Thursday, April 17, 2014

T H I R T E E N // THIRTY : Wear Sunscreen

so this song (or speech rather) called everybody's free to wear sunscreen began to circulate in the summer of ninety-seven, just a few short months after i turned thirteen. as i thought about what words of wisdom i would grant future going on thirties, this song popped into my mind and i looked up the words for it, and found it to almost sum up everything that i wanted to say. below i have pulled some quotes out from the song that i thought were good.


If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long-term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth.
Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they've faded.
But trust me, in 20 years, you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.
You are not as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future.
Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 pm on some idle Tuesday.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts.
Don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy.
Sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind.
The race is long and, in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive. Forget the insults.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life.
The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives.
Some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don't.

Enjoy your body.
It's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance. 

Get to know your parents. 
You never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings. 
They're your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go,
but with a precious few you should hold on.

Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle, 
because the older you get, the more you need the people who knew you when you were young.

 Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths:
Prices will rise. Politicians will philander. You, too, will get old.
And when you do, you'll fantasize that when you were young, prices were reasonable, politicians were noble, and children respected their elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund. Maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse. But you never know when either one might run out.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

T H I R T E E N // T H I R T Y : How I viewed myself

my first trial at modeling. age thirteen.


there are very few pictures of me as a thirteen year old.

when i got the proofs back from the shoot seen above, the whole time i kept picking out what was wrong with me. i dodged the camera whenever i could.  if i happened to be in a picture, i rarely smiled or i covered most of my face. comparison was a poison, deep in my veins. something felt wrong about me. i even avoided mirrors and windows for the sake of not seeing myself.

i wrote a lot of poems, more so when i turned thirteen. as i read over a few of them, i realized something inside of me had died, or rather i had repressed my true self. i remember looking in the mirror one day and actually staring at myself, but the person that i saw in the mirror did not feel like me. i later wrote the following poem:

fraternal twin

who is this stranger i
see in the mirror staring back at me?
it is me, plain and
nothing to be vain about,
but this person standing in another world
looks back at me with vanity.
we are one, but
she has confidence written on her face. her body
shows strength and grace. mystery and beauty
gleam in her eyes.  
i ask myself, "why is it so hard
for others to see my reflection,
and for me to see it too?"

i think i subconsciously asked myself that question over the next sixteen years. during my twenty-ninth year i finally came to terms that i had been living fractured. i was me, just never me all at once. it was a daily struggle to see myself as the things i saw in my reflection, as God had always seen me, but i am happier because of it. as i look forward to turning thirty this week, i am glad that i can walk into a new decade finally as one person.

wholeness never tasted better.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

T H I R T E E N // T H I R T Y : How I viewed my future

acording to allwomenstalk.com i should have accomplished these thirty things before my third decade of living:

travel to paris. dream job. volunteer for a cause. visit all 50 states (hahaha...are you serious?). big road trip. travel solo. get a passport. fall in love. buy your first home. have a baby. visit nyc on nye. the list goes on. and there are more like this that could easily make you feel like you have yet to accomplish anything in your life.

so i decided to create my own list of things i have accomplished and after i did it my collage of experience is far more interesting than i mapped out for myself when i was thirteen.

thirteen.
graduate from college in two and a half years.
become a family lawyer.
get married by twenty-two.
have two kids by twenty-six.
own a home by twenty-eight.

thirty.
graduated from two colleges.
became a graphic designer.
apart of several grassroots social justice movements.
road tripped from florida to missouri, alone.
been to south america once.
been to central america four times.
europe three times in my life.
been to every state on the east coast, a few in the midwest, and two on the west coast.
managed my first magazine and fashion show.
started my own business.
published my first book by twenty-two.
have learned a new language.
have been in two dance performances, small and large scale.
and the best part, i haven't even lived yet.

so here is my challenge. try to remember when you were young and what your life goals were. write them all down. then write down all that you have accomplished. don't put down what you haven't or what failed. you may find that God's winding path is a lot more interesting than your straight forward plan.

Monday, April 14, 2014

T H I R T E E N // T T H I R T Y

this month went by so fast! normally, i take it in slowly and enjoy my birthday month; but between packing and moving, my biggest thrill was being able to see my bedroom floor. work has kept me extremely busy (both of them plus a few freelance projects) so you can guess why i haven't been updating at all in almost a month.

but by the title you can probably guess that i have been anticipating my 30th birthday. i decided to take this week in slow mo leading up to my birthday and reflect on different things that i have learned, things i have accomplished before 30, even take a look at things i wrote when i was 13 to see what my perspective was like (it is full of angst-y humor).

hopefully, this will be of some help to all those twenty-somethings out there who are trying to cram life into ten years from 18-28 because they feel as though life after 29 doesn't exist if you don't have a totem pole of musts chiseled into it.