I really wish I had begun my yoga practice much earlier than I did. I think it would have helped to keep me more focused and grounded through my terrible 20s. Because as hard as my life was back then, I would have realized that yoga is way harder. For one thing, it requires commitment and concentration. It also requires practice. And it can be frustrating as hell – especially if you’re not naturally flexible and can’t do the splits while standing on the palms of your hand. But the benefits, and there are many, outweigh the challenges. One of the main things I like about yoga is that there’s no loud music. In fact, as much as I love it, I find that no music is even better. There’s also something to be said for silence and the sound of your own breathing. I think one of the most important elements, and one that will get you into it for life, is finding a good instructor and the type of class you like. For me, that’s a Vinyasa (Ashtanga) flow class, which is a modern-day form of classical Indian yoga. The class I take is 90 minutes of constant movement. Yet it focuses on finding peace in the poses. As one of my instructors says, “The pose should feel like a happy puppy.” Many of us laugh when we hear this because we feel more like tortured puppies, depending on what we’re doing. But maybe one day, after many more years of practice, I’ll have that experience. Perhaps if I had started in my 20s…
Word to the wise: “Warning: Yoga has been known to cause health and happiness.” For a few more words of wisdom about yoga, check out https://www.pinterest.com/pedrovalmeida/yoga-quotes/. Oh and, Namaste.
Have you ever tried yoga? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”
In my teens and 20s, I was a notorious guard let-downer. At work, in love, and with every new person I met. I was often told that I wore my heart on my sleeve. While being open to all experiences was at many times enriching and joyful, it was also hurtful and disappointing when someone stomped on my heart or betrayed my trust. When you’re young, it could be argued that this is a right of passage. And eventually, you’ll learn to keep your guard up more. Or maybe always, depending on how many times you’ve been through the ringer by the time you hit 30. Some people have developed strategies Sun Tzu would commend to protect themselves. Although even he might argue that the walls we make to keep other people out often wind up keeping us locked inside. But the thing is, as I much as try not to, try so hard not to be that girl who lets her guard down, I still do. Because when it gets right down to it, would I rather be the person with the fortress around my heart or the one who lets her guard down from time to time to discover new friendships, deeper intimacy, the possibility of true of love and, of course, a world of hurt. Yin and yang, as it were. I will say that if you’ve just been stomped on, it does help to keep plenty of Haagen-Dazs in the house. But going for a walk or reading a book can work just as well. So can a conversation with a good friend – even though you know they’ll tell you that that’s what you get for wearing your heart on your sleeve.
Word to the wise: It’s good to stand watch, but sometimes you have to listen to your heart. While it may not always be right, at least you know you have one.
What do you think about letting your guard down? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”
I have a friend who I deem to be the master of this skill. I remember this guy at the office was going around asking everyone for money to buy raffle tickets for his church. Now mind you, in that office, it seemed like we were giving money every day for some worthy cause – starving children, breast cancer, world peace, you get the idea. Well this guy comes around to me and of course, even though he annoys the crap out of me on a personal level, I give him the money. I asked my friend if she contributed to his cause as well, and she said she didn’t. And I was like wow, how did you get out of that one? That was when she imparted a lesson on me that I still need to learn: When someone asks you to do something that you don’t want to, smile sweetly and say, “No thanks.” A few years have passed and I’ve mostly lived by this rule, until recently. Another friend of mine and I were meeting for happy hour and she sent me a text asking if it was okay to invite this guy she met at another happy hour because it could be a “good networking opportunity.” And I’m thinking, for whom? Because she had already told me about this guy, and said he looked like Danny Devito, but was kind of “sweet.” Needless to say, I did not want him to join us. But did I text back sweetly, “No thanks,” as a wise woman would do? And believe me, in this case, I really should have. Because when I got to the bar, I see her sitting with this guy and he looks like he’s about 80. My friend said he would just “stop by” but ended up staying the whole time, regaling us with his stories about how successful he is and how he represented himself in court five times and won. Of course, I asked him what he was charged with and he became very evasive and said, “White collar stuff.” The best part, he starts to hit on my friend who is probably 40 years his junior. “You have such beautiful skin,” he says to her. I excused myself to the restroom at this point in protest and disgust. Later, she tells me he asked her out. The real clincher: when the bill came, Mr. Successful insisted we split it three ways. It just goes to show even old guys can be douche bags.
Word to the wise: A little no thanks goes a long way. When you think about it, it’s really hard to argue or get offended by someone who says this to you. It softens the blow and saves you from looking like the bad guy.
When is it hard for you to say no? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”
For me, this one has always been easy. Because I hate to keep people waiting. Especially people I care about. Which is why I can’t relate to or understand lateness. When I’m on time, it shows my family and friends that I value theirs. I remember I had this boyfriend who was always late and it drove me crazy. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one. He told me he had a friend who whenever they made plans to get together would ask, “Is that Steve time, or Pacific time?” I thought this was pretty funny. But not for long. And don’t even get me started on the boyfriend (a different Steve) who kept me waiting 45 minutes at a restaurant because he was watching “Jeopardy.” Actually, I can’t believe I stuck around. But I was in my 20s and those were the days, as Lena Dunham of “Girls,” says where we have complete self-confidence and no self-worth. I definitely suffered from that affliction, which is no doubt why my dating life was one disaster after another. What I will say to all you late folks out there who may never change their ways no matter how much it annoys, irritates and feels disrespectful to their friends, boyfriends, children, husbands, etc.: If you’re going to be consistently late, at least apologize. That can make all the difference in the world. I’ve found that most people who are late, don’t do this and it kind of blows my mind. I feel far more forgiving toward those who do. Maybe you’ve seen the license plate frame, “Always late, but worth the wait.” Are you?
Word to the wise: If you’re always late, not everyone will wait. If you care enough, or someone makes you care enough, you’ll change. And if you’re always on time like me, it helps to bring a book.
Are you an early or late bird? Ever have anyone not wait for you and how did you feel about it? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”
Ok, on this one I’m not talking from personal experience. Meaning, I’ve never pierced my nose. I tried to double pierce my ears once, but the new holes kept getting infected and I had to let them close. Hope you’re not eating while you read this. Anyway, the reason I’m bringing up this situation is because there’s this young woman I’ve known for about two years and every time I see her, it looks like she has a bat in the cave. I finally figured out she had her nose pierced. What I realized after this about nose piercings in general is, if you have really wide nostrils like my friend, the stud looks like a booger to the untrained eye. And if the piercing is really small on the outside of the nose, like my friend’s, you might not even notice that the nose is pierced at all.
Word to the wise: If you’re going to pierce your nose, make sure you have small nostrils. Or if you have wide nostrils, make sure people can see it on the outside of your nose (a ring might be a great solution – really hard to miss those). It has to be big enough so we can easily distinguish a piercing from a booger. Nuff said.
What do you think? Have any insights on nose piercings, the good, the bad, and the ugly? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”
I went to Italy on a guided bus tour for 11 days and this was one of the best experiences of my life. I highly recommend taking a trip like this before you’re 25. If you can do it alone, even better. Because you’re going to meet lots of people, many of whom will take you under their wing. I remember on my Italy tour, one of the girls who traveled alone celebrated her 21st birthday at a Tuscan farmhouse having the most incredible food and wine while enjoying the well wishes of her travel companions, which included a very happy me. Not to mention, all of us dancing the “Macarena” with a goofy Italian DJ. And the night before her 21st birthday, we all had dinner in this incredible piazza in Rome where I introduced her to Sambuca. Yeah, I’m a bad influence (see post #74, “Learn how to make a killer cocktail and always have the ingredients on hand at your place”) I’m sure that’s one birthday she’ll never forget. The other really great thing about a tour like this is if you go to a country where you don’t speak the language, everything is taken care of for you. We never had to buy a ticket to a museum, or worry about our luggage, where to go and how to get there. I’ve traveled the other way – driving 1,600 miles across Ireland – and I can tell you the days we took bus tours were the ones we looked forward to most of all. For my trip to Italy, every day was a bus day and every day was absolutely the best.
Word to the wise: If you want to go somewhere far away, a bus tour is your best bet. I wish I had done it sooner. I’m doing one again next year. And you should, too. Here’s the company I went with, in case you’re interested, they go over all over the world and I highly recommend them:
What do you think? Ever traveled with a group? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”
Over the course of my life, I’ve done the math and it turns out my parents are right about 90 percent of the time.
That’s a pretty good statistic seeing as they’re probably the only two people in the world who want what’s best for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that blood truly is thicker than water. While I’m fortunate enough to be blessed with many great friends, sometimes, understandably so, they’re caught up in their own stuff and may not always give the best advice. On the other hand, my parents are always caught up in my stuff, because they’re my parents (this can be a blessing and a curse). So let’s see, what have my parents been right about so far?
- Telling me to never ever date anyone named Steve again.
- Cheering me on to break up with every Steve (and there have been at least five).
- Not saving me by paying off my credit card debt, but helping me by paying off my student loans.
- Pushing me to get my college degree.
- Asking me to always lock my doors and windows.
- Making me wear a sweater when it’s cold. (Now this one is questionable because recent studies show that being out in the cold doesn’t mean you’ll catch cold. But my dad won’t have any of it).
- Being happier to see me single than miserable in the wrong relationship.
Those are just a few examples of a lifetime’s worth of my parents’ wisdom. I’m sure you can find a few of your own.
Word to the wise: Most of the time, it pays to listen to your parents. You may not agree with everything they say, but you should know that’s it’s coming from the best possible place – their hearts. And no one loves you like they do. So the next time they offer you advice, at the very least, think about it.
What do you think? Note: Your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Should Know.”