Getting older is a total drag and a bit-slightly melty for all involved. And all are involved. It’s easy to get really down in the dumps about the whole ordeal when in reality, it doesn’t really matter that much.
Well, bar all the things about ageing that matter loads (see brains turning into old mush and skin sagging into folds and limbs turning into human spaghetti). What I mean is: at least it’s happening to all of us at the same time. That’s kind of reassuring.
Instead of panicking about becoming prune people, let’s try and put a positive spin on the whole macabre process. Life is a learning curve after all. So, what have I learned in my two decades worth of wandering around and having a breathe?
Here’s the list I’ve managed to compile, whilst eating quite a few Jaffa cakes. I hope it makes for a pleasant read for anyone having a quarterlife crisis and assures you that no, I don’t really know what I’m doing either. No one really does.
1. Kiwis aren’t meant to make your tongue feel itchy
Now this may seem like a weird one to start off on but this really shook me to my core when I found this out. I’ve always loved kiwi fruits and found them to be a tasty little snack. Zesty and fun, in many ways I aspired to be the kiwi fruit. One evening, when enjoying my itchy tongue inducing friend, I told my parents how fun the sensation in my mouth parts was and asked what made the kiwi so different and sensory.
That was the day I discovered that the things you love the most can hurt you the most.
Don’t eat things that make your mouth feel itchy.
2. Being Emo is a phase
Everyone I know either went down the path of being a big emo or being really into Hollister at some stage. If anyone tried to tell me that my angsty heavy fringe would not be with me into my late teens, I would have probably shouted “rawr” or played some Black Veil Brides lyrics loudly at them.
Identifying as alternative in your youth is so mainstream. It’s not that rebellious to backcomb your hair. It’s just a bit annoying and you will cringe loads at your old pictures when you’re older.
3. … but phases are good
I’m a strong believer that everyone has to go through a very awkward adolescent period to develop a personality, or a good sense of humour. It makes me sad that the younger generations seem less and less cringe than what we once were. A good girthy awkward period grows character and brings you down to Earth. It also gives your friends fantastic ammunition to butcher you with when you get too big for your boots.
You may live life as a professional now, but photoshopping lyrics from Fall Out Boy’s Thanks For the Memories into your cheek? That’s forever.
4. Pick your fights carefully (AKA don’t live life like a Mortal Kombat character)
This is something I’m still trying to get better at.
Sometimes it’s better to walk away from a situation than battle it out. Situations arise and yes, you definitely should fight it out -but you will know for certain when those moments come around. Otherwise, exercise self restraint and hop out of there. If there’s someone around you that makes you want to argue every time you have a cup of tea with them, just cut them out.
Being feisty doesn’t necessarily show strength in character; sometimes restraining yourself from verbally lashing out is the strongest of all.
On another note: the silent treatment is a really effective tool in pettiness so that’s something to bear in mind too.
5. When your hand is big and blue it is probably broken
Go to hospital and stop playing pool with it.
6. Make time for things you really like
As clichéd as it may sound, self care is very important. Set time aside to have some proper fun. That doesn’t always mean a social activity either: time to yourself isn’t selfish and will make you feel less drawn out.
7. Let your friends know you dig them
It’s weird how much this can change my mood. When you’re feeling a bit grey, message your best pal and ask how they are. Listen to how they’re doing and just let them know how much you appreciate them. Knowing that your friends know how much you love them is a fantastic thing and will probably please them loads, too (unless your friend hates friendship).
8. Stop telling people that story about Steve Coogan being such a crazy party animal that Courtney Love was shook
This is more of a personal note to myself but that story never ceases to amaze me. Amazes my friends less after the 78th retelling, though.
On further research they apparently slept together as well – need to tell the tale again with this new information.
9. People really don’t mind what you do, so stop worrying about it
No one criticises yourself as much as you do. As the saying goes, you’re your own worst enemy. Don’t waste your energy worrying about what other people think about your appearance, or overthink the things you say. Don’t over value the power of social media either because it doesn’t tangibly exist. Be nice about yourself and feel nice about being you.
Also don’t base your self worth off of other people – your relationships do not define you. Don’t fall into roles and let that become your personality. You are more than a girlfriend or boyfriend or fiancé or spouse. Your individual worth comes from you and you alone, it’s up to you to nourish yourself.
The general rule in life is to not be a dickhead. As long as you restrain from being horribly racist, sexist, xenophobic or just generally bellend-y, you’re sweet to go.
10. Be bad at things
Failure is the best way to learn. I can honestly say that 95% of bad things that have happened to me have led to happier things happening. Breakups are shite but force you from your usual routine and thrust you into redefining yourself. Failing interviews forces you to pick yourself up and try again, improving your technique. Dying your hair blonde and it looking really yellow tells you that maybe being blonde doesn’t work for you.
Failure is only a failure if you take on a period of stasis afterwards. Mistakes are opportunities to grow, and should definitely be treated as so! Don’t beat yourself up for imperfections and instead harness them as fuel to betterment.
Those are my own personal Ten Commandments to being twenty. If you have gotten to the end of the piece, I applaud you.
eat a kiwi for me.