Some of y’all don’t know her, but Hilary Reeves is one of those people who inspires me. Who makes me laugh, makes me more creative, and makes me want to write. To figure things out. To be better.
Today is an important day, because I don’t know about you, but Hilary is feeling 22. Hilary is one of those people who sneaks up on you, and then suddenly one day she’s sitting on your floor watching Friends at one in the morning. Was it likely we would become friends? Of course not. We are different in a lot of ways. But somehow it works. Somehow we are there for each other, and we make each other better. And I’m happy that we are, because I’ve learned a lot from this kid. So, without further ado:
22. There is a never a time when you are too cool to sing along to the radio, CD, whatever. You like the song, and you know what? It doesn’t matter if your voice is good, or if you aren’t supposed to like this song. You don’t have time to be insecure. If you love it, love it unapologetically and enjoy it with everything you have.
21. You don’t have to fit in a mold. You can be a punk/preppy/geek if you want to be.
20. If you root for sports in Houston, prepare to have your heart stomped on. But root for them anyway.
19. Money doesn’t have to define you. If you have it share it. If you need it, ask. Seek the kind of supportive, loving friendships where what labels you wear and where you’re from don’t matter.
18. Be generous. With money, with time, with energy, with advice…Be the kind of person who gives without planning to get anything in return.
17. Figure out how you feel about things, research it, and *mean it*. If you say you think something, make sure your life reflects that. Make sure you live it. But if you really believe it don’t be ashamed of it.
16. Love your family, or the people who supported you and sacrificed for you. Love them fiercely. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, or even like them all the time, but they put a lot in to the person you became. They matter.
15. If you want to be a ginger, then just go become one. And own it.
14. No, you can’t always know someone’s culture just by looking at them. Sometimes in the battle of Irish vs. Hispanic the Irish wins.
13. Have role models. Find people doing the thing you want to do and study them. Learn from them.
12. Set goals, and tell others about them. In the moment when the goal seems out of reach or impossible, these are the folks who will keep you focused and support you.
11. Dreams take work. You have to work for it if you want it. You have to be willing to take summer school and work a job you don’t love and any number of other things. But if you really want it, you can have it.
10. A well fitting bra matters. It just does. You need to get real about body image. About fixing the things you want to (again with the work) and loving the things you can’t.
9. Sometimes it’s useful to know things like how to rope a goat. Embrace your random talents.
8. Laughter can triumph over any number of awkward situations.
7. Never let people into your apartment after eleven the night before dia. Particularly if you don’t know them.
6.Always arrange your bridesmaids by height, so that they make an arrow pointing straight to you.
5. Hiding behind a joke works up to a point, but then you have to face the things. And then you have to laugh again.
4. The Friends theme song? It only has four claps. Not five. FOUR.
3. Tshirts are a devastatingly large responsibility. But you’re a survivor. You’re not gon’ give up.
2. The people who love you when you’re being wholly yourself are worth hanging on to.
1. Loyalty. You have your people. They matter. They matter at three in the morning and when you have homework and when you are broke and when you haven’t slept. Be the kind of person who can be counted on, who loves deeply, who isn’t afraid of being hurt. Eventually people will come into your life and believe that you are worth it. Will make time for you and love you. Be the kind of friend you need. Be the kind of person you can be proud of. And then be proud of her.