I'm now 30, and it's easy to fall into the mindset that I'm no longer young and my life will continue on in a boring fashion until my prematurely desiccated body finally perishes. But no! I'm still young. My body still works mostly, and life never stops changing. Therefore, I should never stop growing and never stop having fun. I've always been a planner and somewhat, well, let's say, intense. This year I'm going to focus on worrying about the future less and enjoying the present more. To that end here are some of the things that I want to start doing, and, really, you should too.
|I even plan my period of not planning...|
1. Dance and sing alone with complete abandon. Have you ever been alone and done something stupid and felt embarrassed about it, just in front of yourself? If you can't feel at ease when no one's around, you'll never, ever be able to be yourself around anyone else. Do something weird today. Make funny faces at the mirror. Jump up and down. Do a somersault. Wear a box on your head. Do anything that seems fun. And do it with no self-consciousness. Try your best to not feel ridiculous and tell yourself, "I'm allowed to be weird. Everyone is." Love the silly side of yourself. Soon it'll feel more and more natural and when it does, start acting silly around someone you love. I guarantee they'll love that side of you. Soon enough, maybe they'll start wearing their own box on their head.
|Even Beyonce can look silly dancing, but who cares?|
2. Act like strangers are long lost friends. Today I went to an appointment with a new doctor, and I got into quite the conversation with the Nurse Practitioner. We talked about Mardi Gras, and writing, and all sorts of other things. I could tell she just loved me, and didn't want me to leave the office when the appointment was over. Normally I wouldn't have shared so much, but why not? Since I've been working at being friendly with everyone, I've found that 95% of the time, people love it. Of course they do. When has someone ever been genuinely friendly with you and you hated it? No very freaking often. Even if people seem sort of cold at first, just pretend like they're a long lost friend who has a touch of amnesia and therefore has forgotten you. I assure you that within 5 minutes, you'll be laughing together. But...
3. If you're nice to someone and they're still a cold jerk, fuck 'em! I hate to be vulgar about it, but seriously. Who wants to be friends with someone who's a jerk to someone that was just being nice to them? You can't worry about what pricks think about you because, really, they suffer more from self-loathing than from any sort of particular hatred directed at you. The happier you become, the more most people will love your company, but there is that subset of people who are miserable and hate it if anyone else isn't. Just ignore them and stay away from them as much as possible. You don't need them.
4. Tell everyone you love that, ya know, you love them. Sure, tell your husband or your wife, but don't stop there. Tell your best friend, tell your girl friends, tell your guy friends. Tell everyone. Life is so painfully short. I had a Mardi Gras party this weekend, and in classic Katie fashion, after a few drinks I told basically every single person at the party that I loved them. Usually I would leave it at that, but that night I decided to give every person an individualized reason. Seems weird, but everyone told me they had a great time at my party the next morning. Not that my declarations were the reason or anything, but it's that sort of atmosphere that makes for a fun party. The let's-have-fun-and-just-love-each-other atmosphere. Why not? Life's too short to not have fun, which brings me to...
|I love my best friend Chelle!|
5. Never be too cool or mature for anything or anyone. I'm always a bit nervous when a new group of friends meets my core group of friends that I still have from when I went to high school in Lancaster County. I love my Lancaster County peeps so much. I've literally never had a bad time with any of them. But you know what? There are often a lot of off color jokes, humorous groping between half of the men, and just plain silliness. It's amazing. I worry when new people meet them that they'll think we're not "cool" enough, which worries me not because I care about being cool, but because that would make me immediately dislike my new friends. How can you not love fun? All of my friends are well educated, well read, and super smart. Sometimes we'll sit around and discuss string theory or geological formations or critical gender theory (seriously), but sometimes we just have unabandoned fun. NEVER BE TOO GOOD FOR FUN!
|Chelle & I being super silly in San Francisco|
6. Hug or cuddle your girlfriends (but only if they're into it, of course). You know how I said my guy friends do a lot of hugging? Wait, I think I said groping, but they hug a lot too. My girlfriends don't do all that much of that. I don't know why. When I was in high school a bunch of us would just hang out together, watch movies, all while in the "cuddle puddle". I miss those days. It can be inappropriate to cuddle your guy friends once you're married (sadly--I really love some platonic cuddling), but there's nothing stopping you from cuddling your girlfriends or even just giving each other hugs. I always feel awkward hugging people other than during greetings, but I want to get over it. Hugs are fun.
|My friend Corbin & I back in our cuddlier days.|
7. Know that you are an awesome person. I'm not talking about acting like you're better than everyone else. That would immediately prove that you don't think too highly of yourself. I'm talking about *really* loving yourself. See what's great about you. Find yourself funny. Think to yourself, "Wow that was a really cute thing I just said. I am super cute!" Dress in a way that makes you feel hot. Doesn't have to be slutty--you can feel hot in a nice fitting turtleneck. Hug yourself. Remind yourself every day of the things you love about yourself. Forgive yourself. Think about the person you want to be and Just. Be. That. Person.
|My husband & I being silly after the Saint's super bowl win.|
Finally, you know how some days you just feel amazing? (I'm having one of those days today, if you haven't noticed). When you're feeling so good that you're dancing in the car or smiling non-stop, take a minute to think about that feeling. Be with it. Breathe it in. You'll need that because some days you don't feel amazing. Some days you feel downright miserable. You don't feel hot. You don't feel like hugging everyone or telling them you love them. Bottle that good feeling right inside your head, and then remember that moment for the next time you feel sad. Remember that soon, you'll have that feeling again. And if you never seem to have days where you're so happy you want to hug yourself, then come over to my house, because apparently I'm giving out hugs.
|Never be sad in a party dress.|
Love to everyone this Valentine's Day!