My 20th birthday was spent with a few friends popping a cheap bottle of champagne in my university dorm room wearing way too low jeans, a baby tee and some kind of fly girl hat that I really had no business wearing. Yes, I turned 20 in first year university because Canada was weird back then and had 5 years of high school (dating myself already!) The only other memory I have of that night is wandering without a coat through the snowbanks back to my dorm with my girlfriends, not having any idea what the next decade would bring me. And that is my twenties (and I venture to say most people’s twenties) in a nutshell – you have no idea what’s going on or what to expect, and you spend it kind of wandering around the snowbanks. And while I am not claiming to know everything now at the transition from 29 to 30, there is a much better sense of guiding that path rather than letting it guide me, and that’s the real thrill of it.
Don’t get me wrong, my twenties were a downright cherish-able decade! I got to live with some of my best friends and make some of the most hilariously amazing memories (no matter how hard you try, you never get time with your friends like that again). I traveled a ton, spent some summers at camp (remember camp!? Ugh, the best), learned to cook, had my heart broken, met the love of my life, got married, bought a house, sold a house, moved to LA, and all the while figured out what some of my greatest passions are. It was a roller coaster in the most amazing sense of the word, but tomorrow marks a fresh new decade; and this time, I’m ready.
I understand the importance of SPF all year round…I just bought James Taylor concert tickets…
I’ve switched to decaf…I’ve grown suspicious of the Starbucks barista for giving me caffeine when I’ve ordered decaf…
There is a serious debate about being able to stay up if we start a movie at 9pm…I get giddy over dish patterns. Like, actually.
I’ve had conversations about mortgages, driving routes, and the correct way to make a bed…Cartwheels are painful and dizzying.
I find myself wondering what Meryl Streep does all day…I do a happy dance in my head when I’m asked for ID.
It’s not too late to start all over again…To be kind to myself when trying something new…
That the dream job you want may not even exist yet…Supporting the ones you love is more about listening and less about fixing…
To be honest about my shortcomings…To put the phone down and be. in. the. moment.
That life is one day at a time, and you get 365 fresh starts per year.
That no one’s going to make it happen for you except you…That it’s totally worth it to treat your skin and hair kindly…
That your inner monologue will always sound the same no matter how old you are.
That growing up and growing older is a fun, graceful process…To continue prioritizing exercise for the body and mind…
No more posters – it’s time to invest in real art.
That I’ll happily kiss my sleep-ins and ‘me’ time goodbye and make way for some little ones…That I’ll never stop trying new things…
That I’ll write something significant – a book, a script, a pilot, a viral open letter…
That I’ll keep saying ‘yes’ as much as possible…That I’ll delegate more…That I’ll worry less…
That life will continue to surprise and delight.
Images (from top to bottom) by Anne Harper, Irina Rumyantseva, Brittany Wright, Karin Johannesson.
Happy Birthday!! Great list and some nice reminders as I count down my last six months as a “twenty something”. Have fun celebrating.
Happy birthday Ali!! I love your wisdom!! Xo
What a beautiful piece of work!!! I wish you all the things you wish for yourself. With all those beautiful thoughts you have for yourself, and your uplifting attitude, they will ALL happen. Happy, Happy Birthday for next week, and i hope to speak to you then.
Love, Grandma Marilyn xoxoxoxo
Happy Birthday Big Al!!! I still remember the day you were born!
I have no doubts that all your “hopes” will be accomplished! Happy Birthday my beautiful daughter! Xo
Such a lovely post…very you :)
Can’t wait to see what your next decade holds!
LOVE this post! Gives me inspiration to adopt all of these mantras for my twenties! Happy birthday, Al. Love you like crazy! xoxoxo
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