Hello again! :) Sorry for the break, hope y'all have been doing well.
Today I thought I would share some of my wisdom that I have learned from my 34 years on this earth, hope it offers some help and/or guidance (these are listed in no particular order):
1. If you buy something you like, and they have multiple colors/patterns, buy it in ALL the colors (or, at least in one other color). Trust me.
2. If everybody else is doing it, but you don't want to do it, or don't feel right doing it, DON'T DO IT. This pertains to getting a specific haircut, cliff diving, shoplifting, having kids, trying new food, smoking... basically any type of peer pressure. ONLY do it if you think you won't regret it later. (If your gut is talking to you, listen!)
3. It's never a bad idea to keep a pair of comfortable shoes in the car. Yes, those 4" wedges might be super cute for a lunch date in the city, but if you stop by the mall on the way back, you'll want those Pumas later, that's all I'm saying.
4. Drink plenty of water. I know this goes without saying but it really does make a difference.
5. Don't be afraid (or ashamed) to ask for help. Even Batman had a sidekick.
6. Get lots of sleep! Especially as you get older, you will miss those days in kindergarten when naptime was required.
7. When buying a mattress (that you want to last awhile), don't skimp. Going back to #7, as you get older you will cherish the sleep that you get. I recently started waking up sore, which sucks. Getting a better mattress helped!
8. Things to keep with you at all times (most of these items apply more to females, but guys, it never hurts to be prepared ): spare change/cash, tampons, lip gloss, gum/mints, hand sanitizer (or wet wipes), a pen and a notebook, compact or mirror, a phone charger, and a stress ball for when someone is being stupid and you just want to SMACK THEM IN THEIR STUPID FACE, but you can't because you're in public and you don't want to go to jail for someone else's ignorance.
9. If you like someone, tell them. Life is too short to hide your feelings, and you never know - they might feel the same way, too.
10. Smile. A lot. It has been scientifically proven that, even if you're having a bad day, smiling will (somehow) trick your brain into thinking that you are happy, and you will spread your (fake) happiness and make others happy as well.
11. When going to an event, it's always better to be overdressed than under dressed.
12. De-clutter at least one area of your life regularly, be it old clothes, magazines, knick-knacks, even friends. If it's something you haven't used, looked at or spoken to in over a year, it's probably not something you need in your life regularly. This is one of the hardest things for me, because I am both sentimental and a collector, and it drives my fiancé CRAZY. But the few times I actually have been able to get rid of a substantial amount of stuff really has made me feel better.
13. Give your pets love and respect, but don't go overboard. Of course you shouldn't yell at them arbitrarily or beat them senseless for something, but that doesn't mean you have to feed them everything you eat or let them hog most of the bed. (I can't stand it when people treat their dogs better than most people, buying them super expensive collars and massages and dog bones.) They are still pets, and they need boundaries. Get them treats and buy them their own bed - trust me, they'll be fine. They will still appreciate it, but will also still treat them as their alpha.
14. Don't drink and drive! I know everyone thinks they are invincible and "it won't happen to me" but trust me, you're not, and it will. Get an Uber - they're everywhere these days.
15. Tip your waitresses, hair stylists/cutters, butchers, delivery drivers... everyone. And if you get decent service, tip well (more than the "standard" 15%). I worked in the service industry for over 10 years and there is nothing more disheartening than when you work your ass off for a measly $2 tip. Plus, if you ever plan on returning to that restaurant/hair salon/etc., it guarantees that you'll continue to get good service (and that no one will spit in your food/hair).
16. You need to have a good balance of realistic and idealistic expectations in your life. Basically, be a dreamer, but don't have your heads in the clouds TOO too much that you crash down to earth when reality sets in. For instance, I play the lottery, but I typically only buy the $2 scratch off tickets (so if I win, it's great, but if I don't, it's not like I blew a BUNCH of money on them).
17. Have a hobby, something that brings you joy It can be as simple as yoga, coloring, playing games on your computer/tablet/game console of your choice, taking your dog for a walk, anything. Just some way to decompress and relax after a stressful day.
18. Don't ever, EVER take a drink from some random person at a bar/club/party etc. No matter how trustworthy you think he/she is. One New Year's Eve I was at a crowded bar in Myrtle Beach with a group of friends and this guy offered us all shots a soon as we walked in Because he was sitting right at the bar and had a whole bunch of drinks lined up in front of him, we figured he worked there, and was just giving out free drinks to promote the evening - boy, were we wrong. I won't go into detail here (that night deserves its own post, if not its own miniseries), but suffice it to say I'll never make that mistake again.
19. Own up to your mistakes. Be it in relationships, at work, or even if you just spilled the sugar at Starbucks, man (or woman) up and accept the consequences.
20. No matter how bad things might seem, they could always be worse, and there is always someone who has it worse than you. The cashier at Target who is being an asshole might have just lost his mother, and the gas station attendant who is on her phone instead of doing her job might have just gotten a divorce. Don't assume your shit is worse than anybody's else. And also..
21. No matter how bad things seem right now, DON'T GIVE UP, they will turn around. I have to remind myself of this sometimes when I have a bad day (or two)... but then I think about how bad things used to be, when I was living in a house that was about to be foreclosed on, drinking water from our neighbor's garden hose and stealing electricity at night - and then I look at where I am now, and it makes me feel like if I could make it through all of that, I can make it through ANYTHING. But be patient, karma (or miracles) don't happen overnight - but they will come.
22. Live every day like it's your last, because you never know when it will be...
I'm sure I have more, but I think this is a good place to stop for now :)