I'm a lover of words, coffee and tequila. Lucky to be living my happily ever after as a wife and mom to two sweet kiddos and one crazy dog.

Things I have learned about being in my twenties (so far)

I am fast approaching my 25th birthday. While I have enough common sense to understand that 25 is not old no matter how I might be feeling about it, it still is looming ahead of me like it's intending to have some sort of significance.

I am, by all accounts, a full blown "adult" and am expected to act accordingly. My early twenties went a little differently than some, with a small child and graduate school and other things..but I think the overall experience remains fairly universal.

By the time Grace enters her twenties, I'll have forgotten what this time felt like. How the edges of the world were stretched full up with possibilities. How, as years passed, you felt like you were missing out on your chance to "be" someone.How you learned to tip-toe around adulthood until you couldn't hold out any longer.

This is the "wisdom" I'd like to bestow. A smattering of what I have learned about this decade of my life, halfway through...

When you graduate college, something within your universe irrevocably shifts. You have spent the entirety of your life on the same track as the majority of your friends and all the sudden you are forced to find your own way.

Sometimes, it will feel too good to love the wrong people. There are people in your life whose sole purpose is to make you realize things you never wanted to figure out.

Form the habits that stick with you forever. How you take your coffee (skim milk, please)... how much sleep you truly need to avoid becoming a shell of your former self.

Burn the candle at both ends. You will struggle to find a balance between being young and growing up. There is a certain kind of beauty in being reckless with your body and your mind, but eventually you will get tired of testing yourself and your limits.

Enjoy hating someone. A friend, a boss, an ex. Because it means you are able to love yourself a little bit more.

Embrace your parents as flawed individuals. It will make you so grateful to have them.

Learn that love is there. Until it's not. It may or may not have anything to do with you. This will seem unfathomably cruel during your first legitimate heartbreak. When you break someone else's heart for the first time, it will make perfect sense.

You are too young to be truly happy or to really know what you want. Be wary of people who think they have it all figured out.

People change and outgrow each other. You will most likely leave your early twenties with less friends than when you started them. It might be a big blow out fight, or a slow and steady drifting apart.

You will wake up after a morning of being out too late and will find yourself suddenly unable to laugh at the ridiculous things you did but will be geniunely horrified instead.

A lot of your friends actually suck. You won't figure this out until you begin to depend on them for more than the location of that night's party or a ride to the mall.

2 am cheese fries will seem like a really great idea, until you wake up with orange goop caked on your finger nails and the feeling of a brick sitting solidly in your stomach.

Everyone goes through hard times and allow themselves to feel completed alienated from their surroudings. You will need to start figuring out which emotions are legitimate and which are not.

Spend too much money on frivolous things, even if you have bigger responsibilities than yourself. It will feel good at the time and occasionally that's all you can count on.

Meet people who excite you. Who make you nervous. Who force you to question things. Don't push these people away, even if it means you wind up with a couple scars.

Discover that loving someone is a balancing act. There's you. There's them. You mix and stir and whisk and hope that it comes out ok. Eventually, you'll realize that if someone really loves you they don't want you to change. They simply want you to be the best version of yourself.

Your friends will start to get married. And have babies. And buy houses. Avoid envy and panic. Enjoy the open bars and house warmings. Your time will come and you will suddenly find yourself nostalgic for simplier times. Try not to get stuck in that waiting place. This is your life and this time is not simply a placeholder.

Love your body. Form healthy habits that are sustainable. Wear dresses that are a little bit too short and outfits that might embarrass your father.Embrace non-ridiculous trends. Get it out of your system before it's too late.

Find that friend that you can call and talk at for hours to dissect your latest personal drama. Who will fit in seamlessly with your family. This is the same friend who will pick you at the airport at midnight and who google the guy you just went on a blind date with. Don't let go.

There will come a moment, normally after a bad day or week or month, where you question your career path entirely. You will panic, wonder how hard it would be to start over. And then your paycheck appears in your bank account and you realize it's not so bad after all.

You'll spend a Friday night (or several) at home alone, watching a movie and being asleep by 9. This does not consistute a social failure. It means you are learning to take care of yourself.

Develop a backbone. Or at least wish you had one, or think about trying to get one.

Disappoint yourself by making a bad decision (or several) that felt very good at the time. This is a necessary lesson in humility.

Find a passion that doesn't involve the work you do to make a living. Do yoga. Take pictures. Play the guitar. Do something that makes it impossible for you to question whether you're interesting enough or not.

Stop buying bottom shelf liquor or cheap beer. When you're out of college, it's just not cute to show up to a party with a 30 rack of keystone.

Attend less house parties, especially if the host still lives with their parents.

Induldge. For me, it's as simple as buying a new color nail polish every time I go to Target. There was a time in my life when I couldn't afford something that small and my growing collection reminds me that I've gone forward and upwards.

Drink more wine. Out of legitimate wine glasses.

From bottles, not boxes.

Learn to cook. If you're male, this will serve you VERY well. And, as a woman, I don't care if it's sexist- I find pleasure in being able to prepare meals that are healthy and delicious (perspective: in college--- I burnt ramen noodles. Full circle)

Paying bills will always be horrifying, no matter how much money you have.

Stressful days are a necessary precursor to happiness.

Keep secrets.

You will question every decision you make. This uncertainty triples when you become a parent.

You're going to get a lot of things wrong. Try not to beat yourself up over it. The things you do to "screw up" your life may end up being, ultimately, whats needed to repair it.

You're going to wake up one morning in total awe of a life that suddenly feels like it belongs to you.

Every year goes by faster than the last and before you know it this time will be over.

I've run out of cliches and half-truths and advice that I sometimes forget to take myself. But between the letting go and holding on and growing up and staying young and the millions of other contradictions that define the young twenties- it's a pretty awesomely terrifying time.

Guest Post (which should have come with tissues)

On why my three year old is probably trying to kill me