I am 32 years old. I have been married and divorced, through military training, and earned a four-year degree. I have two children, two jobs, and am sole manager of my household. So it is from a position of experience, when I say with confidence, that I am no expert at all. There is only one real idea that can hold up and that is that things change, things and people. because as our environments change, we change. We adapt to new surroundings. We adopt new views.
The order of our priorities shift. What beliefs we hold steadfast to in our twenties are not all going to be the same in our thirties. We will learn, each according to his or her own experiences, and we will change. Not all of the changes will be better, not all of the changes will be bad ones.
Because of this it is true that the odds of answering the question “what do you know” the same way twice are slim. So I prefer to phrase it as “what I know now.” So here are just a few things I’ve come to know. Maybe in six months I’ll answer the question here again just to see how I’ve changed.
1) Time moves at a consistent steady pace. It never speeds up, it never slows down. It is only our perception, colored by how eager, nervous, or terrified we are that makes it appear to do either.
2) Time seems to go by faster as we get older because our lives become future-oriented. When we are young we are concerned with the now, content to remain in the space and time of our immediate surroundings. But future deadlines, meetings, and the responsibility of pre-planned activities keeps us looking always ahead on the calendar, and we barely notice, let alone fully experience, the now.
3) I am special, I am unique; but I do not deserve praise just for getting out of bed and showing up. Recognition should be reserved for the people who take their snowflake qualities and make snowballs, or snowmen, or ice castles.
4) Be who you are. I mean really, just be who you are. Pretending to be someone else will not make you happy. It will not make those around you happy. Such falseness will become an impenetrable barrier between you and your happy.
5) You must make your own choices. No one will ever know yourself better than you do.
6) You will make mistakes. You will make lots of mistakes. You will torture yourself over them, berate yourself over them, cry, deny them, hide them, run away from them. You might even punch some of them. But you will live through them.
7) Go ahead and cry. Sob like a baby and rail at the heavens. Sink to your knees. Barricade yourself in your house and sing along to every song that even remotely describes how you feel. Then wipe your eyes, take a shower, drink some coffee and go on with your life.
8) You can eat the cupcake. Your welcome.
9) Really. Go ahead and eat the damn cupcake.
10) Say it. Whatever it is, to whoever you need to say it to. Because embarrassment is temporary, you really might not get another chance, and regrets suck.