8 Things I Wish I Could Tell My Twenty-something Self
I realised with a jolt this week that I am nearly forty.
I mean, it's not quite happening until next year but it IS looming, which is making me kind of twitchy.
First of all, my partner and I are getting hitched this year and I have some vague concerns around the notion that if I don't get it done before I'm forty that then I'm REALLY an old bride. Even though I know I'm being ridiculous. Just LOOK at the beautiful Sophia Vergara - and she ain't no spring chicken either.
Then there's what's going on with my face. I look different in photos these days - I'm going to call it 'wizened' to cover up what I really mean which is 'what the fuck is going on with my eyes?!'
For a few weeks I was asking myself 'Is it tiredness?' 'Have I just been on the computer too much?' 'Have I been laughing a lot lately?'.. until I copped on and realised that IT'S JUST MY FACE.
My face that's nearly forty.
It got me thinking about the younger me, the one who was a little bit wilder than the woman I am these days, the one who wore tighter jeans and higher heels.
I know I'm still the same person, a little bit more jaded and definitely mellowed out in the sense that I don't have to have huge confrontations with every single person I meet any more (oh that twenty-something firey north side red head girl was a handful).
But if I could have a word with myself then, I would definitely mention the following:
1. Do not get sucked in on the first episode of 'Making a Murderer'.
You will be duped and will have nothing to show for it at the end of a marathon binge-watch except psoriasis from the stress of the court cases and regret. Lots and lots of regret.
2. Start saving those sheckles
Even if it's one euro a week, please start saving in your twenties. I am only now getting around to dopily musing 'Do you think I need to start a pension?' - which means I'll have about 42 cent a week to live on when I retire. GREAT.
3. Learn how to cook five things really well
I want to share with you that I managed to destroy a pre-cooked chicken this week. As in, it was already cooked and I still destroyed it. My style of cooking is known as 'walks away from oven and forgets about it'. I'm a disgrace.
4. Change one thing about the world
It is much easier to be a revolutionary when you don't have kids. You can stay up until 3am making placards for your demonstrator pals and writing petitions and using your youthful exuberant energy to shout loud and be heard. Do it. Find out what's missing in your world and fight to make it right.
5. Not everyone's going to love you and that's ok
It is really important to get along with as many people as you can, but it is also important to realise early that not everyone gives as much of a shit about you as you'd hoped. Build your own trib;, nurture it, love it, hold on to it.
6. Never, ever explain
Politely say 'no, thank you' as often as you please, slip out of that party without telling anyone, elope, try a tonne of new things - be brave and never, ever explain why. The freedom of not apologising as an automatic response can be really exhilarating.
7. Please see the world before you have kids
The mortgage and grown up stuff really, really, really can wait. Get a map of the world on the wall and commit to five to ten years of working at jobs that will pay for your planned trips abroad. Have you any idea how impossible it will be to walk the Great Wall Of China with a toddler puking into your backpack
8. When it comes to guys, there is only one rule: 'zero tolerance'
Argh, why do we waste so much time on the wrong guys? When I think of all the time I wasted being devastated over guys who weren't right for me, instead of being happy and enjoying myself, I want to kick myself up the arse. On the very first sign of dickhead behaviour, I want you to call up your inner diva, look them straight in the eye and repeat after me: 'Go fuck yourself'.
What would you tell your younger self? Let us know in the comments!