I've been sitting on a few posts for a while, because I wanted what's below to be my "Welcome Back to Blogging, Katy" post. I wrote this on my last day of being 29 (today's my 30th birthday).
30: What I Know For Sure
I turn 30 tomorrow, which everyone keeps reminding me is a milestone birthday. I’m looking forward to it, really – I once had a boss who told me that 30 meant you finally had a little credibility. I think that makes sense. But in the grand scheme of things, 30 is nothing – it’s the beginning, really. There’s (hopefully) lots left to do and learn. But on the eve of entering my fourth decade, I thought I’d record a few things I know for sure (yes, I stole that line from Oprah).
• Even though people will call you a flake, it’s perfectly OK to job-hop until you find something that works with your personality, your goals and your talents. Since graduating from college eight years ago, I’ve had seven jobs. And I’ve learned a lot from each of them, even though there were definitely some miserable times. So figure out what you want to do – sometimes getting there requires you to do a little job-hopping, but the experiences you have along the way will make you a much better employee and boss one day.
• When baking, always pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
• Wait to get married. Not every couple who gets married at 22 will end up in court fighting over who gets the kids for Flag Day, but the statistics don’t lie – the older you are, the more you know about yourself, and the better spouse you’ll be. Alex and I were 29 when we got married – we had already both figured out a lot of things that, if we had gotten married much earlier, might have already taken a toll.
• Speaking of marriage, marry your best friend. I’m not talking about a boyfriend who becomes your best friend – I mean if you can have a best friend who you end up dating and marrying much later – things will be good, even when they’re bad. Your friends see a different side of you than your significant other. They know all that stuff you try to keep hidden, at least for a little while, in a relationship. And if he or she can love you anyway – despite your crazies – that’s ideal. I’m told you should marry someone you enjoy being with, because when you’re old and grey and fighting over who gets the rocking chair closest to the bathroom, you better like the person you’ve chosen.
• Exercise sucks, but it’s a necessary evil, and you always feel better when you’re done.
• TV isn’t bad in general, but reality TV is good for nothing other than using up brain cells that could be enjoying a good book.
• It’s OK if your core group of friends has been with you since elementary school. Those are the people who know you best and can say things like, “Remember when you got your driver’s license and rear-ended that Explorer three weeks later?” But it’s important to have a group of acquaintances who didn’t know you until later in life.
• Get rid of anything in your closet that doesn’t make you feel fantastic when you put it on.
• The sayings are true – “If you’re going through Hell, keep on going.” “It’s always darkest before the dawn.” Sometimes the bad outweighs the good, but if you ride it out, persevere, and know that eventually things will get better, they will.
• Cancer sucks.
• Everybody should have a dog. Maybe not during college, but otherwise, yes – get a dog. Nothing loves you like a dog.
• Everybody should have at least one hobby they can get lost in. I have several. I paint and sew and craft mostly, but I’m always trying new things. If your life is nothing but work and sleep, what kind of life is that? So whether you garden, play and instrument, cook, read, run, fly hot air balloons, play in a kickball league – whatever – just DO something.
• The art of a handwritten note is one that’s dying that we should try to keep alive.
• When you start getting shin splints, it’s time for new running shoes.
• It’s always good if, when things are going well, you stop to acknowledge it. Just smile to yourself and think of one of my favorite quotes from Kurt Vonnegut: “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”
• Sometimes you just need to sing in the car.
• Sometimes you just need to turn off your phone.
• There’s nothing like being by yourself on the beach at night, watching the waves crash and feeling the breeze, to make you feel small and to put everything into perspective.
• You better tell people how you feel now, because what if they’re gone tomorrow?
• A good internship is worth two Master’s Degrees.
• People will bitch when you pull out your camera all the time, but they’ll ALWAYS want to see the pictures.
• The only math you really need to know how to do in your head is percentages, because that’s shopping math and sometimes you just don’t want to pull out a calculator in the middle of Macy’s.
• Your family is important. You should spend time with them and learn about your history and where you come from. Blood really is thicker than water, and your family cares about you like no one else.
That’s what I know for sure. It’s not much, really, and I’m sure I could think of more if given more time, but I guess that’s what the next 30 years are for, right? Feel free to share what you know for sure in the comments - I'd love to read what you know.