Tomorrow, I turn 25. One quarter of a century.
I realize, looking at the number two and five, in succession right there, that this age is, for all intents and purposes, peanuts. This isn’t much. I haven’t been an adult for more than seven years, while some of my readers have been adults for twenty, thirty, forty years. Impressive!
Those of you who have been adults longer than a decade, I salute you. Try not to laugh as I give myself some wisdom, here. You sit back, in your lovingly decorated offices (adults have offices, right?) and cackle at my optimism and war-worn assessment of the past and future.
But oh well. I will be like you, one day, in my office. But I’m here, in my mauve-ridden RV.
However, there is something to be said, for these years, these years 18 to 25.
Most people exit crazy stage, enter crazy stage, de-crazy, and mildly crazy in these seven years.
And yet at the end of it, they STILL let you rent a car!
I have compiled myself a list that will help me this year. It has different sections with different purposes in mind. Maybe they’ll help you. Maybe you could write your own! I’d love to read your own in the comments.
Without further ado, my quarter century list of reminders and hopes that I have learned or aspire towards. I made it a list of 25 things, because duh.
- You have a tendency to think your thoughts and words are more important than everyone else’s. Guess what—they aren’t. Really listen. Don’t pretend to listen while you’re formulating your own thoughts. That’s dumb.
- You are a yo-yo dieter. Yes. Your body is freakish, and has the ability to bounce around forty pounds of weight depending on the way you’re eating. You have been your heaviest and lightest in the past three years two times each. That is bad. That is unhealthy. Eat the way you know you need to eat.
- Floss. For reals.
- You don’t have to read books that people say are great just because you want to be cultured. It’s good to read books that are classic and famous, but don’t feel bad reading your five teenage chick-lit books in between every one classic.
- You have turned into an introvert. You are outgoing and talkative, but also a hardcore introvert. When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed by people, go sit in your hammock or go by the creek. All will thank you.
- Brush back up on your Spanish.
- You often feel fussy about minute things, and it ends up in an angry blowup. Let Jesus work on your heart in this – it comes from a variety of roots, but you know what they are and know what to do when this happens.
- It’s hard for you to love difficult people. You feel threatened or annoyed, so you judge and gossip to others around you. This behavior is really poisonous, as it involves others. Keep your judgy-nonsense to yourself.
- You have very little self-control with your smartphone. Employ the help of others to remind you when you should be present.
- Your family is really close. Be thankful for this. Appreciate them. Thank them. Love them.
- Write thank you cards, letters, hellos. Getting letters in the mail makes people feel special. You’re good at remembering to do this, so do it!
- When you meet people, ask them what their favorite thing to do is first. Don’t ask them about their job – career does not define.
- When people ask you to pray for them, or when you tell people you will pray for them, do it. There is immense power in prayer, but there’s a good deal of harm in empty promises.
- You are married to a wonderful man. You are married to a wonderful man. Treasure him.
- You used to shave your legs. Then you stopped for a while. Now you started again. But this sometimes-shaving-sometimes-not thing? It’s not working for you. Pick one.
- Be genial when you are checking out at a store. Ask them how their day is, or how long they’ve been working. Being a cashier is really annoying, and they feel invisible all day. Make them feel loved, if you can.
- You require external pressure to create art. Schedule yourself to have an art show, since that’s the only thing that lights a fire under you to create.
- Be sparing with your exclamation points when writing emails or texts to acquaintances. !!!!! does not mean they will love you.
- Stop using humor at the expense of others to impress new acquaintances. It’s a really weird habit, and I don’t know where the heck it came from, but you will have very few friends if this continues for another ten years.
- Wait thirty minutes before playing on your phone or computer in the morning. Instead, make coffee, journal, pray, read. Better for the brain.
- Sometime in the last few years, you’ve started accidentally tailing every single person in front of you when you drive. I know you don’t mean to, but uh, quit.
- Think about people’s motives before you judge them. Often, when people are frustrating, it comes from more deep-seated issues, just like your own problems. Empathy is key for you to love people.
- Travel out of the country every year if you can. It gives you something to look forward to and it feeds your wandering spirit. Do this with people you love.
- Teach people how to garden instead of questioning their food choices.
- Keep your nails painted. It makes you feel like a gosh-darn lady.