I’m turning 20 today, which is an interesting age, one where most people say, “One more year!” as if I’ve never had alcohol in my life. Though I am looking forward to next year, that has more to do with being able to buy alcoholic offerings (the ones I prefer to give) than with being able to consume.
A lot of my feelings about growing up are similar to this post (and also puts into words why I seriously distrust anyone that complains how this generation ‘just wants to go to college and get a useless degree’ – yes, tell me more about how wanting to be a paralegal is useless. Tell me more, please. I’m so interested. Please let me grovel for wanting a better life.) However, I’ll try to keep things positive, so here’s a list of 20 lessons I’ve learned throughout being alive.
20. It is absolutely okay to be ridiculously happy and excited about something as ‘silly’ as a television show or a movie. You never know what amazing piece of artwork or creativity will come just because you enjoyed something so unapologetically.
19. Having liked something from the beginning is awesome, but don’t be rude about it. You can be involved in a movement or group for decades, but being inviting and listening to new ideas is something that earns the most respect and benefits you most.
18. You’re going to go through hell. You’re going to make it through. Never forget that.
17. Dream bigger and stranger each time you do. That’s where the magic is.
16. The more dangerous people tell you something is, the more likely you are to do it – just to see. Personal experience is some of the best experience.
15. All the stories are true, except when they’re not.
14. Never get too caught up in yourself. You will make mistakes. You will touch the sky. You will do great deeds, but keep your feet on the ground. Be a bit humble. Always ask yourself ‘why’.
13. Be consistent – and don’t forget the milk.
from devotional work
12. A repetitive, simple phrase can work more wonders than an elaborate poem. Know where your strengths are and don’t shame yourself for not being good at everything. Do what works.
11. People keep telling you to meditate, but remember that you do great with just sitting on the porch watching the world.
10. Love is a verb. Don’t content yourself with thinking. Do. Always do something.
9. Keep going.
8. Ask questions. Don’t be content with the first answer you give. Improve. Learn. Be constant in your education of yourself, and remember that you don’t need a degree to have a voice.
7. Build a healthy ego, and don’t let it eat you.
6. Choose your battles, and be honest about them too. Don’t play the victim when you’re not. Take responsibility for your actions, and learn to be a better you.
5. There is so much love and possibility and chance and creativity in the world and you are alive at an incredible time. Never say you’re not important. Remember that resurrection is a hobby.
4. Sometimes it takes years to understand you’ve been hurt. You’re going to be more scared to admit you have been hurt than anything else. It is okay to have been hurt. It is okay to still be hurting. What we do is keep going and pushing forward.
3. There are dreams that aren’t going to come to fruition and holding onto them sobbing is going to do less good then kicking your butt into gear and chasing an unexpected, adventurous, incredible future.
2. Everyone has something to say about how you’re living your life. Stop caring. (Be Luna Lovegood.)
1. Don’t regret. Be.