Friday, November 11, 2016

Make a wish and blow out the candles. Here's to 28.


This is my "normal human" face.
28 years ago today, my parents strolled into Kaiser on Sleepy Hollow in Hayward, California. They literally strolled in. No labor pains or broken waters. I was 100% planned and since my parents had the day off on Veterans' Day, they figured, "Hey, why not?" So became my life.

What the hell are you wearing, mother?
Birthdays are such a weird thing. We get together to celebrate getting older. Some people complain about it, loudly wishing they were a teenager again (ew). Some people love getting older because getting older means you're alive. Some people don't really care either way. I'm still trying to figure out which of those last two I am. 28 doesn't seem significant. I've already entered my late 20s. I can vote, drink, see Rocky Horror Picture Show live, and rent a car. The next thing I'm really looking forward to is that senior discount!

This is one of FIVE photos okay. I was tired!
For my birthday, I figured I would give you all a list of the 28 things I've learned over the last 28 years of my life as well as some photos of past birthdays. I know, it's so incredibly creative and no one has ever done this before. Bear with me, I promise I'm not wasting your time. It's a Friday and I know you're not working anyway. I'm currently in Salem, Massachusetts with 2 of my most favorite people on the planet. You're lucky I'm writing this early and setting a timer. This is how much I love you.

28 Things I Have Learned in 28 Years
21st birthday............
  1. The real meaning of love is leaving more than one square of toilet paper in the bathroom. 
  2. Never regret that one relationship you regret, no matter how much of an asshole the other person is now. At one point in time, that other person is exactly what you wanted and hoped for.
  3. Take care of yourself. This could mean having a spa day or simply taking a hot bath. Take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Don't rely on others to take care of you.
  4. Don't buy that thing that's SUPER cool just because it's "in" right now, even though you hate it (I'm looking directly at you, Birkenstocks). 
  5. Stop judging people. You do you. You let them do them. Unless they're committing a crime and/or hurting another person, you don't need to let their lives get in the way of yours.
  6. Your mom is probably right, even if she phrases it wrong.
  7. Make sure to look where you're walking. If you don't, you might run into a fire hydrant and have a permanent bump on your thigh.
  8. Invest in good, basic, wardrobe pieces. You won't always need those bell bottom, 70s style overalls, but you will use that basic black skirt several times a year.
  9. Find something to volunteer with. This could be kids, seniors, homeless people, animals... Whatever. It took me a long time to volunteer my time somewhere and I couldn't be happier.
  10. Believe in fairy tales. One of my favorite quotes is from G.K. Chesterton and he said, "Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten."
    This birthday is definitely, hands down, the one that changed my life.
  11. Stop getting black out drunk after 21. It's tacky. Learn your limits.
  12. If you fart in front of a friend, and they won't be your friend anymore... They weren't really your friend to begin with.
  13. Always ask if you can pet someone's dog. 
  14. Don't peer pressure people. If someone doesn't want to do something, that's cool. But don't try to force them. This applies to many things.
  15. Stay up until you can see the sunrise. Do this at least once in your life.
  16. Go to a weekend long music festival. Trust me. It'll change your view on life.
  17. When it comes to eyebrow trends, ignore them. My brows wouldn't be what they are today if I listened to everyone in the early 2000s.
  18. When you threaten to run away (to a hidden part of the backyard) as a kid, always bring a sandwich.
  19. Take the chance. Sometimes, you'll have your heart broken or you'll lose the money, but take the chance anyway. I've learned that "what if" is way worse than "... well that didn't go as planned".
  20. Explore other options. This applies beyond politics and religions. Just because your parents raised you to believe one thing, doesn't mean that that thing is right for you.
    I hate that shirt he's wearing. With a firy passion.
  21. Spend a Christmas morning with some kids. I don't mean you should kidnap children, I'm saying that you should find someone close to you who has kids. Then you should spend Christmas morning with them. Their genuine happiness is the most wonderful thing you'll ever witness.
  22. Learn how to cook the basic things.
  23. Go see a movie, in a movie theater, all by yourself. The experience is totally different. Do this with eating at a restaurant too.
  24. Let your dog lick your face. You're not going to die.
  25. Eat the damn cupcake. You eat healthy to be healthy but you eat a freaking cupcake to stay sane. Learn balance.
  26. "The hardest thing in this world, is to live in it." - Buffy Summers
  27. There is never a bad time to make a Buffy reference.
  28. And finally, be yourself. The older I've gotten, the more I've realized how people struggle with being their genuine selves. I was really lucky to be raised with parents who nurtured my weirdness. Now, at 28, I don't have to worry about finding myself. I'm right here... Where are you?
    This is still how I feel about her touching me. <3


    - so I can sigh eternally -

     lauren.

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