36 Things I’ve learned Over 36 Years

When I wake up tomorrow, I’ll be a different age than I am now. I’m already qualified, by time, to drive; vote; drink; rent a car; and run for president. In the spirit of learning how to find calm, gain health, and lose insomnia…I’m going to list 36 things that I’ve learned over 36 years.

1. You didn’t ask to be born, but go with it.

2. Ride the dog like a horse while you still can.

3. Hallways can look and feel longer than they really are.

4. Death happens but you can’t actually study for it.

5. Don’t ever forget the first day of Kindergarten.

6. Bring your Grandma to Show and Tell.

7. Climb to the top the jungle-gym and run like hell.

8. Make the biggest solar system model you can; never throw it out.

9. Forgive your parents for lying to you about magic.

10. Self-consciousness will take the place of not knowing how to give a damn.

11. Insecure people will try to make you feel small, so that they can feel bigger.

12. You will swear you heard your heart break.

13. Feel the confidence of being one of the oldest kids in school.

14. Feel the terror of being one of the newest kids in school.

15. Get in trouble for kissing.

16. Drive stick.

17. Your parents won’t always like you, but they always love you.

18. End abusive relationships.

19. Learn to use Excel.

20. Learn how to live with other people.

21. Live alone.

22. Wait tables.

23. Prioritize paying of debt.

24. Prioritize saving money.

25. Prioritize spending that money on an international trip with your best friend.

26. Fall in love like you will never get hurt.

27. Go to graduate school even though you were rejected.

28. Learn how to work professionally and effectively with someone you don’t like.

29. Experience a heart-break that will literally bring you to your knees.

30. Pretend you’ll always be single and live an adventure.

31. Move in with your partner before you’re married; host all your parents for Christmas.

32. Reevaluate your career choices. Even if this makes you cry.

33. Change doesn’t not equal defeat.

34. Go to Switzerland.

35. Learn how to ask for help.

36. There is always time for cake.

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Pack Your Baggage Like You Just Don’t Give A Damn

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Everyone Carries Baggage

Hey internet, I’m more open about my anxiety than I used to be. Maybe you noticed. This choice was painfully and exhaustively thought out. Someone will read my posts and will no longer know how to act around me; mental illness is frightening and I understand your hesitations, but I am still the person you knew before you knew I struggled. Someone will read my posts and identify me AS anxious; mental illness can cast a shadow over personality traits and I understand your confusion, but I practice managing my anxiety like a diabetic practices managing their blood sugar. Someone will read my posts and reach out to me because they, or someone they love has anxiety and they share. They share stories, questions, concerns, advice, fear, hope, laughter. Thank you. These exchanges have been some of the most meaningful reactions to my online footprint.