Monday, November 26, 2012

25 Things I Know, Now That I’m 25

(Art Credit: Kehinde Wiley)

This week I turned twenty-five. Yep, I’m a quarter of century. On my twenty-fourth, I penned a list of things that I’ve been meaning to say. However in this past year, I’ve learned so many things and I’m dying to share them with you.

This year I cleansed like never before:

I wrote every morning and night diligently. (Well except for the nights I was dog-tired.) I spilled things I’d never spoke out loud or crushed when they’d crossed my mind. I delved into crafts I’d always admired, but feared I wouldn’t be capable of. I purged myself of “friends” who were bereft of sacrifice and compassion. I took on new assignments with my freelance and I’m lending my wisdom one article at a time. I fell in love again, reminding myself why my significant other was symmetry. I basked in happiness and learned to overcome things that used to sink deep into the crevices of my easily fragmented heart.


1) Patience is a virtue. Good things come to those who wait. These phrases used to irritate me, ridiculously cliché, however I now abide by them. I am living proof that there are amazing things lingering in the wings for everyone. Believe you can fly.

2) Life is too short for diets. Cook often, with healthy and tasty things and you’ll find yourself incredibly fulfilled. The pounds will lift slowly. Also, exercise. Life isn’t too short for that. In fact, if you don’t, you might not live it.

3) Men aren’t stupid or weak, physically. She didn’t take your man. Unless a woman put a gun to his head, pushed him into a van and has him in a desolate room, he left willingly.

4) There’s nothing embarrassing about Spanx or girdles. I used to fear that my boyfriend might discover that I wear them. However, he has no complaints about the curves it provides underneath that little black number.

5) Some friends are seasonal. Don’t let decades defend disrespect. The toxicity of others will consume.

6) There’s a method to your madness. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. My desk may look like I complete no work—to the naked eye—but every book and text out is absolutely pivotal to whatever I’m working on.

7) Rent is waste. Mortgage is real. Fight to save for your future.

8) Follow your dreams. Whether it’s through side hustle or 9 to 5, chase it like nothing else matters. This last year, I’ve gone to work from 7am-6pm and then come home only to stay up until 3am writing freelance articles. Financially and euphorically, it’s helped a great deal. Don’t worry; I take plenty of naps.

9) Take vacations. Your mind, body and soul will thank you.

10) Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Just as you get checkups to check your high blood pressure, convene with a therapist to get to the bottom of what’s stressing you.

11) Dance when no one is watching. I bought a journal adorned with this phrase and never took it seriously. On the day I was promoted at work, I came home, cranked my stereo to the max and possibly did a mean moonwalk.

12) Read the books on your shelves, before you start copping more. Or at least trade some in. Your office/home will thank you. Mine—bereft of clutter—thanks me every day.

13) Age has nothing to do with ability. I’ve leveled up three times in the last year, some of my staff decades older than I. At first, I felt inadequate and convinced that someone of my age shouldn’t reside over them. However, in a year I’ve learned that I’m able to lead without sounding authoritative and that no matter what position you’re in, your counterparts always have something to teach you.

14) Things will sprout naturally. Although there are texts to guide you, improvisation is natural and will kick in during domestication, relationships and eventually motherhood.

15) It’s never too late to learn. After years of avoiding graduate school—convinced that Junot Diaz’s disposition on MFA programs was most accurate—I went back. I’ve learned so many astonishing things and I have an instant community of writers at my fingertips.

16) Relationship experts can only give very general guidance. Live it and learn. Be the expert of your own relationship.

17) If you’re going to have a blog, update it. No one wants to sit around waiting for your next post. Sigh, I’m working on this.

18) Buy Applecare. You’ll thank me later. Signed, Disgruntled and lost all of her files.

19) Write the moments that you’re afraid to write about, even if no one will ever see them. This year, I started a book that I’ve dared to tell ALL of my secrets. It’s been the most cathartic therapy I’ve ever had.

20) Don’t be afraid of the erotic section of Barnes & Noble. You could be a sex-ed teacher; they have no idea what you’re there for. Make eye contact with the cashier and dare him to say something…anything.

21) Leave exes where they lay, especially those who’ve never had the decency to apologize.

22) Vision boards are real. I’ve accomplished 10 out of 12 things that I’ve put on mine, for 2012.

23) Don’t play fight with your boyfriend. You’ll lose.

24) Organize, organize, organize. There is enough time in the day, you’re just not spending it the right way.

25) Lie about your age now. That way, when you’re thirty, no one will remember the difference.

What have you learned?


akudo chigozie said...

You're such a huge inspiration! Happy belated birthday!

Unknown said...

I love it! I always find by coincidence that I often read stuff when I need the message the most. Your post is my message for the day. :)

I can't lie about my age though!

Angela Wehrli said...

Working on #9 :) And I definitely concur on that vision board! Sunny Sideup put me on to that one! I need to make a new one. Everything on mine, except the cruise and swimming with wild dolphins, has come true haha. But it will stay on everyone I make until it does! :) Thanks for sharing!

Jessica Jupiter said...

Great post Riva! I'm only 21 but this post gave me a lot of helpful tips! Much appreciated!

Mel said...

See stuff like this makes me deeply appreciative that I forged a friendship with you years ago. I intend to keep you around forever :). Love this!