What I've Learned So Far

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.

  1. 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.
     
  2. Titles are meaningless. When push comes to shove, we're all just blood and bones and water. What we're called doesn't matter.
     
  3. Days that include exercise are better than days that do not. The same goes for laughter. And French fries. And conversations with my parents.
     
  4. Cable TV is not a right. If you can't make ends meet, it's gotta go.
     
  5. It's entirely likely that I will never be rich or famous. Whatevs.
     
  6. In the accidental yet oh-so-wise words of my nephew Peyton, "Patience makes perfect."
     
  7. It turns out that my mom was right, I will be fine once I get there.
     
  8. It's okay to be a fan.
     
  9. It's okay to be sad.
     
  10. It's okay to take a break from the evening news.
     
  11. Laughter is not the best medicine, but it helps.
     
  12. Men can wear pink. And makeup. And stilettos. Shut the fuck up, society.
     
  13. More often than not, all I needed was a hug.
     
  14. No matter how silly I looked, I'm always glad I danced.
     
  15. Nobody cares what you're wearing, and if they do, that's on them.
     
  16. Oftentimes fried food is more helpful than therapy.
     
  17. People who make me laugh are my favorite kind of people.
     
  18. Regardless of what your body looks like, somebody somewhere will be into it.
     
  19. Don't be afraid of sex. It's completely natural and totally awesome. Also, it's free.
     
  20. Sometimes music is better than sex.
     
  21. 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.
     
  22. When done right, thank-you notes can be art.
     
  23. The only activity that's a bigger waste of time than playing video games is watching other people play video games.
     
  24. The truth is fluid, honesty is not.
     
  25. There's magic in the sunrise.
     
  26. There's no place like home.
     
  27. There's a direct correlation between my happiness level and whether or not I'm reading enough.
     
  28. Time shouldn't be wasted on worrying. Just go do.
     
  29. 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.
     
  30. 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.
     
  31. 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.