I have had a heavy heart of gratitude lately and it just seems right to quickly express some things that I’ve learned since being 20.

There is this anxiety that rides individuals with the big bad monster called the internet. We put accounts on private to manage who sees and doesn’t see our content.

It is this idea that what we share is our property of happiness and the main threat is someone judging that property. I’m here saying hi!! I have nothing to hide!! Judge me, stalk me, do whatever you want!! Instead of fearing what people think of me, I simply want to share all of myself to the world.

I owe it — to myself, to the cultures that influence me, the people who influence me, those who I’ve fallen in and out of love with, and those that I have hurt — to live publicly.

I owe it to my children, so one day they can read what I thought at 23. Instead of seeing me as their mommy, they can see me as a woman, who once ventured through this world without fear of opinions, with passion and victor the same way that I expect them to do in that far off future.

So here are some “off the top of my head” lessons, I’ve learned since being 20.

1. Others cut their wrists. I cut my hair.

2. I can’t love someone if I don’t know how to love myself.

3. Making jokes with strangers makes them smile which will make me smile.

4. I just look desperate when I drunk text or call a crush.

5. Commit yourself to finish something… Just not that bottle of Merlot.

6. Carefully crafted espresso drinks are investments in a simple joy.

7. “One size fits all” doesn’t really fit all.

8. If I take a route I’ve never taken before, then getting lost is worth the new scenery.

9. Laughing at stupid videos on YouTube helps any heavy situation become lighter.

10. Dancing in a club, dancing in the car, dancing in the shower– just as long as I’m dancing, I know I’m happy.

11. Accept and adjust.

12. Letting go is the only way to grow, the only way to change.

13. Skipping on reading assignments just means that I’m cheating on my intelligence and deepening my ignorance.

14. Talk to strangers, but don’t accept drinks from strangers.

15. Be nice to people. I don’t know their story and they sure as hell don’t know mine.

16. My mother, father and brother and my best friends.

17. Passions are built when I am alone, when I question where I stand, and question where I can go.

18. I should say “yes” when I am curious but say “no” when I am uncomfortable.

19. The world is my playground and the moon is my disco ball.

20. I shall never skip out on a moment to be great because any moment could be my last.

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