I tend to overlook my own birthday, but when my friends have birthdays I get all reminiscent. I won’t turn 25 for another year and a half, but I don’t need to wait until that quarter century mark to tell you what I’ve learned in this little life so far. That year and a half will probably lend a list in itself. Each year until now has certainly brought forth its own gargantuan lessons slash wait-what-just-happeneds. So happy birthday, Jess.
Don’t mistake best friends for boyfriends. Just because you enjoy spending every waking hour with someone does not necessarily mean you should consider marrying said someone. This should apply even more so if you do not enjoy kissing said someone.
Stop disappointing your parents. No matter how inept, wrong, outdated, mistaken, or dumb you think they are, they aren’t. They are trying. They are doing the best they know how. Stop hurting them without fear of consequence. They really do love you and want the best for you, even if that best is different than your best. Plus, you may need to move back in with them at least twice (each) in your severely complicated adult life, so it would be wise to keep that bridge unburned.
Just because your boobs are bigger than all the other girls’ does not mean that there is something wrong with you. Don’t spend your life trying to hide them under large t-shirts and the same black cardigan. Someday, you will learn how to dress them in fitted clothes without looking like a porn star and you will see that if they were any smaller, your hips wouldn’t look balanced and you wouldn’t be able to help your future daughter or whatever embrace her God-given body because you’d be left with zero insecurities, and a woman without insecurities is no woman at all.
There will come a time in your life when you deem showers unimportant. They’re not.
When you are nineteen and a boy lets himself into your bedroom, don’t freeze. Run. Run so far away from there because if you freeze, it will negatively affect every single moment of the rest of your life and you’ll have to go to trauma counseling forever and that is such a drag.
Don’t worry about not knowing what you want to be when you grow up. Chances are, you’ll turn into a classic housewife slash homemaker, in which case you’ll be so glad you didn’t spend millions of dollars on a degree you’d eventually forfeit once you had kids. And the things you enjoy doing most, like baking and drawing and reading and music, will come in handy when you’re raising tiny humans to be the kinds of people who don’t let themselves into young girls’ bedrooms.
Paint your nails. You may or may not work a job for five years that prohibits such things, so for god’s sake, reclaim your identity and paint your nails.
You will nurse a seething hatred for your home town. You will loathe the scorching summers. You will loathe the fact that it is a city sprawled out across too many miles. You will try to leave it twice, try to begin again thousands of miles away from it, and twice it will call you back. You will learn to love the summers because every year they fade into nine months of blissful weather. You will love the sprawl because it will take you at least twenty minutes to get anywhere, twenty minutes of driving and twenty minutes of music, twenty minutes to breathe. It is true to its name. It is home.
The friends you lose are worth losing. If they weren’t, you wouldn’t have lost them.
And when you know, you know.