I read an article today, called something like 24 things all women learn in their twenties.
I’m a woman in my twenties so I thought I’d share 20 things, that as a teen, I would never have imagined that could have happened to me/20 things I’ve learned as a twenty-something.
1. To graduate from university with a 2:1 in Viking Studies. I had no direction as a teen (still haven’t found anything yet), but I kind of always thought I’d go into English and then teaching. I definitely strayed mighty far from that path, ne’er to return.
2. I never imagined that I’d be married at 23. I thought about getting married, and liked the idea of it but I don’t think in real terms I actually imagined I’d be married by now.
3. My family is nowhere near as bad as I always thought it was as a teenager. Yes, I was a total hormonal messbag, and it’s nice to have grown out of that and into being able to appreciate them again.
4. Guilty pleasures are rarely totally unique to you. They may be weird, gross or just slightly embarrassing but there are always people out there (probably closer than you think!) who enjoy the same things as you do. When you find them, it’s beautiful.
5. Okay, so maybe I knew this as a kid but I’m relearning it now. You don’t need to have known someone forever to just click with them. Friends can be made in an evening (albeit an alcohol fueled one), and it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t already be important to you.
6. Never be ashamed of what you love. This one took me a long time, but I’m sticking by it. I love folk metal, beading and playing computer games. I won’t pretend not to like anything just because it isn’t “cool”.
7. Nobody is cool. Nobody at all is cool, because they’re either arses (the “cool kids” kind of cool), or they’re a person that you have a cool-crush on. That’s like a friend crush, but it’s when you think someone is super cool and you’d like to be just like them. Then they’re only cool for your measure of cool.
8. Onto warmer topics, friends. Friends shouldn’t be hard work. Friends should be the ones you can see without feeling awkward, or like you have to justify yourself. Friends are there because you both like each others’ company and want to spend that time together. Friends shouldn’t be around because you feel guilty.
9. You can never try too many new things. I just bought wood carving tools because I want to try it. I tried bone carving, surfing, peppermint tea and I’ve loved them all. It’s amazing to keep finding new things that make you happy. I used to think there was something wrong with me because I’d pick up and try so many different things (sorry Mops!), only to put them down again once I’d mastered the basics. You know what? That’s awesome because I now have a grounding in so many different things and I can pick it back up whenever I want to.
10. I never expected to be excited about buying a hoover. I totally was though! I got approved for credit and everything, and that made me feel like a grown up. I also bought a fire guard recently so that our bunny won’t burn herself.
11. I never thought that I’d feel beautiful someday. Nowadays those days come along way more frequently, and that’s amazing.
As a sixteen year old. I still have that t-shirt actually I think.
As a slightly blurry student. I was eighteen here.
And now, as a 23 year old on my honeymoon.
12. I have confirmed to myself that clubbing only works with the right people, at the right places. First year I tried, and hated it. For my hen my sister took me to an amazing club in Camden and I had a brilliant time (minus stupid over-drunkenness).
13. Teen me would never have expected that older me will actually enjoy going to the gym and being physically active. I never thought, as a bit of an overweight teen who didn’t like running, that I’d be kicking myself if I don’t go at least twice a week now.
14. Teen me would have blanched at the number of vegetables that I love now. As a younger person, I hated pretty much every vegetable except sweetcorn and carrots. Tonight I had a beef stew with about eight different vegetables in because that is the way I roll now.
15. Hairy taught me how to drink, so I went from a nineteen year old who’d get drunk on half a bottle of cider (kopparberg as well!), to being able to hold my own against him. Clearly a crucial life skill.
16. I never thought I’d turn out so much like my dad. Similar temper, same intolerance for lights being left on all over the house. Just ask Hairy, it drives me barmy now.
17. Council tax. I swear I underestimated how much it cost to be an adult and have to do stuff like pay bills and council tax.
18. As a teenager, I don’t think I would ever have expected to be a feminist. Or interested in politics or understood how important it is to us to know what’s going on.
19. Facebook is a crock of… Well, something not very nice. I was thrilled with it as a teen, but it gives you a distorted view of how happy other people are or how exciting their lives are. It’s a one-upping game that you can never win.
20. Talking to people is fine. Phones aren’t scary. No one is judging you in your every waking moment. Deal with being weird, and be okay with it. Life is easier that way and people will like you more if you’re genuine with them.
21. Nostalgic moments are beautiful. Re-read your favourite books from when you were young, re-watch those films that always made you happy. Don’t wish you were back there though. Life is better now and I wouldn’t want to get through all those years again!