This just in: I’ve discovered yet another blog to read instead of doing homework and it’s called “The Rumpus”. It’s a weird collaboration of articles and facts but the column that grabbed me is called “Dear Sugar”. Sugar’s age and identity is kept a mystery but she seems to be a woman in her 30s or 40s who has a wealth of advice to offer her readers. I don’t typically enjoy “advice columns” in the format of written in questions, answered by an “expert”, but she and I tend to agree on a lot of issues. She also has quite the sassy, no BS mentality, which I particularly relate to. Anyway, a recent advice column called “Tiny Beautiful Things” is a long list of “things” that Sugar would want to tell the 20 something version of herself now that she is older and wiser.
Here are a few:
“You are not a terrible person for wanting to break up with someone you love. You don’t need a reason to leave. Wanting to leave is enough. Leaving doesn’t mean you’re incapable of real love or that you’ll never love anyone else again. It doesn’t mean you’re morally bankrupt or psychologically demented or a nymphomaniac. It means you wish to change the terms of one particular relationship. That’s all. Be brave enough to break your own heart.”
“One evening you will be rolling around on the wooden floor of your apartment with a man who will tell you he doesn’t have a condom. You will smile in this spunky way that you think is hot and tell him to eff you anyway. This will be a mistake for which you alone will pay.”
“When you meet a man in a door way of a Mexican restaurant who later kisses you while explaining that this kiss doesn’t ‘mean anything’ because, as much as he likes you, he is not interested in having a relationship with you or anyone right now, just laugh and kiss him back. Your daughter will have his sense of humor. Your son will have his eyes.”
“The useless days will add up to something. The shitty waitressing jobs. The hours writing in your journal. The long meandering walks. The hours reading poetry and story collections and novels and dead people’s diaries and wondering about sex and God and whether you should shave under your arms or not. These things are your becoming.”
As I am a 20 something, I got to thinking about what types of “tiny beautiful things” I would want to remind the 30 or 40 something version of myself. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…
Sassarella, in terms of your career, if you’re not doing something you love by now, then stop and fix it because it’s never too late. Remember your 20 something motto, “work should rarely ever feel like work!”
Sassarella, every day, genuinely appreciate the loving and caring man in your life who treats you with respect and is a fabulous father. Dating is so exciting, thrilling, and a necessary part of finding out who you are but I would assume that there is nothing more fulfilling than having a family. And besides, there are some fo snerious creeps out there, “Well, I’m actually a wiccan, a male witch. So I have a magical name, it’s Brother Phoenix East-Horse…” (Name that movie!)
Sassarella, make time for your girlfriends, even if the kids have the chicken pox and you worked 2938452 hours this week. The time you spent bonding and sharing experiences with the girls in your 20s are some of the best memories you will have for the rest of your life. Find the 30 or 40 something version of belting out Celine Dion in the car to the beach with Lauren and Gabs, people watching in the cafeteria with Allie and Mags, laughing about your ridiculous life choices anywhere, anytime with Meghan or Sammy, and taking SoCo & lime shots with T-Money and Hillhoro Babes.
Sassarella, even though you’ve got your own family unit, keep lovin’ on the family unit that got you to this point. Don’t be too busy for your parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc because really, you owe everything you have now, to them.
Sassarella, for the love of all things sassy, continue to have intense dance parties in your room…even if it’s by yourself. This is extremely liberating and the most fun stress reliever in the whole wide world.
Sassarella, eat that greasy, cheesy pizza every now and then. Hey, you got away with it for years, drunk at 3am…it won’t kill ya to indulge every now and then.
Sassarella, it’s finally okay to change your relationship status on Facebook. You won’t be breaking up with him.
Sassarella, give that eager 20 something intern a chance. Remember the wonderful people who gave you a shot and lead to the experiences that changed your life.
Sassarella, even though you’ve got responsibilities up the ying yang, National Martini Day should always be celebrated. It’s sadly no longer appropriate to engage in “$2 Tuesdays”, “Why Not Wednesdays”, and “Thirsty Thursdays” all in the SAME week but have some fun!
Sassarella, say “yes” to completely random and unexpected opportunities. In your 20s, all you had to think about was yourself and even though your decisions now affect your husband and kids, doesn’t mean you should stop living. Additionally, make time for that selfish part of yourself that needs to go for walk, blog, or get a manicure. It will keep you sane!
And finally, Sassarella, never ever forget your 20s. I’m only two years into them, but holy cannoli is this a kick ass time in life. The epic benders, perky boobs, smooth skin, hours of television without any real consequences, getting paid cash to serve beer, believing you are awesome, wearing sunglasses at night, never having the answers, and when worst comes to worst, still having mom, dad, and all 50000 of your roommates to turn to.
I have to give credit to Kelly K, a middle school friend of mine, who coincidentally posted this article about being a 20 something on Facebook today. It pretty much sums up how ridiculously awesome and awful this time of life is. Regardless of the awful crap, the good stuff is what I’ll take with me to my 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s (fingers crossed).
To my 20 something peers, we rock. End of story. To anyone not yet in their 20s, get ready, kids! And finally, to anyone 30+ reading this and thinking I’m completely nuts….well, you’re partly right, but ask yourself if you’ve done anything 20 something-ish lately. It won’t kill ya! On the other hand, if you’ve done too many 20 something moves, lock it up, because from what I hear, it all just keeps getting better.