Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What I Wish I Had Known When I Was 21

For some reason I've been thinking a lot about turning 21 (ahem, Happy Birthday Dianna!).Today, I want to write a few things I wish I had known at that age:

#1: Life gets really, really good. Just put in your best faith, intentions, and actions. Trust me. 

#2: But it will look far different than you imagine. When I was in college, I had visions my 28-year-old self living in Manhattan (or some mega urban center) with a big job, a bustling social life, and sophisticated dates to swanky events. Well, life is a little different than that. I live on an island, I've started a nice little freelance writing business, I'm a semester away from a master's degree, I have a close-knit circle of friends whom I adore, and dates often consist of dinner and a walk on the beach. Come to think of it, life is far better than I ever could have imagined at 21. 

#3: Work (reasonably) hard. Play harder. I worked a lot through college and over-committed myself on almost every level, all of the time. If I had a re-do, I would have chosen one or two goals and worked toward those instead of running around crazy but without a real direction or purpose. Then, I would have spent my extra time reading, spending time with friends, and playing outside. 

#4: Yes, keep exploring and traveling. I didn't know my insatiable desire to permanently live out of a suitcase would eventually transition into a preference for an occasional international trip (these days, every couple of years is fine), but those early travels shaped who I am, what I do, and where I live today. 

#5: Date the good guys. And only the good guys.  

#6: Trying to change a habit? Here's a good hack. Give a trusted friend a check for $50 to your favorite charity along with strict instructions to send it if you break your commitment.

#7: Pay attention to situation and make friends with reality. Sometimes we try to convince ourselves that something, theoretically, should be really good/work out, but in reality the situation isn't serving us. Move on from such situations gracefully and swiftly. 

#8: Be nice, gentle, and make more time for people. 

#9: Take out as little college debt as possible. For sure, don't take out loans for anything beyond tuition. There are a million ways (i.e., jobs) to pay for rent, food, and all other other lifestyle stuff that goes along with being a college student. Credit card debt is never justified. 

#10: Next, learn about the laws of money and start saving at least 10% immediately. Read I Will Teach You to be Rich 

#11: Define a couple big goals that excite you. Work for those goals. Read for those goals. Study for those goals. Ask yourself if your actions and thoughts are setting you up to achieve those goals. Those goals eventually add up to your life legacy

#12: Stop worrying. For heaven sake. It all works out. Enjoy friends, nature, reading, writing, traveling, etc. Get all of the good stuff you can out of life.

#13: Lose the drama. Many things felt so pressing and stressful when I was 21. Now, when I start feeling stressed out, I do one of two things: 1) work to get whatever it is done, accomplished, and out of the way, or 2) go to the beach and get myself out of my mind. 

#14: Ditch the self-confidence issues. 

Dear 21-year-old self:

Guys like you, girls want to be your friend, your body looks really good the better you eat, and you will be successful.

Holy. Cow. Major difference. 

I wish I ditched ideas, people, untruths, and habits that weren't serving me, sooner. I get better and better at this as I get older, and it becomes simpler and quicker with practice.

#15: Read all of the ScripturesThe Alchemist,  and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. Journal the stuff that pops out and apply those lessons. Today is a good time to start reading these books. 

#16: Find out who you are. Like, really. Pray and ask God to teach you this. Then act, speak, dress, and do accordingly. 

#17: And this stuff about guys. 

Be beautiful, be endearing, be sweet, be smart, be really good, be true, be loyal, be happy, be honest (speak your truth), be wise in choosing your company, and be willing to set wildly fun and interesting goals and go after them. Trust. During hard times, remember that Sunday will come. Start making a really good story of your life. In fact, make it a masterpiece.



Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sunday Excerpts: The Divine Right of Capital

The Divine Right of Capital: Dethroning the Corporate Aristocracy, by Marjorie Kelly (2001).

"The notion of ice melting is something is something I've had on my mind lately. I've been chipping a good deal of it on my sidewalks these days, as penance for my lazy habits as a Minnesota homeowner. But there's a secret ice teaches: that the seemingly impenetrable isn't. The trick is to hit on a seam--hit it just right--and witness the miracle of an entire chunk breaking away. Attack under the exposed edge, and another chunk can be loosed effortlessly. Before long the unyielding has, in fact, yielded. What seems impenetrable isn't. This is a useful maxim for tackling the topic of corporate governance." (51).

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Sunday Excerpts: Three Cups of Tea

"'If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways,' Haji Ali said blowing on his bowl. 'The first time you share tea with a Balti you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die,' he said, laying his hand warmly on Mortenson's own. 'Doctor Greg, you must make time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated. But we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.'

"'That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever learned in my life', Mortenson says. 'We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We're the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills. Our leaders thought their 'shock and awe' campaign could end the war in Iraq before it even started. Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had to learn from the people I work with more than I could ever hope to teach them'" (page 150).

Chelsea, you're right. You almost cannot help but cheer him on, out loud, as you're reading. Amazing.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I walk by this storefront daily...

Something about it seems so...Puerto Rican, maybe?...and makes me smile.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Thanks Rascall Flatts...

... for putting it so well.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Forgot to mention this awhile ago. Employed. Alan Wong's.

There's just something about the huge focus on sustainability, local farmers, and oooooo the Macademia Nut-Coconut Crusted Lamb Chops. And those marinated Hamakua Springs Farms tomatoes. Divine. Divine.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

25 Things I hate About Facebook Video

In my constant efforts to "Get With The Program" (I've turned this into an actual quarterly event for myself, where I catch up on all email, make a few token visits to Facebook, contemplate setting up a Twitter account so I can keep in touch better by "tweeting" with people, and even think about getting addicted to a weekly television program...Lost, anyone?), I decided to peruse YouTube for what's "hot" and "now" and "current".

I came across this really great video. Which I agree with completely. And will use it to justify my instincts that being soooo connected to sooooo many people is somewhat unnatural. Though Facebook is a well designed tool for "keeping up", it's actually very stressful for me to log on and realize I have a couple hundred Facebook friends that I could keep up with. People, I love you all! But where do I start? And then I think if you only have time to "poke" someone, perhaps it's an indication that it's actually time to readjust life priorities. That said, despite Julian's humorous and excellent points, I will keep my Facebook account. But hold off on Twitter.