I turn 30 at the end of the year, so technically I’m in my 30th year already.
BUT, I thought I’d write down a collection of things I’ve learnt in those 29 years (and Sade’s post inspired me to actually publish it!). And whilst it might not be to everyone’s taste, and that’s totally cool, I wrote this for me.
Because, I need to remind myself of the things I’ve learnt.
Rather than the constant guilt that I’m nearing 30 and still haven’t quite learnt to love myself like everyone says you will do.
But I have learnt that pasta really is life.
And many other things. But mostly that pasta is life.
1. Not everyone will like you, and that’s really OK. Well, I say it’s OK, because I’m sure there’ll be a panic and worry over why they’re not a fan of me, but sometimes people just really don’t gel together. And it’s human. It REALLY is OK. It’s not me. (Or is it?!).
2. Be kind. Such a simple concept, but one that genuinely helps. Karma can be a bitch for sure, and it’s been tempting to shout to be heard, but forever showing kindness does eventually pay off. I won’t pretend that it sometimes makes for an unhappy feeling inside, but I truly believe that kindness spreads kindness. Or something like that…
3. Love your parents like no other. I’ve always admired and respected my parents (maybe not so much when I was 14), but as I grew, I realised and learnt just how much they do for us. And I like being around them, and treating them, so I make sure to spend plenty of time with them. Oh, and calling them!
4. It’s OK to not be OK. It really really is.
5. Imposter Syndrome is always lurking in the background. And it probably won’t ever go. But remember where you were, and where you are now. Nobody is going to take this away from you. You are in control.
6. Travel will change your mindset. A huge one. I wasn’t such an avid traveller as a child (although I did love our annual Greek holiday) nor in my late teens but now, it’s what inspires me. It’s what gives me the push to work hard and also, it has taught me so many things, and opened my eyes to things I never once thought or knew. I don’t think I’ll ever give that up now.
7. It’s totally acceptable to still order a side of corn on the cob if it’s on the menu. Totally acceptable.
8. You will love in all kinds of different ways. As children, we have this idea of love. But what I’ve learnt is that no love is ever the same. There are so so many different ways to love. And you can’t run out of love. Ever.
9. Friendships will come and go. People will come and go for that matter. Friendships will change, and sometimes these things just happen. And what once was a friendship based on mutual interest, isn’t there anymore. People change, life changes. It happens. But nobody prepares you for that feeling, of people disappearing from your life.
10. Be a cheerleader. For your friends, your family, and for anyone you care about. And be their biggest cheerleader ever. And if you wanna send ten hundred cards to them, just because, then that’s cool. Because a trip to Paperchase is always a good idea.
11. Talk. Communicate. Tell people how you feel. It really does help.
12. Pasta solves everything. Well not everything, but mostly everything. Especially with cheese on top.
13. You will change as a person in more ways than you’ll realise. Oh this is a huge one I’ve learnt. I didn’t realise how much I changed, and for the better I hope. But what I once loved or would do, I don’t really enjoy now. I never stood up for myself, and OK so sometimes I still don’t, but I am learning to do what works for me, not just what works for others. I wonder what I’ll be like in another thirty years…
14. Drink on a Monday night if you want. This is my favourite thing (I say that like I drink every Monday), because it just doesn’t matter. We can do what we want, when we want.
15. Our planet needs us. And our voices should be used.
16. Surround yourself with good people. I’ve finally started to accept that if people make me feel rubbish, they’re really not worth my time. I like to think that I put care, time and love into friendships, so when people can’t even just check in to see how I am, it leaves me feeling like I’m not good enough for them. I’m still dealing with it, but slowly making more time for those who have time for me.
17. Family always have your back. They’re my biggest supporters, and are always there for me when there’s change, or if I need them more than ever. And I couldn’t be where I am now, without them at all.
18. Sex gets better. Oh yeah. As you get older, it gets much much better.
19. Things are just things. Memories are what matters. Well, except my telephone table. That’s not just any old thing.
20. Listen to people. My dad always taught me that we have two ears to listen and one mouth to speak, so we should listen twice more than we talk. And it’s so true. I try to be a good listener, even for a distracted person. And I think that helps with all aspects of life – listening.
21. Grief really can’t be described. I’ve been lucky to have grown up with a few of my great-grandparents until I was 15, and apart from a few family friends who sadly died from cancer, I’d never had somebody so close to die. Until I lost my grandad unexpectedly last year. It taught me so much, but still to this day, I can’t quite describe the feeling that it left me.
22. No-one will judge you if your bathroom isn’t always sparkly clean. I used to always panic when people came over, and wanted it to look like a show home. And now? My friends won’t disown me if they see my trainers not stacked neatly, or if my sink has been wiped with an Andrex toilet wipe rather than bathroom cleaner. They just want the wine.
23. Invest in comfortable shoes and a warm coat. Being practical was never my idea of fun. And getting through many plasters was a terrible habit of mine, because nice boots that were infact uncomfortable didn’t make anyone happy. Now I’d rather be able to walk without my bag filled with plasters, and just the right temperature with a practical coat. That preferably has a hood, but y’know, one step at a time…
24. Home is wherever you make it. I hated the thought of moving as a child. But now I’ve learnt that home can be anywhere. Someplace safe. Oh and with a few houseplants!
25. You will turn into your parents. THIS. I never ever expected to. But it genuinely does happen. And I think without even realising, we just do things that reflect what our parents do. Although if I look half as good as my mama at 56, or still have a powerful head of hair like my papa (at nearly 60), then I’ll be pretty pleased.
26. Everyone has their own path in life. As hard as it is, we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others. We all have our own paths. And none of us are doing it wrong, or right. Everything happens for different people at different times, and almost, that’s the beauty of the world we live in. Embrace it.
27. Peppermint tea helps. Especially when you like and eat pasta as much as I do.
28. Being happy is key. THIS is the biggest one. If something isn’t making me happy anymore, I have to change it.
29. Nobody has their shit together. They really really don’t!
“Our backs tell stories no books have the spine to carry”