…My mother brought forth upon this continent a new baby.
And that baby was me.
I’ve learned a few of things in my quarter of a century of life. Not much, but a little. I give you now the 25 things I have discovered in the last 25 years.
- Learn to sleep with your mouth shut or your siblings will make a road trip game out of seeing how many licorice they can fit in it.
- If you have something nice to say about someone, say it. Always.
- Whilst traveling through Germany, do not think that tears will get you any sympathy from the French train conductor. He will still try to get you arrested.
- When you are sick and pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy, make sure you check the name on each of the bottles or else you will end up taking 7 different drugs, half of which are actually prescribed to your parents.
- If you need to cry, do it in the shower to hide it from your roommates and/or mission companions.
- When you’re reading music, they’re called “quarter notes,” not “fourth notes.” But, if you keep saying “fourth notes,” it will make your orchestra teacher really mad. Which is kind of fun.
- Your mom will tell you that you will regret quitting pianos lessons. She will be right.
- When the advisor in the McKay School of Education tells you that the History Teaching is more marketable than the Social Science Teaching major, don’t believe her. And for good measure, don’t ever listen to anything anyone from the McKay School tells you. Ever.
- Be compassionate. There’s a lot going on under the surface of everyone’s lives. And be forgiving to those who don’t know what’s going on under the surface of yours.
- Sliding down every banister in the MTC will help you get through the longest nine weeks of your life. Just make sure the banisters are not freshly painted.
- Even if it takes 17 years, your brother will eventually allow you to hug him.
- Never go to Russia or study Soviet history or you will gain a reputation as a communist, and then guess who will be the first person to be McCarthy’d when the third Red Scare rolls around.
- Actually listen when your dad teaches you how to change a tire. All 7 times.
- Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you are right.
- Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean it needs to be said. Or that anyone cares. Because they probably don’t.
- Semicolons separate two related, complete thoughts; use them and you look a lot smarter. There are few things as lovely as a well-placed semicolon.
- The best advice my mom ever gave me was to ask people questions about themselves and then be a good listener. Almost everybody just wants someone to listen to them and to feel heard.
- It doesn’t matter if people say leggings aren’t pants. That’s semantics. Wear them every day of your life and enjoy never making your legs inmates at Blue Jean Penitentiary.
- If you say you need to “gas up” your car, people will start to make fun of you. Apparently the correct phrase is “get gas.” But that just sounds like you need to eat a plate of black beans. So keep saying “gas up.”
- Cleanliness is next to godliness. And happiness. And peacefulness. And sanitation-ness. Basically, it’s in the middle of a big circle surrounded by all the best things in life.
- Stay friends on Facebook with people you knew in high school. It will usually make you feel better about your life decisions.
- When someone asks you if you’ve seen “A River Runs Through It,” don’t ask if that’s the one where Brad Pitt dies at the end because then everyone in the room will know the ending before you even start the movie. And then probably don’t blog about it or everyone that reads it will know that Brad Pitt dies at the end. But, no one really likes Brad Pitt, so it’s not that bad of a spoiler.
- Failure isn’t final, and failure usually isn’t what you think it is.
- Teach your children to get revenge on each other by sticking ice cubes in one another’s beds. It makes them feel vindicated, but then the ice melts and the other kid never even knew it happened.
- When you’re bored in chemistry class, don’t pretend to staple your finger. You might actually staple it. And then you’ll be too embarrassed to ask the teacher if you can leave to get a Band-Aid. And then you’ll be stuck sitting there with a pool of blood in your palm that starts to leak onto the desk.
[I forgot to post this on my actual birthday, but I haven’t learned anything in the last 5 days so we’re good.]