26 THINGS I KNOW TO BE TRUE & WISE ON THE OCCASION OF MY 26TH BIRTHDAY

  1. 1.
    You know so much less than you think you do. Especially about other people. Inquire. Embrace the surprises.
  2. 2.
    Just show up. Showing up is important.
  3. 3.
    There's humor in everything. Literally fucking everything. Here's a story:
    My grandmother died a few years back. She was a really special woman. At her funeral, my grandpa--devout Catholic; love of her life--couldn't take communion b/c he became very ill & had to be escorted to the restroom. Later that night, at the house, he had an...accident. You know why? Because, a day earlier, he thought he was getting a cold so he took my dead grandma's old antibiotics for a bladder infection. "I paid good money for those pills," he said. You gotta laugh. You gotta clean up shit.
  4. 4.
    Water is the cure for so much. A glass. A swim. A cry. A shower. A bath. A shampoo and head massage at a salon.
  5. 5.
    The quicker you get over broken promises, unmet expectations, the happier you'll be.
  6. 6.
    "Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches." - Alice Roosevelt Longfellow
  7. 7.
    It's never worth it to stay with anyone or anything who makes you feel worthless--a human, a job. There's almost always an out. Find it. Take it.
    Quitting my job in politics in May--although I know not what the fuck I'm doing--was the greatest gift I ever gave myself.
  8. 8.
    Measure twice. Cut once.
  9. 9.
    It's important to surround yourself with living things that keep you warm: friends, family, animals, plants.
  10. 10.
    Equally important: periods of uninterrupted solitude.
  11. 11.
    "It's surprising how fast you can go downhill when you begin to feel sorry for yourself. And boy do I feel sorry for myself!" - My Man Godfrey
  12. 12.
    You're never done making peace with your past. We're all little works in progress, covered in ink, dealing with our daddy issues (or whatever issues) everyday, pushing the boulder up the hill.
  13. 13.
    Friendships breathe, move, and shrink like wood. You need to do the homework. Be the friend you want to have. Don't expect your friends will grow and change the same way you do, in the same direction. Not all friendships are everlasting. Some are. Each will be meaningful in its own way.
  14. 14.
    Whiskey, hotel sheets, black cashmere, black lace, fancy perfume, red lipstick, a good cheeseburger. Know your vices, your pleasures. Dirty and otherwise. Indulge baby, indulge.
  15. 15.
    Nina Simone could sing.
  16. 16.
    Truman Capote could write.
  17. 17.
    "It's something you learn after your first theme party: It's All Been Done Before." - Angels in America
  18. 18.
    Candlelight is very forgiving. Overhead lighting is not.
  19. 19.
    "Better a sane crook than a mad Puritan" - Tender is the Night
  20. 20.
    Don't expect people to know what you want. Ask for what you want.
  21. 21.
    Some things are non-negotiable: sunscreen, seat belts, kindness
  22. 22.
    Oprah is God. Probably.
  23. 23.
    At a certain point, for certain things, the "why" is meaningless.
  24. 24.
    I am both precious and indestructible.
    10 years ago I tried to kill myself. Thanks to therapy, medication, and a natural evening-out with age, I am no longer in that place. I still carry much of the same damage around. I still have dark days, breakdowns. I am still very sensitive and easily bruised, but I am also strong as hell and more resilient than I ever could have imagined.
  25. 25.
    "We are all worms, but I do believe I am a glow worm." - Churchill
  26. 26.
    Be like Churchill. Like J-Lo. Respect your glow.