If any of you follow ThoughtCatalog as obsessively as I do you’ll realize the constant trend of posts that consist of lists that people write in order to let you know if you’re on the right track in life. These lists are aimed at 20-somethings and can either be seen as a check sheet to see if you’re succeeding (according to the author/society) or as a blow to your self-esteem once you realize how little you have actually accomplished.
I didn’t write a best selling novel by the time I was 20? I’m a failure. I haven’t made peace with all of my exes? I’m never dating again. I haven’t flown a plane over Dubai while sipping champagne and shooting up heroin? What have I been doing with my life?!
Ok – that was a little dramatic – but you get the point. Not everyone is at the same stage of their life as anyone else at a given moment in time.
Anyway – a friend sent me over a link to a girls tumblr about the 25 things that she wants herself to know at the age of 25. Apparently it’s gotten a lot of attention and it’s almost amazing how much I disagree with her. Here are the majority of them – if you would like to see the whole list.. feel freeeee.
1. Most of the time, you don’t know anything about anything. That was true when you were 15 and that will be true when you are 65. You do, however, know how to be a good person and you know how to follow your heart. Keep doing that and you’ll be just fine.
No. I have learned a lot in my mere 23 years and there are some things I know a lot about – usually useless and unimportant things. But I know them. And luckily for me, my parents raised me to know how to be a good person. I just choose not to sometimes. You have to know when being a good person just won’t cut it in the real world. This isn’t Sesame Street – being good doesn’t automatically give you a free pass in life.
2. Don’t go on Facebook so much. Seriously, it’s a waste of time.
Easier said than done. But, I often find myself clicking through peoples profiles and all of a sudden I realized I’ve wasted a 45 minutes stalking the pictures of some person I have never even met and is only the girlfriend of an acquaintance of a friend who I knew when I was in 8th grade. THAT is when it’s a waste of time. But Facebook does have its upsides too. Staying in touch, promotions, picture sharing, blah blah blah. They should hire me as a spokesperson.
3. You’re 25. You’re not in college anymore. You know how to cook a healthy meal. STOP EATING TOP RAMEN, your body doesn’t like it.
Au countraire, my body loves it. Plus – just because I’m in college anymore doesn’t mean I’m not still poor. And have you tasted my cooking!? You’ll be praying for Ramen after one bite.
4. Also, it’s time to start drinking a little more responsibly. You started too young and you’ve been in this game for over a decade. However, unlike when you were 15 no one is going to think you are any cooler for taking that extra tequila shot. Slow down on the booze.
If you’re not going to take that extra tequila shot – pass it to my mom and she’ll take it for ya, pussy. You’re 25. Not 85.
5. Remember to always love your big strong legs, your bubble butt, the plumpness of your head, the way your eyes squint when you smile, and the petiteness of your lips. They are precious family heirlooms that have been handed down to you from generations of brilliantly beautiful people.
Luckily, I look exactly like my father and he just happens to be a very handsome man. But.. if you don’t look like my dad – there is always plastic surgery.
6. Be grateful for that moment when you decided to stop being such a sarcastic asshole and let your guard down long enough to fall in love and let someone fall in love with you. Even if it ends in heartbreak, it is still one of the greatest adventures you have been on.
If someone doesn’t love my sarcastic asshole, they can kiss it.
7. Speaking of adventure, keep doing it. Travel the world as often as money and time will allow because you know how invaluable those experiences are but don’t forget about the smaller adventures. Those weekend getaways with your best friends, the 3 days spent caravanning around the state to help your brother and sister-in-law move into a new house, or the afternoons spent in a retirement community with your parents. Those experiences are just as invaluable and they fill your soul.
A little sappy – but this one may be true. Except my mom made me promise to never to put her in a retirement home – so this girl must be a MONSTER. Love you mom!.. (Jake said you can live with him when you’re old)
8. Always make time for your parents. They might live for another 67 years…but they probably won’t. Enjoy the time you spend with them. Don’t try to rush off the phone when they are telling you about their week. Enjoy getting to know them as their adult child and realize that they still have a lot to teach you.
Unless their week is better than yours then you should hang up on them and go cry into your bowl of Ramen. And I hope to never be called an adult child. Ever.
9. In fact, make time for everyone in your life. You have a lot of people in your life who you love and who love you, be grateful. Don’t ever become one of those people who just gets too “busy.” Make time for the walk in the park, the cup of coffee, the glass of wine, the phone conversation. Make time.
If I made time for every person that I’ve come across and liked – I wouldn’t have time to breath. I’m a very friendly person. I make time for the people who matter. Like my drug dealer and my morning Starbucks barista.
10. Posture. Work on that. That curve in your back is going to be a lot more painful when you’re 70.
I have 2 rods and 17 screws in my spine. It’s not going anywhere. Even when I’m 70.
11. You’re kind of turning into a grouch. Stop that. Immediately. Yes, life has thrown you some pretty awful curve balls over the years. That will continue to happen until you die, it’s part of life. Let it make you grateful for all that you have. Let it make you stronger for having made it through. Let it make you compassionate for the 7 billion other people in the world who are dealing with their own struggles. Don’t let it make you bitter, don’t let it make you cynical, and DO NOT, whatever you do, let it take away your sunshine.
Life makes you harder. Life makes you wiser. Life makes you weaker and stronger all at the same time. Don’t trust anyone who is super grateful, friendly and smiling all the damn time. That is not life, sunshine. Overall I am a super happy person. But If I want to be a grouch I’m going to be. Can’t nobody tell me how to feel.
12. Stop comparing yourself to your peers. You do you. You’re good at that.
If I don’t compare myself to my peers – people on a somewhat even playing field as myself then… all that’s left is reality TV stars. I’ll start comparing myself to them. Much better.
13. Stop worrying so much about what your job is going to be. It’s boring. Yes, you need to make money. But more importantly, you need to make a life for yourself. You need to make community. You need to make yourself and others happy. You need to make the world a better place. There are a lot of other things you need to make, don’t get so caught up in finding a job that you forget to make them.
I hear unemployment is all the rage. Who needs a job these days when you can just spread happiness and sunshine all over. This is America people – land of the freeeeee.
14. Keep writing. Know that some of the things you write will be really bad. Write anyway. Write because it makes you happy. Write because it’s important to have hobbies. Write because sometimes, on very rare occasions, the things you write will be more powerful than you would have ever thought possible.
I really hate writing. I hope no one ever reads any thing I have to say. (Just kidding – love you guys.)
15. Keep going after the life that you want live. I am going to be really pissed if 65 year old Mary is sitting alone in a house in the suburbs with 10 cats. Unless of course somewhere along the way that is what I decided I want, in which case it’s totally fine.
Unless it’s unreasonable. I think it’s okay for me to stop chasing that dream of becoming an Olympic athlete.
16. Please don’t sell out. You’re better than that.
Or am I?
17. Be thankful that you are the youngest in your family and you have been able to learn from the mistakes of your siblings. But also be thankful that you are able to learn from their success and the wonderful people they have become.
Thank God I have learned to drink like my cousins and how to get away with things. Amen.
18. Even though you really want a dog, wait. You can barely take care of a fish.
Oops. This advice may have came a little too late for this girl. Woof.
19. Same goes for kids. Just wait. I’m sure you’ll make a great mom one day but that day doesn’t have to be anytime soon.
Shoot, I was really looking forward to buying a kid this weekend. Guess I’ll put that on the back burner… for now.
20. Believe in something bigger than you. Something that you will never understand. Whether it’s God or the Universe just believe in something because when everything else fails, which is bound to happen, all you’ll have left is your faith that things will get better.
I believe in Big Foot… he’s bigger than me. Does that count? When all else fails, he will definitely save me.
21. Lastly, I think you’re wonderful. You forget this sometimes so I just wanted to remind you.
I think you’re wonderful too. You’re all wonderful.