This is a belated Five Friday post because I didn’t do one on my birthday. But it’s in relation to that so, it still works. Today, I’m talking 5 Lessons I have learned in the past 22 years that I believe have resonated with me. Some are deep, some are frivolous but they’re lessons nonetheless 😉
1. Always buy something of quality if you intend to use it for a long time
Something long term has to last at least 5 years and how else do we truly get the worth of a purchase unless it’s of quality. Take this analogy from Terry Pratchett:
The reason the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in the city on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while a poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.
This was the Captain Samuel Vimes “Boots” theory of socioeconomic unfairness.
Sometimes, it’s worth splurging on something that will potentially last you a long time. In purchasing bags or special items of clothing, think ‘timeless’ so you can both stretch the dollar and save.
2. Friends come and go.
Frankly speaking, we all know this. Sometimes you just need to learn to let go. I have done this when I was kid, moving around so much. I wrote letters to friends, I got obsessive about maintaining relationships that were clearly fragile due to the distance. I have done things, said things, acted certain ways just to please others. It’s not the right way to live. In the past 5 years since leaving high school, I have learned that true friendships are maintained through hard work on both ends. You find the time to talk to those you love, you find the little ways to show them that you care and they do the same because you truly are best friends. It’s so lovely to have friends who care that much. I am blessed to have them in life. It makes losing the rest over the years so much less painful.
3. Getting your hair straightened isn’t always a good idea
I did it twice in my whole life, got my hair rebonded. But after a while you start to hate the ‘flat’ look and wish it had more curl. You end up looking generic. Sometimes, it’s best to just stick with the locks you were born with. Especially when maintenance of a rebonded look/ chemically processed look cost a whole lot.
4. Learn to accept yourself
I have written a whole bunch of things on body dysmorphia and dealing with insecurities. My 22 years on this planet has taught me that first and foremost, you have to love yourself. It doesn’t do to hate your every imperfection. Learn to love who you are and improve. The only way to go is up. I don’t mean that you’ll wake up and realise that you love who you are, it’s a daily process. But it’s worth it in the long run. Don’t dress yourself down, don’t hide who you are because you’re not how you want to look like in your head. While you work positively towards a goal, celebrate your being as it is now.
5. It’s alright to not be alright
I have learned along the years that 50% of the time, I am far from “okay”. I’m either really high or really low a lot of the other times and that’s okay. It’s alright to need a time out. It’s alright to need to cry. It’s alright to want to laugh really hard and hug everyone. It’s alright to not know everything at once. Life is about learning. Just do your best with what you’re given. Trust in yourself. Trust in the things you love. Trust in your ability to get through every pothole in the road. You can make it to the other side. And if you’re going through hell, as Churchill said, keep going. But I’m pretty sure Churchill never said DO NOT get support. Support is what helps us through the worst times in life. Seek out the help you need, be it a mentor or friends or a psychiatrist. Arm yourself with the people who can help you, arm yourself with knowledge. It is possible.