day two : top twenty somethings

Originally published Wednesday, 01 October 2014.

wednesdays are usually those days where i really hit my groove in terms of productivity. i'm not as exhausted as monday or friday. but the weekend is in sight and things are looking up. i don't typically have a lot to do on wednesday night, either, which is always a nice break from running to the next thing after work. today was especially productive and i'm having fun creating an editorial calendar for this month. i realize it would have made sense to do this prior to the start of the 31 days challenge, but i'm pretty satisfied with the fact that i'm creating one at all. small victories, people.

as a 29 year old, i've learned a decent amount in the last decade. it's likely that nothing tops the lesson i learned my senior year in high school regarding the importance of the gas light (note: if people don't tell me things like the-gas-light-means-get-gas-now-not-in-a-week, how am i supposed to know them? they don't teach you about gas lights in driver's ed class.), but i've still learned some pretty useful ones and i've compiled a list for you. the top twenty things i've learned in my twenties. because if you're going to take me and my writing and this challenge seriously, it's probably important that i make sure you know i'm an expert first, right? obviously. if i told you how i know some of these things, you might wonder about my sanity. i maintain that some things are not inherent. if no one tells you, how are you supposed to know? you're most welcome for the heads up.

1. it is important to check the stove and all exterior doors before leaving for work. because leaving doors literally wide open and the stove on are hazardous. and the hair straightener. always check the hair straightener.

2. if you're not spending time with the Lord on a regular basis, everything seems worse. everything. i'm amazed at the shift in my perspective when i'm intentional.

3. it is illegal to outrun a cop to avoid a speeding ticket, even if you can feasibly get away. be advised. this was an isolated incident and nowhere near as bad as it sounds. i assure you i do not speed excessively nor do i have a criminal record.

4. always trust your instincts and don't apologize for following them.

5. buy a can of roach spray and know where it is at all times. there is never a moment when you will question this decision.

6. giving charitably is still worth it even if you can't claim a larger deduction on your taxes. so is volunteering. i've learned so much about myself and the world through working with young life, charlotte ballet, charlotte one and other shorter-term opportunities. it's also enhanced my professional skills.

7. cheese makes a completely acceptable meal. especially if there is also bread. so do brownies and ice cream.

8. communicate with people. articulate what you need or want from them. you can do it kindly and avoid negativity. generally it's not selfish but the only way to accomplish anything these days.  if you don't, you're always going to be frustrated or disappointed.

9. shopping at walmart is literally just not worth whatever money you save there. ever.

10. we were made for community, but we won't find it unless we seek it out.

11. don't ever put water on a grease fire. even if it seems like a good idea.

12. always counteroffer when you're quoted a salary. in most cases, you're going to get a bit more out of the deal. i wish i'd known this sooner.

13. make extra copies of your car and house keys and give them to friends who live near you.

14. in the song, i saw mommy kissing santa claus, santa is actually the dad. mom is not running around on dad and santa still loves mrs. claus. an old-fashioned family christmas can still be had. whew. i didn't know this until i was at least 25 and i couldn't understand how i-saw-mommy-acting-slutty was a festive song. i get it now in case you were worried. christmas is okay again.

15. don't cut your hair unless you've considered it for a reasonable amount of time. one day is not a reasonable amount of time.

16. do what's right for you. don't let the expectations of others dictate your decisions. trust who the Lord created you to be enough to actually be it.

17. having a pet is worth whatever excessive vet bills they manage to generate.

18. nothing is wasted. a dead end job, hurtful relationships, health problems, etc. there's always something to be learned and God is still working. your life is not a waste because you've lost focus or messed up or feel like you're not moving forward.

19. when sending snarky emails at work, always always always check the "to" line before sending. also, don't send snarky emails at work.

20. friendships have seasons just like anything else in life. it's important to cling to friends no matter how life is changing around you. it's worth it., clearly i have it all figured my credibility still intact?

(and i hope you've appreciated the self deprecating tone of this post as much as i have.)

you can read the full 31 days : twentysome years series, written daily through the month of october, on my blog

image via stylemepretty