23 Lessons Learned At 23

23 Lessons Learned At 23

Hello my Pretty Decent friends. It’s November 22 again, which means it’s time for my yearly list of advice you didn’t ask for.

I write these as a therapeutic exercise, but also for vanity purposes so everyone else looks forward to my birthday as much as I do. This birthday is weird, sad and difficult, though, and I briefly considered not writing anything for it at all.

Fortunately for you, “not writing” really isn’t in my nature. So here it is: the biggest lessons I’ve learned ahead of my 23rd year of life. I hope you feel at least one of them.

23 Lessons I’ve Learned By 23

  1. You don’t have to be everything at once, even though you definitely could be if you tried.
  2. Cliches had to be true before they became a cliche. Going against popular wisdom really doesn’t need to be, like, your whole thing.
  3. Long distance doesn’t work without trust.
  4. You have your entire life to make better art. Just keep making art.
  5. “There’s more to life than hearing stuff and being mean.” – Chance the Rapper
  6. I am at my best when I am listening to music. I am my happiest when I can talk openly about the ways music moves and affects me. This is a largely personal realization that will probably affect my career and lifestyle choices moving forward.
  7. Okay, but for real: don’t buy expensive things on Ebay from anyone with no other sales. These jerks will legitimately mail a letter to another person in your zip code, therefore showing up as “Delivered” in Ebay’s system and (try to) cheat you out of your hard-earned money.
  8. Love doesn’t disappear as fast as you think it will or need it to. Sometimes it sticks around like a habit you can’t shake. It’s okay to use old memories like pillows at night. You’re a human beeeeing. *Nicki Minaj voice*
  9. Mantras work. Money flows to me like rivers, etc. etc.
  10. Blindly confident is the only way to be. When you think about the sheer number of people who are really out here doing things, it’s a bit silly to think they’re *all* feeling totally secure, right? Like, wouldn’t it make more sense to imagine they’re just living their life and hoping no one that knew them in middle school is sitting around making fun of them?
  11. Acts of self-care are absurdly important.
  12. Any time you make a noticeable change, people are going to comment on it. The most important human trait is humility, followed closely by a sharp sense of humor.
  13. I know I said this last year, but Stila Stay-All-Day liquid liner and Nyx matte lip cream in Cannes are really still it.
  14. I don’t think people were meant to be exposed to the opinions of everyone in the world at once. (Don’t read the Twitter replies.)
  15. EDM is not for me.
  16. There are things that are your own that will never be anyone else’s. The way you write. The freckles on your knee. The reason you always came back to them.
  17. Intuition is very real.
  18. God is very real, too.
  19. Addiction is real and it will take the people that you love.
  20. Love doesn’t have to feel like a ship that’s always sinking. That “chaotic love” may be necessary at some point, and it’ll certainly feel like the world. But I have to believe that it’s not the only way love can be.
  21. Don’t text or tweet when you’re drunk.
  22. The picture is not more important than the moment.
  23. Somewhere between “I need to grow the fuck up” and “I need to be patient with myself” is acceptance and self-love.

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