I’m an 80’s baby, a 90’s kid. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was in high school and it only made phone calls and played ‘snake’.
I was lucky enough to grow up with PacMan and Mario Brothers, a Nintendo Console that required you to blow the dust off the inside of the tape in order for it to work.
I’m from the generation that would record music off the radio onto a tape. In fact, when at work with my mom, I was recording two-hour “radio shows” onto cassettes. I would intro and outro each song and talk shit between songs. It was a very carefully timed ordeal 🙂
I was in primary school when Apartheid was demolished. I went from having an all-white class to a mixed class- and got to make my first non-white friends. I got to live through these black candy balls initially called nigger balls to be renamed to black balls. It’s funny what you remember as a kid!
We had MNET open time, we loved MTV, We hung out at Musica listening to CD’s we couldn’t afford to buy, we danced to Spice Girls, We had Teen Beat magazine and I memorized every lyric of the Alanis Morrisette Jagged Little Pill album which I owned as a cassette and a cd.
We literally grew up with Friends, not to mention Dawson’s Creek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Turning 35, I notice that my interests, priorities, and opinions have changed. I’m feistier and more direct. I feel more sure of my feelings, I’m less of a people-pleaser, and I don’t apologise for who I am. These are just some of the many gifts that come with growing up.
So here are 35 things that I have learned in 35 years:
- Your character is the most important thing about you. Make yours count.
- Family really is everything. Family isnt always blood, whatever it is to you-Invest heavily in yours.
- Ignore the system. Don’t give in to what society deems to be the conventional route for success. Trust your gut and map your own way.
- You are your own worst enemy- get out your own damn way.
- Friendships are tested by lots of things, one of which is time. But the best of friends can always pick right up where time left off.
- Some people are indeed assholes, but they’re probably assholes for a reason. Remember everyone is fighting some kind of battle.
- If you think of a compliment about someone, say it out loud. Good thoughts are wasted unspoken and a simple gesture like telling a stranger you like her hair could turn someone’s day around.
- Be the person who builds others up.
- Sometimes you need a good cry, so let it out. And don’t ever tell anyone — including your kids — that they shouldn’t.
- You are never too old to find a new passion, hobby, or career.
- Embrace the pain and the joy in life. They both matter—equally. Without both, there is no balance. Without the pain, heartbreak and even soul-crushing losses we would never have the amazing opportunity to truly get to know ourselves and what we are capable of. When I take time for reflection, I find that I grew as a human being the most always during my times of suffering. Always. That’s not to say that growth doesn’t happen during joyful times, but joy doesn’t show us the strength of the human spirit. It doesn’t show us who we are and what we are capable of. What we choose and how we react—that is who we are.
- Rip of the bandaid. Have those tough conversations with the people in your life. Don’t avoid them. Nothing goes away by ignoring it.
- Cut out energy drainers and negativity in your life. It’s 100 percent okay to walk away from someone or something—even after forgiveness. Walk away, but always forgive. We haven’t really walked away if we haven’t forgiven.
- Be proud of accomplishments, big or small. No matter the size, they all required determination and effort to achieve. Celebrate your wins!
- Always speak up, even when it’s scary. We should be strong in our convictions but can be conscious of the words we choose.
- Where we came from, what has happened to us, or even mistakes that we’ve made—those things do not define us. They do not have the power to determine where we go from here. We have choices. Every day. Every second. If we made the wrong one before, that’s okay—just make the right one now. When we stumble and fall: get up, Shake it off and repeat.
- Your body will fluctuate in size. Have a collection of clothes in more than one size that you love. Don’t squeeze yourself into jeans that leave you bulging over the top. You will have to undo the top button after dinner and you will leave feeling gross. Simply put on the bigger size jeans own your bigger size for the day.
- Get uncomfortable often. This is where growth happens.
- How you prioritize your time, says a lot about who you are and what you value.
- Focus and discipline trumps everything.
- Time is the most important currency. Spend it wisely and give it to those who matter in abundance.
- Everyone has ideas. Don’t just be an ideas person, make shit happen
- Your resume and your education doesn’t matter nearly as much as your ability to forge relationships does.
- Apologise when you’re an asshole. To your friends, your colleagues, your family, your kids.
- Know your anchors. Understand what tools you use to ground you and practice those often.
- Say “I love you” often to those who you love.
- Your health matters the most. Without it, you cannot fully enjoy anything or anyone else.
- You are responsible for your own happiness.
- Self care is not selfish
- Orgasms are important.- sex should come stadard with them.
- Photoshop and instagram filters are literally magic. Remember that the next time you feel bad when scrolling through social media.
- If looking at another person’s body makes you feel bad, ashamed, jealous or angry- that has everything to do with what’s going on inside you and nothing to do with them- address that shit cos it only gets worse by ignoring it.
- Practice saying no often. To friends you don’t want to hang out with, to family who are asking too much of you, to sex if you’re not into it.
- Support your friend’s business, actually pay them. Don’t expect them to do anything for free because you’re friends- and hold them accountable for good service despite your friendship.
- If you like an outfit in a store, buy one in every colour