27 Lessons for My 27th Birthday

A millennial like myself MUST do a birthday blog post replete with GIFs. It is a requirement every year until I turn 30. We can thank Buzzfeed and Thought Catalog for this shit. The nice part of it is I can take a little break from discussing authors and writing habits and lighten up a bit.

27 Years on a Spinning Earth — Shit I’ve Learned in a Quarter Century 

27. Sugar is Bad For You
I’ve always had a sweet tooth. Some people crave Doritos, I lust after Hot Tamales, Peppermint Sticks, and Licorice. I often catch myself wishing Willy Wonka was a real person I could date. I learned though, terrifyingly late in life, that sugar isn’t just BAD for your teeth and general health, it makes you gain weight (the fatty bad kind, not the muscley gainz kind). If you don’t want to rot your insides and walk around wearing a tire around your waist. Cut back.

26. …But It’s Still Fucking Delicious
I just have to follow-up all the health-speak with this: I still eat candy. I still love candy. And the fact that I haven’t gotten sick on candy in months makes it that much more enjoyable. You could eat too many carrots and make yourself sick too. Just have some restraint and all the candy AND muscley gainz can be yours!

25. You’ll Miss Fighting with Your Mom
I know that sounds weird but you will miss her every time the two of you are separated for a long period of time. Even after you’re together again and she points out that your jean pockets are untucked and you shout “Stop telling me how to live my life!” You’ll still miss her when she leave 2 days later. I will tell you this, the fights become less cat-like and more married-couple-like. You’ll bicker and engage in witty repartee. Like a Gilmore Girl.

24. …But Independence Can Be So Great
Holy shit I have just enough money in my checking account for an extravagant meal at a trendy restaurant. I can do it. Just this once…

23. Physical Activity Can Be Fun
I grew up hating any sport other than baseball and every single gym class I ever took. I’m sorry but I don’t take kindly to over-competitive boys and public embarrassment. It took some time but I learned that I actually enjoy working out, running, taking classes, learning new things, and challenging my body. As long as I AM the one calling ALL the shots.

22. …But Make Sure You Rest Too
They make chill pills and you don’t need a prescription for them. They’re called Advil PM and they’re magical and made of fairy dust.

21. Use Lotion
You aren’t young anymore. I’m sorry to say. Your skin is going to get dry and gross and flaky and ugly. You will have to lotion every day, not only when you have a brand new scent from Bath and Body Works. You will also need real adult lotion, like Lubriderm. Fucking Apple Spice Mocha Latte isn’t going to smooth shit.

20. Read More Books
Once you graduate college you’ll have more time to sit down and just read for pleasure. The only problem with this is that you’re going to keep leaning towards the same authors, or same types of books, or get lazy and only read from this week’s Bestseller List. Diversify what you read, use Goodreads to help you, and get to work.

19. Don’t Be Ashamed to Dick Around the Net
Pinterest and Instagram have taught me how to cook. Do not be ashamed to spend some time pinning and saving shit that betters you. (And yes, I used the word Net in reference to the internet. I also still type out “http”.)

18. Getting a Dog is Amazing
If you’re a dog person and all that of course. It is one of the most rewarding, loving relationships you can get into outside of like, having an actual child. They will be your best friend, foot heater, vacuum cleaner, and scapegoat for when you break stuff and your boyfriend asks you who did it.

17. Until It’s Not
It’s a serious time and life commitment. It’s real. They live and breathe and shit on the floor. Be prepared.

16. Travel
I will agree with every Thought Catalog post ever here. You should travel and see some new things. Cultures, places, food, traditions. New items in all of these categories are going to continue your education outside of the classroom. Just like all those diverse books will. It’s important to experience the world outside of your own.

15. But don’t fucking spend all your money, Moron.
Traveling does not require you to spend all your money on a 3-day trip to Madagascar or to quit your job in search of yourself. Do not feel pressure to do these things. (And please for the love of god don’t do these things just for the “Insta.”) Plan. Save. Plan. Save. Plan. Save. And travel the US, there’s lots to see right here at home.

14. Keep Childhood Traditions
Keep doing the things you love and the things that make you feel close to your family even when they are miles away. Introduce them to your new friends and your significant other. Make new memories. Feel the warm fuzzies!

13. …But Don’t Try Reenacting Every Memory
Keeping traditions also doesn’t mean being a lunatic who insists that everyone follows “The Rules of Watching Home Alone” by ONLY eating popcorn covered in chocolate and not sitting on the furniture and only quoting John Candy’s lines. That makes you lunatic who can’t let go.

12. Stay out Late!
Hell yeah, you can still do it! Sometimes, the best things happen after 4am and you HAVE to be there to see them. They make good stories. And there are usually burritos. How can you say no to burritos?

(Aaron’s Party, come and get it.)

11. Go to Bed Early!
RESIST FOMO. Those 4am nights are only fun when they are rare. This is like that whole candy situation up above there. Moderation is key. Also, there is something that feels so dirty about going to bed at 10 before you’re 45 years old. It’s almost kinky in a way…

10. Stop Talking About College
You don’t want people to think you peaked in college do you? (The answer is no, even if you really DID peak in college.)

9. Stay in Touch with College Friends
It’s the best way to get wedding invites. Which are the best excuse to travel and get drunk. Wedding weekends are the only time you get to relive college. Seize the day.

8. Ignore the Haters
People can be awful and awfully mean. It’s hard to ignore them but just remember they ain’t got nothing on you. Their unhappiness is not your problem.

7. Don’t be Your Own Hater
You need to be your own cheerleader. If you don’t think you are totally awesome and smart and brave and fun, then who the hell is going to want to be around you? You have to count on yourself to show up, everyday, so be good and love yourself.

6. Learn from Your Reactions and React Better Next Time
Why did you just scream in that old lady’s face? Why are you crying? Why can’t you tell your boyfriend what’s wrong? Learn to read yourself and see if you can get even better than you already are. Be the kind of person that people say, “Wow, she really handled that well.”

5. Move to New York City
Hahahaha. Sorry, don’t care if this is presumptuous. Even if you only make it 3 weeks, do it. (Ok fine, I’ll compromise, move somewhere new, different, and fun! Be free little bird!)

4. It’s Never Too Late
Ever. You may feel like you’re rapidly aging but think of someone like my mom. Lady just graduated college in May. She was 53.

3. Fear Means Go
BFF just laid this down on the phone over the weekend. There are obvious times when fear DOES not mean go (moving in front of a bus hurtling down 1st Avenue for example) but the times when a voice in your head is telling you “You’re going to fail! You can’t do this!” Fight. That. Jerk.

2. Be Thankful
Every day. I don’t care that a cab just splashed a puddle on your ankles. You woke up with a roof and friends and maybe a badass dog. Get it together.

1. Relax, It’s Just Life After All
What’s the big deal, really?


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