On Turning TwentyOne


If you’re turning twenty one (21!!) today… May 7, 2011, I’d like to humbly offer you some advice, as your elder of 9 whopping years.

I know you’re not asking for advice.  I know I’m not an expert at life…  I just have a few gems I want you to take with you.

One:  Raw honey and baking soda make a really lovely face scrub.  True.  Try it!

Two:  Eat something green everyday.

Three:  Chill out on the Facebook.  Seriously.  It’s not real life.

Four:  Learn how to sew something.  Anything.  At least learn how to sew your buttons back on your shirts.

Five:  If your button up shirt is bulging at the boobs… wear another shirt.  OR, just unbutton that button.  We’re talking exposed bra.   You’ll need to wear a necklace or two if you’re going to go this route.  You’re also going to need to walk tall and own it…. and stay away from public transportation.

Six:  Make lists on Post-It notes and knock em out, cross em off, get things done.

Seven:  Look people in the eye and listen when they speak.  It’s a nice touch.  It’s the opposite of Facebook.

Eight:  Is your resting face… the expression that you have when you’re just hanging out watching Real Housewives of Orange County… is that face bitchy?  Change that.  Try not to look bitchy when you’re just hanging out.

Nine:  Don’t drink too much rum… ever.

Ten:  Don’t be one of those girls that carries one of those long, giant cocktail cups around the streets of Las Vegas.  It really gives the wrong impression.  You’ll also have to pee a lot.

Eleven:  If a guy is a jerk, he’s dead to you.  You don’t need that bologna.  Eat an ice cream cone and move the heck on.

Twelve:  Don’t do stupid things that relate to booze, boys, nudity, and consequences.  Keep it together.  Drink more water than booze.  Sloppy is never cute.

Thirteen:  What’s important?  Make a list.  Honor it.

Fourteen:  Pull your hair back and wear pretty earrings.  Own it.

Fifteen:  Make things for people.

Sixteen:  Don’t be afraid of being overdressed.  Dresses are pretty and heels are awesome.  But!  If the heels make you walk like a robot… go with flats.  Know thyself.

Seventeen:  Boxes of cold cereal and a carton of milk make a strange and kinda funny hostess gift.  Coco Puffs and 2 percent.  Try it.

Eighteen:  Buy your friends random gifts… it’s just a nice thing to do.

Nineteen:  Don’t be afraid of looking dumb, asking a stupid question, falling on your face, getting rejected, ripping off your shirt on a crowded street, or being otherwise embarrassed.  We’ll be dead soon.

Twenty:  Put it on the Lord.  Good.  Bad.  Pretty.  Messy.  Put it all on the Lord.  Now… I know I don’t know you like that but… I’m just sayin’.

TwentyOne:  Work hard at the thing that you love.  Like… really hard.  Don’t let anyone tell you that it’s dumb.  If they do tell you it’s dumb… work harder and prove them wrong.  But don’t rub it in their face- just be gracious, and wear expensive lipstick, and smile, and keep working.


500 thoughts on “On Turning TwentyOne

  1. you know, I started reading your blog like a month ago, and I don’t even remember how I found it, but I’m liking it and you more and more each day.

  2. I LOVE this! this, in addition to all the absolutely delicious recipes you post, makes me want to be your friend. I don’t know if you read jenna’s blog (eat live run… I also want to be her friend) but she posted a link to an article from Relevant magazine the other day that was things to know at 25 years old (which I am) and this makes me think of that too. :)

  3. I just turned 21 a couple days ago! Not much pertains to me ~ But I love 17 & 18…. Totally buy my friends&fam lame stuff like cereal & milk. When they’re REALLY deserving they get my orange rolls :o)

  4. whoever brittany is she just got a TREAT. also this is my favorite entry that you’ve written so far. like for realz.

    but also i love your baking and stuff so don’t worry.

  5. Well my name’s Brittany but my 21st birthday was 2.5 years ago. Is it okay if I just pretend it was my 21st birthday today anyways? Love the advice Joy. Can we be friends?

  6. After reading this entry, I immediately looked for a ‘Like’ button.

    I think I need to chill out on the Facebook, seriously…

  7. words of wisdom eh. I love this. I am 24 and have worked hard at pretty much all of those, I fall down on ‘expensive lipstick – still to poor’, bitchy face – gotta work on that, drinking more water is ALWAYS a good idea, I achieve this 99% of the time.

    I think for my 25th birthday this year i’ll make a list too…for myself – am I totally lame? YES but I am ‘owning it’ so it’s ok right?

  8. Absolutely rock solid/great advice!! You have certainly taught this ole dog some new tips. :)
    Happy Birthday to Brittany!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. love this. I’m hitting close to three zero and cannot believe how fast the twenties are passing by.
    I agree the most beautiful woman are no longer when they are sloppy drunk (trust me, I used to work at a restaurant.. not pretty). I would add travel/overseas volunteer whenever the opportunity arises… or make that opportunity for yourself! Those early twenty somethings are meant to galavant across the world, to gain some compassion, and to understand another way of life before you become stuck in yours.

  10. THIS.
    This is an awesome post.
    I agree with all 21 pieces of gold you’ve thrown up here and couldn’t have phrased them better myself. I rarely leave comments on any of the many blogs I read, but this one deserved a high five and a pat on the back.
    Nice work, Joy!

    P.S. I turn 29 on October 24th. Feel free send me some birthday wisdom.

  11. Great list. And speaking of someone who is 15 years older than 21 (wow, I’m old!), I learned a few things from your great tips.Love the “wear a different shirt” tip. ‘Cause that’s just wrong no matter how old you are.

  12. Bulleit bourbon is my absolute FAVORITE. I only wish I’d had such taste at 21…back then, I’m pretty sure I was addicted to the Cap’n and anything else that meshed with my bank account ;-)

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