Friday, December 27, 2013

33 Things I've Learned in 33 Years

  1. High heels are bad for the body.  (Knowing it doesn't stop me from wearing them.)
  2. You may never know how you knew.  Angels, intuition, energetic awareness,  metaphysics, psychic abilities, and The Most High all could have played a part in it.
  3. When you want something to move with velocity, search for the Gate Keeper - the beloved office manager, administrative or personal assistant.
  4. Everything that comes out of your mom's mouth can be translated to "I love you and I want what's best for you."  Yes, even the annoying requests to call when you land, "she's not good enough for you," "eat more [fill in the blank]," "you look awful," and their assertion that you choosing that major will certainly result in unemployment after you graduate.  All love.
  5. Admitting that you're wrong, or that you don't know, can be access to your freedom.  And just so happens to be awesome parenting.
  6. Dress so that you smile when you look in the mirror at yourself, and others will too.  (I wore a crown for the hell of it once; it was a fun day.)
  7. Set up your life so that you are guaranteed to laugh at least once, hard, everyday (marry a comedian, come in through the door with the security guard that always makes you laugh, listen to a satellite radio comedy show on your way to work, skype with your hilarious bestie that moved to Thailand).
  8. Mentor.
  9. When you want to "go off" on someone, take a breath and look at where in your life someone may be experiencing you the same way; that usually enables me to come to the situation with more compassion.
  10. Find ways to spend time with people smarter than you.
  11. This - heartbreak, head over heels feeling, hurdle, period of insane productivity - too shall pass.
  12. Make time for the elders and the children.
  13. Find rituals and routines that work for you.  Just because waking at 4AM, eating raw one week every month, doing 30-day Bikram Yoga Challenges, and carrying a lucky lighter worked for your sibling, your best friend, your boo or your boss doesn't mean they will for you.
  14. Remember that you get to choose.  And if you can own your choices and all that results from them, you can rest assured that you are actually creating your future.
  15. Allow yourself the gift of romantic love no matter where you are in your educational and/or career path.  People that tell you you don't have time for it believe they are saving you from distraction or heartbreak.  Having fear is expected, but living in and operating out of fear is never a good look.
  16. Race is a social construct.  
  17. Consider that a human experience includes the full range of possible emotions.  And that if you are void of any of them, you've missed out on what it means to be human.
  18. Travel.
  19. There is language (a song, a poem, a mantra) for how you feel right now that can right your ship.
  20. Most schools train young minds to forego curiosity for answers, when curiosity is the one virtue that will keep the brain functioning optimally well into your old age.
  21. Reflection is sacred work.
  22. Make sure you love something significant in your life - your work, your hobbies, your tribe, your God - or you will find living more difficult than it needs to be.
  23. Don't send that angry or hurt email immediately.  Wait 24-hours AND send it to your most sound friend for their feedback first.
  24. People are seldom responding to what is happening in the present; they are most often addressing their past.  Don't take it personally.  Everyone is bruised.
  25. Having fun is an extremely productive and healthy use of your time.
  26. Courage is underrated; fear is overrated.
  27. "Because I said so," has led to generations of emotionally underdeveloped adults.  Parents, get your fear and embarrassment in check.
  28. We must stop teaching girls that their access to pleasure can only come from a man.  That's a lie.
  29. If 40 is the new 20, when I'm 40 I am going to need to find some 60 year olds to hang out with.
  30. Everyone IS a role model.  We just have to get comfortable with the fact that people aspire to play out varied roles in life.
  31. I still don't understand why we say "there's a method to my madness" as if madness is good or why we say "I want to piggyback on that."  And I refuse to Google it.  It's more fun to ask why people say it and have them realize they don't know either.
  32. I may struggle with the inclination to be right over being loving well into my old age.  But I hope not.
  33. Lessons stick best when birthed from your own experience.  I don't expect this list of 33 Things I've Learned in 33 Years to mean anything to you.  We've gotta write our own lists.