I had hoped to hit 50 and be one of those vibrant self-confident women who, while she has had her share of struggles throughout her life has, if not overcome them, been able to maintain a sunny disposition and inherent belief in a positive outcome. Oh, and be wise and kind as well. Hello, have I met myself in the last 50 years? I wasn’t that way at 20, 30 or 40. I have more the stoic, dear-God-please-let-it-get-better personality. I hear that it’s the journey not the destination but I’m ready for the gift shop and swimming pool.
But in an attempt to fake my way into a serene and well balanced persona I’m going to share a few of the things I have learned in the last little while. I cannot begin to call it wisdom because much of it I continued to disbelieve and/or repeat until trained psychiatric professionals intervened.
Let the fun begin!
For my 6th birthday I was given my first real non-baby doll. Her name was Francie and I believe she was Barbie’s cousin. As this was the pre consumption-run-amuck era I was only given one additional outfit. That night I dreamt that I was at another birthday party for me and the Francie outfits were mounded high on the floor and even included accessories like purses and gloves. I gathered as much swag into my arms as I could in the belief that if I held on until I woke up I would get to keep it all. It’s all been downhill since then.
Smoking is bad. Smoking the butt of a cigarette found in the driveway of weird neighborhood lady is worse. OR you could say this is good because I never experimented with cigarettes again.
Black licorice and orange juice do not go together.
Getting the flu and throwing up in your hair will not exempt you from church. God doesn’t care about vomit-caked hair (artfully hidden beneath a fake fur Eskimo hat)- it’s about being there.
If you insist on sneaking around after you’re supposed to be in bed and the babysitter is a vampire movie fan then you have no one to blame but yourself when you need to sleep with a sheet up around your head (no exposed neck ever!) until you leave for college.
NEVER ever ever kick your little brother between the legs, no matter how mean he is being. NEVER. No further explanation given but I get it now.
Try to be nice to your mother. She’s trying awfully hard to be nice to you and you are one big bitch.
I could do a novella on the ‘teaching moments’ of alcohol abuse but I’ll stick with two. 1. Tang and vodka are not a screwdriver. 2. When you are so badly hung-over that your skin hurts do not slake your raging thirst with cranberry juice.
Take care of your skin. No matter how drunk you are wash all make-up off before falling into bed/onto floor. Baby oil is not a sunscreen. Use it or be prepared for the consequences (think any picture of Donatella Versace taken in the last decade).
Scheduling your classes so as not to
is not the best use of your academic years. miss General Hospital
Date a lot in college. Lots. Not hook-up but you will never again have the chance be surrounded such a large diverse population of the male gender- go arty, goth, jock, brainiac. Just don’t get serious and forget about yourself. These are boys not men and won’t reach maturity for another decade.
I was working every trend out there- swatch watch, Ray-bans, men's boxers, bowling shirt, red scrunchy socks, and Converse canvas hightops. yeah, baby! Oh, and I'm pretty sure there was a scrunchy in my hair.
Skincare tip #2: Your ring finger is the weakest finger on your hand. Use it, not your pinky, to apply creams or makeup under your eyes. In the next decade it will matter.
Just because you can party hard and still get to work doesn’t mean you should. Throwing up in the ladies room while a client waits is not good business.
Feel the fear and do it anyway. Your 20s are for chaos and experimentation. You’re still growing so stay open to new experiences in your personal and professional life. Don’t live at home- seriously, don’t.
Hold onto whatever professional dreams you have but know that now is the time to pay your dues. If it’s legal and your boss wants it done, do it. You are NOT entitled to a job- just long hours, low pay, and abuse within legal limits.
The baby fat is gone, the hormones regulated, and you’ve stopped partying so much. You look amazing with clear happy skin, healthy hair, and a great smile. You’re probably in better shape than you’ve ever been so SMILE. Wear that bikini and short skirt. Not at the same time.
Wear high heels.
If marriage is still your goal but hasn’t happened, it might be a good idea to review your must-have list. If it begins with references to any celebrity you’re probably on the wrong track.
Sleep. Get it while you can. Get a glorious 8 hours uninterrupted whenever possible because the days are coming when it will disappear like your college waist size.
Time to acknowledge you will end up like your mother. It may not be literal but you will either say or do something that will be the proverbial 2x4 in the face. For me, I have her eyes, her tendency towards drama, her anxiety, her expressive gestures. I also have her long slim legs, love of reading, and sense of humor. Find the best and be grateful.
Still a few years off from the big 5-0 but not many
Gracefully concede the stiletto to your younger self. A kitten heel is still sexy and wedge heels are in and provide a bit of stability.
Words like digestion and fiber are going to enter your vocabulary. Resistance is futile.
With age comes wisdom. This is not just something crones tell each other to feel better. You will find you understand so much more than you ever used to. Not ALL but more.
You’ll need reading glasses. You will go to bed reading the fine print of a medicine bottle and wake up unable to see the alarm clock. You can get angry or go for the cutest sassiest pair of reading glasses out there and own it.
Your metabolism will stop. NOT slow but stop. If you’ve been a sylph your whole life, prone to ordering pizza at and laughing, “Oh, I can eat anything, I have a fast metabolism” you will now be paid back by every chubby girl who hated you in college. This occurs at 45. You’ll look at a donut and feel your waistband tighten. Either you start reading Michael Pollen and learn healthy eating or put Jenny Craig on speed dial.