It is necessary to close one’s eyes, lean over into the abyss and simply fall, hoping that when you land, it will hurt less than you anticipate. Thus is life.
We all have wings; it’s just that we sometimes forget our capacity to fly. It’s easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day; the commitments that pour in past the age of 22 – family, career, rent… But why do we care so much?
Today we read Shakespeare – ‘all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts – his acts being seven ages.’ When read, the verse really does drive home the futility of worry. We are here just once, in this gigantic, brilliant, improvised play – so why care what others think? Why make yourself miserable for somebody who doesn’t appreciate it? Why clip your wings prematurely? There is so much world out there – so much life – that sometimes, we get so distracted by the ‘haps’ that we forget to truly live it.
Every three years or so I kick myself up the arse and ask myself if I deserve better. I listen to Frank Turner and reminisce over the past, but instead of lamenting all that has never happened, I focus on the positives and think about how to make it even better. My life thus far has been awesome, but only because I took those baby steps and wasn’t afraid to take a look over the edge.
I thoroughly urge you to do the same.
In the grand spirit of mid-twenties women on the blogosphere, here are a few things I’ve learned in my 27 years on the planet we call Earth:
1. The unlikeliest of people can surprise you in ways you never thought possible. Give everyone a chance, and never, ever judge the proverbial book by its cover.
2. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is. This applies to all aspects of life: boyfriends/girlfriends/good friends/old friends/cars/transactions/career/and so on.
3. Don’t stay in a relationship if it makes you unhappy. You may stick with it because you think you love them, but one day you’ll turn around and realise you’ve spent a huge chunk of your life trying desperately to get back something that died years earlier. If you ever feel like cutting and running and give it serious thought, then it really is time to go.
4. Never, ever underestimate the power of music.
5. Try everything once. Everything can be a pleasure in the right context.
6. Don’t waste your money on psychics and clairvoyants; go to a good gig instead. You’ll thank yourself for it in twenty years.
7. Worrying is futile. Either it’s already happened, in which case what can you do about it? Or it’s inevitably going to happen – in which case, what can you do about it? Both ways, the answer is nothing. As Baz Luhrmann said – “don’t worry about the future, or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.”
8. Never drop your friends for a relationship.
9. Never believe the first story you hear.
10. Every day, take the time to smile over something. Anything. Laughter really is the best medicine.
11. If a friendship/relationship ends, try to determine why it happened, rather than brooding over what could have been. If you look deeply enough into it, you’ll see that what happened was the best thing that could have happened, and you’ll begin to move on.
12. Love pops up at the most inconvenient times. Don’t write it off just because you don’t feel society will accept it. If it’s what YOU want, then nothing should ever stop you. If it stops them, they’re not worth bothering with anyway.
13. Experiment, but don’t ever be pushed into doing something you don’t want to do. Drugs can ruin lives – it really is ok to say ‘no’. Real friends will respect you for doing so.
14. Be independent. Don’t ever rely on someone else for enjoyment. You are all you need.
15. Try not to waste all day berating your body. If you’re not happy with it, exercise and eat less. Don’t waste time on diets – they’re worthless.
16. On the flip side – if you want that doughnut – fucking eat it.
17. If somebody needs you, regardless of how inconvenient it is for you, be there for them. One day you’ll need them, and they will remember the time you were there. This will prove invaluable.
18. Wear whatever the fuck you like. Stop caring what people think.
19. Sing as loud as you can at least once a day. If you can, do it in the car with the windows down or in the living room, windows closed, arms in the air, jumping around like a mad man. It’s cathartic, and it will help with anything.
20. People will move on. They’ll cheat; they’ll lie; they’ll move countries/jobs/house… It is what it is. If they’re really worth your time and effort, they’ll stick around.
21. Remember the words of Vonnegut… ‘So it goes’.