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28 Years, 28 Lessons

young-couple-holding-hands

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a very vocal girl. I’ve given eccentric opinions and made unwelcomed statements even where they weren’t requested. This has led many other girls to believe that I hold infinite wisdom – which I do ;-D – and ask me for endless advice on countless topics, even when I don’t have a clue on what to answer. A friend of mine once asked me whether she should divorce her husband. Well, since I had never been married – like ever – I remember chewing on my food for what felt like a century, then told her, “Life’s too short. Do what makes you happy.” I was surprised at my response since I always thought I was anti-divorce and pro- “deal with your shit,” but I realized how much time had changed my perspective on many things. So, for any of you who think me to be the Buddha of “white girl problems,” I haven’t quite figured out how to stop body hair from growing, but here are 28 simple things I’ve learned in 28 complicated years:

  1. The only thing that should remain constant in your life is your happiness. If that means letting go of friends, relationships, jobs or even family ties, do it without warning. As I said above, life is too short for you to be unhappy.
  2. If you can love someone once, you will be able to love someone else again. Inversely, if someone loves you once, another person will love you too – and many more will as well. Don’t dwell on a lost love – that’s too much wasted energy. You will have many great loves in your lifetime. None of them will be the same, but one of them will stick.
  3. There’s no such thing as a lifetime friend. At each stage in your life, you will have a new best friend, someone who fits into whatever stage you’re at. You will have many friends and lose most of them. That’s normal. It’s called growing up.
  4. If you wake up miserable at 30 because you chose the wrong career, it’s fine. Go back to school and pursue what you love immediately. You are not the same person now that you were at 16 – and what does a 16-year-old know about making a lifelong decision anyway? It’s better to change your life at 30 and live the next half of it happily, than wake up at 60 filled with a lifetime of regrets.
  5. Tattoos come in odd numbers. If you have one tattoo, you’ll probably only have that one for the rest of your life. If you have two, you will most definitely get a third.
  6. Always let a boy kiss you first. Let him be the one pursuing you – always. That way, when you have him all to yourself, you will trust and know that he got there willingly. That way, he will appreciate what he finally got and treat you well accordingly. And remind yourself everyday to keep trusting him and his intentions. Insecurity is the reason for most failed relationships.
  7. Be with a guy that makes you laugh and you’ll never get bored of him. Everything else will fall into place. I had many more criteria when I was younger, but a good sense of humor is gold. At the end of the day, it’s what keeps the relationship alive.
  8. Travel a lot. Whether you believe you need to or not, travel. It will open your mind to new ideas and perspectives. It will change you; grow you.
  9. Invest in sunscreen, not in makeup and Botox. Younger girls these days think that looking like a proboscis monkey is sexy. It’s not – and neither are crow’s feet and wrinkles. I am 28 and I look younger than the 18-year-old madams sprouting up everywhere.
  10. There is no golden rule to relationships. Find the rhythm that suits you best instead of trying to force the norms of others into your lifestyle. No, you do not have to be married by a certain age. In fact, you do not have to be married at all. Point. If simply living with your partner and child makes you happy, do it. And if you do marry, never marry for love; and never marry for money. Marry when both elements are present, because one without the other is doomed to fail.
  11. There’s no such thing as platonic friendship between men and women, unless one of the two finds the other completely and irreversibly unattractive. If your friend likes you, chances are they probably won’t ever tell you how they feel – but they will show you.
  12. There are three traits that are absolutely unacceptable in both sexes: stinginess, bad hygiene and dishonesty. Everything else that’s horrible sprouts from those three evils, so stay away from people with any of those qualities.
  13. Always: wear matching underwear and shave your legs – not because you’re up all night to get lucky, but because it makes you feel sexy on a personal level, giving you that extra boost of confidence – just like wearing high heels.
  14. Never underestimate the power of a confident woman. There is nothing she can’t do. She doesn’t have to be the prettiest, smartest or the richest girl, but if she has confidence, she is captivating. But, do mind the thin line between confidence and arrogance. There is nothing more unsexy than arrogance; stay modest.
  15. At all times, be in control of two things: your happiness and your anger. If someone is responsible for your happiness, you will be too dependent on him or her because they take can that away from you at any time. If someone can make you angry, they are in control of your emotions. No one deserves to have that much power over you psychologically or mentally.
  16. I for one have learned that there are four people who will love me more than they love themselves: my father, mother, sister and brother. These are the only people I will ever owe my loyalty or organs to. Always remember that an unconditional love like that can’t be found any place else, until you have a child of your own.
  17. At every stage in your life, filter your friends until you have one small clique that is your type of crazy. You must be able to do and say anything in front of them without feeling ashamed about it later on. These are the only people you will ever willingly see, help or make an effort for. These are the only friends you will ever want or need to be around.
  18. There is no absolute truth or reality. There is, however, your perception. In any situation, at any given point, change your perspective and you will change your life. For example, you may perceive your country of origin as a barrier for you to work in the USA, or you could look at is as an added advantage. You could be posing naked and look more pure than a fully dressed girl in a white gown with her cleavage hanging out.
  19. Don’t let anyone tell you who you are or what you can or cannot do, not even your own parents or spouse. When someone is that determined to prove you wrong, it’s because they are fighting an internal conflict that has very little to do with your capabilities and very much to do with theirs.
  20. Never envy anyone. Jealousy is for the insecure. Instead of focusing on other people’s progress, focus on yours. High school girls compete with each other. Real women support each other.
  21. Take care of two things: your hair and your teeth. Nothing is sexier than a girl with full, healthy, shiny hair and a gorgeous bright smile.
  22. Not all big noses are ugly. In fact, they are sexy. If you have a big nose, embrace it. I’ve met many confident women with big noses and I must say, they were powerful and sometimes intimidating.
  23. If you like a masculine perfume, wear it. If you like your brother’s jeans, wear them. If you like your boyfriend’s shirt, wear it. There are no rules to these things, only uptight societies.
  24. Whether it’s in your career, attire or relationships – get inspired from people. Read about them, their lives and their achievements, but never copy them. Give yourself a chance to release your own creative force. Don’t tiptoe in someone else’s luster because you’re scared of trying something different.
  25. I read this yesterday, “If you’re the smartest person in a room, you are in the wrong room.” Always be around people you can learn from. They should be more accomplished, smarter or better than you at least one thing so that you can learn from them. Be around winners who motivate you to be at the top of your game. Most people you meet will change your life, whether it’s for the better or for the worse, so choose them wisely.
  26. Drink a lot of water, even if you need to force it down your throat. Keep little bottles with you everywhere. At the very core, water’s responsible for good skin, hair, health and all that jazz. Drinking it is the easiest, lamest thing you can do to stay healthy.
  27. Read as often as you can. It’s exercise for your brain. Work out as often as you can. It’s exercise for your body and soul. You may not understand the importance of these two for your well being, but in another two or three decades, you will be thankful.
  28. The best thing I’ve ever been called is “brave.” It’s the sexiest, most intriguing quality a person can possess. Whenever you face a new challenge, be brave. There will always be others who are more educated, wealthy or good looking than you, but the one who’s the bravest is always the last man standing. Anyone who’s ever made a difference in history has been brave.

Since I’m evidently not Buddha, and not here to cure world hunger, instead of writing about deep, life altering issues, I decided to write about basic little things that we could all apply in our everyday lives – little things that could create a ripple effect of big changes. Many may not agree with my unconventional thoughts, but that’s why they’re called opinions. All I know is, there is a majority of desensitized people out there just waiting to be inspired by someone. If you have the chance to inspire someone, do it. They will never forget you or how you made them feel.

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