If you are 22, were 22, or are turning 22 (wow hi that's me), there's grace in those double digits squared. We're old as dirtdom! Kinda. I don't pretend to be an expert after a couple decades of being a young whippersnapper. I'm unqualified as they come to give advice, unless it's regarding pancakes, bad jokes, or hula hooping.
Instead, I'd like to humbly share a few of my own musings from this traveling circus we call life.
One: There are three golden rules. 1) You do you. (Everyone else is taken). 2) Some people suck. Losers happen. 3) Let me live. Make it count.
Two: Be bold; be unapologetic. This is the secret sauce. If it's scary but electrifying, you're doing it right.
Three: Your gut instinct knows what's up. Check it often.
Four: Like and love are eternally tricky. Trust the Law of Fuck Yes or No. If you feel strongly about someone, tell them. Emotions defy logic. And vulnerability is enough to make anybody pee their pants. But life is finite. Take the leap (and trust your bladder to hang on for dear life).
Five: Even the "cool kids" -- be that of middle school, college, or the office -- see someone cooler than them. Popularity is whatever. We're all cut from the same fabric, neither a cut above nor a cut below one another.
Six: Be the person known for giving great high fives and stellar hugs. It's good street credz.
Seven: Appreciate the heck out of music. Pick whatever strikes a chord with you. You don't have to like everyone else's tastes but appreciate their appreciation. Turn up that $#!& real loud. Dance like nobody's watching. Especially when everybody's watching.
Nine: We don't have time; we make time. "Busy" is not an excuse.
Ten: There are no universal right answers in life. (See golden rule #1: You do you.) But if there was a universal right answer, it would be pizza and red wine.
Eleven: If you're not okay with getting zero likes on a social media post, you shouldn't be posting it.
Twelve: Essential life investments: a comfy couch, chapstick, and a clothing ensemble that says, "Ya look good" (Ya do!)
Thirteen: Have a signature--word, perfume/cologne, cause, joke and smile. People remember the little things.
Fourteen: Never, ever forget what happens when you turn the corners of your mouth upwards.
Fifteen: Tequila is liquid dynamite. Which can be dangerously good or dangerously bad. Choose wisely.
Sixteen: Vegetables are your friend. Cereal is also acceptable for any meal though. Balance.
Seventeen: Acknowledge humanity. Thank the taxi driver; smile at that lonesome person on the subway; recognize the beggar; talk to the guy at the sandwich shop.
Eighteen: Find a passion project. Make it meaningful. And then make it happen (even if there's no payoff for you).
Nineteen: Cool it with the texting "game." F'real. A smiley face does not make marriage the obvious next step. Double texting does not make you needy. Read receipts are not to be used as a tool to smite others. Play nice.
Twenty: Always have a homemade trick up your sleeve. It's important for friendship, surprise birthdays, anniversaries, Mother's Day, and general classiness.
Twenty One: Call yo people that matter. Especially Mom & Dad. Not just on the bad days. They knew you before you knew you.
Twenty Two: Life is messy. At 22...or any age really. This shabang isn't always pretty. We're en route to getting lost...a lot. But somewhere along the way, we'll find the things that matter. Let's get ice cream and call it a win because hey, we've got nothing to lose. Then, when the world least expects it, we'll make our come back.
And when that happens, we'll be singing "BACKSTREET'S BACK ALRIGHT!" all over again. Though the funny thing is, we'll probably still be wholly unqualified to give advice, unless it's regarding pancakes, bad jokes, or hula hooping.
But ya know? That's alright with me.