Wednesday, August 15, 2012

22 Years on Planet Earth

Happy one year anniversary of becoming legal American drinking age!

That's right; today is my 22nd birthday. While it started out as a shit show, it got better.

First, I will have it noted that I typically don't like my birthday. There's something about getting older that does not appeal to me. Also, when I was younger, my birthday often fell on the first or second day of school, which is not fun. So even growing up my birthday wasn't appealing to me.

But the more I think about it today, the more I realize I should be looking forward to being "in my 20s". I'm past the "beginning of your 20s" ages where you learn to heavily drink and search for designated drivers. Once you're beyond that, you are really in your 20s!

So, I decided to write 22 things I've learned from lessons, funny moments, or from just growing up.

1. Get a passport and utilize it. I cannot emphasize this enough. I didn't get a passport until I was 19, and I totally regret it. I've only been to 4 countries other than the USA, but that's enough to give me the traveling bug.

2. Friendship isn't about length of time you've known each other; that doesn't matter if the quality of the relationship isn't there. People change. You grow up and grow apart. You try and mask their flaws with excuses. Just cherish those that want to be around you. If they don't turn out to be the person they once were (or what you thought they were), show them the door, not your time.

3. Keeping a journal when your younger can be quite hilarious. I love looking back at my life-- the good and the bad-- to see the 15 year old me type like half the keyboard has gone missing on an old online blog, or going back and rereading the journal I wrote with song lyrics and stories. It's a great pick-me-up when you need a laugh.

4. Your childhood music will never get old. When the Spice Girls came on the Closing Ceremonies, the 7 year old Taylor died a little bit on the inside (from excitement of course). I'm not embarrassed to rock out to Nsync on occasion. And nothing is better when an old Britney hit comes on at a club or bar.

5. Social media is a great way to reach hundreds of people, but not a great way to reach one person. Seriously, because of technology the world seems so small. Social media sites are a great way to reach so many people from all over the world to bring people together whether its a cause or common interest. However, it is not a great way to try and get the attention of one person, which is usually what people do.

6. Tie-dying is great, just don't go overboard. It's such a fun craft, and comfy to wear on occasion. But honestly don't make it your whole wardrobe, okay?

7. It's never too late to start a new hobby. I was never a runner in my life... EVER. And sometimes I wish I could go back to high school and do more sports I've always wanted to try. But from running I've learned with enough practice and dedication, it's never too late to get a new passion.

8. It's okay to date someone backwards. This may sound silly, but just hear me out. I always said I liked dating people who were my "best friend" first. Well, Fiance and I did it backwards.. kind of... We met at a summer camp we both worked at. We got "married" at a marriage booth at camp carnival before we started dating. We went on our first date about a week after and eventually became official boyfriend/girlfriend status. I'd say it took a full year to learn the ins and outs of him completely enough for me to say he was my best friend in the whole world. So instead of being best friend, boyfriend, husband, he was "husband", boyfriend, best friend. And I'd say it's worked out pretty okay.

9. Greeting cards are so underrated. It makes me so angry that cards aren't popular in America anymore!! I rarely get cards. In England, people send cards all the time. It's just a common courtesy. I miss that here.

10. Long drives are for practicing your best singing voice. I went to college 7 hours away from home, which meant driving 7 hours there and back multiple times a year. I spent all 7 hours singing (and eating).

11. Hot sauce makes everything better. Bonus points goes to buffalo sauce, too.

12. Long distance relationships can work. Not always, but they can. I'm living proof of that. People shouldn't be so quick to discriminate because I've seen a lot of toxic and failed relationships when the couple lives in the same city.

13. If you ever want a challenge, work on a cruise ship. Seriously, I dare you. Prepare for lack of sleep with a massive side of white rice.

14. Open a savings account, and commit. Saving money becomes a lot easier when you have a strict place to put it. Even if the interest rate sucks, its away from your debit card.

15. Lucky number aren't always lucky. Change them if you want. I'm making that an official ruling.

16. If you want another challenge, work for Disney. Two finger points are your best friend.

Yep. That totally happened. I worked on the Disney Wonder Cruise Ship and was on the inaugural Hawaii cruise. This is at the Pearl Harbor Memorial.

17. A girl can never have too many pairs of shoes. Or sunglasses. Or purses. Or tops for that matter.

18. Go to that expensive-ish restaurant and get the better sushi. It's worth the money!

19. Christmas shopping early is a great idea. I always say I love avoiding the mall around Christmas time because it's busy and stressful and people are mean. But I think I'm a shoppaholic, so I truly don't avoid the mall any time of year. I do, however, pride myself in shopping ridiculously early for Christmas presents because it gives me an excuse to shop and because I like things under the tree even before the tree is even put up. I think I've purchased gifts as early as September.

20. Having a well put together work out playlist is worth your time and effort. No more shuffle and ending up on the theme tune to Harry Potter. Fist pumping high tempo pop music all the way!

21. It's perfectly acceptable to have a "signature color". Elle Woods had pink. I have green. My whole life revolves around the color green. I swear I'm an adult.

and finally...

22. Look back at old pictures often so you can smile, laugh, cry, whatever you need. I don't have a lot from my childhood. I moved around a lot and so a lot got misplaced. But when I find pictures of me as a first grader with missing teeth or my sister holding me as a baby, I can't help but smile at the memory that pictures create.

Rockin' the latest trends since the 90s. And I know what you're thinking. No you cannot borrow my Daisy Duck hat.

 I could probably write a whole book of my silly growing up lessons learned. But 22 is good for now.

Here's to age 22!

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