How can something be so exhilarating, momentous, and painful all at the same time? A time that we can feel utterly jaded and bitter while still having so many niceties and lessons to come. During
this confusing time the best years of our lives, there’s a constant learning curve. We begin to grow up regardless of if we really want to. A new realization every step along the way
-I’ve yet to see the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, so dad’s shoulders still might be the highest place in the world. Even if they’re not, his arms are always open, welcoming a hug and cry.
-Being employed in the real world is a little different than that summer job at the ice cream parlor you use to have. You’ll have a cry session in the office bathroom and get papercuts and see an optometrist three times in a month because you forget to blink at your computer screen (true story). But you will also befriend coworkers, stifle uncontrollable laughter during your Monday meeting, and have more than three digits in your bank account–at least until you pay rent. And as many keyboard shortcuts and impressive Excel outputs as you’ll learn, you’ll still be more perplexed by that coworker, the sole person on the planet who manages to not gain a pound at her desk job.
-There’s no longer any excuse to be on, at, or near the floor. Ergo, my taking up yoga and training for five months. Sitting in sukasana on my mat is now socially acceptable, who knew? The days of cart wheels and handstands and tumbling around the grass are gone. Though if you learn to do handstand pushups you can have some fun while looking super hardcore at the gym. And then of course, you’ll instagram it…
-Doing taxes for the first, second, or fourth time will not make the process more inherently clear. I guess keying away at Turbotax is a right of passage. A right I look forward to delegating to my accountant.
-You’re going to dislike things you shouldn’t, love people who are wrong for you, and miss opportunities you should have valued. Understand the mistake, the frustration, the loss. And move on from it. Work to be happy and feel it in every cell and fiber of your being. Remember that life will go on.
-Choose comfort over style. I’d like to be advising you that pain is beauty but come on. As many times as mom told you to wear sneakers with your jeans and tennies with your dress for those long walks, you may argue that she was institutionally insane or just plain pragmatic. That barefoot walk through the Meatpacking District may just be the smartest decision of your life after a night of too high a heel and too close of a fractured toe.
-Unless you hire a sous chef, you will not have the bountiful, fresh fruit salads of your childhood. Ones in which you picked out the ripest of blackberries as your dad and mom chopped away. Instead you will rely on the simplicity of biting into an apple or finding diced mangoes on extreme sale. It’s a sad truth right here.
-You’ll learn to wake up on your own. Without the pour of water over your head or the slight touch of a head rub. You’ll wake up to the garbage truck terrorizing your street at the same hour before dusk every day. You’ll wake up with the approximate 19 minutes you need to commute to work without breaking into a frantic run. You’ll wake up early (gaaaasp) because you’ve come to adore the quiet, reflective time the morning allows you.
-Take the time to see beauty. Subjective beauty at that. It’s never too late and you’re never too inexperienced to just create. To pour your thoughts out onto paper, to imagine colors that were never “meant” to be paired together, to fulfill your dream regardless if it fits the mold. We did it in our coloring books on the floor of our bedrooms, so why not now?
-Host a dinner party just because. Because you have your own kitchen, because you no longer have a curfew, because you have a semi-functional albeit rusty cutting knife, and because you need your wine cabinet restocked. They’re the dinner parties of your parents that we you watched from your bedroom. But with a few more paper plates and liquor bottles.
-Call in sick to work, so that you can fly home just to have waffles and sit by the pool. There’s more validity in that than you know.