26 Life Lessons for 26 Years

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Lately I’ve gotten into the habit of taking really long walks through Manhattan when I’m feeling stressed or restless or pensive. The city’s movements either help me organize everything into its proper mental folder or it allows me to think about nothing at all. The day before my birthday I walked 10 miles from the bottom of Battery Park to 101st street along the Westside Highway. The day after my birthday party, I found my feet on the move once again, treading from my Prospect Heights stoop over the Brooklyn Bridge until my red salt waters finally settled around Wall Street. It gave me 20 miles to think, stop and read, not think, ponder life, breath, and people watch.

But mostly it allowed me to contemplate my birthday and this life enhancing list below.  So from the chaparrals of Valencia to the urine soaked sidewalks of Brooklyn, here are 26 gems of knowledge from me to you.

  1. Never ever sit on the wooden benches on the subway platform.
  2. Always ALWAYS bring some type of dessert (preferably pie) when you visit a fire station.
  3. If you find a pair of jeans that make you want to dance down the street singing “Pour Some Sugar on Me,” buy five pairs of them. Look! Now you’re done pants shopping for the next four years!
  4. If you couldn’t eat creamy Alfredo sauce when you were a teen, you can’t eat it now. Stop trying to make digestion of creamy sauces happen.
  5. Everyone doesn’t have to like you. You don’t have to like everyone. Some people will be chapters in your life, some the entire book, and some will never make the character list. Instead of focusing on those unworthy minor characters, make room in your novel for those that truly matter.
  6. Splurge on yourself.
  7. Always say yes to the second glass of ice tea. Especially if it also comes with a free slice of pie.
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  8. Lean into friendships.
  9. Being overprepared > being underprepared. Being early > being late.
  10. Don’t shy away from your finances. Make a budget, a savings place and a 401K and start preparing for your future.
  11. Some people aren’t meant to rock high heels and if I’m being honest, you and I are probably two of those said people.
  12. Learn how to apologize and take responsibility for your mistakes. Own up to them and move forward.
  13. There is no such thing as the perfect body. I remember feeling a sudden lightness when I finally decided to stop fighting and simply embrace and utilize the body and weight I was meant to move within.
  14. Stress less.
  15. Embrace your giggle fits. They’re contagious and good for the environment.
  16. Never cook a stir fry and then bring it on a plane as your dinner. Same goes for tuna sandwiches.
  17. Some days you’re going to be able to hold side crow in yoga. Some days you’re going to put on your underwear backwards and not realize it until 6pm. That’s just life.
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  18. Always ALWAYS let people know how much them mean to you, how much you adore and appreciate them. Trust me, you’ll kick yourself later if heaven forbid something should happen and you never spoke up.
  19. Always carry a book with you. It will be your best accessory.
  20. If someone tells you they’re a teacher, immediately give them a hug and offer to buy them a glass of wine. They’re living saints for dealing with your children.
  21. Communicate, communicate, communicate! With friends, family, coworkers, the bagel man. Let people know what you need, and give them the space to do the same in your life. It leads to everyone being much happier in the end.
  22. Document your life in whatever way makes you happy. Scrapbook, write, photograph, vlog, paint; those memory keepers will be greatly appreciated when you look back later on.
  23. Try everything at least once before deciding if it isn’t for you. Unless it’s dangerous or involves clowns. We already known both of those situations won’t be working out.
  24. When someone gifts you a 700 piece lego Walle as a gift, invite your one engineering friend over to help you assemble it. Offer them cookies and stand back while their mechanical brains fly by.
  25. You can never own too many red dresses, animal sweaters, or plaid shirts. You can own too many cats though — according to the state of New York.
  26. You are safe. You’re loved. You’re home in your own body.

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3 thoughts on “26 Life Lessons for 26 Years

  1. Pingback: 27 Hopes for 27 | The Curious Case of Carly Christine

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