1. I'm happy to have been born into my family, in my country, at this time in history. But I think I would have made a great flapper.
2. If you really hate running after 15 years of trying to like it, you're never going to like running. Maybe try yoga.
3. Ask for what you want. Even if you think it's something crazy, people are generally so surprised that you've had the gumption to ask that they will give it to you.
4. Learn how to be alone. Not just with regard to romantic relationships, but at the movies, in a restaurant, in a yoga class. Watch the people around you and eavesdrop on their conversations. People are fascinating.
5. An intense personality can scare the shit out of people. That's their problem.
7. Keeping my Catholicism close to my chest and not wearing it like a shield is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I don't want to be defined by my membership in the organized religion that I chose. That said, my faith is the most personal thing about me and it's difficult to express how important it is to who I am.
8. I have terrible taste in music. Somebody had to support N'Sync and the Saint Lunatics for all those years.
9. Drink your damn water.
10. Don't go to the tanning bed.
11. Be a good friend. Call, text, email. Write actual letters on paper. Do this even though you feel like you're the one carrying the friendship. Isn't spending too much effort cultivating friendships a good problem to have?
12. I worry that I'm on the wrong side of the gay marriage debate, and that when I die, Jesus will tell me so. But then I think- how can allowing people to legally love each other be wrong?
13. I was with my mother and grandmother when my grandmother died. I was 20. Those experiences are gifts.
14. If you aren't in love, don't waste your time, unless your intent is to waste your time. But be honest about it.
16. Even though you might think you're totally incognito while wearing glasses and a baseball cap, you're not. People will recognize you, so keep your trap shut and put on some freaking lip gloss.
17. If you're going to go into debt, do it for a good reason. Go to school, buy a car, gallivant around Europe with your BFF. Yes, you'll be paying it off for years. Worth it.
18. Eat as many vegetables as you can.
19. When you're in a funk, don't retreat. Curling up into a ball at home isn't going to help. Go hang out with your friends, carry on with your normal life, and it will eventually lessen.
20. Have friends with totally different political beliefs. Don't talk politics with them. You're never going to change their mind and they're never going to change yours.
21. Learn how to apologize. Be sincere. If you're going to say something, be prepared to take responsibility for it (or, as I put it, "it's nothing I wouldn't say to their face.")
22. If you're waiting until you have a perfect body before you wear a bikini, I have news- it's never going to happen. If you want to wear one, do it. I do it all the time.
23. As much as you might try, you can't control what people are going to say or do. You do, however, have complete control over how you react.
24. Cooking isn't that hard.
25. You don't need to read "The Secret," make a vision board, or take advice from Oprah. Just be positive. Be as prepared as you can be. Don't worry about things that you can't control. If you just know that things are going to work out and that you're going to be successful, you're right.
26. Bumper stickers are a mistake.
27. Flirting will get you everywhere.
28. Everyone is a nerd about something.
29. Capri pants are a hard look to pull off. Maybe rethink your hemline.
30. La vie est belle.