I have come upon the age in a young person’s life, when things start subtly shifting. I am almost 27 years old. I have lived upon this rock floating in space for almost one-third of my average allotted life span.
I have never felt more like I am still 17 years old.
Except that when I was 17, I was pretty sure I knew almost everything, ever.
And now, I see 17 year olds and I think, "Oh, you stupid, stupid idiots. Life is going to bitchslap the swag right off your face, similar to me smacking your stupid sideways hat off of your head and into a gutter."
Or some variance of that thought.
When I was a teenager, I knew so much about so many different things. I thought I was worldly and knowledgeable and well-rounded and smart. I knew who I was, who my friends were, and where I was going in this world.
Of those things, almost-27-year-old me know pretty much none of them. I know I'm smart and capable, and I am super confident (sometimes skirting the edge of cocky) in myself. But other than that, one of the most valuable things I've learned in the past decade is that I know nothing, I am a dope, and I have a lot of learning left to do.
Learn! Read! Never stop trying to improve yourself and learn new things. I have learned a lot about being an adult. Although, to be fair to 17-year-old me, I wasn't one yet, so how could I really have known?
Life Lessons I've Learned The Hard Way:
1. Life sucks sometimes. Life, unlike Scrabble, is rarely "fair." I put fair in quotation marks because our ideas of fairness is different from person to person.
UNIVERSAL TRUTH: Life isn't fair.
And sometimes, it really sucks.
But there are some amazing, wonderful, breathtaking parts of life, too. Sometimes you just have to wade through the sucky parts to emerge, practically reborn and full of goo, into the beautiful parts. And they are there. The amazing pieces of life are always just around the corner from the worst parts.
2. Love isn't easy. We want to believe that when you find 'true love,' that everything will suddenly be more in focus, clearer, more shiny.
UNIVERSAL TRUTH: Love is hard sometimes.
Just like anything worth anything in life, relationships take work. It can't be awesome all the time (except that world-renowned honeymoon phase). It's real life, and like we mentioned above, sometimes it sucks.
Maybe your girlfriend owns 752346 hair products and can't seem to understand the apparently foreign concept of putting them in a damn cabinet and not leaving them over every single available surface in the bathroom, to the point that sometimes you knock them over and end up smelling like a girl all day.
Maybe your boyfriend never met a female before you and therefore doesn't understand the concept of putting the toilet seat down or changing an empty toilet paper roll. Maybe he leaves that seat up all the time, even when you get cranky about it, and you've had the unfortunate luck to fall in once, late at night, and have your butt be all wet.
But there it is. Sometimes you argue, sometimes you get mad at each other, sometimes you want to kick them in the shin for being such an idiot.
But when you love someone, and they become your best friend, you work it out, make it stick. Even when you're fighting, you're fighting with someone you care deeply about.
MY PERSONAL LIFE LESSON: I'd rather be fighting with BF than floating along and not fighting with anyone else. And that's how I know I love him.
3. Anyone driving slower than me is a moron, anyone going faster is a maniac. Clearly, I am driving at optimal speed.
UNIVERSAL TRUTH: Everyone is equal parts moron and smart.
We're all idiots sometimes, we are all right sometimes. And often, the debates are the most fun.
4. Everyone has the right to believe whatever they want. This one might seem like a no brainer, and I know most people really do agree, but of course, we have the extremists. While a significant minority, the extremists in any situation are often the loudest.
UNIVERSAL TRUTH: We will never all agree. But that doesn't mean that we are not each right. What is right for me may not be the option for you. This is true in religion, politics, choice of colleges, anything. And no one has the right to tell you what you believe is wrong or bad, or leaves you burning for eternity.
It's like me saying that because I don't think skinny jeans are a good look for me, that no one should wear them, because they are wrong for everyone. (I still stand by my provoking notion that leggings are NOT PANTS and that we should all make a pact to stop wearing them with nothing covering the butt region.)
5. You are not as fat, as ugly, as stupid, as you think you are. You're also not perfect in every single way (for the few who seem to think they are G-d's gift to humanity).
UNIVERSAL TRUTH: We tend to magnify our own shortcomings and flaws.
Trust me. When you think everyone is staring at you on the dance floor, when you just know you look foolish and everyone must think you're a total waste of space for flailing around in the club, you're wrong. Pretty much everyone else is thinking the same thing you are. They are wondering "How do I look? Do I look stupid? Is my bra strap out? Do I look fat in these jeans? What in the heck are my arms doing? OMG DID ANYONE JUST SEE ME DO THAT?"
No. Strangers don't pay you anywhere near the amount of attention you think they do. Everyone tends to worry so much about themselves, that they aren't staring at you, at what you think are your flaws.
Just like you think everyone notices that you forgot to tweeze, or are wearing (GASP!) blue socks with your black dress shoes. No one notices, and even if they did, they probably wouldn't care.
I don't mean that to sound harsh. I simply mean that while you are NOT the center of the universe, we ARE each the center of our own worlds. And we tend to think everyone else sees us that way, too.
So, what have you learned? Do you agree with my lessons, or have any you can add? I want to learn what you know, too! Maybe I'm finally at a point in life where I can stop learning things the hard way, and start actually learning from other people's mistakes!! Probably not, but hey, it's worth a shot!
|I'll always love Calvin & Hobbes! :)|