Turning forty years old.
I thought it was some massive achievement. Worthy of streamers, champagne and a surprise trip to Lake Tahoe. Hnausa Provincial Park, but it’s all good.
At fifteen I learned to be flexible because life changes on a dime. My life has changed since my roaring 20s. And so has the way I perceive the world.
Whether you’re a teenager, early-20s or older, here’s a list of advice. What I’ve learned. Wish I knew. Hindsight views. And general “do’s” and “don’t’s.”
- The best therapy is a long road and loud 80s music.
- Document life! Take photos and make videos, but don’t forget how to live in the moment.
- You might move once. You might move thirteen times (like me). You will lose things in the process. Items can be replaced – as long as it’s not the family pet.
- Those items could be concert t-shirts. Learn to let go. Meat Loaf‘s gone, like a bat out of hell.
- Don’t iron a polyester blazer on a cotton setting. You’ll ruin both.
- Apologize to people you’ve hurt. However, don’t apologize just to make yourself feel better.
- Don’t apologize upon request. You are not a radio station.
- Live alone, especially in your late teens and early-20s. Cook pizza at 11 p.m. Drink coffee at 1 a.m. Binge watch movies. Learn to love your solitude.
- Make your real first job memorable. Write about it. Document it. (Hnausa Cadet Camp, 1992)
- Grandparents are in our lives part time. Make them feel loved all of the time.
- Visit and call your parents often. Love your parents always.
- When you’re out of laundry soap, chopped regular soap is not an acceptable replacement.
- Hold family and friends close who make an effort to stay in your life.
- If you can’t cook a turkey when you’re thirty, who cares? Some people can’t cook Kraft dinner.
- Never leave the house without brushing your teeth.
- Look in the mirror before leaving the house. You might have Ketchup on the tip of your nose.
- If your apartment’s broken into, do not enter. They could still be inside. (In my care, they were)
- Ditch the Windex. Use vinegar. Ditch Pledge. Use a micro-cloth.
- Recycle and upcycle.
- Job experiences are valuable. You’ll savour them in hindsight. And you’ll work with some pretty cool people.
- However, don’t let your ego win. As a cameraperson told me, “You’re not a brain surgeon. You’re a reporter,” a.k.a., stay humble.
- Learn when it’s time to end a relationship. Learn when it’s not.
- You decide when to stop Throwback Thursdays.
- Don’t stop participating in a sport you love.
- Be an ear for a friend in crisis. They’re likely to return the favour.
- It doesn’t matter if you’re at a job for ten years or two months. Learn what you can and accept it’s time move on.
- Don’t be a meanie. Play nice. Play fair. Be a gracious loser.
- Be a hugger. Because everyone loves a hugger. Be loveable. Because everyone’s loveable.
- Get a plant. If it dies, buy a cactus. If it dies, get another and don’t over water it.
- Understand not everyone will understand you. And it’s understandable. And it’s okay.