On Thursday, I turn 35. (It’s not too late for you to buy me a present either.)
It’s not really a milestone, except that I will no longer be in that vaunted 18-34 age demographic. There’s nothing special you can do after you turn 25 – the rest of your birthdays are just an accumulation of time as you continue your inexorable march towards the grave.
All you can do as you age is try to keep learning and striving for perfection and happiness, which may be mutually exclusive. But you have to try lest you find yourself a stagnant lump entrenched in a time long past.
The beauty of our generation is that we have tools at our disposal to record our lives more substantively than any prior generation. My blog can stand as a testament to my mediocrity, my descent into madness, or even as a gauge for my emotional growth – however I decide to live my life and share it with the Internet.
For my future reflection and as a means to grasp onto some perspective, here are some of the lessons I’ve learned over the last 34 years that I’ve lived:
Posture is important, but so is not pulling up your shorts to your nipples.
There is always someone smarter, more attractive, funnier, or quicker, but there are a lot more people who are dumber, uglier, slower, and who think Dane Cook is funny. Hang around with those people instead.
Never be ashamed of who you are, even if you feel the need to distinguish yourself from the crowd by painting your toenails.
You cannot judge someone until you’ve been in the same place they have, and even then, judging takes a lot more effort than letting go.
Not all elderly black janitors are wise and honest. Some are crazy assholes.
Confidence is the difference between the Comic Book Guy and the Kingpin. Also, own your nerdiness.
Come early, come often, but make sure she comes more.
Edit. Your words, your life, your friends. Everything is improved with editing.
Even though it may feel like shorts, everybody knows you’re just wearing underwear.
Drink your girly drinks proudly and stick your pinky finger out as far as you can.
Making life changes for someone else will lead to failure and resentment. Whether it’s losing weight, quitting smoking, pursuing a dream, or even just moving – it has to be for you.
Some people are meant to have beards and should never ever EVER shave.
It’s never too late to pursue your dreams, unless your dream is to have sex with Bea Arthur because sorry, dude, she’s dead.
Anyone who criticizes you constantly is not doing it out of love. They’re doing it out of self-hatred. Unless it’s your mom, then it’s totally out of love.
Even when you tell the truth, people may not believe you. That’s okay – you know that you’re telling the truth, and that’s what is important.
Shame is overrated. The only societies that still celebrate shame are backwards ones.
Be generous with your friends, but only with the friends who don’t ask for generosity. Otherwise, you risk being someone whom will be taken advantage of.
The Earth will outlive humanity so don’t waste your time recycling.
You are never too old to go to Chuck E. Cheese.