It’s my birthday. I’m 37 and I have some things I’d like to share, in no particular order.
1. No one thinks about you more than you do. That thing from two years ago that keeps you up at night? No one else remembers. Honor the memory and let it go.
2. Have fun. Every day. I’ve had enough friends pass away too young to know that nothing is promised. Enjoy the moment.
3. Tell people you love them. Often. Even if you feel awkward. Your love is worth sharing.
4. You’re enough. I don’t care what your parents told you. Or your teachers. Or anyone else.
You. Are. Enough.
You are worthy. And you deserve love.
5. Fucking go for it. Whatever it is. Just try. Maybe you make it. Maybe you don’t. The result isn’t the point.
Your journey, your growth, is the important bit. Don’t let anyone convince you shouldn’t try. Their fear is theirs, it’s not yours to carry.
6. Some people are gonna hate you. And a lot of folks aren’t gonna like you. The brighter you shine, the more shadows you cast. Let their hate be your fuel. You’ve got shit to do.
7. Floss. Seriously, floss.
8. Investing in yourself is always the best choice. Bet on yourself. Get that extra education. Switch careers. Learn a new thing. Write the book. Your future depends on you continuing to learn and grow.
9. Try things you suck at. It unlocks different parts of your brain. It humbles you. It eliminates perfectionism. Take pottery lessons. Or dancing. Be the worst in the class. And learn not to care.
10. Your skin is important. Wear sunscreen. Moisturize. Take care of it.
11. There is no right age to have kids. If you want kids, have them. It’s gonna be a shitshow no matter what you do. You’ll figure it out as you go. If you don’t want kids, I love you too.
12. Parenting is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And it’s totally worth it. The foundation of parenting is loving them, accepting them, protecting them, and showing the fuck up.
13. No one’s gonna give you the raise. Or the promotion. Or the new job. It’s always gonna be a fight. So fucking fight.
14. Your body is one of the most glorious things on earth. Every wrinkle and mark and scar and jiggle is a story. And you know how much I love stories.
15. Read. And expose yourself to ideas that challenge you, even ones that make you angry.
16. No one’s got it figured out. Everyone is bumbling through life. It’s just some people are better at making bumbling look put together.
17. Bring others with you. Wherever you’re going. You need their perspective. And it’s more fun anyway.
18. Walk. Our bodies are great at it. And you’ll feel better.
19. Don’t over pluck your eyebrows.
20. Learn to cook. And season your food. Salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder are the bare minimum. Paprika, parsley, lemon — there’s endless choices! Be adventurous. White food is sad food.
21. Stand in grass (or sand, or dirt) barefoot. It feeds your soul. Don’t stand in poison Ivy. That itches.
22. Save money. Don’t chase the spending habits of others.
23. Take vacations. Spend the money to treat yourself. Go somewhere new. Take people with you. Enjoy yourself. Make memories. Take photos. Make photo books.
24. Be wary of hype. It comes and goes quickly.
25. Friendships come and go. Releasing a friendship doesn’t mean it didn’t matter. It just means it no longer serves you.
26. Your body likes vegetables. Eat them occasionally.
27. Drink some water.
28. Shame is a weapon others use to control you. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Set yourself free.
29. You’ll never regret saying nothing in a heated moment.
30. If you’re ever arrested, shut the fuck up. Get a lawyer.
31. There’s no shame in being fired. Or let go. The most successful people take risks. Sometimes that means getting fired. Keep taking risks.
32. Sunshine is important. Let the sun dance on your face. You have sunscreen on, remember?
33. Don’t start fights you can’t finish.
34. Never ever ever prioritize someone else’s comfort over your safety. Scream. Yell. Make a scene.
35. Tip generously. Say thank you. Chew with your mouth closed.
36. Weaponizing sophistication makes you look small. Using big words to make others feel stupid makes you an asshole.
37. You are magnificent. And utterly unique. Step into your power. The power that lives deep inside your soul.
~ Emily Freeman, Twitter: @editingemily