Not so long ago, I was informed that I wouldn't make it to thirty. This is before some major surgeries and lifestyle changes.
Every so often, I get a list- and I LOVE lists, I make them all the time- from "To Do: laundry, coffee, jog, eat.." (as you can see, I'm slightly OCD and need all bases covered!) of "Things to do before 30, things to do before dating, etc."
So, my list of things to do before 30:
1)Quit using "should" in relation to myself. I don't like it, and often the shoulds don't apply to me.
2)Quit thinking along the lines of Shouldas Wouldas and Couldas. It just makes you miserable.
3)Laugh at lists that tell me that at this age, I *should* not be shopping in the junior's section. I finally found something that fit there! (A belt). -so, I have nice pants, that with work, don't bag down like gangsta pants.
4)Every woman MUST have pretty, well fitted lingerie. For herself. I always feel nicer when everything fits just right. In this day and age, so many women are wearing bras that are either too large or too small. STOP THAT! Get fitted! (Amusingly, I found a bra in a box I was unpacking from my pregnancy days---a 38C--- it is laughably huge now! I am thinking of using it as a catapult.)
5)You know that old Frank Sinatra song, telling young housewives, to remember to be their husbands' lovers too? (You know, Wives and Lovers)- Sure, I like looking nice. But I'm not going to immolate myself if I forget mascara and lipgloss one day, provided I at least wash my face! I don't need to look like a doll, I just need to be me. Be natural and the beauty shines through. (I always preferred being a funny Valentine anyway.)
6)Don't forget important birthdays. You don't need to necessarily remember Horace the Greengrocer's Anniversary of Birth, but if you find out, buy him a Coke and tell him Happy Birthday. But parents, brothers, sisters, etc? Yeah, try to remember that. Last year, I was so shocked when my brother asked me if I was 20 now. Uhhhhh....
7)Don't ever think you've got it all figured out. Something WILL trip you up. When that happens, be sure to have your wits and a circle of loving friends and family around you.
8)Order a real drink. Appletinis are classless, and if I want a lollypop, I'll eat one, not drink one.
9)Quit holding long grudges. Yeah, you got embarrassed. OK. Now STFU and understand that it's just a tiny ripple in a big pond. Learn to laugh at the craziness.
10)Don't blame Mama for every issue. You can make decisions, too, y'know?
11) Dating rebels without causes. All you're doing is getting screwed over in the end. Now, a rebel WITH a cause, that's a case-by-case decision. Notably: what is the rebellion against, and can they put aside the protest and be human?
12)Letting people lead you. It's OK to be nice. But if you can't say no, you're screwed.
13)Know that it's the simple, and often, the childlike things that can teach the most valid lessons. My heart swells at the end of the Paper Bag Princess, where Elizabeth, who has saved the prince, and been insulted, as well as consigned to wearing a paper bag, and knowing that the bratty prince does not love her, finally snaps and shouts, "Ronald, you're a bum!" (or in the British version, a toad)- "and they didn't get married after all." Here, Elizabeth shows that we don't need to while away in our towers singing "Someday, my prince will come...". She saves the day.
14) Understand that there are things to fight, to be angry about. But, yes, do forgive those who have hurt you. It's a long process, but the opposite doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
15)At least once, save up and get a pair of tailored pants. That's my next step. It sucks being irregular.
16) Get regular trims, even if growing out your hair. Don't be stubborn like me and refuse to let scissors near your hair for a long time
17)It is ok to refuse adamantly if your mother tries to insist on shorter hair again! (BE POLITE!)
18)Love yourself because of your quirks and be proud.
19) Don't worry about popular music. If you're all over the map, embrace it.
20) Know there is no such thing as embarrassing songs on playlists. This said, I have a confession: I like a few recent "pop songs". Because they spoke to me individually.
21) Don't feel as though you need to explain yourself to everyone. Your true friends love you for your quirks. Those who hate you are idiots.
22) Don't be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes, we can't handle things by ourselves.
23) If it works, don't let anyone tell you differently. Don't believe every bit of advice, even if it comes from me.
24) Watch The Meaning of Life and the Life of Brian and sing along as much as possible.
25) If it hurts, if it doesn't work, quit doing it!
26)Sometimes, as much as I'd like to, I can't tell you what to do. Sometimes, we have to work it out for ourselves. But I can be a shoulder.
27) Lying does nothing more than hurt others and you. I can forgive once, a thousand times... but after a while, you will lose all respect and friends. Be honest and faithful.
28)Love one another. If not romantically, at least respect-wise.
29) Your friends do not have to think or believe as you do. If this is how it is for you, brother, I pity you.