But when the dust settled and I was asked, “What do you want for your birthday?” I realized that, hard as I pondered, I couldn’t think of a single thing that I would possibly want to add to my life. It’s just that full. My cup runneth over, as they say, and I couldn’t be happier (well, unless we’re referring to bra cups – but I think I’m all set in that department).
So this year, I’m using my one birthday wish on all of you. My hope is that you will find that thing that invokes passion, meet the wingman of your dreams, and generally just find peace in what life has placed before you. Being happy isn’t about all good things occurring in life – no one’s that lucky. It’s about choosing how you react to the roadblocks, the pot holes and the bumps we never saw coming. Sometimes we can’t see the upside, but it’s always there. And we’re not in it alone. “The teacher is always silent during the test,” as they say.
From someone who gives out advice for a living, I hold fast to the best piece anyone ever gave me – given by none other than my mom. “There are only 3 answers to the things we pray for: ‘Yes,’ ‘Not right now,’ and ‘I’ve got something better in mind…’” Those words have served me well. So, I know it’s better to look forward and not back, but this time I’ll make an exception. Here is the best accumulation of life lessons and pseudo-wisdom I’ve gleaned from my (none of your damn business) years on this earth. Hopefully you learn something, or at the very least are amused. You never know when you’ll say something that resonates…
Swear more often. A well-placed expletive can sometimes punctuate a thought more beautifully than one without it. ** Winking is an art form; practice before putting it into rotation so you can execute without looking like you have a disorder. ** Just because I like tequila, doesn’t mean it likes me back. ** Some people look graceful and effortless when they run. I am not one of them.
Hitting “reply all” or accidentally sending a text to the wrong person will happen at least once in your life, count on it. ** Sandwiches made by mom just taste better, no matter how old we are. ** Throwing caution to the wind is inspiring to watch…unless you’re in a casino. ** At least one of your friends will end up marrying someone who sucks, just hope for the best. ** Keep learning, long after school has ended.
If I leave my house looking unwashed, mismatched or visibly sweating, it’s a dead certainty that I will run into at least one person that I know. ** My couch is a black hole of productivity. The cushions absorb all hope of getting work done, exercising or straightening up. ** It’s Bieber’s world, we all just live in it. ** Reduced fat is not the same as fat free. If you don’t believe me, just ask the size run in my closet. ** Remember the saying, “We’re all just a phone call from our knees.” Empathy and kindness go a long way.
One in every three times I introduce myself to someone, they’re going to give me the puzzled look that means I need to repeat it. I should just start wearing a T-Shirt that says, “Yes, I have a weird name, get over it.” ** I’m convinced that Dillon, Texas is a real place and no one will ever tell me different. ** Forgive.
I should not watch a Yankees, Giants, Rangers or Knicks game with a boyfriend until after we’ve been dating for long enough for it not to matter. Better to wait to reveal the crazy until it’s too late. ** Have the kind of friends that invoke the odd night spent sitting on the kitchen floor with wine hysterically laughing. It’s good for the soul.
I can’t parallel park for sh#t and I probably never will. I’m sorry if you’ve had to witness it first hand. ** Hold out hope for a happy ending. Often times the people who champion your cause will believe it’s possible long before you believe it yourself. They can’t all be wrong.
The people who notice us or pay us the most attention are often the ones we don’t want to. And the ones we want to do it are sometimes the most silent. Such is life. ** If I could go back and tell my 22-year-old self anything, it would be to pick your battles. Learning to “just breathe” is essential, in your first job and in life. ** Timing is everything, but nothing good gets away. ** The three most wonderful words in the English language are not “I love you,” but rather “In Unit Laundry” – in the opinion of this New Yorker, at least.
There’s no shame in rejection. Some of the best decisions in my life I only arrived at when all other options were removed from the table. Process of elimination is equally effective. ** Don’t expect your friends to be everything to you all at once. Learn to appreciate them for the one thing that only they have to offer, like who to go to if we want permission to make a bad decision, or who has the kind of laugh that is contagious.
Nothing is coincidental, so if you have a conversation that seems like it’s something you – or the other person – is supposed to hear, it probably is. Listen. ** Social media is the great amplifier. Whatever you are in real life gets cranked to 11 on Facebook, so if you fancy yourself really photogenic, are manic depressive or can’t spell, we all get to reap the benefit. Narcissism cannot be confused with spontaneity, we’re not buying it. ** The day my son or daughter asks to get a tattoo I will know the true meaning of the word “karma.”
No one will ever love you like your parents do, so even when they’re annoying you, remember that – and call back to say “I love you.” ** Telling me to do “A,” will pretty much guarantee that I do “B” just to spite you. ** I will probably fall asleep at night with the television on “SportsCenter” until I die. Whoever I end up with needs to just accept it. ** Collect amazing people in life and take them along for the ride. ** Do something that scares the daylights out of you. ** Don’t wait.
Things that will always terrify me: Ann Coulter and that broad from “Dance Moms.” Things that you can always count on: Me doing something klutzy, and that it’ll be in public. Things I’ll always love: the sound of my nephews laughing, the smell of Coppertone, and “Cosby Show” reruns. “Jammin’ on the one…” ** Sometimes our biggest problem is getting out of our own way. ** Never forget to call your grandparents. ** Wring every last drop of life out of life until the damn thing’s bone dry. ** And finally, what I’ve realized only now but have probably known all along: I’m not getting older, I’m just getting more awesome.
Cheers you to all, today and every day. –MW.