Ten Things I Wish I’d Learned By Now9 August 2018
Dad always told me that life is full of lessons, that life is a journey where you don’t ever stop learning—no matter how old you get. Late last year, I learnt that if you boil your pasta in salted water, the pasta will taste a zillion times better (many thanks to my housemate for that quick tip). Earlier this year I learnt what it meant to do right by yourself—this was something I learnt the hard way. With that, here are 10 things I wish I’d learned by now.
1. How to spell disappointment without being auto-corrected. I’m a Bachelor of Arts student double majoring in Media and Communications and International Relations. My chosen career path is to be a journalist. Heck, I’m even writing this piece in hopes that Farrago would publish it in their next edition. But I can’t spell dissapointment to save my life, it’s embarassing.
2. How to spell embarrassing right. Refer to point one.
3. Know that not everyone has a heart like mine. Do unto others, as you want others do unto you. I lived by this quote for most of my life. I’m constantly reminding myself to be kind no matter the circumstances and to always treat others with respect. I try my best to keep the ones I love happy and I do not hesitate to go out of the way to help someone in need. But not everyone has a heart like mine. I protected a person’s honour only to have them demonise me behind my back. I loved a partner unconditionally and yet I was made to feel inadequate because I didn’t fit the mould he created for me. I’m learning that not everyone has a heart like mine and that just because I did good for a person, doesn’t mean I should expect a reciprocation at the same degree. That way I’d be less disappointed when a person I care for hurts me.
4. To call my mum consistently. After ghosting my mum for an article, you’d think I’d learn to call her more frequently. Don’t get me wrong, I do call her. Sometimes I’ll call her three times a week, sometimes I’ll call her once a week and sometimes I don’t call her for three weeks. She doesn’t fuss over it, but I know she deserves better.
5. How to write legibly. I have problems reading my own handwriting. I’d blame it on speedwriting but I have to face the fact that I have a habit of not having a consistent look to my handwriting. Thus, making it a whole lot harder for me to determine what I’m writing. Sometimes the letters are rounded, sometimes they’re connected. Sometimes I dot my Is, sometimes I cross my Zs. Sometimes my Ls are in loops, other times they’re long and slanted. To make it even harder, my handwriting is often cursive.
6. How to stop procrastinating. Some people are lazybones, some people are funny bones. I’m the procrastination bone. This little, yet highly problematic trait, runs wild in my blood. I leave assignments to the last minute and I find myself not sleeping for over 24 hours because I’m stressing and crying over finishing two different assignments that are due on the same day. I don’t know why I do it and I really wish that there was an absolutely logical reason and explanation as to why I do. Each time I’m done with submissions, I wallow in self-hate. But when the next round of assignments comes, I don’t hesitate to procrastinate.
7. How to get rid of toxic people. Toxic people create unnecessary drama, are manipulative, controlling and are in all, incredibly damaging to the ones around them. I’ve met a number of people who are toxic and they come in varying forms. Sometimes they’re a close friend that I’ve known for 10 years, sometimes they’re an old flame that I thought was destined to wed one day. And even though I know I should let them go, I find it exceptionally hard because I’ve invested an insane amount of time and effort in those relationships. Cutting strings and saying goodbye seemed almost like a waste, although I know that’s completely untrue.
8. To stop being a people pleaser. Dad placed really high standards for me to meet when I was growing up. Whenever I don’t meet those standards, he gets displeased and I, in turn, become disappointed in myself. Pleasing dad has now become a habit, and I shamefully admit that his approval still matters to me now just as much, and maybe even more, than it did then. I’ve grown accustomed to trying to please the people around me, and although it’s not entirely a bad thing to want to take extra care of the feelings of the people around you, it can backfire. People pleasers tend to care way too much about the people around that sometimes they forget to care for themselves. This brings me to my next point.
9. Self-care is important. My heart is too big for my body (and I’m a well-built 5 ft 11 female) and I fill my heart with caring for others. I just need to learn to care for myself the same way I care for others. I consistently have to remind myself that I matter and I’m worthy of that much care, love and attention that I give to others.
10. That it’s okay to not have it all together. Most people think I have my shit together and that I have all my ducks in a row. And truth be told, I’ve gotten being used to living up to that standard. But when life doesn’t go my way, I’d blame myself and point out all the things about me that aren’t that pretty. I’d ponder about what I could have done wrong or what I could have done right instead and it does my head in. It’s incredibly unhealthy and emotionally draining. I have to learn that not everything has to be under my control, that it isn’t my fault, that I am enough and that it is okay to not have it all together all the time.