dog, fish, I don't care, but get an animal. I had a beta fish in college that I named B. Ausmus and I loved him. He lived for a year until a sneaky parasite got into his stomach and made him look pregnant. I have a dog now and, both pets have made me a better person. More responsible, less selfish. Having someone who depends on you completely and can't talk is a challenge and incredibly rewarding. (Yes, it sounds like it goes against point quatre, but a pet can't talk so essentially you can still be alone.)

six: Live with a roommate at least once. Yes, everyone likes their own space and their own bathroom, but you learn a lot about yourself when you're living with someone else. It also forces you to be cleaner and more understanding, plus it'll help you figure out what compliments you in terms of a housemate/spouse.

sept: Be healthy, but don't obsess. Obsession leads to bad things that make everyone unhappy. You will never be 100% happy with your body (I know no matter what I do, I can't change the length of my second toes) but once you accept that, you can start enjoying being healthy and active for the right reasons. When it's not about losing weight or looking "perfect", it's a lot more fun.

huit: Your parents really did know what they were talking about. Call them, keep in touch; they will be your best source of advice for life and everything it chooses to throw at you. Plus, their ability to lie is limited.

neuf: Mistakes are mandatory. You're going to make them, and you're going to make a lot of them. The question is how are you going to deal with them? Don't be afraid of them, they will teach you more than doing something right the first time, and they will stick with you.

dix: You will never stop learning. The tests, papers, and quizzes may stop but you will learn something everyday. It may be something about you, a historical figure, or even a new word, but regardless, there is always knowledge to be attained and a brain that can soak it up. Enjoy learning, odds are it will make you a better person.


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