Sunday, November 29, 2015

20 Thoughts for 20 Years

In the US, 18 is an impressive birthday because you are allowed to call yourself an adult, vote on important things, and buy lottery tickets. 19 is a fun age because you're still young enough to act like a teenager before you're expected to become serious about being all grown up. Then when you're 21, you get to go crazy and get into all the 21-and-up places you were banned from throughout childhood.

Theeeeen there's 20, snuck into the middle there, which really doesn't do much. Nothing changes except you're no longer technically a teenager but… you got the adult card two years ago, sooo you're kinda stuck in between things.

What I'm trying to say is, 20 is an odd birthday. I wanted to come up with a way to celebrate that was fun and somewhat thoughtful, and made me smile. Because I'm a writer and one of those people who likes to sit around and think about things, I've put together a list of twenty musings about life that I think everyone could benefit from. Because 20 deserves something special.

1. Most of the things you plan will not go the way you expect. That's okay. Imagine how dull life would be if you knew how it would all turn out!

2. If you look for the good in the world, in people, you will find it. Keep your head up and your eyes open. Positivity is a choice.

3. Being vulnerable is brave. Put yourself out there and learn from rejection. That's just the universe's way of cutting things you don't need from your life.

4. The internet is a seriously amazing educational tool. Between Google, YouTube and a million education websites, is there anything you can't learn online?

5. Pay attention to your dreams. They can be a fascinating insight into things you don't realize are going on in your subconscious.

6. Budgeting is hard, but there's no satisfaction like being able to pay for something which you earned the money to buy.

7. Never tell someone you agree with them unless you really do. If you don't understand what they're arguing for or against, do some research and form your own opinions. Look at both sides of every argument.

8. Don't be afraid to say "I don't know," but always follow it up with, "here's how I'm going to find out."

9. The things you believe to be true about the world generally are. Your world is shaped by the way you view it, so trust that things are going to work out and they generally will. I'm not saying to just sit back and let it happen- you have to do the work- but believing in the best outcomes will help them become realities.

10. Being aware of international news is important. Even if you're like me and can't sit through a news show on TV or read a newspaper, check the headlines or subscribe to an email newsletter like The Daily Skimm. You should at least have a general idea of what's going on in the world.

11. Smile and say hi. It could lead to anything. What's there to lose?? Being friendly and conversational towards people you interact with can lead to amazing opportunities.

12. So can being open. Say YES! Yes to things that scare you, things that make you happy, things you love. Say yes to life.

13. Don't apologize for living. Don't say sorry unless you've made a mistake or done something wrong, and don't discredit your beliefs with phrases like, "I'm not sure, but…" or "I kind of think that…" I'm guilty of this too on occasion, but I'm working on it. You have the right to exist, to take up space!

14. Always be yourself. And use glitter in excessive amounts.

15. Getting hurt emotionally sucks, but it always teaches you something. Maybe you learn something about yourself or your desires, or you realize something about someone else. If nothing else, getting through it reminds you that you can recover, and makes you stronger in the end.

16. Discover other cultures. Watch foreign films and study different languages, even if you just learn how to say "hello". Travel. Learning about the world in general is the key to understanding your own.

17. Food is amazing. Don't beat yourself up about it. Eat good food that you love, healthy food that gives you energy and makes you feel good, and try the local cuisine everywhere you travel.

18. Don't waste time reading books you hate. Unless you're trying to learn something from it, but then I'd still say find a better book on the subject. But in general, read things that transport you, that you absolutely enjoy.

19. You can do whatever the hell you want with your life. THERE IS NO LIMIT!!

20. Be present in life. Show up and pay attention. No matter how much you know, there is always more you can learn.