That, slightly unfortunately, life doesn’t come equipped with some kind of magical, answers-laden, problem-solving manual. (Damn it, Janet!)
Things That Aren’t So Obvious:
How brilliant this video of a woman auditioning for Bulgaria Idol is, singing Mariah Carey’s With Or Without You, but somehow mistaking the lyrics “can’t live” for “Ken Lee”. G-e-n-i-u-s! (I’m sorry, sweet-looking Bulgarian woman!)
But moving along!
You know those glorious moments where you experience an epiphany or sudden realisation that makes the world or a particular situation seems so much clearer, so much easier? Oprah calls them “a-ha” moments. I call them “jeez, I really wish that I’d known that when I was younger, because it probably would have stopped me from trying not to act like such a massive turkey sometimes, which, of course, only made me act like an even bigger turkey than I ever could have fathomed” moments, but hey, let’s not get into a debate about what their actual, correct technical term is (I have the feeling that it’s not mine)!
Here are some of the things that I’ve learned in my time – in a non-“I’m clearly eighty years old and supremely knowledgeable“ kind of way, but definitely in a “ha, take THAT, life! I’ve learned stuff anyway!’‘ kind of way – that have made my existence significantly sweeter/easier! (And I would love to hear about yours!)
x That it’s OKAY to have no idea about what you want to be “when you grow up’’! In fact, it’s okay to decide that you want to be approximately 2,353 different things, and to change your mind about all of those things all of the time! Or to decide that actually, you don’t want to be anything in particular at all.
x That nobody is “perfect’’. Parents. Teachers. Friends. Colleagues. Partners. Anyone. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should turn a blind eye to your best friend if they suddenly decide that it’s a grand idea to throw printers at cars (!), but it’s probably helpful to keep in mind if they occasionally make a choice that you deem questionable, or if when they “stuff up”, to treat them how you would hope to be treated, instead of making them feel worse than they possibly already do.
x That sometimes, no matter how much we may not be able to understand why we’re in a certain position, or can’t understand why we’re friends with the people that we are or a part of the relationships that we’re in, we usually have a lot to do with our circumstances. Scrap that, we do have a lot to do with our circumstances. The jobs that we’re working. The person that we’re dating. The events or activities that we complete on weekends. Why we are doing them? Because we chose to! Who else applied for that job and went through the interview process?! No, I’m not about to thrust a copy of The Secret in your face (for starters, I haven’t read it!) or suggest that if a car accidentally rams into the back of yours, well, it’s your fault, because obviously there are instances where things ARE completely out of our control. But there are also instances where exercising a little bit of personal responsibility can be a very magnificent thing: because if we had the ability to create what we already have in the first place, then surely we have the ability to create something entirely different (if that’s what you want!), right?! Right.
x That comparing relationships is an incredibly futile exercise. Honestly, yes Enrique The Extremely Hot Coffee Guy may be well, extremely hot, and could probably win the made-up Charismatic Person Of The Year Award, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t the owner of the worst personal hygiene habits ever or a weird toe fetish!
x That when food packaging specifically advises that something needs to be placed in the oven, don’t throw it in the microwave and hope for the best. Your apple pie will return black.
Not holding a spoon under a running tap for a prolonged period? (You know that it’s only going to flick water in your face!) Wearing sneakers or flat shoes to a concert instead of heels or boots because you don’t want to limp around for the rest of the night? What are some of the things that YOU were never taught about life, but have figured out anyway and can now proudly say “ha, take THAT life!” to?