It’s already that time of year again… 21 years ago today, I was born weird and wacky world.
How I ended up so old so fast, I haven’t the slightest clue. I’m well aware that in the grand scheme of things, I’m still relatively young. And as much as I feel like I know at this point, there remain infinite amounts of knowable things I need to know… like how to do my own taxes.
That said, I know that no matter how much I end up knowing, I can never know it all, which is probably for the better. But here are a few things I’m confident I know for certain. And by a few, I mean 21. Twenty-one knowns for 21 years. Lookee there.
Please note that in all of the following, when I say “you,” I’m not referring to you personally, because you are a doll and I’d never tell you what to do. I’m referring to the general second person “you.” More than anything, I guess I’m referring to the not so general “me.”
Along with those non-accusatory 21 things, enjoy a walk down my cake memory lane with the edible birthday dedications I’ve baked over the course of my year as a 20-year-old.
PS– lovingly baking someone a place to stake candles on their special day is the ultimate expression of caring. Which is why I’m okay with being banished from my own kitchen right now… because my roommates are the bomb. That’s all.
Okay, here we go.
1.) I know that avoiding anything out of fear is an absolute no go. Sitting out and missing out because you’re scared has to be one of the utterly scariest challenges we wake up to every morning. Overcoming it is a solid goal to kick off the morning with. That goal plus a bowl of oatmeal, and you’re set for most days.
2.) I know bacon goes with almost everything. Minus vegetarians.
3.) I know that if you surround yourself with people who are cooler than you… you’re naturally going to start upping your game. So do that. And let you’re cool friends know how very cool they are–bake them cookies, tell them straight up, whatever works for you personally.
*Note: By “cool” I don’t mean popular cheerleaders in high school cool… I’m talking people who are more creative than you, smarter than you, more insightful than you, have better style than you, are kinder than you, etc. You get the gist.
4.) I know that unless you lend something to somebody or sign a notarized contract, no one inherently owes you anything. And I mean no one. No one owes you love, no one owes you an apology, no one owes you an explanation. That’s hard for us to wrap the self-centered sections of our brains around…but wrapping them around it is worth the effort.
5.) I know that whether you’re pulling a plate together or pulling yourself together, presentation counts. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t occasionally make grocery runs in yoga pants and nappy flip-flops with rat nest hair… because you totally should. People are more enthusiastic to move out of your way. However, make a habit of appearing to have your act together.
6.) I know that time flies way too fast to be a hater– so speak only in words that build people up. If how you treat someone upsets your insides, stop it. Don’t do that. Apologize. Mean it.
7.) I know that even if you think you have a lame one, or a crooked bottom row of teeth or whatever… everyone looks prettier with a smile on. Cliche as that sounds, it’s so true. Don’t hide yours, please and thank you.
8.) I know that exercising in some manner every day (or every other day) will make you feel ten types of awesome, regardless of how close your thighs live to one another.
9.) I know it’s ridiculously unwise to get drunk at significant events… even if the champagne is free. It’s hard to speak with important people while 100% sober; it’s significantly harder to speak with important people when you’re hiccuping every other word.
10) I know that men actually hate those thick plastic, fun-colored hangers that women love. I know there are designated man hangers, and a method of hanging man shirts on man hangers to ensure that they maintain their man shape.
I’ll show you how sometime. I’m an expert, now.
11.) I know that learning to savor moments is more than worth your while. You may never become a proper connesuir of wine or cheese aficionado, but a moment (bad or good) is something everyone can and should relish. Doing so makes life more flavorful.
12.) I know flexibility–in every sense of the word–is one of the greatest traits you can develop. Flexibility makes everything that comes your way much easier to handle. Gotta stretch yourself.
13.) I know that baking bread is a simple and wholesome way to feel accomplished.
14.) I know that as ridiculous as it seems, knowing yourself… what you want, what you need, what’s holding you back or propelling you forward… doesn’t just happen. It takes time and effort and honesty to begin understanding thyself in any way whatsoever. Like most, I know I need to throw more time that way.
15.) I know special cases call for special measures… but if you are legit tired, GO TO BED. Coffee isn’t always the answer.
Sometimes, it is though.
16.) I know that where someone comes from doesn’t indicate where they’re going. You can’t judge anyone based on their background.
17.) I know my parents were right about what happens when you assume… it makes an ass out of you and me (hardy har). But really, if you’re not positive, ask questions. Ask a plenty.
18.) I know that sometimes a good bright red lipstick can make all the difference. Use it judiciously, red lipstick is powerful.
And if you’re a male reading this… sorry I don’t know the man equivalent for you. Wear snazzy loafers? That’s the best I got.
19.) I know your mouth can get you into some nasty messes. Real nasty. Think before you open it.
20.) I know you should make friends with people who are work and/or have major clout in your local dining sphere. You should try to make friends with everyone, but especially restaurant people.
21.) I know it’s important to hold yourself accountable for your own behavior. If you don’t learn to check yourself, you best believe you will wreck yourself.
So that’s that.
It’s my last major birthday before thirty… I have secret cakes to fantasize about and bourbon to drink. Thanks for humoring my expulsion of 21-year-aged wisdom. It’s really an everyday birthday gift to be able to share thoughts and junk with ya’ll.
Happy Birfday to me. Go drink bourbon or eat something delicious in my honor.