Sunday, March 16, 2014

19 Before 20

Yesterday was my birthday, and I officially dropped the teen form my years for good. Which is alarming to say the least. I'm not sure how the last eight years flew by so quickly, but I honestly feel like it was yesterday that I was a hippy-haired twelve year old in my first pair of glasses counting down the months to the moment when that magic four letter word would appear in my age and transform me into a super-cool Barbie-esque version of myself with 20/20 vision who wore makeup and went to parties, went out with friends alone, and dated, and all that other junk that super-cool Barbie-esque teenagers were supposed to do (spoiler: apparently my fairy godmother was on permanent vacation. It never happened.)

Okay so I was already a hippy-haired 13 year old here, but close enough

Why is it that we're always so eager to grow up until it's time to do it? Lately I've found myself wishing I could go back to being that hippy-haired twelve year old. The last two years of my life have been weird, and I've actually reflected a lot on various things over the course of them. One being the fact that I'm not a little kid anymore, no matter how much I want to be (or how much I still act like one sometimes. heh.) It's terribly cliche, but I wish I could go hug twelve year old me and tell her to always be true to herself and forget following the herd, and to make every second of childhood last because those years go by in the blink of an eye. But enough sad and sappy stuff. While I'm mildly terrified at the concept of being twenty year old me, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a tiny bit excited too. I mean, life is an adventure right? This is just the next installment in my series. So without further ado, though I've learned a heck of a lot more, I'm going to share nineteen things I learned before twenty, all of which I'll be pushing myself to remember and live by.

19th Birthday Selfies: Obligatory take a nice one for Mom picture and "What is this 19? I don't trust it!"

19 Things I've Learned Before 20

  1. Life is too short to sweat the small stuff - Seriously. This is tired advice, but in the middle of your meltdowns just pause. Take a deep breath. Ask if it will matter a month from now? A year from now? If the answer is no, move along. You have more important things to be experiencing.
  2. Tackle new things head on - Take a run at them and dive on in. Get messy. Go in from the sides, sneak in the back way, but get in there. And don't forget to try new things in the first place!
  3. Life is ever changing - Roll with it. Skip into it. Dance your way through it. While changes can be scary, stagnation can be merciless.
  4. Take yourself seriously, but not too seriously - Believe in yourself, and by all means be your biggest fan. But laugh with (and at) yourself. Often.
  5. Take stock of every moment - Stop and smell the roses, and blah blah blah. Honestly though, when you're 80 and can still remember every crinkle around your best friend's eyes when she smiled or the smell of the sun warming the earth on the first warm day of your nineteenth year, the time you spent out of the usual rushrushrush will all be worth it.
  6. Your opinion of yourself is the only one that matters - If someone says you "looked so pretty with your long hair!" feel free to remind them that you look smokin' hot now. Then remind yourself. And make sure you believe it.
  7. Open your eyes - There is an entire world to see. There is always something worth taking in. Yes, even in your tiny town.
  8. Open your ears - Listen to people, different kinds of people, all people. Listen to their stories and their beliefs and their hopes and dreams. You will be amazed. And you will thank yourself, trust me.
  9. Open your mind - Approach each new experience with your mind wide open and no preconceived notions. Take in as much as you can. 
  10. Never set yourself on fire to keep others warm - It is an amazing, honourable thing to be there for other people. But when that crosses a line and puts you in the position of ignoring, or changing, yourself to make others happy- stop. No guilt necessary. And never mold yourself into something you aren't because someone else wants that version of you.
  11. Take photos of everything, always - Again, you will thank yourself later. Pictures are worth a thousand words after all, and looking back on the past is always fun. You'll be grateful you don't have to rely solely on memory, and you can share your past with people in your future.
  12. Surround yourself with things you love  - And don't apologize for them, to anyone. Your boyfriend hates your salt and pepper shaker collection because it's useless and weird? Tell him not to look at it. Your friends say you can't have a wardrobe of vintage florals AND a Tarantino collection? Show them the best of both worlds. Simultaneously if need be.
  13.  Surround yourself with good vibes - Positive thoughts, optimism, and deep breaths, and most of all people who fit into the way you flow. You'll be happier and healthier for it.
  14.  Go ahead and get that tattoo - You probably won't regret it. If you really wanted it and your tastes change, it's there to represent the you in that chapter of your life. Apply this to everything.
  15.  Be courageous, always - Remember, courage isn't fearlessness. Embrace your fear and use it to motivate you. Be scared. Be shaking-in-your-boots terrified. Do it anyway.
  16. Try to see your flaws from an objective view - We are our own worst enemy, and our harshest critic.We scrutinize and nitpick and tear ourselves into little pieces. Build yourself back up, then take a look from someone else's eyes. The view might surprise you.
  17.  Forgive - While I don't recommend forgetting, since history tends to repeat itself, forgiveness is therapeutic. It closes wounds and allows you to heal.
  18. Forget saving things for special occasions - Every day of your life is a special occasion because you are alive on this little blue dot in the universe, breathing and thinking and creating and speaking and dreaming and doing and living. That's another thing. Don't merely exist, live.
  19. Be yourself - Fearlessly and unapologetically (is that a word?) and larger than life-ly. Revel in your own energy and put it out into this world for others to revel in. The people drawn to the genuine you are the keepers.
20th Birthday Selfies: Recreating facial expressions from a year ago is hard!


currently listening to: Weezer by Weezer


  1. Happy Birthday. I hope you had a wonderful day. I love that you recreated your selfies. :)


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