“I’ve been wondering, what do you plan to tell your kids about all of things you’ve written about? I mean, there are lot of things you’ve said that are pretty wild.”
It wasn’t the first time someone had asked me this question. I was sitting with my friend in a near-empty bar in the East Village and sipping a whiskey diet. I took a moment to consider his question, and I decided to answer with complete honesty.
“I suppose I’ll just have to explain to them that I’m not ashamed of what I’ve written. I know there are some things my children may be embarrassed about, but telling them is just something I’ll need to reconcile with myself.”
He seemed satisfied with my answer.
There are so many things I avoid thinking about, and the future is one of them. As a sex writer, I’ve put a lot of controversial and extremely provocative things out there.
What I've come to realize is the things we did in our younger years aren't just going to evaporate. Every decision we make is one we have to live with.
Unavoidable things happen with age. The only thing we really can do is breathe, accept that they will happen, and live with as little regret as possible.
As we get older, the list of things we have to come to terms with will only grow. There is no getting around it. The future is waiting for us to settle the past.
Here are 61 things that we all have to reconcile with ourselves by the time we’re 30:
1. Everything you’ve posted on social media .
2. All of those one-night stands.
3. The damage you’ve definitely done to your liver.
4. All of the things you’ve put on the Internet.
5. The raw food diets will that were never worth it.
6. All of the bad relationships.
7. All of the embarrassing, drunken tweets.
8. The fact that you may never feel like an adult.
9. That you’ll never look like Heidi Klum.
10. That finding true balance in your life may be impossible.
11. All of your terrible fashions over the years.
12. That you’re going to need to explain a lot of awkward, documented things you did as a youth to your kids.
13. That you dated a lot of assholes, and that your daughters probably will as well.
14. That all of those times you were stressed out over nothing were not at all worth it.
15. That, no matter what you tell yourself, you will have to either dye your hair or accept the grey streaks (which make you look like a witch/Cruella de Vil).
16. That maybe the nice guy with the dad bod isn’t so bad after all.
17. That there isn't a timeline set up for you to get married and start a family.
18. That life will never be easy.
19. That you're always going to prefer cheeseburgers to kale.
20. That finding someone to settle down with may not happen before your 30th birthday, after all.
21. That you've been blatantly wrong in the past, and you will be in the future.
22. That thin brows will never be a good look.
23. That your metabolism is going to shut down.
24. That if that outfit looks good on a six-foot model, it probably won’t look good on you.
25. The mistakes you've made, which you'll keep making.
26. All of the times your friends betrayed you.
27. Your feelings (which won't kill you).
28. That your birthdays are going to stop being fun.
29. The stupid decisions that taught you something about life.
30. Your past heartbreaks (which also won't kill you).
31. That your sex drive is going to decrease at some point.
32. That your best friend may not be your best friend forever.
33. That the next boyfriend you have is probably not going to be your husband.
34. The elusive killer abs you'll never get.
35. That you're going to need to turn down -- but maybe not yet, because you’re living your best life.
36. That a 401k may actually be more important than stamps on a passport.
37. That you really aren’t that special.
38. That your body just can’t handle the late-night pizza anymore.
39. That your life doesn’t look the way you pictured.
40. That forgiveness is hard but necessary.
41. Your alcohol tolerance -- when it drops to zero.
42. Your dreams of being a mermaid, which also won't be fulfilled.
43. All of the times that you ran away from your feelings.
44. That you really may not be the most important person in the world.
45. All of the times that you failed.
46. The people who let you down.
47. The relationship-ruining mistakes you've made.
48. That you aren’t where you want to be in your career yet.
49. That you’ve done really bad things that you cannot undo.
50. All of the times you cried your heart out.
51. All of the times you made an ass out of yourself.
52. All of the undeserving guys you cried over.
53. The fact that you do -- and probably always will -- have regrets.
54. That diet pills and hair pills do not work.
55. That it's okay to not know WTF you’re doing.
56. Your guilt. Dwelling on it will greatly affect your productivity.
57. That there really is no such thing as a "slut."
58. That the knock-off will never replace the real deal -- whether it's a bag, a man or LIFE.
59. That a lot of friendships don’t work out and have to be let go.
60. That nothing lasts forever.
61. That you’re going to f*ck up over and over again. But you will forgive yourself, and you'll move on.