Not another "22 lessons in 22 years" post...
Why am I writing this post exactly? No one asked. I'm sure if there is someone out there looking for hidden truth, their first choice wouldn't be the answer of a 22 year old. And yet here we are, I have decided to share my VAST knowledge about life. You're so welcome by the way.
But in particular, this post is for my sister Edie who is 18 today. Sometimes I feel like we're playing a video game and I'm a couple of levels ahead of her. I can offer her cheat codes and tips that I wish someone would have told me when I was on level 17, 18, and 19. But really, so often I wish to myself that past me could see me now. I think 10, 13, and 18 year old me would all be excited about 22-year-old me, all for different reasons. Although I can't reach out to my past self, I would love to offer my sister my words of wisdom. Edie, please read this and consider it a message from the future.
1. Time fucking FLIES!
I thought about doing this post a year ago when I turned 21. Ha! Then the year passed by, and now I'm already 22 yrs 3 months and this post is only just getting done. It has been a work in progress for a long while however, but what I really want to emphasise is CARPE DIEM.
2. No one is thinking about you.
Well I mean obviously I'm thinking of you right now, it's your birthday or whatever. I mean in general. For the general population, there is no room for thoughts of you, they are busy thinking of themselves. No one is thinking about what you're wearing. And when the waiter said "Enjoy your meal" and you said "Thanks, you too!", the waiter is not still thinking about it. It's just you.
It really is comforting to recite this to yourself when you're caught up in embarrassment or social anxiety.
3. Being a teenager is massively overrated. And it might feel like a massive let down. Your life doesn't even BEGIN to start until you're in your 20's. I felt quite disappointed with the extent of my existence during some of that time. Just wishing there was more to it, you know? But there is! Just be patient.
4. Question your goals beyond the external factors.
You might read that and question whether I took that quote from Pinterest. It is a bit obvious, but still important. Ask yourself whether you truly wish for something, or do you just feel pressured to need it by someone/something else?
5. Being a good communicator is the best form of self-care.
It's so easy to blame him/her/whoever for the lovers' tiff/argument/whatever. One of the best gifts you can give yourself, and everyone around you, is to try to communicate well. Search inside yourself: WHAT am I feeling? HOW am I coming across to that person?
6. All human relationships are hard work.
Whether that's with mum, your manager or boyfriend. A relationship between two people requires effort to function. It is effort to be a good communicator, to read the other person and understand them. Be the person that puts in that effort.
7. Challenge your own thoughts. Why do you think that? Don't believe every single thought that pops into your head. 8. Work smarter, not harder.
One of the best things I have learnt while working in large companies is the importance of delegating. You might think that an entry-level position has no one to delegate tasks to, but if you have more work than you can take you need to leverage your colleagues for help. Ask for more resources, more knowledge, and keep bouncing their absurd requests back at them until you are capable enough to complete it.
9. Manage your manager.
It is a misconception that you were hired to do your job the best you can do. You were not. You were hired to ensure your boss is happy. One might think this is the same thing, but once you've been working among people and FOR people, you will soon realise that your priority should always be to keep the boss sweet.
10. It is not a productivity contest ALL the time.
"I work too hard" is like a shitty job interview answer. But seriously, we all DO work too hard. It is very difficult for me to do nothing and relax. I love to DO things.
11. Not all hobbies need to be income.
There is an especially toxic culture lingering around people our age, that implies every single thing we enjoy doing we should be monetising. This is definitely not the case, and it's important to keep doing somethings simply because you want to.
12. Get a life.
...outside of work, or outside of your friends. You will probably go through a time period where you're sooo excited to never have to open a book or do piano practice. But you'll soon realise that you miss having time to do things like that.
13. Get a credit card and LEARN.
I don't think I need to say too much here. I'll write you another blog posts in ten years and we'll see if I'm any better at personal finances. One thing I do know, is that credit cards are really delicate, tricky and nasty buggers. You should get one and learn from it.
14. Just listen to pop music if that's what you like.
There's such a strange pressure to be "cool" when you're a teenager and it definitely continues into your twenties. I don't know why I pretended to like Catfish and the Bottlemen and Alt J when really I preferred Katy Perry. Never again will I pretend to know who some indie artist is, I'm confident in top 40 ms
15. The thing that you're worried about won't mean anything to future you.
There are a million little things that used to worry me and they still do. 30 year old me will laugh at the 22 year old's worries.
16. Accept the fact that you simply will never understand some people.
Why do they act the way we do? Why are they so obnoxious/ignorant/rude? And a big question, why don't they do what I do and think what I think? I don't know but it's fucking annoying! We're dealing with it.
17. 6 months ago, you were desperate for what you have now.
This is another one perfect to release some gratitude.
18. Change your mind.
If there's a big decision looming over you and you're dreading the outcome, take a leap of faith knowing you can always change your mind. It's comforting and it's exciting knowing you could always play a wild card and like, runaway to Greece. You have that power to make that decision.
19. Manifestation is real! Enough said!
20. Health really is wealth.
Like honestly. We are lucky to be healthy. We are lucky to have healthcare. At my 22nd birthday party I fell on broken glass and went to hospital for seven stitches in my leg. I'm grateful it wasn't worse! I'm grateful for the doctors that stitched it up, even if at the time I was too drunk to say thank you.
21. Gratitude is a muscle.
Another lame and cliche line, but it is truly a blessing to be able to do things we enjoy and feel satisfied. Being obsessed with your own life is cool.
22. Be obsessed with your own life.
I asked my boyfriend Connor if he thinks I'm a workaholic. He said "No, you're just obsessed with doing you." Sometimes that involves work, sometimes it's personal projects or the gym or cooking, but it's true; whatever it is that day I'm always obsessed with it. Why would you want to do anything you're not obsessed with?
Thank you for reading. If you're older than 22, first of all POOR YOU! (Joke) Second, don't judge me if my musings on life are underdeveloped.
Happy Birthday Edie ❤️