I love reading other people’s versions of these posts where when they reach a birthday milestone, they reminisce over what they have learnt: ranging from the profound to the bizarre to the banal.
As I recently reached the grand old age of a quarter century I decided to note down all the little lessons I’ve learnt. Here they are in little to no order:
1. I learnt to play ‘All About You’ by McFly on guitar.
2. Music snobbery is a waste of time and people who make you feel bad for what you like are dicks. Fuck em.
3. Don’t take your hobbies too seriously. When people ask if I play guitar I always rush to tell them I’m awful at it. Why? That wasn’t the question they asked. Yes I do play guitar – its fun, it relaxes me, I’m pretty shite but who cares? Possibly my flatmates who have to listen to it but whatever, I have to listen to them screaming abuse at video games in return.
4. Fake it till you make it legit works. When I started an office job, I had no idea what the fuck I was doing. When I’m being confident and taking control I tend to be as knowledgeable as Donald Trump is about pretty much anything that he should know in order to be President. Just launch into it, and you’ll find somewhere along the way you’ve found your feet and you’re just doing it. [NB. This advice does not apply to very big important things eg. being President of one of the most influential countries in the world.]
5. Feminism is the best. I am strong, powerful, sexy and confident because of it.
6. When people tell you ‘Girls can’t do that,’ they are wrong. Show them this.
7. Don’t let your peers make you feel like ‘getting totally fucking drunk wayyy’ is the only way to have a good time. If you have to down a bottle of wine to enjoy a party, that’s just a really shite party. Get out of there.
8. Everybody is a little awkward.
9. We’re also all as weird as you worry that you are.
10. Friends who you only hang out with whilst drunk aren’t really your good friends. They’ll fade away, and its fine – you don’t need them.
11. If you speak to a friend 5 times and they don’t ask you about yourself once; ditch em. Becoming someone’s free therapist/emotional support without anything being reciprocated is not friendship.
12. Your romantic interest should also be one of your best friends. Real love is a partnership.
13. It’s never too late to fall in love with sport.
14. It’s never too late to start a new hobby.
15. Stay abreast of new technology – don’t be the older people who need me to teach them all about computers etc. Stay up to date with the advancements of the world – they’re exciting!
16. There is a world far, far beyond the tiny little corner of Ireland that I’m from. Go out of this bubble of comfort and learn all you can.
17. Travelling makes me feel alive. That feeling of pure joy upon seeing New York City from the top of the Rockefeller Center? Capture that as often as you can.
18. I suit red and green, but look jaundiced in yellow. Christmas themed Rebecca is the prettiest.
19. Because you got called ‘a bright girl’ so often when you were young, you put too much pressure on yourself to succeed and as a result when you fail to grasp something instantly you become frustated because you feel like a failure at the one thing you have been told you’re good at. Fact is, you are intelligent. You are. If you take a moment to stop berating yourself and listen again to the details of what you’re trying to learn, you’ll eventually get it.
20. GCSEs are not the be all and end all. Nor is going to university.
21. Mental healthcare is so important. Take care of your mind just as you take care of your body when it isn’t feeling well.
22. The manners your mother drilled into you from birth are so valuable. Please and thank you go a long way.
23. Stop. Breathe. Think. Now you can deal with it.
24. Adults are real, flawed human beings. Being grown up is not having your shit together – its muddling through and still coming out the other side.
25. Cut your hair. Wear a crop top. Eat that cake. Fuck it.
I’ve decided for my 25th birthday I’m going to get a pineapple tattoo. Just a tiny line drawing of a pineapple.
Because what says ‘fuck it’ like getting a tattoo of a bloody pineapple.
In summation: live by the pineapple, people. Fuck it.