On June 2, I'll be hitting the milestone of 25. I don't feel that old, and I certainly don't look my age (I'll forever be carded at bars). I feel like I've experienced a lot in my 25 years of life, that I certainly feel like I've lived 50 years or more.
1. Stressing about the future won't make it better. I'm still figuring out my life, and being up all night worrying about it doesn't make my future shape itself any faster, and it certainly doesn't make me feel any better.
2. Patience is necessary. You can't rush life, in fact, life is rushing by faster than we're aware of. As I wish to skip ahead to the part of my life where I'm financially secure and successful, I know it doesn't work that way. As cliche as it, life is short, and tomorrow isn't guaranteed.
3. Make second chances worth it. This is grayer to me; I believe people can change if they make the effort. Just don't let a past figure burn you twice.
4. There are no guilty pleasure, just pleasures. Some coworkers taught me this. I used to secretly like certain bands and artists, they told me I should be proud to like them, don't feel guilty about it. I need to remember this.
5. Life is different with an unnatural hair color. I dyed my blonde hair teal this year and it was liberating. I felt as free as my hair. Now if only it would fade cleaner instead of this ugly green it left behind.
6. Forgiveness is powerful. I've learned holding grudges is empty weight, but forgiving someone is light and gives you feelings of cleansing. Let it go. (insert Frozen here)
7. Take care of yourself. I work more than 40 hours a week at a mental health facility, and it's exhausting in many ways. This past month, I've been sick with a virus (doctors think it's acute mono, but tests are still being done), and it's the longest I've been sick. Binge watching Hulu and staying bed all day gets boring after awhile, and this is my wake up call to take care of myself. I'm young, not invincible.
8. Go to more concerts. It had been seven years since I went to a concert (2010: American Idol LIVE! 2017: Nickelback) and I realized how I missed, how alive I felt. Time to plan my next trip (working on going to a metal festival).
9. Disappointment sucks, but it usually leads to something better. Speaking of concerts, I was supposed to see Nickelback back in 2015 for their No Fixed Address tour, but it was cancelled because of Chad Kroeger needing throat surgery. I was heartbroken, but two years later, Nickelback came back to Maine and it was the best concert I had ever seen. In October 2017, I was supposed to see Austin John Winkler, former singer of Hinder, on his solo tour, and I even had VIP. After eight hours of driving and getting lost (on three hours of sleep mind you), I received notification the night before that the venue had cancelled on Austin and it forced a cancellation. While Austin is still recording, I'm waiting patiently for his next tour, hoping it leads to an even better experience.
10. Treat yourself more. Since I started working a full time job, I have power to spend money on whatever I want, and often I forget this. When I'm not supporting my family, I'm saving. But then I started buying cute outfits from Hot Topic and it felt great. It's been awhile since I bought something just because, but soon I will.
11. Expand your musical horizons. My musical taste is all over the map: from Fergie, to Avenged Sevenfold, to Mary J. Blige, I like all kinds of music. I used to detest scream/heavy heavy metal music. But then I found In This Moment, and I find myself liking that genre more and more (I might've been practicing my screams and growls).
12. Stop and enjoy the flowers. I love flowers, my Instagram is filled with pics of them. Despite my pollen allergy, I love spring because I enjoy the flowers. Flowers are a sign of life, a sign of hope. No matter what, life still continues.
13. There's nothing wrong with having a big heart, just remember to take care of it. I'm sensitive and my feelings hurt easily. Overtime, my skin has thickened and I've learned the importance of keep a shield over my heart. Only you can be in charge of your heart and how much hurt it takes. Nobody else will pick up the broken pieces.
14. Go your own pace. Post-college blues have been rough, watching both high school peers and college peers finding success and making movement while I'm still kind of in neutral. But I know I'll eventually find my way. Social media can be decieving, they may seem like they got it together, but in reality, they might be falling apart behind the scenes.
15. It's okay to ask for help. My job is stressful and I constantly need help to deal with situations or for advice. The same practice applies to outside life. Need opinions on something? Ask. Boy trouble? Reach out to a trusted person. You can't do life completely alone.
16. Get tattoos. I grew up in a conservative Christian household where tattoos and piercings were seen as "ugly" and "trashy." I hated tattoos for the longest time, thinking they were pointless and trashy. I had a change of heart at age 20 when I discovered the Semicolon Project. I fell in love with the movement and drew semicolons on my wrist for years until I got it drawn permanently at 23. Tattoos are artistic and quite therapeutic, it's given me so much freedom over my body. I now have three tattoos and working on getting my fourth one.
17. Keep your inner child happy. I miss being a kid: the innocence, having no responsibilities, being happy, having new eyes to the world. But just because we've aged doesn't mean our inner children have to die. I still love coloring, glow sticks, cartoons from my childhood, letting my imagination run wild. Our innocence keep us sane.
18. Be original, not a remake. In my teen years, I was trying to figure out who I was that I tried to copy popular trends: wearing Silly Bandz, trying to like the popular music. None of it made me happy, and I slowly found who I was. Just like the Powerpuff Girls and Teen Titans, they were better in their original, true form, not in their generic remake. I never want to be a shitty remake.
19. It's okay to still play dress up in your adulthood. From pirate festivals, to anime conventions, I find myself dressing up in costumes and playing characters more now than I did in my youth, and life is better this way. Sometime life gets too serious and you need to wear a wig to resemble your favorite anime character.
20. Showing skin doesn't make you a whore. Growing up in my clean home, I've always been scared to wear revealing clothes, worried about being perceived as a slut. In college, I was introduced to the wonderful world of Rocky Horror, and initially I was intimated by the sexual content and how little the performers wear. Once I actually tried out and lost my Rocky virginity, I see how fun it can be to take a trip on the wild side. (I only dress this way on rare occasions;))
21. When in doubt, dance. Dancing has got me through some dark times in my life. Losing myself in the music, the routine, it gives me a sense of power, almost like I have the ability to stop time. It's helped me learn how to love my body again, see what it's capable of.
22. Never stop dreaming, day or night. My mother told me without a dream, we die. I believe in this completely. Dreams are our fuel, something to find, something to shoot to the stars with. There's more to life than just going through the motions, get out of the flow.
23. Be your own soulmate. There's so much pressure in society to be married and to be in love. With cheesy Nicholas Sparks movies and the constant social media show-offs, it seems like the world wants you to be in a relationship. Little does the world know, you're already with your soulmate. Yourself. It's the best relationship you'll ever have.
24. Believe in fairytales. I'm obsessed with mermaids and unicorns. I believe in happy endings, unexplained miracles, villains, and magic. I like to believe I'm a princess that rescued herself and my prince will find me.
25. You'll never stop learning. An adult is always learning, just like the child they once were. Learn about tangible things like how to dye your hair, or abstract things such as to find inner happiness. I hope in 25 more years, I'll have even more lessons.