This is an incomplete, not especially profound and only partially earnest list of some of the things that seem true to me, at 30, in the year 2018. I’m not entirely sure of its intention or usefulness to anyone, but it just seemed like a mildly entertaining thing to write as I approach my 31st birthday. Please feel free to debate or debunk any of my points.
Almost everything of value I’ve learned in over a decade of intensive self-inquiry, can be summed up by the Irish prayer for serenity: (God grant me the serenity…)
It takes half a second to understand something intellectually. It can take many years of lived experience to really get it, at every level of consciousness. (See #1.)
One of the most radical agents of personal change and growth seems to be the practice of self-love and acceptance. Paradoxical, but true.
A second radical agent of change is just doing difficult shit that you haven’t done before.
Guilt is a feeling that is completely possible to free oneself from. I stopped feeling guilty for things I shouldn’t, and stopped doing things for which I should. The wisdom is knowing the difference...
Attaching your keys to a brightly coloured lanyard or a really long piece of string, however hideous, will change your life.
Some things are never worth taking photos of: sunrises, sunsets, waterfalls. You will never capture even a fraction of their glory, and even if you do, who really wants to look back on photographs of sunsets and waterfalls? It’s a great relief to just put the camera/phone away.
There’s still a huge amount of stigma around mental and emotional health. While those who work out at the gym or hire a personal trainer are admired for their discipline and commitment, those who invest in therapy, coaching, or other forms of mental and emotional support tend to be seen as weak, woo-woo, or defective in one way or another.
Further to #8, considering the state of our planet and most marriages, it seems to me not only courageous but rather an intelligent decision to start investing in our psychological health.
Kate Moss is quoted as having said: Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels; implying that being skinny is worth the starvation required to achieve it. To which I’d argue - what about ramen? Also, no degree of starvation looks as good as self-love, self-respect and the experience of wholeness feels.
I believe ‘pretty privilege’ is real, in that attractive people tend to be treated with a sort of positive bias as they go through life. That said, the most beautiful people in the world do not seem to have much advantage when it comes to being loved, feeling safe, belonging or living fulfilling and satisfying lives. This is visible when it comes to celebrities and supermodels (who are often very troubled) as well as some of my exceptionally attractive friends - an insight into their life reveals that while they turn a lot of heads, they do not seem to be any more loved, cared for, respected or emotionally fulfilled than my less genetically privileged friends.
No carbs, no life.
The patriarchy is alive and well, even in the developed west.
Do not read the comments on any publically shared feminist, female-authored, female-featuring, or in any way remotely female-supportive material. They will crush your faith in, and any flicker of hope you still have for humanity. And, especially, men.
Logic and rational thinking will get you so far. Feeling and intuition will often get you the rest of the way, in half the time.
If you imagine that blind fumble of your worst ever teenage sex, that astonishingly brief, feverish rush to the finish line without the least bit of control, care or consideration for the source of his happy little ending… it’s not completely unlike what humanity at large is doing to the planet.
Humanity needs a love affair with an older, experienced woman.
The nineties really was the golden era for hip hop. And that’s a fact!
Don’t date someone who takes themselves too seriously to sing and dance to your most embarrassing guilty pleasures. Not worth it.
Set your standards according to what you truly need and desire, not what anyone else is doing or saying.
Do not adjust your standards according to someone’s ability to meet them.
Find the people who are willing and able to meet your standards. Treat them well. Hold them dear.
If you’ve ever felt afraid of being too demanding or ‘high maintenance’ in a relationship, think about it this way: ever noticed how much time and money a guy is willing to spend maintaining a car he loves? Be the Ferrari, sister. You know what I’m sayin’?
When you wake up one Sunday, and you cannot wait to spend a long, lazy morning alone doing all the things you love: reading the Guardian in print with a cup of hot coffee in a warm bed (for example)... that’s wholeness I think. That deep, resounding sense of pleasure in being on the planet as who you are.
When you’re sobbing your eyes out, clutching a bottle of wine in the foetal position on the kitchen floor, and you still kind of like yourself… that’s also wholeness, I think.
Life does seem to be quite a lot like the weather, complete with sunshine, rain, storms, rainbows… I’m always suspicious of people who complain about the rain. How do you even do life?
Get yourself two or three very funny and irreverent friends. They will restore your will to live.
The trouble with doing anything creative is that by the time you’ve completed a project, it has changed you so much that you’d do it completely differently. Then again, that’s probably why we do it.
I already can’t understand half the slang the kids are using these days. It’s only downhill from here. I’m afraid for my future self.
There most definitely, without a doubt, exists the force of some kind of powerful magic in this world. Life is the most fun when I allow myself to be part of it.