Today, I am 24 years old.

Holy shit.

First of all Happy Birthday to Me!

Secondly, I’m actually writing this on the eve of my 24th birthday. I’m wearing silk pajama pants I bought my junior year of high school (the fact that they still fit 8 years later is amazing enough to me to be this entire blog post, but I shall soldier on in the name of posterity) I have two glade candles lit (always on sale places like stop and shop and CVS 2/5$ and keeps my obsession with candle light and fragrance going) I have three salted caramel cookies on my night stand and a little cocktail glass filled with milk. I have music playing, the fan blowing cool summer air into my bedroom and a little stack of birthday cards that have arrived in my mailbox this week that I’ve been saving to open until tonight.

This is my third annual “birthday retrospective” and as I re-read year 22 and 23 I think what strikes me the most is how FAST FAST FAST time has flown. I’m also realizing that I wrote 23’s retrospective in this very exact spot. I had just moved into my first “adult” apartment, there were still boxes everywhere and I lived in fear of having to talk to my neighbors. I sat on this very spot on my bed and wrote:

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I honestly don’t remember what I wished for, so I guess I can’t say for sure if my blog-wish came true but I do know that I was right. As far as years of life go, twenty three was exceptional.

Before I get started, as per tradition here are years 22 and 23:

Without further ado: Twenty Four Things I’ve learned in the Past Year

1. You catch more flies with honey, every time.

2. If your apartment has new windows, and they open from the top as well as the bottom; if you forget to lock the windows and then close the blinds for all of winter the tops of the windows will creep down ever so slightly. They will let in all this cold wind and you will wander around your apartment bleeding money from your eye sockets because you heating bill is so high and you don’t understand why! So. Lock your windows. Even if you live on the third floor.

3. We could all learn a little something from Mr. Carl Rogers:

4. If you find yourself saying to your friends before a first date “Ugh I don’t even really want to go on this date tomorrow, I’m so tired of dating.” Just go. It could very well be your soul mate.

5. But, on the other hand if you’re dealing with a guy like this, tell him to go screw.

6. Also: the idea of meeting a guy at the gym seems really hot in theory. In practice it probably means you’ll have PTSD entering your gym from now until eternity. Proceed with caution and be ye not blinded by pectorals.

7. You can ABSOLUTELY host Thanksgiving dinner.

8. And you should really just brine the turkey. Don’t even give it a second thought girlfriend. Brine that sucker.

9. I do not really like lobster.

10. Any man worth keeping travels far and wide to buy you a dress form for a holiday present, even when others might doubt him and scrunch up their noses exclaiming, “You got her…a mannequin?”

11. In a pinch, a lint brush works pretty well as a make-shift vacuum.

12. I think there might be such a thing as an afterlife..

13. I need to be more patient with myself.

14. Googling symptoms on the internet is nothing but trouble. STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD YOU MASOCHISTIC FREAKAZOID.

15. Cats are really not all that bad, and are occasionally cute.

16. You really need to buy a snow brush/ice scraper in August in New England if you feel as if you will ever need one.

17. Shoveling out your car after a blizzard is the 5th circle of hell, I’m pretty positive about this. Also, just try and move my folding chair from my spot and GAZE UPON MY WRATH YOU CRETIN.

18.It really isn’t that hard to just quit biting your nails, and if you do then you’ll have lady-like hands.

19. If you accidentally make a scratch in a hardwood floor, quickly bite the top off a raw almond and then rub the rest of the almond into the scratch, it will disappear like magic!

20. Some people really love graduate school, some people just don’t.

21. I don’t really like arcades.

22. California is really amazing, and vacations are totally worth it.

23. Love is all you need, in a spiritual sense.

24. I am not scared of the elements
I am under-prepared, but I am willing

Self portrait at 24: