Today is my 25th birthday. 25 feels so momentous and significant and completely mind-boggling, but I am absolutely thrilled at the prospect of another year of adventures. The past two years have been calculated yet spontaneous birthday hoopla, but this year, I did a little bit of everything I love and am completely content. So, in honor of spending 25 March 9ths in this world, and the 25 years that followed, here are 25 things I know to be true about life, liberty, the universe, the pursuit of happiness, and everything.
1. Kindness is the most important thing. In fact, “always be a little kinder than necessary.” –J.M. Barrie
2. Tacos are the most perfect food of all time and are always delicious, no matter how you’re feeling.
3. “The time to make up your mind about people is never.” –The Philadelphia Story
4. Laughing, especially laughing with children, solves everything.
5. “A little consideration, a little thought for others, makes all the difference.” –Winnie-the-Pooh
6. Re-reading books means you can always recapture the magic.
7. Live the moments now. Find a happy place and make it your home.
8. If you feel like crying, go ahead and cry. You probably have a good reason. Also, it’s okay to act like a three-year-old and throw a temper tantrum from time to time, as long as it’s not in public.
9. Take time to be outside in the world.
10. “Also, you may have heard that it is better to burn out than it is to fade away. That is ridiculous. It is much better to fade away. Always. Fade. Away.” –John Green
11. Give your time, talent, and treasure to something that you love and that is worthwhile.
12. Be curious and ask questions. There is no shame in asking for help.
13. Be silly whenever you feel like it. Sometimes being silly will involve hats.
14. Sing loudly and often.
15. You’ll be hard pressed to find a more perfect movie than “The Princess Bride”.
16. Cookies can change the world. And short of that, they help you make friends.
17. Set aside time to wonder and believe in magic. “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” –Roald Dahl
18. Character building usually sucks, but it’s mostly worth it because it helps you become more awesome.
19. Believing in a power greater than yourself strengthens every part of your life.
20. “There’s power in looking silly and not caring that you do.” –Amy Poehler
21. Breathe. It will all be okay.
22. Hug your friends and family whenever you can and cuddle with a bunny often.
23. Calling the Butterball Hotline is totally worth it.
24. Take naps.
25. Say “thank you” and mean it. Listen. And smile at least once a minute.
Today, on this birthday, I am so grateful to live in this world and know all of you. Thank you for gifting me with your wonder and your kindness. And to fully demonstrate my joy and affection, I’m now going to hug all of you long past the time when it gets weird.