1. Stay out until 3 AM so you can eat pancakes and giggle uncontrollably in a corner booth with friends while the rest of the bartime crowd rolls in. It will always, always be more important than getting sensible amounts of sleep so you can beat the rush at the grocery store on Sunday morning. I almost put myself to sleep just typing that second sentence.
2. Dye your hair. Oh, for the love of pete, do it. Don't worry that it'll make you stand out too much, that you will appear too fearless, too much. Because guess what! You are not too much, but you are indeed more than enough. You know?
3. Believe that they mean it when someone says they think you're beautiful.
4. Unabashedly forego 'good-enough' for 'can't-live-without'. Especially because 'good enough' was barely good enough to start with, baby.
5. Wear lipstick. Werk.
6. Be kind to every, every, everyone. Dismiss the fear that you will not be accepted, or the lie that you are better, and be kind to every person you meet. This doesn't mean be a doormat, oh, no. But a smile and a reminder that we are all just humans goes a long way.
7. Leave some room in your heart for the unimaginable. (--wise lady, Mary Oliver.)
8. There is no such thing as overdressed. One of my favorite people once told me that you dress not only for yourself, but to show respect to the people you're with. I've learned I'd rather be the only one in heels than the only one in sweatpants.
9. Always make extra bacon. (always, always.)
10. Do not allow yourself to be with someone who has made you the only happy thing in their life. Balance the tendency to do this yourself this by keeping many happy things in your own life.
11. Sometimes you must work months of 60+ hour workweeks for zip diddly but grad school credit and you must do this with a smile on your face. You are not the first to make it on scrambled eggs and frozen broccoli for a while, and you will not be the last, child. Good things take time. Success requires effort. Life takes a little elbow grease, remember?
12. Never be afraid to be the first one on the dance floor. Because inevitably, you're not gonna be the only one out there for long.
13. Human beings are complex. People are not defined by patterns, or the histories they leave in their wake. The best things that have come to pass so far in my 24th year happened when I let the present unfold without expecting that I already knew the outcome.
14. Keep saying yes.
15. Buy a pair of red heels, and wear the shit outta them. Often. This is a bandwagon I can't believe I've only just now hopped on, but man. It's a thing for a reason. Don't be afraid to be sassy.
16. Stand firmly and fully in your commitment to your own life, but don't be so precious about it. All of this? It's supposed to be fun.
17. Respect other human beings. Respect their time, their thoughts, their emotions, their hearts. Don't let what someone has done to you or not done for you dictate the amount of compassion and consideration you give to them. Do not turn love or respect into a conditional thing. There is strength, not weakness in the benefit of the doubt. What you look for in others is what you will find.
What has 2013 taught you?