Happy Birthday + 29 Lessons by 29

Twenty-nine years ago today my mom gave birth to triplet girls. We would all stay in the hospital for at least 20 days. We were small, all under four pounds. We’re still all kind of small – but we’re also healthy, which is a miracle in itself.
I’m not sure exactly how people make it through life without siblings. I guess they must find their own siblings – you know what I mean? Those friends you have, who become your family. For us, though, we were lucky enough to be born with best friends built right into our lives, and that is something I will always be thankful for. There is no one in the world who gets my humor like they do, who can make me feel better or who can piss me off like they can, worry me like they can, or drive me absolutely crazy like they can. There is also no one else in the world (with a few choice exceptions) for whom I would literally give anything for. The shirt off my back. My kidney. My heart. For the two of you, and for the rest of the blogosphere, my birthday gift is twenty-nine lessons I’ve learned by twenty-nine. I hope you enjoy.

  1. Not everyone starts from the same place. That doesn’t mean they aren’t trying. It also doesn’t mean it’s not hard for them, too. Have compassion, for their journey, and your own.
  2. Just because someone doesn’t look a certain way – sick, healthy, gay, straight, poor, rich, black, white – it doesn’t mean they aren’t. Don’t judge what is inside of anyone by what you think they look like on the outside.
  3. Call your grandparents and the people who are important to you as often as you can. See them when it’s possible.
  4. Instagram isn’t real life. Neither is Facebook, for that matter.
  5. Pasta sauce has a lot of sugar in it. Make your own. It takes an hour. It’s worth it.
  6. Your family isn’t perfect – cut them slack. They deserve it, even if you don’t think they do.
  7. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.
  8. You don’t have to like everyone – but most of the time you still have to be decent toward them.
  9. Don’t make decisions when you’re mad. Don’t believe the things you tell yourself late at night. You will almost always feel better in the morning / when you’re sober / when you aren’t hungry. Give it time.
  10. If someone shows you who they are, believe them.
  11. You can’t make anyone feel a certain way, or convince them of anything. Don’t even try – it could ruin your relationship. Just love them the best that you can.
  12. There will always be someone smarter / prettier / funnier / than you are. But that doesn’t make you any less smart / pretty / funny. Learn to be OK with that.
  13. People can’t read your mind, no matter how well they know you.
  14. It’s OK to have regrets – but try not to have too many. And don’t let them weigh you down.
  15. Your real friends will understand – whatever it is. Those other people? They won’t.
  16. There is no need to wax your underarms. Ever.
  17. Always sit in the middle of the bus. Just trust me on this one.
  18. Your (or maybe its just my?) mom will pretty much always be right about everything, whether you figure it out now or in ten years.
  19. Work harder than the person sitting next to you. But also work together, if you can.
  20. Don’t ever try to dye your hair blond on your own – leave that to the professionals.
  21. Don’t ever talk badly about a coworker to another coworker. You have no idea where their allegiance is.
  22. Always drink more water than you think is necessary. 
  23. Don’t ever call yourself stupid, or fat, or talk down to yourself. Don’t believe anyone else who tries to tell you that that crap, either.
  24. Not everyone has to like you. And it doesn’t matter why they don’t. Some people just won’t.
  25. Tomorrow isn’t a guarantee – for anyone. No one really owes you anything.
  26. The truth will always come out. Might as well be honest the first time.
  27. Crying isn’t a sign of weakness – it means you are a human. But that still doesn’t mean you should do it in front of your boss.
  28. Not everyone expresses love in the same way. Before you get upset, try to understand how the people you love express their love to you.
  29. Things aren’t always going to go the way you expect them to. Learn to roll with it. It will make the journey much more fun. 

*** These chocolatey, super fudgey brownies are the recipe from a friend of a friend. Full recipe to follow.


  1. Dresden says:

    Love this list, this blog, and you. Happy birthday, lovely friend!

  2. lizyrose says:

    Happy Birthday from a friend of Lori and Tom’s. I love your blog. Keep going.

  3. Jan Sobel says:

    I am a close friend of Lori W’s. She just shared your beautiful Web page AND 29 insightful thoughts from a very “insightful” young woman. I hope to meet you one day.
    Jan S.F.

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