Today is my thirty-first birthday and to mark this not-so-momentous occasion I've culled together a list of thirty-one things that I've learned during my time on this planet. Some of the things are silly, some of the things will almost certainly change by the time I turn thirty-two and some of the things probably won't resonate with anybody but myself. Regardless, this list should be taken with a grain (or a grain silo, maybe) of salt, because really, what the hell do I know, I'm only thirty-one.
- Age really is just a number. My partner is twice as old as I am and still possesses more curiosity, spunk and verve than I ever will.
- Titles are meaningless. When push comes to shove, we're all just blood and bones and water. What we're called doesn't matter.
- Days that include exercise are better than days that do not. The same goes for laughter. And French fries. And conversations with my parents.
- Cable TV is not a right. If you can't make ends meet, it's gotta go.
- It's entirely likely that I will never be rich or famous. Whatevs.
- In the accidental yet oh-so-wise words of my nephew Peyton, "Patience makes perfect."
- It turns out that my mom was right, I will be fine once I get there.
- It's okay to be a fan.
- It's okay to be sad.
- It's okay to take a break from the evening news.
- Laughter is not the best medicine, but it helps.
- Men can wear pink. And makeup. And stilettos. Shut the fuck up, society.
- More often than not, all I needed was a hug.
- No matter how silly I looked, I'm always glad I danced.
- Nobody cares what you're wearing, and if they do, that's on them.
- Oftentimes fried food is more helpful than therapy.
- People who make me laugh are my favorite kind of people.
- Regardless of what your body looks like, somebody somewhere will be into it.
- Don't be afraid of sex. It's completely natural and totally awesome. Also, it's free.
- Sometimes music is better than sex.
- All too often the only worthwhile thing I will do in a day is make my bed. But hey, at least I've got that.
- When done right, thank-you notes can be art.
- The only activity that's a bigger waste of time than playing video games is watching other people play video games.
- The truth is fluid, honesty is not.
- There's magic in the sunrise.
- There's no place like home.
- There's a direct correlation between my happiness level and whether or not I'm reading enough.
- Time shouldn't be wasted on worrying. Just go do.
- Whether it's the one that you were born into, the one that you created for yourself, or a combination of both, family is more precious than rubies. Love like crazy and apologize when you're wrong.
- Having a broken heart teaches you a lot about yourself and, if you pay close enough attention, it should teach you a lot about everyone else, too.
- I'm gonna die someday. If I'm lucky, that day won't be this one.
Before I wrap up this post and get on with my birthday, I'm gonna break precedent and share my thirty-one-candle wish. I wish that in the next three-hundred and sixty-five days I'll learn to speak less and to listen more, to push myself beyond what I assumed were my limits and to gather up my regrets, send them out to sea and set them ablaze like a viking funeral, a celebration and a farewell.
Happy thirty-first birthday to me.
P.S. I came up with a few lessons that didn't fit into the list above because, well, thirty-one, so I'm gonna stick them in the comments section below. Feel free to do the same.