If you happen to follow me on Facebook and/or Instagram, you’ll know that it was my birthday a few weeks back. As with any new beginning, you can’t help but stand back and evaluate – where you’ve been, where you’re going, and exactly how far you’ve come. Granted, many of you may look at this and wonder how much can a 29 year old know about life, and perhaps you’re right. But Aristotle lived to be just over 60 so the way I see it, it’s safe to assume I’m halfway to philosophical greatness.
It’s no surprise this year has been rough. Lots of changes and lots of personal growth – 28 was kind of a bitch. But what’s the point in living through something if you’re not going to learn something from it? So this is what I learned:
You cannot drink like you used to. The days of partying all night, only to bounce back and do it all again the next day are over. On the rare occasions I do go out and, er, overindulge, it’s difficult to get me off my sofa the following day unless it’s to pick up a hefty order of greasy Chinese. We are getting older my friends, and with it comes the realization that we will never be able to throw back the hooch like the good ole’ days.
Find the friends that make you feel loved- they are the ones that will be there when things get rough – let go of the ones that don’t. This one is so hard. I think your late 20’s is when you really begin to realize that there simply isn’t a place in your life for some of your friends who played big roles in your early years. That being said, be sure to embrace the friends who make you feel loved. It’s the ones that stick around when you’re at your worst that deserve you at your best.
A good laugh is better than any medicine. Sometimes things happen that make you feel like you will never laugh again. But you will – when something is really, really funny. Let the laughter consume you – it is the most wonderful feeling.
Know your worth. At this stage in my life, it’s still hard for me to grasp this. I forget that I’ve been out of college for almost 7 years now and am no longer entry-level material. I have experience to offer and settling for mediocre isn’t an option anymore. This is important to remember for your relationships as well.
Know when to save, and when to splurge. Items to save on: anything you can refurbish, re-paint, or re-upholster, yourself. I have become a thrift store queen since moving here and am proud to say that the majority of the furnishings in my apartment are Goodwill or Craigslist steals. You’d be surprised what a coat of paint and some good fabric can do. To that end, never, EVER, skimp on bedding.
People can be shitty. But people can also be really kind. The best advice I can give you for dealing with shitty people is to acknowledge their shittiness and move on. Don’t let them bring you down. Not letting them get to you is the hardest part of all.
Handle the curveballs with as much dignity and grace as you can muster. Figuring out how to let go and roll with the punches was one of the harder lessons I’ve learned. Life will never be perfect and catastrophes are simply part of that. Once I realized many things were simply beyond my control, they become easier to swallow. Hold your head high and don’t apologize for your decisions. This is your life and it is too short to have regrets.
Always say goodbye. This is a lesson that I thankfully learned in the best way possible. When I left New York in the fall after my grandma died, I almost missed the chance to say good-bye to my grandpa. Between the rush of the visit and the flood of family, it was difficult to get a moment to ourselves. Thankfully, I found him alone before I left and I was able to get in a hug and a brief moment that would inadvertently end up being our last. He died a few months later and I am eternally thankful that I was able to share and remember our last few seconds together.
And with that, dear reader, I say goodbye to my 28th year.
Have a fantastic day.