So. I’m finally 26. I say finally because I’ve been waiting for age 25 to end. I’m one of those people that gets nostalgic about new seasons and finds joy in letting years/ages go. 25 was difficult. I lost my nan, the ‘dream job’ turned out to be anything but and the one after wasn’t much better. I’m happier now, finally, but it was a pretty tough year.
25 is an odd age as well, I’ve found. Even Adele mentioned it in her comeback statement. I feel like I finally got my shit together, somehow. I was kind of thrust into the deep end with many things and came out a better, more mature and responsible person. I’m glad I coped with it so well but I don’t think I’m quite at the stage of saying I’m glad it happened because honestly, I could have done without the heartache and frustration.
Anyway, I have put together a list of 26 things I’ve learned in the years up to age 26. Enjoy. x
- You’ll never be ‘set for life’ as there’s no such thing
It’s possible to win/inherent/earn enough money to leave yourself ‘set for life’, that’s the only aspect of your life that ever could be ‘set for life’. And even that can change. But I won’t pretend to understand finance.Family members die, friends drift apart, lovers leave you and pets die. There will be wounds that cannot be healed, friendships that can’t be rebuilt and actions that cannot be forgiven. It all happens. We’re not set for life and really, that’s a good thing. As Frank Turner said, if you’re all about the destination, take a fucking flight.
- Stop taking everything so personally- it’s very rarely about you
In the spirit of honesty, I’ll admit I take everything personally. I take everything to heart. I’ve reached a point now where I’m at least aware of what I’m doing, and that I need to unlearn it all. Whenever I cancel on people, don’t reply to messages, don’t attend the party, I’m doing it because of me. I’m in a bad place, I’m busy, I’m tired, I don’t want to talk to anybody. Nobody specifically, I’m just emotionally drained. I know that it’s usually the same for others.
- Sometimes the good thing happens because good things happen
I’ve had a tough year. I think I may have mentioned it once or twice? And whenever something good has been coming my way like the trip to Download or my new job, I’ve convinced myself they weren’t actually happening and something would get in the way. I’ve always done this. I think on some level it’s trust issues and another is me not believing I deserve good things to happen to me. This year, all misery aside, I made a point of counting down much to the frustration of my friends. I counted the days until I was sure the good thing was going to happen. And it did. Because they do. If bad things can happen, it stands to reason that good things can happen. Otherwise the bad things wouldn’t be bad, they’d just be. As there was no opposite. I know what I mean.
- A bedtime routine is still necessary as an adult
- Sometimes, you’re not the right fit for a job, a person, a lifestyle that you aspired to be. And that’s okay.
- Loyalty is earned
- As is respect
I’m a bit iffy on the whole idea of respect as it is but I certainly don’t dish it out to people just because of who or what they are to me. Even respect the dead is a bizarre concept to me.
- It’s okay to let yourself feel sad when you need to
Forcing happiness or suffocating your misery will only come back to hurt you in the future.
‘That’s the thing about pain. It demands to be felt’ – The Fault in Our Stars
- Speaking of John Green, watch Harvey
- Seeing other women as enemies will only ever hold you back. Having a group of supportive female friends is invaluable.
I’ll actually probably write more on this in a dedicated post because it was an important lesson and one I’m so glad that I learned.
- Being at the barrier often ruins the gig experience
- You can get through anything. Five minutes at a time.
This is something myself and my friend Shannon reiterate to each other on bad/difficult days. You got through the last five minutes, the last half hour, etc. You can do it again. It’s definitely one of my biggest mottos.
- It’s not your job to fix everyone or everything.
- Don’t listen when they tell you that these are your best years.
Don’t let anybody protect your ears.
It’s best that you hear what they don’t want you to hear.
It’s better to have pressure from peers than not have peers.
Beer won’t give you chest hair. Spicy food won’t make it curl.
When you think you’ve got it all figured out and then everything collapses…
trust me, kid…it’s not the end of the world. (Sage Francis)
- The stages of mourning can be repeated, mixed around and don’t necessarily define how people tend to cope.
- Shopping is fun with friends but better alone
- For the sake of your own sanity, grudges need to have an expiration date
- “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, nobody can use them against you” – George R.R Martin
- “Fuck god and fuck the devil and fuck the church too. I’m responsible for my actions. I don’t need to hide behind nothing. The devil didn’t make me do it. I did it… Whatever I did.”- Lemmy
- Not liking things doesn’t make you cool
This is quite funny in retrospect. I used to shun pop music, cheesy films (well I pretended to shun these) because I thought it made me cool. Being unenthusiastic and negative about things that others enjoy isn’t cool. It’s pretty dull.
- Few things beat a night in with friends and wine
- Home, for me, isn’t a place. It’s a person.
- Compassion and sensitivity aren’t character flaws
- Putting yourself first will help you effectively help others
- Practicing gratitude will change your life
- Nothing is more freeing, and rewarding, than choosing to be yourself and removing all masks