25 Thoughts at 25
So, I recently turned 25 years old. Please hold the applause and the "old man" jokes. Life is already painful enough. Grey hairs and aching backs ain’t no joke. Anyway, I thought a little post about some things I’ve learned in my 25 years of life could be a nice way to ring in the next quarter century of my life. Twenty-five years is a long time. Like… a very long time, but also somehow not very long at all.
Anyway, since I'm a human shitpost with no life experience, here are some things I learned in my life and also a few things I probably wish I learned sooner.
It Gets Better
It truly does. I was a depressed 15-year-old once, now I’m a depressed 25-year-old, but I at least know that it got better and is still getting better. Life—and happiness—is a work in progress.
The world is shitty enough already. If you can’t find a kind person, then be one. I mean that. Be supportive. Be kind. Everybody’s out here just trying to get by. Don’t make it harder for them or yourself. If we were all kind, life and Earth would be much better for it.
Go a Little Green
If you’re young like me, you the most directly affected by climate change. We should be more aware of it and should care more about these issues. Read up on climate change and soak up the information, because whether or not you believe in it, it’s real and it’s coming at us faster and faster.
You Need a Break
Life should not be all work and no play. Make sure you take time off for yourself and your mental health. On top of working, the world can be overwhelming sometimes and you might just need a break from it all. And that’s completely okay.
Get a Hobby
Not something to make side money outside of your full-time job, I mean a hobby that makes you happy. You need something that enriches your life and adds value to your existence. For me, that’s writing. I enjoy writing novels and stories. I find this hobby at age 9, but if you haven’t found yours yet, that’s okay. Van Gogh didn’t start painting until he was in his late 20s. That leads me to my next point…
It’s Never Too Late
You can go back to college or university at 20 or 80. It doesn’t matter. It’s never too late to try. It’s never too late to learn something new or write a book or learn to knit. There is no such thing as the right time for these things.
You Can Change Your Life Any Day
At any point, you can apply to a new job or decide to apply to schooling. You can walk out of a relationship. You can decide to move across the country. You can stop talking to someone. You can make a new friend. You can go vegan. You can start waking up at 5AM. Everything is relatively in your control. You can change your life at any time, whenever you want. Obviously, barring some restrictions, but you get the idea.
Networks Are Important
I wish I knew this one before I turned 25 (or even 20). Networking is an important social function that I have neglected. Not just in terms of the writing world, but in my professional life. I went to school in 2014 for broadcasting and have not done anything with it because I didn’t network very well in college. I realize now how important that is. It honestly depresses me to know that the people I currently work with are functionally useless to me in that sense. I work in a kitchen, but I’m in school for accounting. This means that these cooks are not going to be able to help me in any way when I graduate. It sucks, but the reality is networks are more important than strictly work friends, you know? I love the guys in the kitchen that I work with, but they can't help me advance my career if the kitchen is theirs.
This is so generic, I know, but it’s the honest truth. Just be yourself. Don’t compromise who you are for somebody else. Often times, I said of myself that I was adaptable to situations and what people needed from me, but now I have an identity crisis where I don’t think I know who the real me really is anymore. Don’t do this. Be yourself, always. Be you.
The F***ing Jigsaw
This stupid comedy special from Daniel Sloss has ruined my life and how I view relationships and happiness in general. Ruined because it changed my perspective completely. Daniel Sloss is a rare comedian that can be both funny and insanely deep at the same time. In his routine, he mentions the notion that the media has made us all feel like we need somebody to love us to be whole, stating that we are half a person if we don’t have somebody to love us and be with us.
So here’s the jigsaw metaphor he uses: We all have pieces we’re putting together of our own jigsaw puzzles, being our life. So we try to find our job piece and put it in. Our happiness piece and put it in. Our soulmate piece and put it in. And so on with other facets of life. His metaphor goes on to explain how society has engrained in us that our happiness piece and soulmate piece have to be the same piece. For some people, they are, for others, it’s not the case.
Basically, he boils it down to this: Do we stay with someone and jam the soulmate piece into the happiness piece slot even if it makes us unhappy, or do we admit we were wrong and then move on? Because it’s so rare that your true happiness will be a soulmate, but we all have this bias in our heads instilled from society that we NEED somebody to make us feel whole. Basically, watch Daniel Sloss’s comedy specials and see what I mean. It really changed my perspective on love and happiness.
Never be afraid to laugh. Laugh loud. Laugh often. Laugh with friends. Laugh with strangers. Some of the best nights I’ve had were with people I barely knew, laughing away at some stupid joke.
Take Care of Yourself
This means teeth, deodorant, skincare, and showering. I struggle with that skincare one, but my partner has me going on a routine. Or she’s trying to anyway. It’s a work in progress.
Controversial, I know, but alcohol is a social lubricant and it honestly could have helped me branch out more in my early 20s to have more outings and drinking buddies. If you’re against alcohol for religious or personal reasons, discount this point on my list. This list is meant as things I wish I knew earlier in life. I sometimes find myself wondering if my life would have been better had I made stronger friends over a few extra drinks. Oh, well.
Drink More Water Also
Still struggling to remember to drink enough water most days, but oh, man, is water ever important. Please drink more. At any and every age. It helps with pretty much every function and organ of the body since we’re all primarily made of the stuff. Roughly two litres a day for the average adult! Grab a cup!
Listen to More Music
Music soothes the soul. Listen to music often. Listen to many varieties of music. Listen to popular music and obscure music. Listen to music you can sing to, cry to, dance to, have sex to… Just listen to music.
Do Something That Scares You
For me, something that scared me was moving to a whole new city for the first time. It was going on dates (with social anxiety, wassup) and meeting new people. It was taking a chance on a job in a kitchen that I thought I would make a clown of myself at. Joke’s on you, I actually rocked that shit and became the single best cook at that kitchen during my two-year stint. Moral is: Do something that scares you because at the very least you will have a good story to tell from it and you might even find out you’re stronger or better at something than you could have ever thought.
Not Everything Has to Make You Money
Is this a little ironic coming from somebody who’s hobby is writing and said person also has ads on a blog and also sells the books on Amazon and through Kindle? Yes. Perhaps. But that’s not the point. I don’t do these things to make money. I don’t care if only one person ever buys a copy of my books. I write them for me. It’s not about money. Kill the notion that your hobbies and side “hustles” have to be profitable. You’re allowed to do it for fun. Part of the fun for me, however, is actually doing the publishing process. So it makes sense to make my writing available for purchase. While you’re here, go and buy a book. If you’ve read this far, you must be invested in me, right? ;) love you.
You Don’t Get Time Back
Time is a fleeting resource. You never get back the time you have wasted. So I guess my advice is to fill your time doing things you love with people you like and that if you enjoy wasting time doing something, then it isn’t time wasted, really.
Don’t Go to Bed Angry at Someone
This is classic marriage advice, but it’s kind of true. I try to make sure I don’t go to sleep angry at people, but it happens sometimes in life, so it’s kind of a work in progress as well. The idea is that you don’t know if you’ll see that person again tomorrow or ever again, you know? So try not to go to bed angry with loved ones.
Good Things Come to Those Who Try
One of my biggest pet peeves is listening to people complain about their situation but do nothing to better it. Good things come to the people who bust their asses to improve their situation. If you’re not actively improving your life and manifesting better things, how is your life going to get better? But, you know, it’s definitely the world’s fault that a better job isn’t just falling into your lap. Couldn’t be because you’re not applying to any new jobs. Couldn’t be that at all.
Now, obviously, if you are trying, this isn’t about you. It’s about the people who don’t try. I’ve been there, in a position where I’ve applied to hundreds of jobs and not gotten many calls. Sometimes, that just happens. And it sucks. But you can’t give up, you know? You gotta keep trying. Nobody can make your life better except for yourself.
Live and Let Live
It’s really simple. Just let other people live how they live. You don’t like her hair colour? Cool. Keep it to yourself. You gain nothing by putting someone down. You wouldn’t want them to tell you that they didn’t like something about you. Easy enough to understand, right? This same concept extends to letting someone love who they want to love. What people do in their own lives is whatever. You do you, I'll do me.
Most of us will not be famous. Most of us will not be rich from our passions. Most of us will not live in our dream homes. And all of this is okay. Be realistic with yourself. Ideally, we all would have big mansions and millions of dollars (or just, like, affordable housing and not having to slave away to afford basic necessities), and it’s nice to aim high, but the reality is most of us will work middle-class jobs and live in a mediocre house. Make the best of the situation. Life is not about material things anyway.
Math is Useless
Okay, it’s useless to the majority of the population. And by math, I mean the math outside of BEDMAS or PEMDAS or whatever the hell it’s called these days. Basic math like adding and multiplying is still needed and used and helpful in everyday life. But parabolas? Trigonometry? Calculus? Nope. Not important. Not needed. Get it away from me. Thanks.
You get one body. That’s it. There are no do-overs here. So take care of the body you have! That means eating healthy (I struggle with this sometimes) and go to the gym (I also struggle with this, but I have an active job). It’s insanely important to keep your body healthy or you will pay for it later in life. Why waste your 40s and beyond being miserable with a dozen ailments because you couldn’t substitute one pizza a week for something dumb, like a kale smoothie?
Nothing Actually, Like… Matters
Since I was about 22, I’ve meant it when I said nothing matters. It’s not just an edgy thing I say. It’s a genuine belief that nothing in life matters and life itself is inherently meaningless. From a biological standpoint, we’re here to continue passing on our DNA and that’s it. There is no great meaning to life. We all die. Everything in the universe will fade out one day. We live and we die. Period. (Also, we live in a simulation. Write that down.)
So, what do you think?
Comment your thoughts!
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And have a good wander, friend.