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15 things I wish I knew when I was 25

Sometimes we forget what we know is good and true, and instead fall into the trap of habit. So sometimes we need reminding.

I did this exercise for day 64 of Claudia Altucher’s Become an Idea Machine (which called for only 10 things!), and realised this was not a list to my younger self; it’s really a list to myself right now, so I wanted to keep it handy.

15 things I wish I knew when I was 25

  1. Brush it off. Yes, things didn’t work out the way you wanted. Now get up, decide what the fuck you want to do next, and go do it.
  2. Stop expecting people to be perfect. Including yourself.
  3. Stop wasting time on what doesn’t matter.
  4. Stop waiting for things to fall in place.
  5. Take care of your body. It will take time, so start learning now.
  6. Keep in touch with your friends.
  7. Have random fun. It will make you happy.
  8. Try things that seem difficult or “unlike” you.
  9. Take care of the ones you love.
  10. Don’t let your emotions get in the way of what’s important.
  11. Meditate.
  12. Listen to your gut. Explore the things your instincts tell you to.
  13. Following what you think you “should” do or what’s “safe” will only lead to pain.
  14. The only limitations are your thinking and your habits. You can change them.
  15. There is enough time in life. Stop wasting time thinking there isn’t.

We alone make our choices, but we don’t have to be alone in them

I just realised that my parents have never forced me into any life choices save one. I’m not quite sure if that was a good or bad thing. The last time they did it was in my last year of primary school, where they pushed me to top the school; after that I made all my own life choices.

I always thought that it might be the fact that I wilfully chose to have things that way, but in retrospect it could have signalled a lack of communication — they probably had no inkling of what I was doing or what I wanted to do, and in some ways, neither did I. If I rebelled I think I rebelled in quite a large, if silent, way.

Because of this I also felt like I never relied on them or got support from them for my life choices. I felt I didn’t need to, but equally, I felt lonely in my choices, and accepted that I had to face both choices and consequences alone.

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