All the things I have not learned by 29

When I was young I envisaged a very different lifestyle to the one I currently lead. 10 years on from university I didn’t imagine I would be sharing a house with three girls, despite, how much I love living with them, it wasn’t in my future plan. I thought there was a very likely chance, (pushing my dating record aside) I would own a house with a man and not my sister. I thought I would know it all, have it all, be out doing it all, with my very overpriced, in no way economical car.

I believed I would be one of those high flying professionals who would have their outfits neatly ready for the next morning, heals, nice bag, clean bedroom, the ensuite bathroom you get the gist…

Yet here I am at 29, the only thing to share my bed is half my wardrobe, my laptop, three books and my dog Dougal. If there is one thing I have learned during my 29 years, it’s that nothing, it doesn’t matter how hard you try, how many times you write them out and throw it to the universe, or try to make it look perfect on Instagram… nothing turns out the way your 20-year-old self thought it would and that’s totally cool. Even if everyone won’t admit it, we are all in the same boat. So instead of writing a list of the 29 profound lessons I have learned in my 29 years and bore you with the ‘friendships are my most valuable asset of my 20’s’ (which I throw around like confetti on a daily basis) I thought I would share all the things I am still not learning, or failing at miserably by 29. This is some of but most definitely not even made headway on all the things I have not learned by 29.

  1. ‘It’s not personal’ because when someone is speaking to me in a shitty tone it sure as hell feels personal and I am going to believe I have offended you and worry about it for the next four days
  2. To not worry, I have anxiety, don’t even try. Even when there is nothing to worry about I worry.
  3. Comparison is the thief of joy…. Yet I am still going to compare myself to all the 10/10 girls on Instagram and blame my parents for my bad genetics.
  4. To give guys under 6 foot a chance. Sorry.
  5. To eat a consistently balanced diet so I don’t have to cram the gym before going away
  6. Coffee makes me really anxious and I shouldn’t drink it
  7. I probably can’t afford it, I know I shouldn’t buy it but I know 99% of the time I will buy it and regret it at the end of the month
  8. Seeing friends will always put me in a better mood but I am still more than likely going to refuse to text in hope plans fall through and I can continue binge-watching Netflix.
  9. Answering the phone has a 99.9% chance of not killing me, yet I still fear seeing my phone buzzing as if I was in one of those 1990s petrol station adverts where the whole place implodes. (That is not the reason I don’t answer FYI, I just don’t want to talk)
  10. It is a really really small world. Really small.
  11. No one is in charge of how you feel but you‘ whoever wrote this clearly never suffered from anxiety and has never received a text saying ‘hey can we talk‘ because I promise you this, that person can make me feel like my heart is beating out of my chest with one sentence.
  12. Prosecco will always make me say and do something stupid which I will regret for 100 days after it took place even though no one else will remember it. That thing will etch into my entire existence and make me cringe from then on. But I am still going to drink that £6, fizzy, warm, life ruiner every time.
  13. Hangovers get much much worse the older I get. Yet I have still not learned to allow recovery time.
  14. Delayed onset fear syndrome (DOFS) from drinking is a real thing. Monday is now the worst part of a hangover.
  15. Don’t take nice things on a night out they don’t come home. Also, don’t brag about finally getting your driving license renewed because you will lose it the first night out you go on.
  16. Don’t cry over boys, they will always come crawling back. Scientifically proven, yet I will still cry every single time. Then shudder in disbelief that I went in a stick’s distance of said boys when they come crawling back.
  17. Just don’t put the majority of opinions in writing, they will come back to haunt you.
  18. ‘Not everyone will like you and that is fine‘ It’s not, I can be a really nice person and I take it very personally, so please like me. I am good at buying presents.
  19. ‘There is more to life than holidays’ I am sure there is but i am on my 4th this year and they dramatically improve my wellbeing. Finances not so much.
  20. ‘There is nothing a cup of tea can’t fix’. I love a good cup of Yorkshire tea but seriously there are somethings my therapist struggles to fix.
  21. Exercise is better for my mental health than chocolate but still more likely to miss my run and eat Toblerone and then feel far more guilty and anxious than I did before.
  22. Just because it is vegan doesn’t mean it is healthy. Four vegan burgers with fries in a week is not ok.
  23. I don’t know everything, and it is a very hard pill to swallow. I still don’t believe it
  24. I can’t afford to shop in Waitrose. Not then, now or probably ever.
  25. To practice what I preach
  26. What really can or cannot go in the recycling bin
  27. The basic technique of cooking a risotto
  28. How to drive carefully, slowly or fully understand the braking distance
  29. How to keep my house tidy, how to hang clothes up once they have been washed or how to use a dishwasher responsibly and not just for one nutribullet cup I don’t want to wash up whilst I harp on about climate change.

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