Today I celebrate 29 years of liberation from the warm squishiness of the womb. I have 365 more days of my 20s left for me, before some 30 year old takes over the writing of this blog and god knows what she’s all about.
I’m not really a birthday person. I don’t have big parties, I don’t tell people weeks in advance and give big hints about expecting gifts etc. Most people I know don’t remember my birthday most years, so it’s a fairly low key affair.
Instead of shouting from the rooftops and posting envy inducing celebration pics, I’ve decided to use the time to reflect on what I’ve learnt and what I know.
So, here are 29 things I’ve learnt in 29 years.
1. If you have a phone charger, you are the most important and popular person in the room
2. Gloves, like socks, repulse each other. They spend their lives trying to escape the company of their significant other, while we try and smush them into balls to keep them together for our own benefit and ease of locating them at a later date. They hate us for this and would rather sit alone on the street.
3. I need bigger aperture. I’m talking camera lenses. I need a new lens where I can really open that bastard right up and let ALL of the light in.
4. I once had a cat that would come if I stood outside calling his name. Like, he could be three houses over and it might take a couple of minutes but he’d come running back to see what was up. Apparently, this is strange.
5. Always order the cheesecake
6. Life is too short for friends you don’t actually like. Conversely however, they do give you the best stories to tell, which can help you appear entertaining and fun to people you do actually like and want to be friends with.
7. Always ask the question. Chances are, you’re not the only one thinking it, and even if you are, better to get the embarrassment of not knowing out of the way now. Walking into a situation you don’t understand very rarely goes well for anyone.
8. You actually have to make an effort to be a nice person. The kind of nice person that people talk about as being super nice, you know the one. Most people think they’re nice people, and they probably are, but from an outsiders perspective they’re not actually doing nice things, they’re just not actively obstructing anyone from happiness and peace.
9. Sometimes apologising to people is actually easier than avoiding them.
10. People don’t always remember things from the same perspective that you do. So something that was a big deal to you might only be a blip in their memory banks, and vice versa.
11. Not everyone is the same person they were in high school. Sure, leopards don’t change their spots, but some people have taken the time to figure out how to make those spots really work for them.
12. Sometimes your makeup will look bad and there is nothing you can do about it. Go out, face the day, try to smile.
13. Your wacky diet and weightloss plan is not a fun topic of conversation for the rest of the room. You even risk becoming a fun sponge.
14. Storybook love where you get a little bit fluttery and smiley every time you see your sexy-partner is actually possible. That’s how those stories got written in the first place.
15. I think the Girl Guide biscuits we sold as children are actually a poor comparison to the Girl Scout cookies you hear about in American TV. Monica wouldn’t have gotten fat on Girl Guide biscuits.
16. Weddings scare me a little. Marriages don’t, but the wedding thing usually makes me want to heave. Even if I’m a third tier guest sitting down the back.
17. Try and say more nice things to people. It’s never unwelcome.
18. Posture is an ongoing battle.
19. It’s hard to eat gracefully, without looking like a hunchbacked hungus.
20. The thesaurus is my favourite dinosaur.
21. There are stories everywhere. You don’t have to search for them, or even really make them up. They’ll just smack you in the face while riding the bus and minding your own business. The tricky part is noticing and remembering them.
22. It’s really fucking difficult to argue effectively. It means being patient, polite and sensible. It’s easier just to make fun of someone, mock them and thereby achieve nothing when it comes to having more well informed opinions in the world.
23. Hair breaks. So do nails. Deal with it. Try not to be so blasé about bones and hearts, though.
24. Try listening to other people. It’s frigging mindblowing what some folks will tell almost complete strangers because they can’t find a way to tell the people who matter and have them actually listen.
25. Climbing trees is overrated
26. Cheese keeps getting better as you age
27. Keep learning things. All the capital cities of Europe. The periodic table. The plot points of Shakespearean plays. You’ll be amazed at the times this comes in handy – even if it just gets you a bottle of wine down the local pub quiz.
28. People who are happy and contented don’t really cause problems. Ergo, if someone is causing you a problem, making their life a little bit happier will be more effective than giving them a problem back.
29. I don’t know shit.