Monday, September 19, 2011

Things I Learned In My Twenties

"We might be through with the past, but the past ain't through with us..." (quoted in the movie Magnolia)

I'd like to start this post by saying I was inspired by Carmen's reflection on her twenties. It is something I have wanted to do and what better place or time than the day before I turn 30 years old. So, twenties, here we go...

1. I have a serious need to people-please, to fix other people's problems, to be over-responsible for things and for people when it is none of my business . I am trying to unlearn these habits so I can focus more on myself and kick this nasty indecision thing I got going on.
2. While I survived my childhood remarkably unscathed, the same things that got me through it as a kid have held me back as an adult. Perhaps this is one of the reasons I still do not have a career and am an assistant at 30 years old.
3. Don't beat yourself up. Who gives a fuck if you are a 30 year-old assistant? "The race is long and in the end you're only in it with yourself."
4. Be careful to look at what part of your own narrative is really yours and how much of it has been given to you.
5. Question what you know and why you know it. Should you know it? What if you are wrong?
6. Where at twenty you were proud to say you knew a lot about life but were also aware you still really knew nothing, at 30 you can start to honestly own that, while you are still young, you still know a lot about life for someone your age.
7. There are many different journeys in friendship. If you never let yourself journey through the "repair" phase, you will never really grow, you will never get to experience the second coming of a friend that helped shape who you are and who you will become.
8. While it is important to know what you don't want, it is more important to know what you do want.
9. I love to dance.
10. I love to wear dresses.
11. Wear sunscreen. Tans are awesome, but being too tan is kind of gross and skin cancer is no fun at all.
12. Running is good for my mind.
13. No matter how in love you may feel, it is essential to keep a sense of yourself. Likewise, it is important to maintain your individuality no matter how entwined your lives becomes.
14. It is never too late to shake things up.
15. I have the ability to surprise myself.
16. I have an inner strength I can rely on for anything...but it is okay if I ask for help along the way.
17. Music is very, very necessary.
18. Sometimes you just need to cry.
19. There are no guarantees in life. That's what makes it so damn interesting.
20. There are some people you will not get the chance to say goodbye to.  There will be people you will not get to say you are sorry to. You will not get to ask them the questions you always planned you one day would, when you were ready to. Say what you have to say now. Don't hold onto grudges. Let go of  the memories and stories that keep you from facing the really scary stuff. Or one day you might regret it.
21. Don't beat yourself up.
22. I am not perfect.
23. My love for Eddie Vedder will never die.
24. Sometimes you have to let people fuck up and when they do, shut your mouth. It is not your job to point out people's mistakes, their flaws, or how you knew better. Maybe you don't.
25. Everyone really is doing the best that they can. Cut people a break every once in a while, especially those you love the most.
26.  I have a surprisingly large amount of fear for someone who acts so fucking tough.
27. The moments when I overcome that fear are some of the best moments in my life.
28. Soccer is not just a sport to me. It is how I express myself and at one point was the only way I could. As an adult, be mindful of what you are bringing on to the field and do your best to not lose control.
29. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to sit still.
30. Sometime you need to sit still.
31. The ocean is incredibly healing.
32. Don't mix your liquors.
33. Don't mix wine with anything.
34. Tattoos... I could probably write a whole piece on tattoos. What you love at 19, you will not love in your twenties. Which means what I loved in my twenties I will probably not love in my thirties. Fuck.
35. This country is so fucked up and so fucking beautiful. It is possible to be ashamed of my government and yet proud to be American. It is possible to be disappointed in Americans and yet grateful to be one. 
36. Everyone is apathetic at some point.
37. Movies are very, very important.
38. I am a fine athlete and perhaps at my truest self when in the middle of a soccer game, when at bat at the plate, when pointing my snowboard down the mountain, when picking up my pace up the hill on the East side of Prospect Park, when pushing it that extra turn in spin class, when shooting hoops at the arcade game on the Boardwalk. I am a good player.
39. There is nothing better than a fine meal out.
40. It is important to say you are sorry when you are wrong, sometimes even if you are right.
41. I really love affection.
42. If you stain the first white shirt, don't change into another white shirt. It is not your day to wear white.
43. The more I take care of my mind and heart, the easier it is to stay in shape.
44. Summer is my favorite season.
45. Double check your math. You do not suck at it. You just have trouble with numbers.
46. The world is more interesting when you know a second language. I am so grateful I took Spanish for two years, and hope to get back to it in my thirties.
47. The traveler that I have inside me is fearless, street smart, and super fun.
48. In a past life, I definitely lived in Ireland.
49. In a past life, I may have been married to or twins with Carmen.
50. I was right when I saw Mike for the first time.
51. When you are done taking a shower, pull the curtain closed so it doesn't mildew all stuck together (Thanks, Carmen)
52. If you are going to drive over Vail Pass or in any snowy conditions for that matter, check to make sure you have the right anti-freeze wiper fluid.
53. When snowboarding, wear a helmet.
54. If you don't know how to take your snow chains off, don't try yourself get them stuck and then don't call 911. Think first. Then you may have noticed the wire cutters behind your seat three hours before you froze on the side of a mountain in a snow storm.
55. Don't yell at your brother ever again. He has had enough.
56. Don't be afraid to hurt other people's feelings. You don't have that much control. All you can do is worry about your own and ask for what you need from people. You cannot predict how they will understand that.
57. Cigarettes really are stupid.
58. I love to read.
59. Drinking really is stupid...but fun.
60. Sex can lead us so to so many discoveries.
61. While nothing beats a good orgasm, sometimes being held at the right moment does.
62. Say "Thank You" when someone says "Bless You" after you sneeze.
63. Don't give out your credit card number to those people on the streets collecting for charities, but donate when you can, and if you can volunteer when possible. If you can't that's okay, too.
64. I love flowers.
65. Even though I hate wearing heels because they hurt my feet, sometimes you have to suck it up and where them because they make you feel pretty and that can be just as important. (Thanks, Tara)
66. Don't feel stupid about spending a lot of money on your hair. You only live once. Put your best face forward.
67. I love bike riding in Provincetown.
68. If you write a bad poem, get over it. There are whales out there.
69. If a guy approaches you to make what seems like small talk, he may actually have other interests.
70. Believe it or not, you are beautiful.
71. I will be an awesome mom.
72. My own mother is an incredible woman.
73. My own mother is incredibly flawed, as was hers, as am I.
74. My father is the best man I know.
75. My father is incredibly flawed, but he did a damn good job.
76. It is okay to question if it really was a damn good job.
77. My family is incredibly flawed! But they are my own and they got my back even if they send birthday cards to old addresses and send me slim fast shakes as a care package in college. I can honestly say I have people in my life that would take a bullet for me.
78. The hardest thing about writing is keeping your butt in the chair.
79. Don't be afraid of the feelings that will come up when writing. They will pass.
80. It is important to seek justice, always.
81. It is important to me to seek the truth as best as possible. But to also keep in mind just how many truths there are.
82. The Valley is its own special microcosm. Do not judge it or berate it. It is home and it half the reason, for good or bad, that you have certain values.
83. I love hip hop.
84. Sometimes you just have to sing.
85. I turned 20 nine days after September 11th. A few months later I fell in love. A few weeks later I moved to Dublin for a semester. A few moths later I fucked that relationship up and started another one. A few weeks later I traveled around Europe with my brother, then my father joined us, and a few days later I turned a corner in Pompeii and ran back into that first love, the current love.  At 21, my country invaded Iraq and I graduated college. I moved to Vermont.  At 22, I hitchhiked around Ireland (again), traveled around Scotland, Spain, and England. I moved back to Los Angeles just before Christmas. On my 23rd birthday I spent the day in a tattoo parlor in the Valley. Just before I turned 24, I drove around the country with my best friend and met the post 9/11 youth of America. At 25, I left my boyfriend of five years in a bar in New York City, changed my flight and moved out of our apartment before he even landed. Just before I turned 26, I flew to Chicago for an affair with Mike and it was the hottest weekend of my life. At 26, I knew my life would never be the same when I made out with him on a beach in New Jersey. Months later I would quit my job in the entertainment industry, pack my Toyota and move to New Jersey. At 27, I was thrown a backwards surprise party in Harlem. At 28, I had an essay published online. Months later, I would come to hate it along with everything else I had ever written about my family. Days later I would attend a funeral with two coffins and two hummingbirds would steal the show. At 29, I would forget my birthday and make Mike's really special. And this birthday, I had an awesome party three days before which has contributed to a nasty chest infection I now have one day before turning 30. Life is full of twists and turns. Don't take yourself too seriously.
86. When you laugh so hard you start to cry, hold on to it as long as you can.
87. Buckle your seat belt.
88. Don't drink and drive, for real.
89. Never pass on dessert.
90. In a conversation it is important to pay attention to how much one person is talking about themselves. Don't use this an excuse to not say anything. It is human nature to talk about yourself. We are all one big story made up several little stories. Hear and share as many as you can.
91. Never pass up the chance to hold a baby.
92. Say "I love you," a lot.
93. Say "thank you" even more.
94. Gambling is stupid. Except for roulette.
95. I will always root for The Giants despite their inconsistent quarterback.
96. The World Cup is truly inspiring, as is the NYC marathon.
97. Pedicures are not stupid.
98. Not everyone needs to know if you are having a bad day.
99. I miss Tom more than I ever thought I would.
100. I am so fucking ready for my thirties.
If you read this far, thank you, I love you. Let's do this.

4 comments:

daleboca said...

Here you go! Happy (early) birthday. This will be your decade!

Carmen said...

i would like to say that most of what you write is my inspiration for writing/reflecting. as for the 100 things...
#3 - yes! agreed
#4 - i like this!
#18 - i think i invented the idea
#25 - im working on that too
#39 - amen. that is one joy erk and i dont share and it sux
#40 - this is nice
#49 made me smile big
#50 made me smile bigger
#56 i am constantly trying to learn this one. its so hard - i think in part because us women are wired that way.
#60 - yes.
#65 - yes! i just said that yesterday! i LOVE and HATE high heels
#71 YES!
#89 - this one im good at
#90 - you taught me this and i have not looked at a single conversation the same way ever again
#100 - yes.

Rose said...

I Love you Lindsey...

Lindsey said...

Rose!! I found out today both you and Mary read the blog! Caught! Ha! Thanks for reading! xo, And thank you to V & C! C, I liked your responses. Nice ones. V, I think you are right. This will be my decade : )