I recently came across an interesting birthday post by fellow DC blogger Suburban Sweetheart, who wrote about the 26 lessons she’s learned in her 26 years on earth. Although it’s been a month since my own birthday, Suburban Sweetheart’s blog entry inspired me to list 22 things that I’ve learned by age 22:
1. Being somewhat of a homemaker isn’t a bad thing. I’ve never been the kind of girl that adores cooking, shopping, or Crate and Barrel catalogues. Thankfully, I’ve had the luxury of living with excellent cooks and decorators. As much as I hate talking about cuisine, furniture, and grocery lists, I recognize the importance of knowing how to run a household. Homemakers should not be underestimated.
2. Some people don’t want children or marriage, and this does not make them selfish.
3. Good food is worth weight gain. During my Paris study abroad experience last summer, I went on the indulgent, gluttonous 3,500 calorie-a-day Eat Pray Love diet. Even though I was only in France for 2 months, I gained 15 pounds. All was well in Europe, where I drowned myself in Nutella, consumed baguette after baguette daily, and had multiple servings of pasta every night. Reality set in when I returned to the U.S., stepped on a scale, and bought my first pair of “mom” jeans. Although it took me six months to return to my pre-study abroad size, I was thankful for my opportunity to eat such wonderful food for an entire summer. Healthy, tasty meals are worth the extra (20) pounds. Just ask Elizabeth Gilbert.
4. Atrocious films can brighten a bad day. If you’re in need of a laugh, you may have better luck renting Troll 2, which was voted by the Rotten Tomatoes as the worst film of all time, than Old School, an actual comedy. More often than not, a film that was not meant to be funny but comes across as such will be much more entertaining than a movie that tries too hard to amuse an audience.
5. There’s always something to be grateful for, whether it’s a loyal family, reliable social circle, or steady job. Be thankful for what you have and try not to focus on what you are lacking.
6. Not everyone values honesty. People will tell outright lies and they won’t think twice about doing it. This is also common in casual dating.
7. Most unwarranted criticism and nit picking (i.e.- “you have no life outside of your boyfriend,” “you’re too nice”) stem from jealousy. Don’t take it too personally when someone constantly critiques your way of life.
8. College is a phenomenal opportunity, and it’s unfortunate that a large chunk of the country doesn’t have the means to get a university degree. College is an excellent place to form lifelong friendships and find one’s niche, among many other things.
9. Kids movies can be restorative and uplifting. I may be the only person on the planet to dislike Finding Nemo, but I’m well aware of its universally positive impact on the majority of the population. From what I’ve read, viewers were inspired by the movie’s aesthetics, special effects, and quirky characters. I may not have connected with Finding Nemo, but I certainly loved Up, a newer Pixar film with much a heavier plot line. The story, dialogue, and characters, particularly Russell, have a way of picking me up on emotionally taxing days.
10. You need to love yourself before anyone else will.
11. There are dozens of ways to be insecure. One person may be self conscious about his weight while another person is embarrassed about her job. Some people are too insecure to enter romantic relationships while others are too insecure too be single. It’s vague to dub someone “insecure.” For the most part, everybody is insecure about something, although I have come across a few individuals who claim to have no security issues. Props to them.
12. Small talk is worse than having your teeth pulled.
13. There should be a book called “She’s just not that into you.”
14. Animals make us better people.
15. The greatest revenge is happiness.
16. It’s important to read as much as possible regardless of one’s career path.
17. Group sports (i.e. football, baseball, soccer) are overrated. Individual physical activity such as yoga, rock climbing, jogging, and horseback riding can be much more fulfilling and healthier for the mind.
18. If you need help, you must not be afraid to ask for it.
19. People aren’t mind readers. If someone is upsetting you, particularly a friend or family member, it’s your duty to speak up if you want the problem to be resolved.
20. There’s nothing wrong with alone time. I’d like to spin off Suburban Sweetheart’s #9, which states, “Nothing is more relaxing or refreshing than spending time alone – particularly at the movie theatre.” My ex-roommate once claimed that movie goers riding solo should be on suicide watch, but I violently disagree. Sometimes, it’s good to experience a film all alone, especially if none of your friends or family members are interested in watching it.
21. Friends have the potential to be more worthwhile than significant others. I’d rather be a good friend than a good girlfriend. A solid social network can provide much more moral support, career opportunities, and social outings than a boyfriend or girlfriend.
22. Life may be unfair, but you should always aim to be as positive and hopeful as possible.