Congratulations on becoming an adult (whatever that means...) You can now officially buy cigarettes (gross!) and lottery tickets (sadly you haven't hit the jackpot yet..) and also participate in our democratic process aka voting (its a frustrating process.... but be involved!)
You're about to leave home for the very first time to start university (aka the most expensive bar tab of your life) and ohhh baby, you're going to lead an incredible life.. you wouldn't believe me if I told you all the things you end up doing, but I promise, You will see so many places, meet so many people and do so many wonderful and spectacular things. In fact, you'll experience more in your one lifetime than most will in 100.
You are #blessed (hashtags are a thing in the future)
Here are the most important things that youve learned in the past ten years... I hope that no matter how old you get, you continue to live your life in the way that makes you happiest and that you never, ever grow up
Andrea, age 28
- Wear sunscreen (and less make up) because you're a babeeeeee... even when you're barefaced
- Financially support the causes you believe in... one day you'll make decent money and once u do, put your money where your mouth is and fund the causes that are near and dear to your heart (NPR; SPLC, the NY Times, Planned Parenthood) Their work is important and constantly threatened...And when you can't donate money, donate your time (time is money, as they say!)
- Learn another language (or at least hello, thank you and "nice ass" so you can pick up foreign men) as a native English speaker, you're lucky because your born with an advantage but it makes you lazyyyyyyyyy. When you learn a different language, you'll be able to meet so many mor people plus speaking another language opens up your mind to a whole new way of thinking (and it's okay if you sound like an asshole. At least you're trying!)
- Do nice things (just because) Buy someone a coffee or pay for a person's lunch. Tell someone that they're beautiful or have a banging body (in a non pervy way, of course) it'll make their day and hopefully they'll pass on the kindness. Do nice things for people without the expectation of acknowledgement because in the future, our society will be obsessed with oversharing and curating their perfect life on social media (yourself included... you've built a career off of it..)
- If you want something, tell every one about your plans so they hold you accountable. Then do it.
- A glass of red wine a day is healthy (and glass sizes vary..) also... vodka is also not your friend even if it's cheap and mixes well with everything
- Kiss boys from different countries and then fall in love with one of them (make sure he's tall, beautiful and french....) you'll go on so many adventures and he'll fill your heart with an immense amount of love, make you laugh more than anyone else, and bring you an incredible amount of happiness. he'll change your life and really will make you a believer in following your heart;
- Cooking is fun... (and we're not talking about just frying an egg or making instant noodles!) Its also a lot more cheaper and healthier than eating out all the time, plus you'll be able to learn about different cultures and share meals and conversations with people you love over your homemade food.
- Eat more veggies and less meat. It's better for u and the environment!
- Learn how to drive, become a better swimmer, and learn how to use tools. You are 28 and you cannot do these things (you are failing at adulating still so this year you'll make an effort to accomplish these goals... BUT you should try and do it sooner.)
- Don't let other people define or quantify your happiness and success Numbers are rankable and therefore are an easy way to place people on a dumb success scale dictated by our capitalist and consumer driven culture. People will try to rank your success, whether it's thru money, a job title, the size of your apartment, or the cost of the bag you have. YOU DONT CARE ABOUT THIS. you will know real happiness and success cannot usually be measured because it's impossible to measure life's intangibles. Don't make huge life decisions to make other people happy. Sometimes you're going to hurt people you love very much with your choices, and that's okay
- Keep your ass in shape.. you'll never have abs... and that's okay because your tummy rolls are endearing plus food brings you so much happiness (so don't bother cutting carbs because you'll be a grumpy bitch...) but you will feel a lot better about yourself when you break a sweat. Plus you're going to hike in some incredible places so if you're in decent shape... you won't feel like complete death
- Don't sleep with your friends... sadly, the older you get, the more difficult it will be to make male friends. You can easily pick up guys so don't ruin a good friendship by hooking up with someone unless u are ready to commit.
- Support other women. Boys club is forreal... whether its in the work place or actual society. if you see a woman who looks like she's struggling, help her out. have her back. because progress is slow and requires a mass movement.
- Go outside more... I know it's hard to believe because you think you're a city girl, but actually, you'll learn to love the outdoors and fall in love with hiking and you'll scale incredible and literal breathtaking heights;
- Never do crack, crystal meth or heroin (or smoke cigarettes) let's not forget that your brain will only fully develop when your 25, so maybe don't mess it ip
- Acknowledge people. Learn everyone's name... from your direct colleagues to the person sitting across the room and to the security guard to the janitor... they're all people. And always Say hello and thank you to the people you interact with (even if they think it's weird try to avoid eye contact)
- Write more. Read more. Both bring you solace and let your thoughts and put things into perspective. The written word is so powerful and allow you to express yourself when you feel overwhelmed and lost.
- Only suckers pay for retail so buy second hand. It's better for the environment plus you'll realise you actually don't care about most material goods including designer brands or fancy clothes. And with all the money you save, you can do other cool things (like travel.)
- Quit your job and see the world. This is the best decision you will make in your life.
- Say yes to people and to experiences. Remember when you were growing up how people told you to not talk to strangers? Well completely disregard that advice and take a chance on people... most people are kind and good, they just need an opportunityto prove it (however, if your gut tells you otherwise, feel free to say no.) you'll have amazing adventures and do realllllllllyyy cool things when you say yes (like partying at a random rave in bumblefuck Bolivia or visiting a little village in Myanmar)
- Know your values, stay grounded by your morals. This may contradict the point above, but you'll gain knowledge thru your experiences and know yourself better and better. And you'll realise what is important to you and hopefully stand by your morals and values, even if it may be difficult at times.
- Google is great, but it's okay to ask for advice or help if you don't know something. It's not a sign of weakness.
- Get offline. There's this thing called social media that will consume your life for a few years but you realise it's not actually reality. So get off your phone and live your life.
- Talk to people who are different than you You will learn so much from these conversations because they'll give you a whole different perspective on a topic. Even if you don't agree with their position or know nothing about what their talking about it's important to listen and to consider their view and (maybe) empathise.. you will sadly learn that there are so many divisions in our society that will slowly rip us apart.
- Laugh at yourself. You're silly. You're clumsy. You're loud and obnoxious. You'll never be sexy or graceful or dexterous. Embrace it, you walking disaster/cackling hyena
- Don't be afraid to shine. You are a small person with a very very big personality. Some people will be intimidated. Don't shrink yourself to make others feel bigger, instead surround yourself with giants that inspire you to be a better person.
- It's okay to feel sad and it's normal to have insecurities. At some points in your life, you will feel sad and very, very depressed. you'll try and hide it from others and carry on like everything is ok, but it's really not. Take time to take care of yourself. You tend to give your energy to a lot of people and sometimes you just need to put yourself first. Take time to breathe and recharge if you need it. It doesn't make you boring or selfish .. it makes you a human. And you can't help others if you can't help yourself.