25 Lessons of 2014

  1. Call your parents, and your grandparents, and your friends. You have time.
  2. Know your home team. 
  3. Black truffle salt is worth the expense. Put it on homemade popcorn.
  4. Visiting a new place reminds you how huge, beautiful and different the world can be.
  5. Disappointing people is okay. Repeat: disappointing people is okay. Really.
  6. Notice the stories you continue to tell yourself, and ask, are they true? If they aren't, let that shit go. You will feel lighter.
  7. Sometimes moving on takes a few tries.
  8. Being late is rude. Stop.
  9. Reserve texting for clarifying happy hour plans and sending funny Buzzfeed links, not for having actual conversations.
  10. Homemade granola is way better than store-bought.
  11. Old friends add crucial dimension to your "before"; new friends bring possibility to your "next." Both are equally important.
  12. Just how certain songs and artists remind you of dimly lit bars and sunny lake walks and NYE at 3 a.m. and red wine and Friends marathons in Chicago, one day, you'll hear Made in Heights, or Tove Lo, or Sia, or First Aid Kit, or Chet Faker, or Sylvan Esso, or Milky Chance, and remember exactly how life in Des Moines in 2014 at age 28 felt. Music lets you time travel like that.
  13. Your choices aren't wrong just because someone else would do it differently; you are allowed to retain or release the opinions of others.
  14. Consume a lot of books and essays, but don't forget that you have to stop reading at some point to actually create your own. No one is going to hold your hand and offer you opportunity on a silver platter. Get to work.
  15. Take care of your body. Maybe that means take a nap. Or get take-out. Or take a break from booze. Or geek out over crossfit/lifting/yoga/whatever. Just find a balance of moving and resting.
  16. Accept your flaws, patterns, sensitivities, failures. Remember that these are not excuses for bad behavior.
  17. Cut up your credit cards and earn rewards in the form of freedom.
  18. Lessons appear frequently on the road less traveled.
  19. People-pleasing is a fruitless battle. However, that doesn't give you the right to be relentlessly selfish.
  20. Stop trying to control the outcome. You don't know what will happen.
  21. Nourish friendships, but realize you can't do all the things, be everywhere or be everything to everyone at the same time.
  22. Puppies are the fucking best.
  23. Pay attention to what scares you. Ask why, over and over, until you get to the rock bottom truth. This may hurt.
  24. Learn to apologize. Avoiding confrontation doesn't make it disappear.
  25. Accept your path, however windy it may be, and forgive yourself along the way.