Twenty lessons I’ve learned in 20 years…

…In no particular order

At the ripe age of 20, I definitely don’t have a lot of “life experience.”

However, I am proud to say that I have learned a few lessons, several of which come from observing family members and friends. In honour of my approaching 21st (oh no) rotation around the sun, I decided to reflect on some of said lessons, in the hope that these small slices of wisdom may be even slightly applicable to you. 

In no particular order…

  1. It is okay, if you financially can afford to do so, to stay at a job only until you can no longer learn anything from it. Wise words from my late Opa.
  1. It is completely natural for highschool friendships to fizzle out. The people who you have known for over 10 years tend to stick around for another 10.
  1. Moving out alone (and to a new city) is exciting yet ultimately terrifying. But you do get bragging rights.
  1. If you are not receptive to learning from something that continues to come up repeatedly, life will simply ram it down your throat. Some things you really have to learn.
  1. Watching a loved one slowly fade away is gut-wrenchingly heartbreaking, especially when you know it’s happening but you’re too far away to witness it. As much as you try to prepare for the inevitable, that pit in your stomach won’t fully disappear. 
  1. You will never be “home” again if you move for university; home is where you make it. On the upside, you’ll have a few places to call “home.”
  1. Spend time with your grandparents; it makes them so happy. Talk to them about anything, they’re excited to listen.
  1. It isn’t too late to turn a situation around if you really set your mind to it and it is in your power to do so. Do with that what you will.
  1. Lego is great no matter how old you are. And if you have never accidentally stepped on a Lego brick and been in agony, then I don’t know what to tell you.
  1. Changing yourself specifically for someone else will likely cause complete unhappiness. But don’t shy away from personal growth.
  1. Your grandmother will always give you second helpings of food, so don’t try to refuse.  You won’t leave her house feeling hungry, that’s for certain. 
  1. Listening to your parents will get you to the moon and back if you want it to. I know my parents are reading this and giggling gleefully.
  1. In some situations, people are powerless; never judge someone in a bad situation because leaving it can be easier said than done. Sometimes you just need to stand by and offer what you can. 
  1. Formulate your own opinions and personal values. You are a skilled and reasonable individual, trust your gut.
  1. If your mum says your outfit doesn’t look good, listen—she’s likely right, and you’ll save yourself the haunting pictures. Considering my mum dressed me up in some pretty stellar outfits as a kid, I’m still not sure why she let me out of the house in that outfit I wore for my 18th birthday party.
  1. If you have feelings for someone, shoot your shot, the worst they can say is no. Speaking from personal experience… It’ll take a bit of time, but you’ll get over it eventually. 
  1. There’s a fine line between whether the bad situation you’re in is actually someone else’s fault or your own. You cannot play the blame game for everything.
  1. Your pet will be your best friend. They’re great to vent to as well. 
  1. Be cautious about who you open up to about your past; unfortunately, some will use it against you. Not everyone wants to see you succeed.
  1. Only keep a precious few people privy to your private life. It is a privilege to know what is going on in the life of someone else, should they choose to share it with you.

An ode to all Sagittarius babies out there

I won’t forget about you this crazy holiday season

My birthday is 10 days before Christmas, and like all of my fellow Sagittarians, I get to celebrate my birthday at the most inconvenient time of the year.

Even though I might’ve been a Christmas miracle to my parents, the birthdays that have followed since 1996 would never get as much hype as the Christian holiday.

It sucks that the festivities tend to overshadow our special day. As everyone around us also has a reason to celebrate, my turning of age seems like “just another party” for them.

Sagittarians might be prone to selfishness, but it’s because we’re misunderstood. We never get to be selfish on our birthday because sometimes we don’t even get to celebrate it.

At every point in my life, there will always be some inconvenience around my birthday. When I was a kid, all of my friends were out of school, either on vacation or just spending time with their families. When I got to higher education, it’s exam season. And when I finally reach my adult life, office christmas parties are in the way.

And don’t even get me started on the weather. As a Sagittarius baby, especially in Montreal, you have to pray that a snow storm won’t ruin your plans because it’s not like you can reschedule anyway.

The planning of my birthday is now a month-long process that needs to start around Halloween, in order to make sure I get the proper reservations. And with most businesses being at their busiest around this time of year, if I want to order a cake, decorations, or a special birthday outfit, this also needs to be done right after Halloween to make sure I get everything on time.

With that kind of preparation process, it’s easy to understand why I’m always the one in charge of organizing my own birthday parties and ordering my own cake.

With everyone’s busy schedule around this time, I know I’ll never get a surprise birthday party. But it’s okay, I’ve come to terms with it.

December babies just want you to understand that we want to be a bit selfish for that one day. We just want you to show up and not mention the C-word. After all, it’s not like we can forget about what time of year it is anyway; the music and decorations will always be there to remind us. Not to mention every other table in the restaurant is usually celebrating the holiday too.

After 25 birthdays, I’ve tried it all — from celebrating at home (but the damn decorated tree is constantly just there) to celebrating my half-birthday in June, but then it just doesn’t feel right.

I might not have the ultimate solution for the sagittarius to have their time to shine, but I know we need the other signs to understand the need to make it a little bit more about us on our birthday.

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