I’m 26 years old.
Now, I’m no mathematician, but I believe that’s about a third of 80. I’m also no statistician, but a cursory Google search tells me that I can expect to live to be about eighty, give or take a half-decade. Conclusion? I’m, like, a third of the way done with my life.
Pushing aside the existential crisis that this conclusion evoked, I think it’s important to pause at this juncture and take inventory: of who I am, where I am, what I’m doing, and why I’m doing it. From that inventory sprouted a list: Things I Know to be True.
I originally intended for this to be a cute “26 Things I’ve Learned in 26 Years of Life” but it turns out I know a lot less than I’d like to believe I do, so I settled for 20… then, I accidentally deleted my draft and could only remember 15 when I rewrote it. Within that 15, maybe 20% are genuinely thoughtful.
Again — I’m not a statistician. I’m a writer. A writer with a bad memory and low technical skills.
I also feel it’s prudent to say that this list is not intended to be any sort of gospel — as I know my readership tend to wax zealous when it comes to adhering to my personal philosophies. It is my hope, however, that among my 15 truths any reader might find a few, or even just one, that is relevant.
Anyhow, my truths:
- A good night’s sleep is one of the most valuable yet elusive things in this universe. I have yet to capture to mystic beast that is A Good Night’s Sleep. #lifegoals
- If you have tattoos and they’re visible, they’re always going to be the first thing anyone notices about you. This is sometimes flattering, most times a little awkward, and a few times it’s just been sexual harassment.
- “Opinion” and “misunderstanding” are two very different things. The former may offend some, but has no capacity to cause harm. The latter can (and does) damage both the beholder and the recipient.
- Health has may different physical manifestations. I weighed 115 pounds in college. I’d also just been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and drank beer every night. Thin doesn’t equal healthy; healthy equals healthy.
- Makeup is unnecessary 99% of the time. That 1% is weddings, and even then it’s debatable.
- Financial responsibility is a lot harder than it seems. It’s also not correlated with emotional, social, professional, or physical well-being… unless I allow it to be.
- Religions are generally faulty, but faith is critical. I’ve never met a doctrine that didn’t hold me back from being myself, but I’ve also always known that something intangible has some say in how my life turns out.
- Catharsis is crucial. Negativity is inevitable, and none of us can survive without a few IPAs at the end of a long day, or a few hours of crying at the end of a long week, or a few miles of running after failing to reach a long-term goal.
- All of my best friends could fit in one minivan, and most of them are a couple thousand miles away. (And all of them would be totally down to pile into said minivan and drive those thousands of miles to hang out with me, which is how I know they’re #BAE.)
- I will only be proud of about 4% of anything that I do, especially when it comes to my writing. However, it’s the process of producing something — and the challenge of struggling to simply create results, let alone positive ones — that fosters growth.
- Everyone deserves to be respected. #fact
- Not everyone deserves to be tolerated. #fact
- I want to have kids. At least two, but fewer than four. Why? Because I’m brilliant, beautiful, and a badass, and the surest way to ensure that legacy lives on is through my progeny. Also, cute Instagram photos for FTW.
- Inequities exist everywhere. “Meritocracy” is a myth. I can’t change it single-handedly, but I can be aware that there are opportunities available — and NOT available — to be because of WHAT I am (white, female, middle-class) and not WHO I am (see above: brilliant, beautiful, badass). Awareness might not be bliss, but it’s a whole lot more progressive than ignorance.
- My truth is my own. It’s also malleable. As long as I’m honest with myself about what I want, and pursue that with everything that I am… and accept when it needs to change… everything will more than likely turn out at least Okay.