A Checklist for 21

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Don’t say it’s okay if it’s not. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Tell people how you feel. Don’t put yourself down. Stop calling yourself awkward. Be the empowered woman you say you are. Allow yourself to make mistakes. Say no. Write everything down. The future is uncertain, and it is scary. Feel the fear, and do it anyway. Get your hair cut more often. Spend money sometimes. Spend stupid amounts of time in the bath tub. Spend time doing things just for fun. For the love of all things, exercise every now and then. Stop being embarrassed by the things you like to do. You don’t have to be the best at everything, but don’t settle for mediocrity. If you want to sing, sing. If you want to dance, dance. Don’t worry about how it makes you look. Your caffeine addiction is getting out of hand. Switch to decaf. Stretch sometimes. Call your grandparents. Remember that you always look better than you think you do. And even if you don’t, no one really cares. Wear incredible shoes. Don’t talk yourself out of dessert. Be kinder to people than you think they deserve. Forgive. Be thankful. There is beauty in nuance that you will miss if you don’t pay attention. Pay attention. Never stop paying attention. The fact that you have been on this earth for 21 years is amazing, so remember that life is like your favorite pair of socks. It’s meant to be lived in, worn out, treasured.

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