Thursday, 12 April 2007

ten years on from twenty one

Well, loria may not have mentioned my actual age, but it's not hard for anyone who has clicked the 'about me' link on the right to work out.

I was remembering my 21st birthday through the day yesterday; thinking of what I had been doing at certain points during the day. It's strange to think of the me that I was then; the things I've learned, the mistakes I've made, the strides I've made. The people I've lost touch with; the ones I've met. Because birthdays are a time for looking back, and forward.

So here are the lessons I've learned, the things I've accepted about life and myself.

  • That once you've been unfaithful to two different people with the same person, you have to stop and wonder if that one person is the one you should really be with.
  • That I'm not the unfit kid I used to be any more. My body is strong and amazing and can run for miles. Quite literally.
  • That I can choose how confident I am. I don't have to let people make me feel bad.
  • That whether or not your website is popular doesn't really matter, if you enjoy writing it.
  • That even though the above fact is true, and the internet can be a wonderful tool that lets me connect with wonderful people... sometimes it's just a new way of making me feel like the least popular kid in school.
  • That it only matters that I didn't get a degree if I let it matter. And noone cares enough to think less of me because of it.
  • That debt is bad, and tends to be a vicious circle. It's better all round if you don't spend money you don't have.
  • That loving bad 80s music doesn't mean I lose my rock cred. But that if I just listen to pop music, sooner or later my brain will need to binge on good music. That I love metal and rock and goth and that if I don't listen to them, things just don't seem right in my world.
  • That I'm a binger. I'm OK with not eating chocolate until I crack and have some, and then I have to have all the chocolate. I can go without listening to an album for months, but then I'd listen to it five or ten times in a row if it wasn't for D looking like his brain was about to explode from it. That because I am aware of that tendency, I can make sure I don't let it develop anything bad
  • That it's better if I don't drink for a while after bad things happen (breakups, deaths, that kind of thing), else I'll end up addicted. (It's always good to know in advance that addictive tendencies run in your family so that you know to watch out for them.)
  • That it's best for me to keep drinking to excess to once every ten years, because when I do, I tend to throw up on someone's doorstep.
  • That life is much too short to stay in a bad job.
  • That sometimes people turn out to be bastards, and that all you can do is let go of them without bitterness. (I'm working on the without bitterness thing.)
  • That if it's important, you can make anything work. But it might be more effort than it's worth. It's my own call.
  • That if your bathroom is cold, a heated floor feels like luxury.
  • That wet rot in your bathroom really, really sucks.
  • That some friends will stay friends for ever, even if you rarely see them; you can always just pick up where you've left off.
  • That I can survive without a car, but I'd rather not.
  • That I love writing, and I'm happier when I act on that.
  • That I have an amazing family, and it's worth making the effort to stay close, even if geographically we're far apart.
  • That sometimes I feel like I missed out on the childhood lesson on how to make and keep friends.
  • That making a relationship work is hard, but more rewarding that I could have imagined.
  • That it doesn't matter if I'm not cool.
  • That your weight really doesn't matter; it's how fit you are that counts.
  • That you can choose whether or not to wear makeup. That in environmental terms, it's pretty pointless. That I'm still me, still as beautiful as I am, with or without it.
  • That feminism is important. That if we don't fight for the things that matter, we can't rely on someone else to do it for us.
  • That it really doesn't matter if you don't shave your legs or under your arms. That if someone loves you, they won't complain if they understand your reasons.
  • That it does matter what you spend your money on. You can make a difference over a lifetime in choosing where your cash goes.
  • That writing letters or emails or making a phone call sometimes makes a real difference to the world.
  • That sex is important, and you should make time for it. No matter how busy you are.
  • That it's good to have friends or family just down the road that you know will help you and that you will help. And that you need to make time for them.
31 things. Profound and shallow; hard learned and easy; big and small.

I wonder what the next ten years will have in store.


Alda said...

Happy belated birthday, B!!

I loved your list. So many things resonated with me. Like the blogsphere sometimes making you feel like the least popular kid in school - I don't know how often I've made that similarity in my mind ... that you have the 'cool clique' and then you have everyone else (this happens especially with Britbloggers I find). And like you, I didn't know how rewarding it could be to make a relationship work. And that you shouldn't let the bastards get you down. Etc.

Great post!

Anxious said...

So much resonated with me too
The wisdom of being over thirty, perhaps ;)

b said...

Thanks alda and anxious :) It's a shame some of them were so difficult to learn, but sometimes they're the ones that are most worthwhile. And it's nice to know that it's not just me that feels that about the blogosphere!

and yes, being over thirty isn't that bad. the 21 year old me would be *horrified*...!!