On My Almost 30th Birthday

(First, an apology for the irregular posts lately. The workload for grad school is, well, demanding. School remains my primary focus, but I’ll get back on track here soon enough.)
 
Today is the last day of my 20s. I thought I might be sad or scared to leave them, as if I might break out in orthotics and a penchant for hard candies at the stroke of midnight. But I’ll be honest, I’ve always enjoyed hard candies and who couldn't do with a more comfortable pair of shoes?
 
The birthdays I’ve agonized over most in the past have been the years I was most unhappy, most uncomfortable in uncertainty. To imagine growing older into that unhappiness and uncertainty seemed almost intolerable. I can’t describe my 20s in any new or unique way: they were tough, they were great, I’m glad they’re almost over.
 
Tonight, on the last night of my 20s, I am sitting in the library at school working on my writing portfolio for class. My mind is clear, my heart is beating, (I’m pretty tired, but I’m getting old so it’s fine), and I’m aware and present to how fortunate I am to be here, not just in this library, not just in this body and this mind, but in this life in this time with all of you (the universal you, the collective you, the individual you).
 
Uncertainty is a gift. It means an opportunity for outcomes to exceed expectations. It means a chance for more, for different, for better. I’m not certain about much. I’d really rather not be the expert on anything. I have learned a couple of things in my 20s though. On average, I can remember one of these things per day, but usually less:
 
20. Ask for help.
19. Then learn how to accept it.
18. Be selfish. Take care of your mind, your heart, and your body.
17. Be selfless. Helping others is the antidote to every sickness of the spirit.
16. Say I’m sorry as soon as possible when you are wrong.
15. Then try really, really, really hard not to do that thing again.
14. But don’t apologize for who you are, for saying no, or for feeling how you feel.
13. If you’re not having a good time, leave.
12. If you’re having a great time, that other thing that will still be there tomorrow anyway can wait.
11. Write letters. On paper. Using a pen. Mail them. In the mail. Use stickers to emphasize the feelings enclosed within.
10. Do your best. It'll be different almost every day. 
9. Listen to your gut. Your body will never lie to you.
8. Be observant.
7. Ask questions.
6. Don’t have all the answers.
5. In fact, have as few answers as possible.
4. Tell people why you think they’re wonderful.
3. Remember people’s names. Use them when you are talking to them.
2. Use every painful experience, memory, and emotion in your life as an opportunity to help another human feel less alone in his.
1. Love yourself. No one else will do it better than you.
1-A. Never turn down an offer for a bathroom break. The next exit is always farther away than you think. (That's not a metaphor for life. The next exit is always farther away than you think.)