Many of these are things that we’ll be lucky to attain at any point in our lives. They’re not all universally applicable, this I realize. But I also realize that for many people, they are 25 little things that are important for dealing with the ins and outs of everyday adult life. These are ways to take care of ourselves, our lives, and the people in them, and not only to know ourselves, but to act on that knowledge as well.
1. A room of your own. I would say apartment or other kind of space, but sometimes that’s not financially feasible, and that’s okay. Regardless, at the minimum, everybody needs their own room. Your own space to be weird and cry and be alone or be alone with someone.
2. A worldview that isn’t a carbon copy of what your parents taught you nor derived from the experiences you’ve only read about in a textbook.
3. A person to call when things gets rough and a plan of action for the days where you need to be refueled in the human ways that aren’t easily bought or attained. So, to know how to metaphorically hug yourself, or keep a note in your wallet that is a reaffirmation of something you know you’ll need to hear often. What to read and watch and do if your soul needs soothing.
4. A savings account with at least a month or so of living expenses. This might sound unattainable if finances aren’t looking great right now but it’s more than crucial to make it work somehow. The importance of this usually isn’t recognized until it’s the reason you’re eating or not out on the street one day after you lose your job.
5. Clothing that will serve you in appropriate circumstances– funerals, weddings, work. A winter jacket, a rain coat. Not just things that are flimsy and unpractical, though they have their place and time as well. Because the last thing you want to do on the day of the wake of someone you deeply cared about is worry about what you are going to wear.
6. A relationship that functions outside of anything digital. To not deny ourselves the need for person-to-person connectivity.
7. A favorite book, artist and YouTube channel, and a version of those favorites that you aren’t embarrassed to admit.
8. To know how to order a drink at the bar.
9. A relationship behind you that you can laugh about, and which makes you grateful for how far you’ve come, and another relationship that is proof of it.
10. An email address, bank account and journal that nobody else has access to.
11. A plunger, screwdriver, duct tape, jumper cables and the number of your local whoever is a professional at doing anything one would use those things for.
12. The ability to ask somebody on a date, take them somewhere nice, treat them right, not stress too much over what you wear to said occasion and be able to hold an interesting conversation with them.
13. Your own doctor, with whom you feel comfortable discussing your medical needs and issues, and the ability to receive the medication/birth control/whatever you want or need without anybody else having to know about it.
14. Go-to clothing staples that are shining little emblems of who you really are, of which were chosen and bought not because they were a trend but because they fit in more ways than just size.
15. A list of things you’d like to do in your life, none of which involves attaining masses of wealth or other means of success that are fleeting and shallow.
16. A basic opinion/belief regarding religion or spirituality, even if it’s that you’re researching options or that you don’t believe in anything at all. Having a stance, regardless of what it is, is what’s important.
17. Measuring cups, a pot deep enough to boil water in, a spatula, a frying pan and other basic cooking materials that virtually every meal that isn’t Easy Mac or cereal requires.
18. A signature recipe, plates for more than just two people to eat with, the knowledge of where they sell the best wine in the area, a bottle opener and the ability to open said bottle without becoming completely flustered.
19. A simple luxury that you fund yourself, and the realization and acknowledgement that said thing is indeed a luxury.
20. The ability to use personal/vacation days without feeling guilty, and the knowledge of how they’d most effectively be used for one’s mental, physical or emotional benefit.
21. A way to have fun again.
22. To get rid of scales and stop measuring lives by numbers: salaries, houses owned, things accomplished, degrees hanging on the wall, etc. Because usually, nothing really worth having can be measured numerically.
23. To have eaten a meal, seen a movie, taken a walk and fallen asleep by yourself– and to have been content, if not happy, with doing so.
24. The ability to put things in perspective, to let go when it’s appropriate, fight harder when it’s necessary, listen to people rather than just hear them, and consider opinions that aren’t congruent with your own.
25. To have given yourself to someone, and not expected anything in return.