Hey lovelies, today is my birthday today! 🙂 I am turning the big 2 – 0, and it’s been quite a bit of an emotional realization for me that two decades of my life has gone by. So, to reflect on my past 20 years, here is a list of 10 important things that I have learned and will never forget. Yes, 10 things – I could not think of 20 life lessons, don’t kill me please.
1 – You will never stop messing up.
Whether it might be academically, socially, or in your morning makeup routine, no matter how much you’ve improved, you will mess up. You may have applied perfect mascara for 355 days out of the entire year, but on those ten days that you smudge the thing all over your eye and look like a streaky, wannabe panda, you will feel like an utter failure and question your sanity. Shit happens – just pick yourself up and keep going.
2 – Don’t eat ramen when it’s close to bedtime.
I don’t care if you have a drama you need to binge watch, or if you need to study for that test. Please do yourself a favor if you don’t want to have swollen eyes and puffy cheeks the next morning, and just lay off on the sodium. I know it’s hard.
3 – Your mom is right 99.9% of the time.
She may say things that irk the hell out of you, and tell you to hate people you love and vice versa, but just give what she says some time to marinate – all I know is, she knew my ex-boyfriend was trash a month before I even had one inkling that something was off with him. I thought my mom was over-controlling and crazy. Turns out, I was just very very wrong. After I broke up with him, she kept gloating at me as I lay at home heartbroken. She has every right to do so.
4 – You actually just can’t wear pencil or gel eyeliner.
You’ve bought and returned literally 10 kinds of non-liquid eyeliner. It is good to have hope that a product will not smudge and actually make you look like those Maybelline models with their soft eyeliner, but trust me – your eyes only want liquid eyeliner.
5 – Your best friend is yourself.
This doesn’t mean that other people are just pawns or out to get you. Having friends, as I’ve learned in my college years, can actually be just about the best thing ever. However, you cannot slowly rely on your friends to cheer you up all the time or support you; you cannot rely on your friends to motivate you when you are lazy – they have their own lives, and you have yours. If you want someone to be your cheerleader, be one yourself. “Go me, I got this” and such. You get the point.
6 – One bad day is not the equivalent of a bad life.
Stop subconsciously exaggerating all the bad stuff that goes on in your life. In high school, I did not do well on a test in AP US history and literally went home that afternoon, skipping school (gasp I know), to ruminate about how my life is going to be horrible. One test led to thoughts about not achieving my dreams, not going to a good college, disappointing my parents, etc. Now, even though I feel shitty after a failed test, I can bounce back much faster and not make a mountain out of a molehill.
7 – There is no such thing as too many horror movies.
Which is the best discovery like, ever. There is however, a limit to how many lipsticks you can buy. Not because there are so few lipsticks out there, but because you are a 20 year old college student and you can’t afford $30 lip products.
8 – Always take a step back before blaming all the shit of the world on yourself.
Yes, you do make mistakes, but when you are hitting yourself over the head for things other people did either to you or in general, you have to take a step back and re-evaluate. I’m reading a book by Jenny Lawson, and she describes admiring a woman who received a large spoon during a catered dinner with soup on it. After finishing the soup, others awkwardly held on to the really big spoon, feeling too impolite to let that spoon go to the trash or on the floor. But that woman literally dropped the damn thing in the pool after she realized the waiters weren’t going to come out. An extreme example and a display of horrible etiquette, but nevertheless a memorable image: you are not responsible for holding on to other people’s awkwardly big problems like they are your own. Be nice to yourself.
9 – Don’t use Head and Shoulders.
Ten year old me used it for fun when I saw it in my dad’s bathroom, and then I started getting dandruff. I then proceeded to use it to try and get rid of my dandruff. Looking back, my thought process on that was a bit questionable. But anyways. Anything for dandruff control but H & S – not even the one that smells like delicious apples.
10 – Dance cautiously with judgement.
This is a bit like Lesson #8.
Now in high school, a few of my friends were all goody-two-shoes, we-don’t-judge-people kinds of people. Yet, as I tried to say only nice things and think only nice thoughts, I blurred my perception of other people. I remember my subconscious mantra was, “Oh, I should be understanding.” He stood you up on a date? “Oh, he might feel pressured, I should be understanding.” A friend asks you to tell her what was on the math test? “She must be nervous about the exam, I should be understanding.”
My high school life was more than a bit sad, LOL.
At the time, I’d rather change myself than judge other people for who they were. I thought this would make me a better person and boost my confidence. Now that I’m at college, I am beginning to ease that judgement a bit, because the community I am in is generally more friendly than in high school. However, I’ll never repetitively return to that sad mantra “I should be understanding” as a way to cope with legitimately unhealthy relationships. The first time I realized I should be thinking “this person is a freaking jerk” was the most liberating time of my high school years.
Ah, and that’s all for my lessons – these are personally important to me, but I totally get it if you guys had different life experiences. 🙂 Feel free to share some of your lessons below. Let’s always look up to the future, shall we?