Wednesday, June 28, 2006


So my birthday was a week ago. I'm 23 now. 23 is a good age because you can tell people you are 23 and they should deduce that you are out of college. 23 is also a rough age because you should be out of college and that is sad.

I am SOOOOOOO glad I'm not 22 anymore. 22 was a ROUGH year. But I earned a great birthday, I guess, because my 23rd birthday was perfect. I heard from everyone that I wanted to hear from - with some surprises! Once you aren't 10 and 11 and can't get away with having parties every year when all your friends bring presents and pay attention to you, birthdays get less and less important (to everyone else, that is). This was the best birthday in my "adult" life. My besty decorated the apartment, I got FOUR birthday cakes in one week, and like I said, I heard from everyone that I wanted to... or was attempted to be contacted by everyone that I expected to hear from.

So, since I am another year older and after the hell that was 2005, I consider myself a little bit wiser. Therefore, I present to you the Top 10 Things I Learned When I While 22. You'll notice a lot of them revolve around relationships (friendships) because that's probably what I've dealt with the most this year... changing relationships, new relationships, ending relationships, and relationships that I'm not even a part of but still affect me.

1. People can only hurt you as long as you let them.
I've always been tender-hearted. My parents used to not even have to discipline me, all they'd have to say was "LINDSAY!!!!" with that stern tone in their voice and I'd burst into tears. My mom used to have to go to my school and request sweet teachers so that I wouldn't become suicidal in third grade if a teacher lost her temper or something. I'm just too sensitive. It really came back to bite me in the butt this past year because I let my feelings get hurt too much. People don't always know what they do (or what they DON'T do) hurts unless you tell them, and sometimes, when you know the situation won't change even with confrontation, you have to just let go of them ... or move out of the house ... to protect your own heart and your own feelings. So I did, and in more than one situation. Letting go was hard, but continuing to get hurt would have been harder.

2. If it walks like a duck, and it talks like a duck, it's PROBABLY a duck!

Don't make excuses for people/situations/circumstances that don't deserve them. Open your eyes! If it looks like a scam, or it seems like a bad idea, or your friends think he's a jerk, it probably is in fact a scam, bad idea or a jerk. Unless you're talking about Clay Aiken, in which case literally walking gay and talking gay doesn't make you gay. I hope.

3. Being last has its benefits.

I joke about being in so many weddings, but the Lord totally knows what he is doing. If He wants to marry off all of my friends so that I can get good sound advice from them before I ever walk down the aisle, that is fine with me (as long as there are cute groomsmen and the bridesmaid dress is rewearable). Besides, before I get married, I will need all the good sound advice that I can get thanks to my own insecurities and hang-ups. And I don't mean advice just about sex (though married people are more than happy to dispense that information too).

4. "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great."

This quote from A League of Their Own summarizes a lot more than baseball. It's hard to graduate. It's hard leave your hometown and friends and move to a place where you feel lost in the crowd. It's hard to go two or three months without seeing someone and maintain being best friends. It's hard to get a job you love. But if it wasn't hard, every one would do all of those things and you'd never appreciate them by working so diligently to make them happen.

5. The Facebook never lies.

I am serious. If you want to know where someone was, who they were with, what someone is up to these days (and perhaps a lot more information than you might have wanted to begin with), 9 times out of 10 your answer lies on facebook. I am not trying to sound like a stalker, I SWEAR, but with a little time spent reading between the lines you can usually answer your own questions and stay ahead of the game. I once read that truly smart people never ask a question they don't already know the answer to. Enter facebook. This becomes even easier if blogs are involved.

6. Impersonations, with practice, are easy!

I'm totally not trying to sound cocky, but I just figured that out this past year. I can do Jessica Simpson, Shakira, Karen Walker, Miranda Lambert, Fantasia, and maybe more.

7. Reading kicks booty.
I've always suspected this was true, but the first half of this year confirmed it. I probably read 30 books while I was sitting on my duff at home. Heck, just this weekend I read the DaVinci code in like 2 sittings spanning 9 hours (not consecutive, but wihtin 24 hours). Everyone should be required to read a certain number of books per month. Oh no wait, this ISN'T elementary school...hmm.

8. Change is inevitable, and worrying about it doesn't make it stop.

Oh gosh, which day in my 22nd year on earth DIDN'T I worry about everything that was changing? It all spiraled out of control in December when I lost a family member, graduated, found out a parent was getting remarried and found out the other one was dating someone. IN A MONTH! That is too big of a pill for anyone to swallow. Luckily, I climbed out of the deep end of the pool and realized that nothing I could do or say (at least not without a twin like in the Parent Trap) was going to change any of those things. I can sit around and feel sorry for myself, or I can focus all of that energy into doing stuff to make the areas of life I CAN control better and more enjoyable for me. Like stronger friendships. A lot of reading. Exercise! Fun trips. A job! Etc.

9. It's perfectly fine to take as many pictures with the bride as you wish.

At first I was worried I was getting on my friends' nerves by wanting to take so many pictures with them on their wedding day, but then I decided that they were only doing this once and by paying for a bridesmaid dress, I had pretty much earned the right to take as many photos with them as I wanted. As long as it doesn't prevent the vows from getting said or the cake from getting cut, SAY CHEESE! You'll want each photo.

10. If you blog, they will come.

It's amazing that people actually will read this thing. I started a blog and didn't expect people to read it. I was just bored. But you do read it. So I continue to write. And you continue not to comment.

Here's hoping that being 23 is better than being 22! If my birthday was any indication, then this will be a GREAT year. I guess we'll find out together!

P.S. -- I got 3 out of 5 things on my birthday list! Well, two if you count that I bought myself the fake Sonatine. Still, not too shabby. Guess top siders and a Chi straightener will have to wait until Christmas. Or a raise.

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