When I was 18 the idea of being 26, seemed like the most disastrous thing in the world. I even said to my friends ‘when I turn 30, I may as well kill myself because there will be no point in living.’ I’d love to go back in time slap my younger-self around the face and say ‘please stop being a bellend.’ The truth is, I would never trade in my age now to go back to the young twenties twat I was. Don’t get me wrong some early adults seem to have their shit together, but mostly, they are deluded, know-it-all annoyances. I have a compiled a list of things I wish I knew when I was 18-23 (ish).
You will never truly know what you want to do with your life, but it’s ok
Obviously, when I was 18 I thought at the elderly age of 25, I would have career success, be married and have a plethora of small pets in my owned house. This is not correct. I change my mind daily on what path I want to take and am still not sure what the fuck I am doing. I live in some dudes house which doesn’t have an oven or a freezer and I wait until he’s gone to bed to eat so that I don’t have to engage in any unnecessary conversation. Also, my cat ran away… I think this speaks highly of how I am managing adult life.
Dress the way you want and create your own style
‘What are you wearing tonight? Because I’m not wearing a skirt if no-one else is’ was a frequent phone-call I would have most weekends. Life is too short not to be yourself, or too be too scared to express who you are. I have a horrific tramp stamp on my body from when I was younger and I hate it (obviously it’s a butterfly, because that was what everyone else had), now I have things I actually like that show my personality like Alice in Wonderland and dinosaurs, I dye my hair whatever colour I want, even if it’s green and I wear clothes I like, just because I can.
No-one is impressed that you went to a drum and bass rave and got ‘off your face’
I spent a large portion of my younger days at raves I hated, listening to music I didn’t like. I hate drum and bass and the mcing … oh the mcing. I just didn’t get it. I would trot off to fabric to pretend I was really into mc skibbawhoever and dj whatzthisracket. Then proudly exclaim to people that I spent my weekend off my face in London throwing some shapes. Obviously the older people would knowingly roll their eyes and pity the poor little deluded creature that I was. These days, I spend my weekends, trying to do something worthwhile with my existence, like painting, writing or visiting museums and galleries, spending time with friends, in a social environment that we will all remember the next day, absorbing the time I get to spend with my nieces and doing nice things for friends and family.
Cut out friends who add no value to your life
Now that I’m older, it’s so much easier to surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you. When I was younger I had a lot of ‘friends’ who I didn’t even like or want to be around. Now it’s so easy to cut people off who bring you down. I would rather have one amazing friend than 500 fair-weather friends.
Wine will get you though adulthood
Wine is the answer to all your problems!
Be happy and laugh
Life is short. Spend it being happy. Don’t waste too much time sulking or being in a bad mood. It’s ok to be childish, if you want to spend three solid hours playing don’t let the balloon touch the floor or making a bed fort, do it. ‘life is too short to be taken seriously’ as my good friend Oscar Wilde says. We spend far too much of our time being serious, let go of your inhibition and do something crazy. Do a Zooey Deschanel and shout ‘penis’ as loud as you can in a crowded place – it’s liberating.
Love people more
It’s easy to forget that the world doesn’t revolve around me. I’m always inside my own head so it’s easy to forget that people have their own issues, and shit going on. When I was younger I rarely opened my heart to anyone, now it’s a free-for-all. Hop into my heart and swim in my ventricles and I’ll love you with all my veins. (Obviously I have a special spot in my thudumpadump for my special hooman)
Don’t be scared to take risks or to say no
It’s easy to get caught in a mundane existence, too scared to change career path or relationship. But, variety is the spice of life so they say.. I don’t know who, but I’m quite certain that it’s a thing. Sometimes it’s good to take your life and give it a smack against the wall, see what happens. Don’t stay with someone who doesn’t make you happy or make you feel like you’re the most important person in the world to them, just because you’re too scared to be alone or start again. It really could be the most exciting adventure of your life.
Travel the world
Travel more! I wish I could go back in time and explain to my 18 year old self that Kavos and the like is not a holiday. Kavos is a grime bucket that I spent a year in and it was a seamen stench-pit of desperation. I wish I could have seen places like Thailand or Australia instead of living for a year in Benidorm :/ and gained more of a cultural experience that wasn’t how to neck a pint of ‘headfucker’ or how to slutdrop.
Lastly… Smile, things get better!
I would love to be able to tell my pre-25 year old self that things get better. You don’t have to be anorexic, you don’t have to be pretty, someone will love you, you will find the best friends that you’ve been searching for, let go of the past, put on your happy songs, dance in your pants, because after 25, you will be the happiest you’ve ever been.