28 Things I’ve Learned in 28 Years:
Well I’ve made it. I have so far survived 28 years, two yacht birthday parties, 5 serious relationships and a few major meltdowns. I’ve learned a lot but I’m still learning. I know I’ve learned more than 28 things but there are some major points that I know now that I wish I would have known then. So here are the 28 things I’ve learned in 28 years.
- Drink a lot of water. I know this sounds super basic and cliche but I’ve only really been drinking adequate water for about a year and I’ve noticed a major difference. I always had chapped lips and brittle nails, well guess what? not since I’ve been drinking a lot of water. Drinking water is so essential (read more about it here.) and more than 75% of American’s are chronically dehydrated, not only is that sad because we’re willfully not living up to our hydration (and otherwise) potential but it’s really sad because there are millions of people worldwide who don’t even have access to clean drinking water yet we squander our incredible and truly most valuable gift. Be extremely grateful for your tap water (unless you live in Flint Michigan) and think of all those less fortunate while you bless your body with literally a miracle liquid.
- Take your makeup off at night. I was the worst at this, seriously I’m a self-proclaimed party girl and I have zero shame in that. However, if you don’t remove your makeup at night your pores will enlarge and like with all things, prevention is easier than treatment. Plus, think about all the years of not removing your makeup.. gross, then think about all the years of treatment you’ll have to undergo to reverse something totally preventable… yeah don’t be stupid. I love the Costco makeup wipes when I’m drunk or tired, but the most important step is to follow it with a baby wipe which leaves no residue. If you’re a skincare baller, use your Clarisonic SkinBrush twice a week and rotate facemasks weekly to treat seasonal ailments like breakouts, dryness and/or puffiness. Also be sure to replace your skin brush heads regularly so you’re not smashing germs into your delicate skin.
- Start working out now. I know I’m not the first person to tell you this and I won’t be the last but working out is not just cosmetic and the benefits are endless. True story: My mom worked for a man named Mr. Hugh Ferguson for eight years. Fergie, as we lovingly called him, had had open heart surgery shortly before my mom was hired. At 86 years old Ferguson was somewhat fragile. My momma had him working out with a trainer twice a week within a year (she also replaced his Diet Coke addiction with water) At the age of 90, Mr. Ferguson’s Doctors congratulated my mom, in front of his daughter, for “Saving Mr. Ferguson’s life”. Literally, working out makes your bones stronger, your mind stronger and increases circulation to your brain which improves function, memory, and because your brain controls everything, you live longer. Working out also increases endorphins and makes you happier decreases stress, gives you more confidence, prevents injury in daily life due to strength, and adds overall balance in a stressful, high carb, low energy, demanding world. Working out is also cathartic because it’s often alone time or time spent with a friend, confidant and/or trainer. And the most important reason to work out is it gets harder with age, so start right now. I really wish I had started my fit life 10 years ago.
- Comparison is the killer of happiness. I’ll stop apologizing for all of these being things you’ve heard before right after this, but it is true- like the aforementioned- which is why you’ve heard them all before. Anyway, I know how hard it is to see someone killing it in the same profession as you and to think “what are they doing that I’m not?” or “She isn’t even as smart as me!” or the worst, “If I was only born rich I’d be more successful” GIRRRRRRLLLLLLL. STOP. RIGHT. NOW. We all have our own path, and we can all be successful, the only thing that matters is that you work hard and be true to yourself. I know, what do I know right? I’m honestly not even very successful. Uh rude, can’t believe you read that. lol jk. What I mean though is that everyone has bad, good, happy, sad, love, anger, heartbreak, joy, and all the rest but not at the same time. If you look at me right now and compare yourself to me you might think I have had everything handed to me, not true. Like I mentioned in my last post, I come from very little means and I was bullied horribly for YEARS. If you think back to the best day of your life and compare it to my worst it’s a little different right? But either way, the comparison makes you feel like total crap. So stop. K? Thanks.
- Be Honest with yourself. This one takes time and is so hard. I’ve had so many moments where I knew what was up, I knew what I was feeling but I didn’t want to be an inconvenience or I wasn’t able to trust myself. I had doubts, second guessing and I looked back and thought, “wow, why didn’t I trust myself?” It doesn’t matter how much you love someone or how close you and your bestie are. Deep down everyone knows what they truly think. How they truly feel… you know, you don’t want to admit it bit you know goddamnit. So, be honest about it. Whether it’s something you’re proud of or not, you’ll be able to deal with it and move on or solve it sooner if you just admit it. Kinda like in AA when they say “admitting it is the first step” it’s true with all things, get down to the base and truth of everything and start there, otherwise, your solution won’t work because it’s a band-aid for a half truth problem.
- Get money and save it. Get money, I have zero judgments on how you make your money. You may fill out surveys for a living or clean toilets, you may do taxes or pump gas, maybe you do phone sex, stripper, grocery bagger, writer, janitor, it doesn’t matter. Money is freedom. Money is not evil. I know many people think rich people are greedy and money is bad but that is 100% bullshit, invented by the man to keep you down. Look at all the good that is done by people who make billions of dollars. The best thing we can all do is get rich and spread the wealth. (Just make sure you’re not screwing people over to make your money.) But seriously, how many women have been stuck in unhappy or even abusive situations because they have no choice, no money? When you rely on others or a dead end job with no safety net you put yourself in a fucked up situation. Get money, live within your means, save every cent you can, and build smartly toward your goals and dreams.
- Stuff should be gifts, not goals. Speaking of money and spending it wisely, I may be anti-feminist for saying this but if you want something materialistic you should work on getting someone to buy it for you. In the words of Lil Kim “Why spend mine when I can spend yours?” I know that is making you go, “What?” but seriously, your goals should be things like “Financial freedom, investing in real estate, owning a home, starting a charity, getting a degree, paying off all debt.” or whatever… Shoes and bags are NOT goals, they are gifts. We’ve all seen the meme below and there is a reason people think it’s true, people who prioritize status over long term goals end up with neither. That being said, if you hit a milestone or achieve that promotion you’ve been working toward and you really want to, it’s okay to reward yourself, but only AFTER you’ve paid all the bills, contributed to savings and budgeted for it. Shoes won’t keep you warm at night, electricity and a home will though.
- Always use (heat) protection (Also always use condoms but) On a less serious but also serious note, you should always use a heat protectant. Seriously, hot tools fry your hair and alcohol in hairspray dries it and makes it worse. When you spray a thermal heat protectant you are saving your hair so much damage. Plus, this one holds your curls so well that it causes you to have to heat style less meaning even less heat damage, and it’s accumulative. When you’re trying to grow your hair this tip is invaluable.
- Do not get back together with your ex. I know it’s comfortable and easy to think of all the good times and when you go on that fourteenth bumble date and he smacks his food and offers to go dutch after you spent $100 on your hair, outfit and valet, but don’t. There is always a reason you really broke up, especially if you’ve broken up multiple times. You may love one another, you may hate the dating world, the sex may be fantastic, but don’t let that blind your from seeing the truth: you want to raise kids differently, he doesn’t want kids, he’s really a mean fighter, you don’t want to live in the same country, you weren’t happy, whatever it is, it is there and it’s the reason you aren’t together, and it’s super unlikely any of that will change. I loved my ex madly, I loved him more than he loved me, and I was gutted when we broke up, but it was his choice. When we got back together it was never the same and we ended up wasting another almost four more years on a relationship that wouldn’t work. It wasn’t that we didn’t love one another, we did, we still have love for each other, but we weren’t and aren’t meant to be. If we had stayed broken up then, I would have met Jacques sooner and he wouldn’t have ended up so bitter- he’d probably not be alone now.. it was more painful and difficult after getting back together. Don’t do it.
- Salt water cures everything. Seriously, cry your heart out. Hit the gym and sweat until you shake, take a vacation and swim in the ocean. Feel the burning of your eyes and the opening of your septum. Embrace the chapped feeling of your cheeks and let it rush over you. Salt water is extremely cleansing. When I was a kid and trying to stay home from school with a sore throat, my mom would always make me gargle with salt water. I found it to be super annoying but it generally worked. When I get sinus infections I rinse with a netty pot of saline solution (salt water). When I have been heart broken I sob uncontrollably and work out like a crazy person and the more salt water I encounter, the faster it all gets washed away. Sweat, tears and the sea, salt water heals everything.
- Sugar is poison. I’m serious. Sugar is horrible for you and it’s in everything. I highly suggest you watch the documentary Fed Up for more information. Sugar is highly addictive and food manufacturers use it to manipulate us and sell more of their unhealthy murderous products. I hate being taken advantage of and the sugar industry is the worst. Stop unassumingly consuming sugar.
- Everyone will hurt you. You just have to find the ones worth suffering for. This is one of my favorite quotes. Bob Marly said that, and it couldn’t be truer. Eventually, everyone will hurt you and let you down but some people are still good people and some just finally show their true colors. It’s not always the end, sometimes it will test you and make your stronger, sometimes it’s a lesson in forgiveness, it’s life, it happens. Just try to tell the difference between the ones who care that they hurt you and the ones who don’t.
- Anything is possible. I know, it’s cliche but in 28 years I’ve seen many “impossible’ things happen and they happen every day. Don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do something or something won’t happen, it can, especially if you make it happen.
- Question Everything. This annoys the crap out of people but I don’t care. If I want to know something I ask or look it up. Knowledge is power so ask questions and don’t take what anyone says as gospel. Asking questions will not only make you more intelligent and informed but people will come to assume it of you and won’t try to pull one over on you knowing you’ll likely catch them. I’m agnostic because I feel it’s a bit arrogant to assume we know about the creation of all things, bottom line is, we don’t. Only a few years ago we learned that an atom isn’t the smallest thing, that atoms are actually whole worlds for neurons and protons and who knows what else we don’t know? We have to keep questioning things, be curious and inquisitive. Not to mention, you may ask a question that sparks and inspires someone else. When someone I know has a problem, I ask a lot of questions about it. Usually, the process of explaining will make something click into gear for them and they’re able to solve it. Honestly, question everything, just make sure you’re respectful and inquisitive rather than challenging or it may not be met with such inspirational results, sometimes that’s okay too though.
- The Squeaky Wheel gets the Grease. My EX used to say this and it’s very true. Before I was born my dad had a spell of unemployment, with an infant child and another on the way he needed a job like ASAP. He introduced himself to the owner of a logging company and asked for a job, the man said he didn’t have anything available at the time, but thanks. My dad called him every day and left a message with his secretary, “Hi this is Ken. I’m just calling to let Mr. Smith know I’m ready to come into work today.” after about a month the secretary told him to come on in to work. My dad worked for him for years and they became very close. I remember when that man died, my dad cried, even though he hadn’t worked for him in over ten years at that point. If you want a job you need to speak up. If you are up for a promotion, sell yourself on it. If you’re shy and quiet you’ll probably be overlooked. My sister always complained that I got anything I wanted as a kid, and I did… the secret though is simply that I asked for it. My sister never asked for anything so what do you think she got?
- Talk to more old people and young people. As a millennial, we get stuck in our ways and have a tendency to think we are always right and we know everything. I can’t tell you how much I learn from my grandparents and nephews. Varying points of view can be extremely valuable. I also like to talk to old people because they are a direct line of information to a time we know nothing about except what the media tells us. (Like I said before, question everything, especially the media.) They say history repeats it’s self and I think that’s a shame, we are too stuck in our time to learn from the mistakes of others and that is the biggest mistake of all.
- Make friends with people who are nothing like you. This is kind of an extension of #16 but it’s true. I feel like I’m such a better person because I’m close to my sister who is nothing like me. If I wasn’t close to her I wouldn’t understand people with anxiety, people who are not as daring as me, or people who don’t care about fashion. I would probably be super shallow and not living to my full potential. Not everyone has a bad-ass sister like me but you can mimic it by making friends with people who aren’t like you. Some of my closest friends in the world are my total opposites in one way or another. One of the things I hear all the time is that I pull my friends out of their comfort zones and I take that as a major compliment because it means I’m helping them to grow and vise-versa.
- This too shall pass. Another one of my favorite quotes. This is important for two reasons. 1. If you’re going through something awful, don’t worry it won’t last forever. and 2. if you’re going through something amazing, appreciate it, because it also won’t last forever.
- The best way to stop overthinking something is to write it down. Sometimes we can’t stop things from running through our mind endlessly.. or can we? When you can’t stop thinking about something you should write it down. Honestly, this trick puts your mind to rest every time. I think it’s because once it’s on paper it’s not bouncing around in your head and you can move on to other thoughts. Once you have it on paper you can think about it in a new and different way or not at all. I feel like sometimes our minds replay things or over think things because we have so many thoughts and feelings about it and our brain is trying to juggle all the trains of thought. When you compartmentalize on paper it gives your mind a major rest so you can rest. Honestly, you should keep a journal no matter what, it helps to reduce stress and keeps you more organized. Plus, it’s really nice to go back and read it and see your own growth.
- Always give people the benefit of the doubt. This I realized on a day when I had lost someone I cared about very much. I was being cold and quiet and someone was like “Oh she’s just a snob” and I couldn’t help but get angry, like “I’m in pain, don’t just assume I’m a snob.” You really never know what someone is going through. Maybe that “asshole” who cut you off in traffic is racing to see his wife on life support before she takes her last breath… Maybe the girl at work who never learns your name suffers from face blindness, (it’s a thing). Just try to be understanding, not judgemental and give people the benefit of the doubt, you’ll feel better too, trust me.
- Start now. I can’t tell you how much I wish I would have gone to beauty school when I was 18. I still wish I had done it so now I’m going back to school at 28. I wish I would have started working out in my early 20’s when it was easier. I wish I would have taken blogging more seriously 4 years ago. I wish I would have started sooner on many things so whatever you’re putting off until tomorrow, do it now instead.
- No means no. This is a hard one to write about and I may do a whole video about it separately but if you’re with a guy and you don’t want to have sex and you say that in any form (“Not yet, let’s wait, I’m not ready”, etc.) and he doesn’t jump back off you, leave. Get up and tell him he doesn’t respect you and never look back. Guys have extremely strong hormones and it’s hard for them to think straight when they’re aroused so you need to be a little extreme to get their attention. Don’t continue on once you’ve said no or it makes “no” less meaningful when they do hear it- like it’s a subtle suggestion and not a demand. It also makes you feel taken advantage of and disrespected and honestly, that’s not what he wants either.
- Never Trust Anyone who doesn’t like Mexican food. This is kind of a joke but honestly, those people are weird, and I don’t trust ’em.
- Life is Short. Seriously I’ve lost people way too early. Spend all the time you can with your family and the ones you love, put the screen down, look at their laugh lines and try to light up their faces. I kind of love that life tests us, it isn’t like technology which pleases us. There is no “on demand, rewind, pause, fast forward, retouching, etc.” Life is real and short so enjoy it now. Put petty disagreements aside, it’s not important. My uncle Chad died in a freak accident around 10 years ago… when I was 7 I was accused (falsely) of stealing $300 from my Aunt, Uncle Chad was relentless and mean and when they found the money in their car on the floor he didn’t apologize. I didn’t attend a family gathering for the next 7 years. Finally, when they asked why they never saw me anymore my mom told them the issue and Chad felt terrible. He and my aunt apologized to me profusely and said they wished I’d said something sooner. After that, we were very close and I’m SO grateful for that. On the other hand, my Aunt Jesse was an addict and she was extremely selfish so I stopped talking to her. Then one day, she was on her way to rehab, sober and was killed in a car accident. I so wish I had told her how much I loved her, how funny she was, how she helped shape me as a young girl and how proud I was of her going to treatment. I still miss her and wish I had told her that, so if you’re in a similar situation, be the bigger person because life is SHORT!
- Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer. If I never took my senior trip to Europe I don’t know who I’d be. Away from my family and home life, as an adult, I tried so many new things. I ate foods I’d never heard of and drank red wine and met people with completely different life experiences than me. I wouldn’t be half as worldly or intelligent without travel. My trip to Israel was a life changer. Every religion says “Share with thy neighbor” yet there they all were, lining the road to Jerusalem throwing stones and condemning one another. I saw people, “refugees” who were staying with strangers due to bombings near their homes in Haifa. I saw a real need for peace and acceptance. I started to give people the benefit of the doubt. I became grateful for not only the material things I had but the peace in my country. I learned to appreciate the small things. Connecting with people is vital for growth and new people especially challenge you and your perspective so if you can, always take the opportunity to travel. I’ve never regretted a trip I’ve taken.
- Single Use Plastic (Especially Bottled Water) is Killing our People and Planet. The fact that people have invented biodegradable plastic made from corn and hemp and other plants and we are still using harmful chemicals that take a millennium to break down is pathetic. It’s greed perpetuated by apathy. Nobody seems to care. I saw this video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw jammed up its nose, bleeding and crying and I can’t fathom how we use trillions of straws every day. Trillions of drink stirrers which are basically little murderous knives to marine life. I mean, are we that deluded, selfish, and clueless? Kind of. Did you see the Lorax? Remember how crazy it sounded that the people would have to buy bottled air? WE BUY BOTTLED WATER! We literally buy water pumped out of our own aqueducts, given to Corporations who cause droughts by taking it, then they bottle it in chemical leaching plastic and finally we BUY OUR OWN WATER BACK… The plastic pollutes our planet and the corporations grow larger and more harmful. I feel like I’m going crazy. WTF is happening? Get a refillable water bottle and say no to bottled water. I used to be the worst, I was a Fiji drinking water snob, but I learned that Fiji is stealing the water supply from the locals who are DYING from lack of clean drinking water… yet there Obama, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, etc sit, showering in and sipping on the blood of others drinking their Fiji. It makes me sad. Stop doing it. More about Fiji here.
- Family is everything. I am super grateful that my mom made it a big deal to be close with my sister. She always said “Blood is thicker than water” which I thought was weird. But she also said, “friends will come and go, boys will come and go, your sister is forever.” My sister and I took this very seriously. We made a vow to never not speak like my mom and Aunt would do for years at a time. My Grandfather Jerry was a major family man. His sole pleasure in life was being surrounded by his whole family, you should have seen his face beam with pride when he had us all around. If I ever need anything, I have 40 family members I can call on, they’re the ones who are important, never screw over your family and they’ll always be there for you. They’ll probably be the only ones around when things get really tough so treat them accordingly.
- People are doing their best. Ok this one is hard for me because I see some people who definitely aren’t doing their best in my opinion but let me put it to you the way my Grandma did. I used to have a major temper, I would fly off the handle at random people and at close friends and family. I really didn’t mean to, I couldn’t control it. My grandma asked me if I could control my temper, wouldn’t I? I said, “Yes, of course.” She followed with, “You’re doing your best aren’t you?” and I was.. Once you know better you do better so try to understand people are doing the best they know how to do. Teach them gently, be patient and be grateful.
I hope this was somewhat insightful and enjoyable. I have included some pretty pictures for those of you who only come for the fashion. Thank you for reading!
Dress: Tularosa. Shades: Forever 21.