Tuesday, October 25, 2011

20 Things I've Learned

I've had a lot of life experiences in the past 20 years. Those experiences have made me who I am now, and I don't really regret any of them. There's something to learn from every failure and some worth in every hard time.

1. School is worthless after you know the basics.
I knew everything I needed to know for how to stay alive by, like, 7th grade. I've always believed that the biggest issue with school is how much they force on you. I wouldn't have minded 7 classes a day if 6 of them hadn't been things I didn't need. By high school, most of us have a good idea of our strengths and weaknesses. I didn't necessarily know what I'd be doing for life, but I knew it wouldn't involve math and science, so why take those when I could be in art courses? Anyone can get through school and have all that knowledge, but it's a big waste of time in my opinion. While all my friends were falling asleep in calculus, I wrote a novel and advanced my business.

2. Wisdom comes with experience, not age.
Old people tend to have accumulated more life experiences, but that doesn't mean anyone should discredit the experience of someone else just because they're young. I've been through things 90-year-olds know nothing about, despite how much time they've been out there living. Everyone's situation is unique.

3. Having intelligence is different than being smart.
Having good grades, completing college, and getting a good job means you have intelligence. That takes a lot of memorizing and understanding. That doesn't mean you catch on to things, are a quick thinker, or are innovative and clever when you need to be, or that you can figure things out for yourself, for that matter.

4. People change.
If the people around you change for the worse, it's time to be around new people. If they grow, you likely will, too. Sometimes people grow in different directions. It's an inevitable part of life.

5. Your beliefs and ideals will be challenged. 
Don't believe in premarital sex? Guess what - you're going to meet someone you like who doesn't think like that. Don't drink? Some day, someone will put a drink in your hand and you will be very confused and very conflicted. Point is, you are your own person, and as you grow in life, you're eventually going to grow close to people who think like you. If you give up your ideals and put off the growth, then you'll just end up surrounded by people you don't really like or agree with on anything.

6. Sometimes it's no one's fault.
It's easy to place blame on other people, and really hard to place it on ourselves. Sometimes, though, things just happen.

7. There are things in life that you cannot get away with.
Sometimes, you get caught doing things you shouldn't be doing. Learn and move on. If you're doing things you shouldn't be doing and you haven't been caught yet, quit while you're ahead.

8. Love is a very unexpected thing.
Relationships can kind of sneak up on you sometimes, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

9. Your accomplishments will sometimes go unnoticed.
What's important to you is sometimes really silly to someone else, and they might not care a whole lot that you did it, but that doesn't make it less important. Always remember there are other people out there who care. 

10. You need to know how to stay alive.
You won't get anywhere in life (because you'll die) if you don't know how to cook, clean, and function in society.

11. People will complain about things they can easily fix.
Life is full of options. If you can't stand paying for checking, switch banks. If you hate your phone service, get a new one. It's not worth it to be miserable forever and make everyone else miserable when you haven't made an effort to fix things.

12. Your family will not understand you at some point in your life.
Whether you're suddenly a pagan in a Christian family or you want to drop out of school to paint giant pink unicorns, there will be times when your family wants to sit you down and lecture you for a week. Or maybe they just want to send you to the local mental hospital. Either way, most will just nod and let you go ruin your life (in their minds, at least).

13. You will not understand your parents at some point in your life.
Maybe they make a decision that makes no sense or is clearly influenced by how much they like your sister more than you. Maybe they can't seem to remember that the computer monitor and the TV are two separate entities. Whatever they do, they will do old people stuff at some point, and you will want to cry.

14. Your appearance matters.
If you go out every day looking like you just got out of bed, good luck making friends with anyone who doesn't look like that. We all have our standards. We look for friends and partners that are similar to ourselves. You have no one to blame but yourself if you put zero effort into looking nice and attract the scum of the earth. 

15. Poor spelling and grammar make you look like a monkey.
I swear, when I see some of the status updates from friends on Facebook, I think they must be fighting to reach the keyboard from a foot away while thrashing, so much so that they must use only the shortest abbreviations and have tons of typos. We live in a world that is becoming increasingly dependent on our technology. How you type is essentially how others hear your voice. If you want people to think of you as more than a three year old, put some effort into sounding intelligent.

16. You will offend someone at some point in your life.
You might not even realize you're doing it, but you'll do it.

17. Life is all about balance and compromise.
You'll have to give up about 40 hours of your week at some point in exchange for staying alive. You'll have to make compromises in relationships because you care about the other person and that's what relationships are about. There are tons of unpleasant things we all have to do in life, but if you're good about it, you'll still have plenty of pleasant things, too.

18. Things always get better.
Unless you kill yourself. Then you're dead and nothing gets better.

19. You will have unexpected obstacles thrown at you out of nowhere.
Maybe you get pregnant despite tons of precautions. Maybe health problems sneak up on you out of nowhere and ruin your life. Maybe you suddenly lose a family member, a friend, or a limb. Humans are very adaptable; you can work through it.

20. Life is what you make it.
Don't feel like you have to go to college and suffer through 4 years of school just to have a job. It can make it easier, but if it's not worth it to you, find an option that is. I think a lot of us look for things we don't need to do but that society has ingrained in us we should do, and we complain that we don't want to but we have to, and we do them and make ourselves miserable. It doesn't have to be like that. Spend more time on what you want to be doing rather than conforming to a norm no one is making you follow.

1 comment:

  1. You should change this so 21 things that you've learned and include that you can be and are very insightful. :)

    Well put, Audrey.