Some time ago, in another life, I wrote a blog post for a now-defunct website that was 28 lessons I’d learnt in 28 years. I managed to find that post and 4 years on, I’d thought I’d review and rate those 28 things and add 4 more in honour of my 32nd trip around the sun.
It’s actually quite funny for me to re-read these points. Most of the time I think I’ve made some good points, but the way I’ve delivered them has clearly come from a place that was a little bit angry and a little bit bitter. I know the list is only 4 years old, but that makes it even more remarkable to see how quickly one can grow, evolve, mature and let things go. Time (and a little bit of therapy) really does heal all (mental) wounds.
Some fair warning, I do use the word vagina a fair few times, so if you’re easily offended by mentions of female anatomy maybe give this post a skip.
- You can’t please everyone, even the people supposed to love you no matter what.
This is true, and yet also somehow very bitter and passive aggressive! Good for me.
- You’re allowed to change your mind about an issue. Being stubborn helps no one.
Very true, very evergreen.
- Kindness and concern will come from strange places and not always from who you expect.
This is true, and something I’ve experienced even more regularly since going into business for myself. It always surprises me who is watching, who is paying attention, and who is excited by what you’re doing. When it feels like no one is responding to what you’re doing, it pays to remember this! I was onto something at 28.
- There is a difference between real friends and those out for themselves; learn how to recognise the difference.
Also very bitter and passive-aggressive? I actually don’t even know what situation this is referring to!
- Falafel kebabs soak up alcohol pretty well, but the best hangover cure will always be Red Bull sipped slowly and a big old bowl of pho.
I do love falafel and pho. Like, a lot. Not such a fan of Red Bull anymore.
- Dry shampoo is a lifesaver and quite possibly the only beauty product I’ll actively and consistently endorse without prompting or shame.
Still true, but I’ve added hemp hand cream to that list, and QV intensive ointment.
So, 4/10 I guess
- Always carry spare band-aids and tampons.
As a menstrual cup convert, I no longer use tampons so that’s now a moot point. I don’t always follow my own advice about the band-aids, but I do think it’s a good one.
- You’re allowed to say ‘yes’ to things; more importantly, you’re allowed to say ‘no’.
Well, I’ve never been wiser. And again, even more true since I started working for myself. Those “yes” and “no” boundaries are so very important to keeping your sanity and keeping you from scrambling to keep every person happy, regardless of what makes you happy.
- People will confuse kindness for weakness and shyness for complacency. Speak up for yourself, and stand up for what you believe in.
Very true, while still a little bitter. I think I’m pretty good at this now and I think something like this (for introverts like me) comes with experience and possibly age too.
- There is a very small section of the population who look good with dyed black hair. I am not one of them.
Evergreen and true.
- Beware the people who love to talk about themselves, especially when you need to talk about yourself. They are not your ally.
- Don’t stop talking if someone interrupts you, even if you have to repeat everything you said. Make yourself be heard.
This has clearly come from a series of work situations in my 20s that saw me devalued and underestimated, largely in male-dominated situations. And in most cases, I would agree this point is still true. However, there are certainly times where I think it’s important to be quiet for a moment and let other people talk. You never know what you might learn about those people in your silence.
- Never shave your vagina. Just don’t, it’s not worth it. Literally, do anything else.
Yeah, I actually disagree with this now. Do whatever you like with your own vagina.
- If you have to get rid of your vagina hair, (because you want to, not because someone told you to) use cream or wax.
Disagree. Again, use whatever you like.
- Never sleep with someone who seems upset that you have hair on your vagina.
- Never sleep with someone who tries to tell you what contraceptive to use on/with/for your vagina and ignores or argues with your requests for a certain one.
Clearly wasn’t shying away from the use of the word vagina at this time.
- Drunk girls in the bathroom you’ll never see again are the best friends you’ll ever have.
Yeah this is a cliche I think. And maybe I’m just getting older, but I no longer know if I think this is true.
- Magnesium is the god of all vitamins and I will swear by it as a cure for everything from menstrual cramps to sleeplessness.
Hmmm I don’t really use magnesium anymore and I certainly didn’t have any right to be giving out random supplement advice.
- There is a difference between friends worth fighting for and friends worth letting go of. Have the insight to tell the difference.
Ahh this again. Very bitter.
- Run a literal mile from anyone who thinks rape jokes are funny, claims the wage gap is a myth or blames anyone for their abuse, assault or violation.
Sure, that’s a given.
- Sometimes, in certain situations, you will have to bite your tongue. Others you will bite it when you shouldn’t have. Both are OK, as long as you learn from them.
So insightful, I like this. And somehow contradicting point number 12.
- In business, get everything in writing. Never wait around for spoken promises that may never come.
Ahhhh I wasn’t even in business for myself then, but this is true. This was specifically referencing a promotion and additional training I was promised and never received. But for business, I think this is an important reminder because I’ve spent too much time waiting for signed contracts and paid deposits that have never come!
- I still don’t know who they designed the majority of swimsuits for and I don’t think I ever will.
This has never been more relevant with those super high cut one pieces floating around now, but also huge power to the people who wear them. I’m stoked for you!
- No one should be allowed to be in charge of your happiness except you.
- Fashion of the moment is a time and money waster if you don’t have a passion for it (which I don’t!). Pick things that are simple, comfortable and right for you, regardless of whatever the trend is at the moment.
Never been more true! This was before I quit fast fashion, but consuming fast fashion is even more of a reason to consume fashion mindfully. Obviously, I don’t judge people for buying fast fashion, but I do think there’s a lot to say about doing it carefully and intentionally, and without reacting to trends.
- Not everyone will agree with you. Pick your battles.
Yeah, fair enough.
- People will try to make you feel bad about the harmless things you like, such as your taste in music or your penchant for wearing a lot of eyeliner. Fuck them.
Yeah very true. I think not caring comes with age too?
- Good things come to those who wait, but don’t wait too long. Better things come to those who fight for them.
Ahhh so very true. I am wiser than I thought.
And now, for the four new things:
- You can have all the time in the world to do something, but if you’re not mentally in the right place for it, then it’ll forever feel like there are just not enough hours in the day.
- All the best laid plans of mice and men, etc etc. Make plans when it makes sense, and go with the flow when it doesn’t.
- Getting older is just realising that basically everyone you know needs some kind of therapy.
- No one thinks about you as often as you think they’re thinking about you!
Until next time, be kind to yourself and create something remarkable!
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