24 Things I Learned While 24

More than two years after graduating college, I have found that even though I may not be in school anymore, I will never stop learning. Life continues to teach me lessons every single day. Whether they’re philosophies that help me cope with the wandering nature of being in my twenties, or simple truths that I’ve discovered about experiences or preferences, these 24 things have helped shape me into the person that I am today.

  1. I can finally grow a mustache and not have it automatically assumed to be ironic in purpose… even though it still might half be.
  2. How to cut a door to size, insert a dog door in it, and hang it appropriately. Well, actually, I just ate McDonalds while Grandpa and Pops did this, but it was an important time of observation.
  3. My European shoe size (47!).
  4. Serving can make you good money, cause you more stress than delivering a baby, appreciate a free dinner provided by a messed up order, and also hate humanity all within the span of a four hour shift.
  5. It’s okay for a man to cry when his family dog dies, or his dad is really sick, or he listens to a sad podcast… or watching Game of Thrones… or Parks and Rec… Wait, yeah, scratch that shit; cry whenever you want, guys. I won’t care, your friends won’t care, and anyone who thinks less of you for doing so needs to stay up for 24 hours straight then sit down and watch Marley and Me or listen to a Bon Iver album with a pint of ice cream in their lap and rethink their stance on gender stereotypes.
  6. You can shred a tire on the interstate going 70 mph and successfully pull over, get the tire changed, and be up in RMNP by 9 AM.
  7. Digital cameras are NOT the slightest bit waterproof and “dry boxes” aren’t always either.
  8. Chasing curiosities doesn’t always result in finding a passion, but the time doesn’t feel wasted if you enjoy exploring those interests. Waiting for a door to open isn’t the best method in facing your discontent, but knocking on as many as you can does increase the odds of stumbling upon something that lights that fire.
  9. Eating poop and/or dead rabbits will get you worms. I’m talking about Moose, you guys – Moose got worms.
  10. Sometimes a scoop of peanut butter and a dry bagel may be just as satisfying as a Mimosa and eggs benny. This is usually correlated with waking up in a tent next to a stinky friend versus at home in your own comfy bed.
  11. Having long hair, literally a dream of mine since I was four, is dope in the winter and absolute torture in the summer. Related: hair products are expensive, making long hair look decent consistently isn’t easy, and blow-dryers take forever to dry those luscious locks. Respect to all you longhaired beauties out there.
  12. Beers and whiskey around a campfire > shots and mixies in a bar any day.
  13. Hangovers only get worse with age. I honestly thought they couldn’t get any worse than 23, but 24 showed me not to let me guard down. And the short taste I’ve had of 25 leads me to believe the trend will continue until I die… probably of a hangover.
  14. Seattle is DOPE. Portland is DOPE. The Black Hills are DOPE. Iceland is DOPE. The San Juans are DOPE. Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe bend are DOPE. Moab and Arches and Canyonlands are DOPE. The Salmon River in Idaho is DOPE. The Great Sand Dunes and Black Canyon of the Gunnison and Maroon Bells are DOPE. Blanca, Colorado is NOT dope. It’s creepy. Keep driving through that shit.
  15. You don’t have to love the headliner to go to a concert and be blown away (Thank you for showing me this, Portugal. The Man)
  16. Everyone should stand naked in the winter wind at some point in his or her life.
  17. New friends can quickly feel like old ones via exploring new places, running through trails in the woods, cracking beers on a river, or herding kids at a summer camp.
  18. Always choose hiking.
  19. Well, don’t choose hiking if it’s going to be in a blizzard.
  20. Utah’s liquor laws are weeeeeaaaaaak.
  21. Icelandic girls’ eyebrow game is almost as fierce as their Tinder thirst.
  22. Living in a trailer causes certain issues that many homeowners don’t have to experience, such as freezing septic lines, needing to order repair parts from Wyoming because Colorado doesn’t have them, having to explain the difference between a mobile home and a pull-behind trailer, and explaining that yes, despite living in a trailer, my brother and I do have our own rooms.
  23. Public speaking scares me and I do not like it.
  24. If you want to do something, there is almost always someone out there that is doing it or has done the same thing at some point. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them, ask for advice, mentorship, or even just express interest in what they do. People love talking about themselves and sharing their interests and passions.

Being in your twenties is tough. It’s a time of constant adventure, rejection, arrogance, and doubt. It requires an exhausting amount of inward and outward exploration to “find your true self”. Now halfway through mine I’ve come to the realization that even if they may look like it on the outside, no one actually knows what the hell they’re doing in their twenties. Or thirties. Or probably even forties. Maybe we’ll have a better idea by the time we’re playing cribbage after our Tuesday morning book club and drinking coffee before bedtime in our eighties. Maybe not though. So in the meantime here’s to twenty-five!

Fake it till you make it.

Enjoy the ride.

And keep on keeping on.


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