I rang in my 26th birthday over the course of two days last week. On Wednesday a group of my friends crashed my spin class where we rocked out to beats by The Chainsmokers, Major Lazer, DJ Snake and Skrillex before sipping brews and eating delicious food at Barrelhead near my house.
Sweaty & fabulous – what a good lookin’ crew I roll with
On Friday we danced our hearts out at the Steve Aoki show–seeing quite possibly my favorite artist live with one stellar group of humans was indescribable. Needless to say, 26 is off to a great start!
My goal for this year, naturally, was to become established and consider SF home. Community takes a lot of time and investment to grow and develop. So when I looked around at the faces surrounding me on Wednesday and again on Friday, I couldn’t help but be filled with joy– I’m finally at home here.
So here we are– part two of the 26 lessons I’ve been learning across my 26 years:
But really, thank YOU San Francisco & the beautiful people in and around it–you changed my life.
Listen to people’s stories. And even if you cannot, know each face you pass walking to work, behind the checkout counter, sleeping on the street corner and driving in the traffic with you has one. Let’s be a little gentler with one another, shall we?
Read! Letting myself get a little lost in other worlds before bed or on my commute refreshes me in a way Netflix just can’t. Oh and this was a lesson I had to learn– you don’t have to finish books you don’t like. But if you love it? Share it!
You’re never too old or too young. Sure, don’t apply this to legal drinking ages. But other than that? Stop using age as an excuse. It’s purely a number, a collection of days and years you’ve been on this earth. (I bought myself light-up shoes the other day. My inner 10-year-old is rejoicing.)
Don’t ask me to give up coffee. Like why would you even? If we listened to every health fad and trend out there, we would literally have nothing left to eat. I love my 5 cups of black coffee each day. It’s part of my ritual and warms me from the inside-out. Not every “vice” needs to be given up.
The crew post-Steve Aoki. Once again, sweaty & fabulous. I’m sensing a trend.
Call your mom. And dad, and sisters. For me, family is everything. They’ve helped shape me into who I am today.
Eat your veggies. I am not a salad for a meal kinda person. Just– no. But I finally learned to love cooked veggies. After mastering meal prep with zoodles and sweet potato ribbons, I’ve noticed how much better I’ve been feeling by eating my colors.
Surprise yourself. Try things you said you’d never like before. Seafood, rosé, kickboxing, cooking… See how your tastes may have changed since you first decided you didn’t like something. Say goodbye to “I’m not the kind of person who..” and instead re-experience foods and activities without purpose-less limitations. Which means…
Give yourself permission. No one is going to do it for you. Whether it is daydreaming about living abroad, learning a new language, truly enjoying yourself during a night out, switching up your career, or just going for it with that incredible guy you met while nearly electrocuting yourself with a toaster-and-fork situation, say heck yes to life. Tell yourself you are allowed to feel content and free and excited.
Pretty much the only pic I have from my birthday dinner. Naturally. Love you, J9!
It’s never too late to learn something new. My mom just finished a drawing class. Pretty neat, huh?
Never lose your sense of wonder. I’ve been making an effort to walk with my eyes up rather than glued to my phone. It is incredible to see the beauty revealing itself in the details of my surroundings, something I would otherwise miss.
Stop & pet every dog you meet. Especially if it is a golden retriever.
Know your worth. I had to discover my identity was not rooted in my job title, how I dress, where I live, or what others say about me. Sure those things contribute to who I am, but they are not the direct soil from which I grow. My identity comes from the Lord. I am loved, cherished, and fearfully & wonderfully made. And finally…
Let people know they are loved. Remind others how much they mean to you, how much they mean to this world we all share. You can never say I love you too many times.
Ah, 26. You’re already off to a good start. Read part one here >>