Rule number 1: When a friend gets engaged, congratulate them, buy yourself flowers and wine. Salute to love.

Rule number 2: Pick a color that is your favorite color. It’s kind of like your spirit animal. Mine is yellow. Always wear it somehow.

Rule number 3: Periodically clean out your closets and dressers and drawers. If you’re anything like me, you’re quite forgetful, and cleaning things out is your own personal Christmas. Items you’ve completely forgotten about are waiting to surprise you. “Look at this sweater! This is adorable!” “I’ve been needing a new box of crayons! YES!” Donate anything you haven’t used in a year. Throw out things per their expiration date. Fold clothes. Make sure your shoes all have a mate.

Rule number 4: Make your bed every day you can. Everything looks better when your bed is made.

me and accord
still sad i don’t really know how to play this….

Rule number 5: Always clean your house before going on vacation. That was my mom’s rule and it’s just so nice to come home to a clean house.

Rule number 6: Learn an instrument. Preferably something portable.

Rule number 7: Play team sports.

Rule number 8: When I was in high school, I really wanted tattoos all the time. Lots of different ones. But when I turned 18, in a rare flash of brilliance, I made a promise to myself that if I really wanted a tattoo, I had to choose a design and a location and want it for exactly one year before I would allow myself to get one. I never went through with it. Same with piercings. My body is a beautiful ink-free canvas, and my belly button piercing is where my magic comes from.

Rule number 9: Manners matter. Please thank you hold open doors you’re welcome eye contact nice to meet you. Tip. Use the information on a nametag. Never meet a stranger. Leave no trace in nature. Everything better than how you found it.

Rule number 10: Have several theme songs memorized for your life.

aw, the old days at the cafe.
aw, the old days at the cafe.

Rule number 11: Work a retail job, restaurant job, and something with kids at least once in your life.

Rule number 12: Read real books made of paper that smell like old and have dog-earred pages and wake up with them on the pillow next to you, your fingers still clutching the last paragraph you read.

Rule number 13: Take time to remember. Pictures on your phone, a journal, a blog, even something like twitter or Facebook. Document the things that matter. (Your new eyeshadow, what you made for dinner, your cat, the sunset…whatever matters to you.)

Rule number 14: Travel.

Rule number 15: Live with roommates.

me in fireRule number 16: Always give something to charity.

Rule number 17: Learn a foreign language.

Rule number 18: Know how to start a fire.

Rule number 19: Spend time in nature every week.

Rule number 20: Run.

Rule number 21: Wine.

Rule number 22:  Do things you know will make your mom happy even if they annoy you. :)

Rule number 23: Write thank-you notes.

my homemade bucha!!!
my homemade bucha!!!

Rule number 24: Make something by hand you can call your own. Be it a garden, writing music, poetry, brewing beer or kombucha, a talent with underwater basket-weaving. Produce something.

Rule number 25: Know how to cook a full breakfast and dinner and do your own laundry before you’re 18.

Rule number 26:  Don’t live together before you’re married. For me and my boyfriend, I’m excited to look forward to this complete unknown together, something I can promise I’ve never done with any other man, and we can build our lives together without any preconceived notions of how it will go, what will and won’t work. Such a adventure to look forward to.

Rule number 27: Talk to old people. Ask for stories.

Rule number 28: Hug. High five. Show physical affection. Smile. Laugh. Express yourself.

Rule number 29: It doesn’t matter how much it costs as long as you’re having fun. :)