So today I’m 31.
A few years ago I would have thought 31 looked much differently than it does today. A few years ago, if somebody had told me that by the age of 31 I would have cancer, be divorced, live in Florida, have a DOG (as a former crazy cat-lady), and be as hairless as a dolphin…. I would have said, Hey FUCK YOU, that sounds really awful! But honestly, it’s the best time I’ve ever had in my life and I don’t regret anything that has happened. The past few years have seemingly been laced with unfortunate events that have created my most fortunate, grateful self yet.
So I’ll share with you a few pieces of advice that I have learned along the way. I’m OLD and WISE now, right?!
Live your life for you, and nobody else.
Just a few years ago, I was a very different person in a very different point in my life. I was married to a man who I, unfortunately, lived my life for. Everything in my life; from my hair color to my job, revolved around him and making decisions that were best for “us.” It was just what I thought you were supposed to do when you’re married. And when the marriage went to shit, I felt as though I was stranded. I was on an island alone by myself because I had built my life around another person.
No, my advice is not to “never get married” because, whatever, you can do what you want. My advice is to live your life for YOU and nobody else. Don’t loose sight of your own goals and your own happiness. Don’t become that “we” couple. Be independent, travel alone, make weird friends, quit your job, start your own business, dye your hair green, and please never ever once think about what your husband or boyfriend might think. If they are the right person for you, then they will will allow you to be yourself completely.
I cringe at today’s obsession over marriage now. I’m jaded. I know. But ladies let’s stop being so thirsty for that perfect fucking wedding that we’re willing to shrug off the fact that that the groom may actually suck at life.
Truthfully, I’ve learned that when I look like shit, I feel like shit. Some days I need to remind myself that just a few short months ago after my double mastectomy, I couldn’t even get out of bed without assistance. I couldn’t lift my arms up to wash my face. I had an excuse to look like crap. Today, I don’t have an excuse. So I wake up, shower, and put on makeup, clothes and a wig or scarf, even if I know I’m not leaving the house. Why? Because it makes me feel good. Also, what if the house started on fire and I had to run outside with a robe and a bald head? (HELL NO)
Health is wealth.
There are some days when I am literally stopped in my tracks by this sudden realization: Nothing hurts… no stomach ache, headache, bone pain, fever, infection, or bandages! Savor your good days and your good health. Take care of yourself and listen to your body. Exercise, eat healthy, drink lots of water.
Toughen the fuck up.
Expect the best but prepare for the worst. Toughen up. Be brave because shit is inevitably going to go wrong somewhere in your life. I used to be very emotional; like if I burnt toast, I might cry. Crying and worrying are as beneficial as a white crayon.
Comparison robs us of joy.
I used to compare myself to everyone. Ok I still do a little (don’t we all?), but it’s not nearly as bad! My clothes, my jewelry, my handbags, my car. I sized myself up to other people. I looked at other women and their fabulous handbags, manicured lawns and personal trainers and I wanted that. Then one day a few years ago I asked myself “Why do I want that?” and I didn’t have a real answer. I actually decided to cleanse my life of the material possessions I owned. I sold all my expensive jewelry like David Yurman and Tiffany’s. Then I just started just giving my shit away. I gave away stuff like Gucci handbags, designer sunglasses, expensive dresses and nice shoes to friends and family because I really just didn’t want it. IT FELT SO GOOD. I still love all those fancy, sparkly, designer extravagances, but now I have less of it and I appreciate it more. Less is more 🙂
So goodbye 30. You were a really fun but fucked-up year. Cheers to 31, and I’m looking forward to a year that is hopefully drama free!