In The Beginning

Kids and Mum in Ireland 001.jpg "Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth." --Kurt Vonnegut.

Sometime shortly after my ninth birthday, my mother announced that my brother Tom and I would be getting another little brother or sister. A few months after that, she returned from a surprising ultrasound appointment and told us that whoops! change of plans!, we'd actually be getting a brother and a sister (she's always been a fan of buy-one-get-one-free.) In the wee small hours of September 12, 1989, I awoke to find her standing over me, huge in a pale pink maternity dress, the nervous silhouette of my father in the doorway with a suitcase in his hand. "It's time for me to go to the hospital and have these babies," said my mother. "You guys can go to school or you can stay home today---it's up to you." I was nine and a half years old, may I remind you, and it was the week we'd just started doing fractions. It wasn't exactly a difficult choice.

Around lunchtime, my dad called. I had a beautiful new brother and sister, teeny-tiny little things with scrunched-up red faces. Everyone was tired. Everyone was fine. Were we okay? We were okay. I spoke to my mother and asked her what they'd decided on names. My sister was Susanna Leni Rose---Susanna because my mother loved it, and Leni and Rose after some old German aunts---but my brother, well, his middle name would be Patrick, after my father, but they couldn't decide on his first name. Did I prefer Luke or Jack?

And this is how I came to name my brother. Without my parents' knowledge, I immediately set to work, writing up hand-made birth announcements for the lobby of our Hong Kong aparment building---this was the sort of apartment building where everyone was up in everyone else's business and a handwritten birth announcement in the lobby was akin to a printed one in the newspaper---heralding the arrival of Susanna Leni Rose and Luke Patrick, which, in my nine year old's head was a much better name than Jack. By the time I told my mother what I'd done, it was too late; the calls and cards had started to pour in. "Congratulations on Susanna and Luke!" they said. And so it was official. Whoops.

My brother and sister were gorgeous. They were chubby and blonde and beautiful, the Shiloh Jolie-Pitts of their generation; old Chinese women stopped their stroller in the street and cooed at them. My parents, had they been the type, could have made a fortune pimping them out on TV commercials. (Or do we all just like to think that?) When I went away to school in England, aged 11, my mother sent their pictures in the mail, cassette tape recordings of their burblings and babblings. (E-mail? E-mail was still in the FUTURE.) Oh, I have a hundred stories I could tell you about how sweet and lovely they were, but the Internet is full of babies---babies who are still babies, no less---and me rehashing a few more tales of infant cuteness would be like that time you ate a whole bag of peanut M&Ms and then decided you could probably maybe squeeze in a Caramello as well, except, oops, you couldn't, and you spent the rest of the night feeling bloated and sick.

Because Tom was six when they were born, and I was nine, and because six and nine were obviously so grown up, we all just took to calling Luke and Susie the babies. They were The Babies when they were babies and they were The Babies when they were two or three, and they were The Babies when they were four and six and eight and sixteen, and one day they just said---in unison, I believe, because twins do things like that---"WE'RE NOT BABIES!" And that became a war cry in our house between the years of 1992 and 2007, really, the frustrated weep of WE'RE! NOT! BABIES!, whenever someone else in the family said have you packed the sippy cups for the babies? or have the babies had their bath? or, you know, can someone go and pick the babies up from the Junior Prom? Today these babies turn eighteen. They're tall and they're funny and they're applying for colleges and they go to parties, and man, I really just wish someone would have warned me that this was coming. People just turn from little nerds in cords and wire-rimmed glasses to six-foot tall rugby players with girlfriends, from pint-sized sidekicks you'd boss around to actual adults whose opinions you value and honestly, it happens overnight. It's like you wake up, and, whoops, you're suddenly friends with your siblings and hey, look, turns out they have actually have something interesting to say about Barrack Obama, and whoa, just where exactly did that little blonde monkey go, the one who thought shouting "Poop! Bottom! Wee-Wee!" every five minutes was the most hilarious thing in the world? I mean, did someone just fast-forward your life or something? Is that legal? Shouldn't you have got some sort of note in the mail?

Recently, I've been thinking a lot about babies, and how they're just---and I'm sorry for not putting this more eloquently----always there. Isn't that weird? I find that sort of weird. I can't get my mind around the fact that they don't go away, that they turn from being babies into being kids and then being teenagers and then being adults, and they're not really babies at all for very long. Except if they're your babies, I guess, and then they are.

At the risk of sounding sappy and silly and DAD, I AM WARNING YOU THAT THIS IS COMING UP, SO YOU SHOULD CLOSE YOUR OFFICE DOOR AND TAKE A MOMENT, I couldn't be any prouder with the way Luke and Susie have turned out, of what they've become, of the hilarious, kind, clever, amazing people they've grown up to be. Did I have anything to do with this? Well, probably not, but I'll point them out to you in a crowded room anyway and beam with sickening, unadulterated pride when I do it. "I remember when they were born," I'll say to you. "I mean, honestly, can you believe my luck?"
So Happy 18th Birthday, babies. Welcome to Earth.
Lukie and Susie.jpg

PS: Oh, and a few words about being 18: it's not going to last forever. Don't regret anything. Don't wish it away. Stay out of trouble. Stay out of prison. Wear your seatbelt. Wear sunscreen. Wear those hotpants while you can (well, not you, Luke, that might be a little weird.) And now I'm going to ask the good people of the Internet to tell you one thing they wish they knew when they were 18, and so this way you'll be going into your eighteenth year with a bunch of knowlege the rest of us never had, you cheats. Hey, just consider it my birthday present to you. You're not going to be getting the real one in the mail for a few weeks anyway.
Internet, over to you.

1
Anna
Sep 12, 2007

As always a great post - I did have to chuckle at your words of advice...hot pants indeed!
As for what I wish I knew when I was eighteen it would have to be about knowing that nachos are the best hangover cure... many a saturday were wasted while I was trying to get over my Friday night.

2
Adele
Sep 12, 2007

Is your dad weeping with pride in his office? He should be.

Um my piece of advice is a bit self-serving but at 18 it would be good if you could remember that people over 30 aren't actually so old they are practically dead.

Worth remembering because before you know it (seriously) you'll be 30 yourselves and realising that you're young. But that 18 year olds think that you're so old you're practically dead.

3
Sarah
Sep 12, 2007

Surely I'm not the only one who would be interested in seeing Luke in hotpants? And my advice? If you don't know which path you want to follow yet (career/life), then don't worry too much ... it will become clear in good time.

4
mummy
Sep 12, 2007

Ah, 18. What a great age. Old enough to handle responsibility, young enough not to be tied down by it.

All you 18 year olds out there, know this: you're gorgeous. Let The Sunscreen Song be your mantra. Most especially the line YOU ARE NOT AS FAT AS YOU THINK YOU ARE. I wish someone had told me at 18 how gorgeous I was.

I rather wish someone would tell me that now.

5
lynda
Sep 12, 2007

Happy birthday babies! Pretty mundane advice I know but: Travel! Do stuff! Being grown up with a job and a family is fun in its way but its even funner (it is so a word!) if you have been out and seen the world a bit first before all the responsibility stuff. In particular, come to Scotland, especially if you are both going to wear those hotpants.

6
Sherry
Sep 12, 2007

I wish that someone had told me to slow down and be PATIENT...not to rush into marriages and babies and mortgages and other stuff. It'll still be there when you're 25!

7
Nia
Sep 12, 2007

Happy Birthday twins and many happy returns etc.

Things I wish I had known when I was 18:

1)That the pursuit of Good Shoes is not a frivolous thing but in fact a Holy and Sacred Quest.

2)That freely indulging in trash reading and viewing would seriously edify me and considerably lift my quality of life.

3)That angsty poetry should never be unleashed on the unsuspecting world. Never. Ever ever. In fact any poetry with the word 'tears' in it is probably better off burnt.

4)That if you ever wind up us a super poor student, then: a) it is perfectly possible to live without sugar, salt, vineagar or indeed any condiment except mayonnaise b) most bread past its use by date is palatable when toasted c) a lot of shops chuck out unsold sandwiches at the end of their working day.

5) Your liver is a not a never-ending reservoir of goodwill and perkiness, but a resource as precious and finite as fossil fuels.

6)That never taking myself too seriously was the best relationship and career decision I ever made.

8
elizabethsheryl
Sep 12, 2007

What someone should have told me when I was 18:

You aren't the only one screwing up! It's OKAY.

I have twin cousins, girls, who we called The Babies until they were at least 6. They are now 12 and thankfully we have shifted over to The Twins..but yeah, The Babies made me laugh. :)

9
gina in sc
Sep 12, 2007

you are not invincible. I don't even know how many times I did such stupid things and could have been harmed or killed, but oh for grace...... so, dont think it can't happen to you. not to sound too depressing-- looking back though, i thought i was invincible... the babies sound much smarter than i was at 18, so maybe tis not a problem...
happy birthday

10
Kyla Bea
Sep 12, 2007

I was recently 18, and I think that in 9 situations out of 10 if someone could have taken me by the shoulders, looked me in the eye, and said:

"The fact that you're not laughing at what's going on right now makes me worried about your sense of humor. This, whatever it is to you, isn't so serious you can't laugh about it. And if it is really very serious then laughing about it would probably be one of the best things you can do to get through it. Loosen up."

But I write on the internet now and may have been slightly prone to brooding, so that might have just been me. Happy Birthday Babies!

11
Courtney
Sep 12, 2007

Friends will come and go, and your good friends will always cycle back when you need them, as you will for them. Enjoy the next few years, they are the best.

As a side note, don't you hate being called the baby? I mean for me, I guess its better than being called 'the accident', but whatever, I'm 23, enough already.

12
Jess
Sep 12, 2007

This post was beautiful. This kind of advice always sounds trite but I guess I'll share it anyway. You will eventually get over your heartbreak and you will probably be the better for it eventually, much as it sucks at the time. Also, if you go to bed drunk, drink lots of water first.

13
Maxine Dangerous
Sep 12, 2007

What a great story! :)

My advice about being 18: As much fun as it is to skip class and play cards with your friends and learn about exciting things like Buttery Nipples and chainsmoking, keep in mind that you will be doing SERIOUS damage to your transcript. Parties are awesome, but a slew of W's when you bail out of classes you haven't attended since the day the syllabus was handed out don't look great, and neither do the F's you'll have to contend with for the classes you couldn't save. No one after college cares about your GPA, but it still sucks to work your hardest to graduate and barely make it over a 3.0 because you couldn't put down the cards for an hour -- or a semester -- to go to Algebra.

14
Maxine Dangerous
Sep 12, 2007

Okay, that was more of a story. Hypothetical, of course. Advice: DON'T SKIP CLASS. And you're too young to be drinking anyway. ;)

15
jive turkey
Sep 12, 2007

Hm. I haven't thought about 18 in a while, but here goes...

1. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to decide RIGHT THIS INSTANT what you want to do with your life. It's a process - you're going to change, and your priorities & interests will change too.

2. Don't be afraid to fall in love, but more importantly, don't be afraid to fall out of it.

3. Don't let anyone rush you into marriage or children. You'll know when it's time.

16
moose in the kitchen
Sep 12, 2007

When you're in college and broke and someone offers you an unpaid internship to Rolling Stone (where x = something that might be beneficial to your future career or, if you don't know what that career is, something that might provide valuable experience), don't turn it down to work at the school library because you think you need the $6 an hour. You don't. Work for Rolling Stone and ask your sister for money instead. That's what sisters are for.

Happy birthday!

P.S. That water (+ 2 tylenol) after alcohol thing? Best advice ever.

17
Operation Pink Herring
Sep 12, 2007

Don't steal a bottle of your father's whiskey and drink it straight out of paper cups with your friends in your bedroom. Seriously, don't. The hangover will be deadly.

18
Cobwebs
Sep 12, 2007

What a lovely post. Happy birthday, babies!

A couple of other people have already mentioned the "don't rush into things" advice, which is definitely the first one I thought of too. So instead I'll trot out my second-favorite piece of advice: Things Change. Teens (teen girls in particular) tend to think that however they feel right now is how they're going to feel forever: If your heart is broken, you're going to your grave with a broken heart. If you embarrass yourself in public, people 20 years from now will point and laugh. This is patently untrue, and you will save yourself much inner turmoil if you just keep that in mind.

19
Cobwebs
Sep 12, 2007

(Note: Holly! I hate your site's auto-refresh with the white-hot fury of a thousand suns! Could you please change the http-equiv="refresh" to something longer than 600 before it auto-reloads my comment away in mid-edit again and I'm forced to punch my monitor? My monitor thanks you.)

20
Ree
Sep 12, 2007

Happy Birthday Babies!

21
exiled to canada
Sep 12, 2007

My advice for 18 year olds is that it really doesn't matter what college you attend. If you are driven and passionate about what you do, you will succeed. So pick a college that you think suits you as a person and don't worry too much about the name or reputation.

22
Sadie
Sep 12, 2007

Aw, a sweet sisterly post.

Something I wish I had known when I was 18: very few decisions in life are truly permanent; you are always always allowed to change your mind. That said, be very, very thoughtful with the decisions that are permanent, because life is actually pretty long. Cheers!

23
pseudostoops
Sep 12, 2007

Study abroad.

And for Susie in particular, learn to drink whiskey, or gin martinis, or something that doesn't involve the word "nipple" or "Malibu." Comes in handy later in business drinking situations when you're spared the embarrassment of ordering a sex on the beach in front of your boss.

24
skokie
Sep 12, 2007

ALWAYS have a friend with you that you can trust when you know you'll be drinking alot. Two drunk minds can sometimes make one semi-coherent logic.
Eat up life as much as you can and don't let fear be the thing that makes you say no to something. Unless, its someone asking something like 'wanna leap outta this car at 40mph drunk and doing a flip-flop?

Happy Bday!
Holly- love your blog, thanks so much for sharing!

25
Meghan
Sep 12, 2007

I wish I had known that what I wanted then would not be what I wanted at 30. Oh and also that I shouldn't have majored in creative nonfiction writing.

Happy birthday, babies.

26
Skeezix
Sep 12, 2007

Happy birthday!

I, myself, have had "little" tacked on to my name since birth since I'm named after my mother. Little Suzanne, which so not applicable any more.

Advice: Never make out with the guy from your English class no matter how drunk you are. You will have to sit next to him for the rest of the semester and it will be awful.

Also, it's ok if you do. Mistakes are what you can laugh about when you are approaching 30. And really I regret more the things I didn't do more than the things I did do.

27
Jenn
Sep 12, 2007

When you are 18: it's okay to go out and party, but it's also okay to stay home with a book. Also, if you don't love 18, that's just fine! So far the 20's have been much more fun for me and I expect 30 might not be so bad either.

28
Diane
Sep 12, 2007

Ahh 18 - what an amazing birthday. Happy birthday babies - and this is from a youngest child who still gets called the 'Baby Sister' and I am freakin 40!

Advice - work hard, play hard and don't confuse the 2.

Your years at university are amongst the best in your life - enjoy every moment because they are the last years in your life where you are truly responsibility free.

Beer before liquor never sicker, liquor before beer, in the clear. Chant that in your head and it will help with the hangovers.

Lastly - never take Tylenol after drinking - it can compromise your liver while it tries to filter all the alcohol. Go for Advil - no evil side effects and it really does help with the headache.

Have a great birthday!

29

if you still believe you can do whatever you want with your life, you are right.

30
Rachael W
Sep 12, 2007

As someone who was 18 three years ago and whose younger brother is now 18: Never lose your sense of optimism or humor. Take time to discover who you really are. All these sound really cliche and glib, but they've helped me out a lot. Oh, and remember that over the next four years, lots of things about you will change so, so drastically: your opinions, your values, your desires. I don't have much in common with my 18-year-old self, but honestly? That's not always a bad thing. Allow yourself to change.

31
Jen
Sep 12, 2007

I wish I knew NOT to apply for a credit card when I was 18. Because 10 years later, I'm still paying for those hot jeans I just had to have, but couldn't really afford.

Happy Birthday Holly's twin siblings!

32
Allie
Sep 12, 2007

Remember that very few things are permenant (though tattoos come close...), or set in stone, or on a specific deadline. The world will not tremble with shock if you take an extra year to finish a degree, or take time off at some point.

Also remind yourself that we only get one go-around, and none of us are getting out of this alive. So don't do anything you might terribly regret, but don't turn down opportunities with the excuse that you'll find time for it later.

But most importantly, eighteen is the only time in life you can completely get away with risky fashion choices - I wish I had known then how skinny I was. Look in the mirror and tell yourself you look GOOD!

33
Willow
Sep 12, 2007

Remember that you can never get time back. Do everything you do with the knowledge that time does not rewind. Enjoy your youth because bills and marriage and babies and jobs with 401k's and insurance benefits come fast and do not go away.
Be young and care free and intelligent in your choices.... live your life for you and be who you are.
Laugh and cry and live.... this is what is most important...

34
missbeegail
Sep 12, 2007

My advice on being 18? Enjoy it! The seven years that have passed since I turned 18 have been the best of my life. Repeat to yourself whenever you have a moment: This too shall pass. Remember it when things are horrible and you can't possibly make it through another moment. But also remember it when you are on top of the world, so you cherish those experiences.

35
geepeemum
Sep 12, 2007

I agree with Jenn. 18 isn't eveything, life gets even more fun. But what I wish someone had told me at 18? You're beautiful and you have the most awesome body you will ever have. Wear that bikini. (Of course no-one would have said that to me at 18 becuse I was still very nerdy and geeky with thick glasses and awful hair and baggy clothes. But under those baggy clothes? I had a great body!) And also - fall in love lightly. Don't break your heart over anyone. Not yet.

36
elise
Sep 12, 2007

Sometimes, when you look up and find yourself in a situation that you just don't know HOW you've gotten yourself into, just go home for a bit.

Home is good. And if home still feels like the safest place? That's just fine.

37
heidikins
Sep 12, 2007

Life won't turn out like you expected it to turn out, but with a little hope and adaptation it is entirely possible that life will turn out better than you imagined. Keep your chin(s) up!

xox

38
Gretchen
Sep 12, 2007

Enjoy being eighteen, enjoy your twenties, enjoy your thirties. Because even though you think it won't really happen to you, one day you will be middle-aged with a mortgage and backaches and children of your own and all the headaches that come with that, and you won't be so young and fresh and attractive anymore even though you will still feel that way inside. Try to remember that angst is temporary. Plan for the future; be responsible. Don't have children too young; don't marry too young. Don't trust your impulses, but trust your instincts.

39
corey
Sep 12, 2007

When I was 18, I wish I knew that I didn't need to have everything figured out because my path has changed several times since then. I wish I knew that it didn't always need to be "pick a school, pick a major, do your homework", but could also be "take a trip, explore, relax". I wish I knew that I had miles to go before I'd be ready to settle down and maybe then I wouldn't have taken those serious relationships quite SOOO seriously.

Have a happy, happy birthday!

40
Super-S
Sep 12, 2007

I was a very serious 18 year old, and though people often said it I never really took this bit of advice to heart: enjoy life. You will probably regret the things you haven't done much more than the things you have (barring, you know, major felonies or capital crimes).

Happy birthday, babies. And Holly, my "baby" is now 6'3" and 21 years old, and I don't remember when he went from sucking his thumb and pulling his ear so hard I was afraid he'd pull it off, to giving me advice on how to live a better life. *Sigh* they grow up so fast.

41
cathy walker
Sep 12, 2007

Just remember you are blessed to have a big brother and sister who are VERRRY Intelligent and
beautiful. Have fun and be careful

42
Jennie
Sep 12, 2007

Eat as much pizza as you can. In 5 years eating just a slice will make you gain appx. 17 pounds.

Be brave, too. And yourselves, always. There's so much I didn't do because I was afraid of how I would look doing it. And, seriously, no one but you will remember how you looked doing it, anyway.

Be more reckless with your own heart than any hearts that are handed to you.

And please, please, please nap as often as possible. For those of us who miss naps more than our 18-year-old ass.

43
juliloquy
Sep 12, 2007

Nia already said it, but I'll say it again:

Don't take yourself too seriously.

Happy birthday x2!

44
hannita
Sep 12, 2007

I echo the thought that if you don't know what you want to do now that's OK, you'll figure it out.

Also, don't take yourself too seriously.

Happy Birthday Babies!

45
Thompson
Sep 12, 2007

I wished I'd known/accepted that things are going to change from now on. a lot. Dear 18-year-old self:

Up until now, things have been pretty stable for you (living at home with your family, routines, etc.) but once you're out into the world, the people, things, jobs, and classes flash by pretty quick. There are few you will hang on to, but most you won't. and that's okay.

I'm just now starting to accept that whole change thing.

46
ash
Sep 12, 2007

happy birthday babies!

and as a 19 year old i really don't have much advice to give seeing i'm reading all the ones above myself.

47
Jemima
Sep 12, 2007

"Do everything."

Happy Birthday, Babies!

48
Amanda
Sep 12, 2007

If you think you're having a good time now, just wait til next year, and then the year after that, and then the year after that....every year just keeps getting better. So don't look back!

Also, TRY. Don't wait to act on your ideas, just give them a try. If it doesn't work, try something else. Too many people wait with their lists of 'things to do before I die'. JUST GO AND DO IT.

And you know that thing about you physically that you don't like? That you think sticks out/is too round/too flat/too small/too big? Well thats probably exactly what will make you stand out in a good way soon. It will drive them wild, so love it! Its what makes you unique!

49
faerie
Sep 12, 2007

you know how right now you think anything is possible?

well it is, so don't forget it

happiest birthday, luke and susie

congratulations, big sis holly, for gettin' 'em this far

50
KarinGal
Sep 12, 2007

1.) Aim high, not for the middle.

2.) Beware the tequila, especially on an empty stomach.

3.) Travel often, while your body is still flexible enough to sleep on trains without aching the next day and your mind and spirit are still ripe. Once the committments of later life arrive -- and they always do -- you may never have this much latitude of movement again.

4.) Enjoy!

51
AlieMalie
Sep 12, 2007

you probably hear this from your older siste, but i'll say it anyway:

travel. travel. travel.

responsibility with regards to a job/career and family can wait. plus, it'll make for really entertaining stories later on. plus, the student rate ends at 26, save that money now.

52
mama speak
Sep 12, 2007

Happy B-day Babies!

As a mama I know that you will always be "the babies" to your mama and your big sis, cause they love you so very, very much. Someday you'll understand (when you have kids, so hopefully a very long time from now). Until then humor us old folks who love you all so much via your big sis, not in a creepy, stalker kind of way.

Advice: Pretty much what everyone else said; travel, sleep on the train/floor, etc... but go experience life while you're young & responsible to no one but yourself. If you fall in love & it's going to be forever that's great, but it doesn't mean you have to get married right away. There's lots of time for that later. Just get engaged. As poor as you may think you are in college, you will not be making that much more money in your first couple jobs; do the fun things while you can; there are other jobs out there. Take lots and lots of pictures! Most of all HAVE FUN!

53
Linda
Sep 12, 2007

I think we can't reiterate enough the "do everything, try everything" mantra. Because you may look back later and wish you'd started: Learning that instrument/practicing your writing/traveling by yourself/taking up a sport/being confident enough to choose your friends instead of letting them choose you/etc. No regrets (well, unless you do apply for that credit card and overspend), no embarrassment. Just love who you are and who you find yourself becoming. Happy Birthday, babies. (But I mean that in the Vince Vaughn in "Swingers" way.)

54
rosie
Sep 12, 2007

VOTE! :)

55
Mir
Sep 12, 2007

Happy birthday, Susie and Luke!

The one piece of advice I'd give I doubt either of them need (and I haven't read the other comments so forgive me if this is a repeat): Siblings are forever. Act accordingly. Because really, your very bestest friend in the whole wide world who will be with you forever and always might blow you off next year, but your sibs are stuck with you always. ;)

56
Leah
Sep 12, 2007

What Holly said--"Eighteen is not forever"--to which I'll add, "But tattoos are." Happy birthday, sibs, from someone who still says Baby Brother when referring to he who is about to turn twenty-six years old.

57
Alyce
Sep 12, 2007

When I was 18, I knew it all. When I was 23, I learned I was wrong. Humbling, necessary life lesson.

So even though you know it all, read some of the awesome advice. And listen to your sister! She's pretty cool.

58
gina
Sep 12, 2007

Always carry a book with you, no matter where you're going, just so you can pull it out and not notice everyone staring at you.

And also, do what makes you feel happy. Do what'll keep you safe, but do what makes you feel happy.

Happy birthday!

59
Horrible Warning
Sep 13, 2007

My youngest sister is 12 years younger than I, and we called her The Baby for quite awhile. However, we stopped before she did. She's 21 now and STILL The Baby.

For my advice: go to the college you really want to go to. Screw student loan debt. You'll figure out a way to pay for it when you are educated instead of getting educated while paying for it. And paying and paying and paying. All while already accustomed to a certain lifestyle (a working car and living alone, mostly) that prohibits you from chucking everything and finishing school already. 15 years (and counting) for a BS is waaaay too long, my friends.

Happy birthday!!

60
ScottsdaleGirl
Sep 13, 2007

I am going to comment WITHOUT reading others comments so I apologize if I repeat advice...

1) remember who you are, at ALL TIMES
2) listen to your big sister
3) listen to your parents
4) have FUN you are still young HAVE SOME DAMNED FUN!
5) never settle for less than what you deserve
6) a snake never dies til the sun goes down and don't eat the yellow snow. (My dad's most sage advice as I grew up) IDK.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABIES.

61
Carroll
Sep 13, 2007

In the end, it's all about the memories, so make some good ones! Happiest of birthdays to you both!!

62
Suebob
Sep 13, 2007

I wish I had known:

It is really, really important who your friends are. Pick smart, capable, nice people. Don't waste your time on jerks.

You really CAN wreck your skin for all time. Wear a hat.

63
Sure
Sep 13, 2007

She's right. Wear those hotpants NOW!

Date people you would never want to spend the rest of your life with so you never have any regrets when you find the one you do. This also makes for great stories later. ("Rememeber when I went out on a date with the guy who started the night saying, "Until a year ago, I was addicted to pretty much every drug out there?" That was his OPENER.)

When dating these people, don't have sex with them.

64
Katie.P
Sep 13, 2007

Remember always to be kind and compassionate to yourself and to others. It's a good way to be, and a happy way to live.

Happy, happy birthday!!! Have a great day.

65
Susie
Sep 13, 2007

Thanks everyone!! Actually it was worse when Holly and everyone called me the alien for about five years and pretended that my space ship was coming! And she also told Luke that he was actually not part of our family, but another German family who were going to come get him! Holly was rather mean.

66
Jack Patrick Burns
Sep 13, 2007

Poop! Bottom! Wee-Wee!

Is it okay if I still giggle? Thank you to all for the lovely birthday wishes and advice!

67
birdgal
Sep 13, 2007

Learning to have fun when you are alone with your thoughts is a skill--start working on it now and later in life you will be content surrounded by friends AND when its just you, a movie and some popcorn (or a good book). Happy birthday!

68
Sheila
Sep 13, 2007

I say stay off My Space and go for a hike every now and then. Happy Belated Birthday!

69
barbie2be
Sep 13, 2007

happy birthday, Twins!!

70
Chelle
Sep 13, 2007

my advice - if you aren't ready to go away to college yet, that's ok. It'll still be there next year. And when you do go, and are working, don't be surprised if what you're doing is completely different than what you thought you'd be doing.

Happy belated, babies!

71
Mrs. Who
Sep 13, 2007

Ok, that IS ANNOYING when your comments are cut off - I didn't know that that other commenter was talking about!! Uh, I can't remember what other advice I was going to give. I think I got in three before I was blipped, so:

4. Family is very, very important. Keep them close. Let them know how much you care. Have fun with them.

I think that's it. Oh - and Happy Birthday!

72
Mrs. Who
Sep 13, 2007

AND I just realized my first comment didn't make it because I was blipped before I hit Submit Comment. I'll type faster!

1. Stop eating candy bars. Pick up an apple or a granola bar - you will thank yourself later.

2. Friends are important. Make time for them. Call them, write them, make plans with them.

3. Put down the remote, the mouse, the game controller and go outside. It's lovely out there!

73
Laura
Sep 13, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Something I wish someone had told me is that credit is REALLY important. And that if you screw it up at 18, when you want to get a new car, or buy a house, or anything when you are 24-25, you have really shot yourself in the foot. Have a good time, but be careful with your spending. You may not really need that item tomorrow.

Otherwise? Same as everyone else- enjoy yourself. And ALWAYS have a designated driver.

74
Katie (The Yap)
Sep 13, 2007

Don't forget to put the sunscreen on your NECK too!

75
Carroll
Sep 13, 2007

Oh, and this too (from another blog I just read this morning and thought of you :-) Better to regret the things you've done, than regret the things you didn't do."

76
Carroll
Sep 13, 2007

And, uhm..."Jack"? "Luke"??

Set us straight, folks! Which is it?

77
Wacky Mommy
Sep 13, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (and many more................)

78
Leah
Sep 13, 2007

(You look like a young Natalie Portman in that picture.)

79
Laziza
Sep 13, 2007

Susie -- I used to tell my younger brother that we found him living under a rock and covered in fur.

80
musing
Sep 13, 2007

My advice...

1) You need to know your own soul before you can recognize a soulmate.

2) It’s 47 years till retirement. Choose a career you’ll enjoy.

3) Floss.

81
kimblahg
Sep 14, 2007

1.If you are smoking cigarettes at 18, quit now because it is so much harder when you are older.
2.Cherish your family members because they won't always be there.
3.Take pictures.

82
Natalie S.
Sep 14, 2007

Well Happy Birth Anniversary, babies! I wish you well!

Let's see....

1)Say what you mean, mean what you say.
2)Don't procrastinate as much as the little person on your shoulder tells you to.
3)Appreciate all you have with every ounce of your being.
4) Take way too many pictures, even if you're the only one taking them.
5) Debt is very no...student loans? Sure, of course. Other than that? Not cool.

83
Nomes
Sep 14, 2007

Babies.

Repeat after me. Every day.

"I look amazing. I can achieve anything I want to. I will have fun. I will make mistakes, and I'll be a phoenix."

Have a great 18th!

(Holly - fab post!)

84
trinity67
Sep 14, 2007

Hello Babies:

Keep doing what Nomes said.

Happy 18th!

85
kimblahg
Sep 14, 2007

I was still thinking about this all day and I thought of another one which your siblings probably have covered. TRAVEL. See as much of the world as possible before you are mired in kids and career.

-Keep a journal (online or otherwise) because your memory will get hazier as you age.

-Moisturize

86
Julie
Sep 14, 2007

I am the youngest of seven children, am 42 and am still called "the baby". Sigh.

Advice:

1) Enjoy your time. What no one tells you is that the older you get, the faster the time seems to slip away. Vacations seem to be endless when you are young. Later, they seem to be in fast forward mode.

2) Take you time to find out who you are. Don't answer the question about what you want to be, or do. Chances are, even if you are sure now, it will change. And that is good. I means you are learning about yourself and not allowing your life to stagnate.

3) Be forgiving of yourself. You will screw up, you will hurt others, you will take yourself too seriously. Forgive yourself, laugh at your mistakes and don't take anything too seriously.

Happy, happy birthday!!

87
Melissa
Sep 15, 2007

1. Relationships are beautiful and love is grand, but never sacrifice who you are for someone else.

2. Sometimes it is OK to put the big stuff off for a wonderful opportunity (a semester off, a job turned down, a savings account dipped into). The older you get, the more important making the responsible decision becomes. Use the reckless moments wisely, but don't be too afraid to use them while you can.

88
Telaine
Sep 15, 2007

When I was 18, I wish someone would have told me and my roommate not to spend our hard earned, summer-job money on a complete ensemble for our college dorm room. We went with a Hollywood classics" theme (black and white comforters with red accent pillows--oh, we were stylish!), and grew tired of it after, I dunno, maybe one semester. I totally should have used an old, comfy quilt instead. Maybe then I would have had a little spending money when I actually needed it--for my First College Apartment.

Oh, and listen to 10000 Maniacs "These are Days" as much as possible from now until your 21st birthday. You'll understand later.

89
fancythis
Sep 15, 2007

Great post Holly, and hey! We have something in common, I have twin siblings too. Also boy and girl. But anyway, on to the advice.

Always remember that today is your only true chance to live because tomorrow is never guaranteed. Don't worry about yesterday, it'll stop you from living your full today.

90
Todd
Sep 15, 2007

Wonderful post, Holly!

Happy birthday 'babies'! As far as advice, I'd just say that the stuff you think is of life-and-death importance will likely turn out later on to be of practically zero importance.

The flipside is also true; sometimes the things that you think are of practically zero importance are the ones that end up being the most crucial of all.

I'm just sayin'. :)

Here's to a great belated birthday!