Thoughts I have had and things I regret doing since joining the cult of adulthood.
You know what’s scary?
Two years ago I used to say, “by the time I’m 22 I’m going to have my shit together.” In 12 days, I’m turning 22, and do I have my shit together? ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY NOT. So yeah, it’s pretty safe to say that I’m about ready for a quarter-life-crisis to happen any day now. It’s crazy to think that 20-year-old me actually thought that two years of adulting was enough time to figure out how everything works, because 22-year-old me sure as hell has no fudging clue what’s going on. 22-year-old me has also made an amendment to the above statement, which now reads: “By the time I’m 23* I’m going to have my shit together.”
Since leaving my teenage years behind me, I’ll admit that I think I have done some pretty decent growing up. I moved into my own apartment, learned how to do my own laundry, learned how to get a good job, got a legit cheque book and a day planner, moved into a new apartment on account of Vietnamese gangs, started my own home-based business, and graduated university with a bad ass Honours BA., which will soon hang above my bed as a reminder of how smart I am. Or that I paid $40,000 for a piece of paper in a frame, depending on my mood…
And it feels so damn good to be able to say that I’ve done some of those things, but let me tell ya, there’s a whole hell of a lot of things that I’ve done in the last couple years of my life that I wish I could go back and re-do. I’d love to send this me back in time to 19-year-old me and say, “hey shithead, here are the things you’re gonna fuck up and here is how NOT to fuck it all up, cool?”
Thinking that I was too good for Walmart. The packs of chicken for $10, no matter the weight or size, make me much happier than I should. And if I had known Walmart offered magical deals like this earlier in life, I could have saved possibly hundreds of dollars on chicken. Okay maybe like twenty dollars but whatever.
Never getting a savings account. Which is something that I still have to do, by the way. You know when your parents/the bank/most professionals tell you to save 10% of evert paycheque you ever get? They aren’t fucking around. If you have enough supplementary income to set a little bit aside every couple of weeks, or even just every month, you will be a much happier and wealthier person, in the long run.
Not taking more writing courses in school. Considering my degree was English and that I want to write for a living, you’d think I would have thought ahead enough to have taken at least one creative writing course. Part of me even contemplated going back for a fifth year just to get some writing and editing experience under my belt… but then a bigger part of me was like “don’t worry about it, your degree won’t get you anywhere anyway SO FUCK IT!” … I was so wrong.
Not eating better/eating less McDonald’s. Trust me. If you learn that the world does not revolve around Big Macs early on in life, you will find driving right past McDicks instead of swinging through the drive thru on your way home for the weekend much, much easier.
Buying a bulk pack of plastic clothes hangers, and forgetting them on the cash desk after checking out. This is both one of the smartest and the dumbest things I’ve ever done, and I will regret it and lament it for the rest of my life.
Not donating more of my clothes. During the years of living away from home, I’ve developed quite the knack for collecting pieces of clothing. Particularly after getting a job in retail, with a decent staff discount, with clothes I actually liked, this habit become much, much worse. And instead of going through my closet every time I brought home something new, I just kept shoving things to the back and forgetting about them, when someone else could have been benefitting from clothes that I had outgrown or stopped wearing.
That twenty dollars I spent last year. Literally any twenty dollars. Any time. I’m sure it was on something stupid and useless.
Buying useless things. When will I ever need this many circle scarves? Are they even in anymore? And the amount of useless facial cleansers and hair masks that I’ve bought in the last couple of years could probably fill a bathtub, meanwhile they were only ever making my skin and hair worse. –cringe–
Ever agreeing to sign up for a credit card. I’ve threatened about 87 times to just cut it up and throw it away and never get another credit card again after I pay this one off. But then as soon as I think about doing that, I have to use it for something. It’s a vicious cycle.
The moral of the story here, kids, is that adulthood might not be all it’s cracked up to be. You’ll do a billion and a half things that you’ll regret for years to come. You’ll wish you could go back in time to change things and to do better or whatever. But, among all of that scary, uncontrollable stuff, you’ll find that you actually achieve a whole lot of great, incredible things along the way. The key is learning to appreciate the work you put in to achieve those things, because it’s hella worth it in the end.
* This number is likely to increase annually based on subject’s inability to actually have shit together.