“Someone, somewhere, can you understand me a little, love me a little? For all my despair, for all my ideals, for all that – I love life. But it is hard, and I have so much – so very much to learn.”- Sylvia Plath
In a few days, I’ll officially be 25 years old. In that time, these are some of the important lessons I’ve learned. I’ve decided to dump them out on the internet because maybe it saves someone else a quarter of a century of fumbling around. In no particular order:
- Water weighs 8 pounds per gallon. No matter what. Even if you fail all your classes, even if you have to take a job at McDonald’s to avoid being homeless, even if cute humans shatter your heart with feels. It sounds ridiculous, but sometimes you need to remember that you don’t have control over everything.
- You should probably just borrow that book/movie before you decide to buy it. Libraries are fucking great for that. So much better than having to periodically purge all the shit you don’t care about but spent money on anyway.
- Pretending you like or don’t like something doesn’t make you any cooler. It makes you an asshole. A lying asshole. Sincerity is the heart of the truest friendships. Listen to twangy country music, read fanfiction, just do what you fucking want to.
- Every single person looks kinda dumb while running. Everyone. No one looks cool.
- “Unattainable” people are unattainable for a reason. Pursuing them will only result in the curb-stomping of your heart. No, really. You think I’m being dramatic, I can tell. People who make you feel like you need to be better in order to deserve them are not the ones for you, little dear heart. They’re just not. No matter what the rom-coms are telling you.
- Keep tampons everywhere. Just like in every bag, in your car, at your house, with your family. Everywhere. You only miss them when you really need one. Also true for pens and hair ties.
- There is so much freedom in not listening solely for the purpose of response. Ever notice the people who irritate you most are usually the people who can’t let you say a thing without having something similar to talk about? Just listen to people. You’ll connect so much better.
- You’re allowed to not like the taste of vegetables, but it’s worth it to try them all for the sake of finding at least one or two that are edible to fend off scurvy.
- Learning that something you used to say is offensive doesn’t make you an asshole, but knowing that and continuing to say it DOES. Looking at you, R-Word and “Gay”. I sometimes wish I could go back to every person who heard me say these things and just apologize for being twat. Here’s that apology now: I’m so sorry that I didn’t know.
- No feeling will ever compare to being freshly showered and sleeping in freshly laundered sheets in your birthday suit. Make time to do that whenever possible.
- Compliment people whenever possible. It’s great. It makes them feel great. It makes you feel great. It’s just wonderful. There’s literally no downside.
- For the love of God, don’t ever expect anything you post on the internet to remain anonymous. It won’t. And if it’s not just your story to tell there’s even more of a chance for the wrong person to see it. Maybe save those things for processing in therapy. Save yourself the hassle. Looking at you, Livejournal and Tumblr.
- Horizontal door handles usually mean push, vertical mean pull. See how I just saved you from running awkwardly into doors? Public servant.
- Public speaking becomes infinitely easier a) when you care about the topic and b) when you pretend you’re explaining it to a friend.
- Travel. Just fucking go places. Even if you suck at budgeting and end up eating PB&J for a few weeks, you can’t replace those experiences. And while you’re in a new town, make sure you actually get out and walk around some. There’s no worse story than “I’ve been to X for a day, but I didn’t explore…”
- Never drink alcohol when you’re sad. It’s a natural depressant and will only make you text people you shouldn’t and say things you regret. That withstanding, never regret what you did while drinking. Yeah, you kiss people you wouldn’t have the courage to while sober, you do silly things like dance with strangers and try to adopt cats, but unless you’re a mean drunk, you probably have nothing to regret about what your Id wanted to do.
- Learn a little about new trends. Unless it’s your brand to be the friend who doesn’t use technology, it’s a little weird to be the only person who doesn’t use Snapchat or Instagram. Even if you don’t use it, maybe just try to understand the basics.
- Don’t ever get too cool for selfies with your family. You’ll regret not having more pictures with them later.
- Figure out your damn bra size. Seriously. Even if that means buying approximately 41 and trying them on and returning them. The years I spent wearing the wrong size are laughable now.
- Don’t let the fear of being shot down stop you from trying. This applies to a ton of things from girls to jobs. Confidence is 80% of the game.
- The fastest way to make friends is to be genuinely curious about people. Everyone loves an opportunity to talk about themselves.
- No matter what you’re going through, there’s probably a relatable quote. Take the time to Google for them for a pick me up. No one likes feeling like the only person to feel something.
- Take a jacket to the movies- it’s worth carrying something around to not get super cold and be unable to focus on the movie. Also, maybe sneak in your own snacks; movie snacks cost like a billion dollars, and they don’t even have jerky.
- When choosing between doing the standard and trying something new, trying something new is seldom a thing you’ll regret. Within reason, of course. But you can never find new things to love if you stick to the regulars.
- Don’t keep toxic friends out of sense of obligation. It’s perfectly acceptable to put distance between yourself and anyone who doesn’t make you feel like your best you. I’m still working on this one, and that’s okay because everyone is a work in progress.
So there you are. And here I am, back in the blog game, hopefully new and improved. I guess maybe keep an eye here for more, I’m still learning how to do the thing the right way.