What I learned in my 25 trips around the Sun…

2019 marks a quarter of a century where yours truly inhabited this colorful round Earth. While I don’t consider myself life’s best student, I did manage to learn a thing or two in my not so brief stay here. So today I will try to share my bit of life wisdom with you. Here are 25 things I learned in 25 years:

  1. Be more private – it feels good. Especially private about your… well private life – relationship, family, finance, goals, plans. In the era of of social media and the “if there is no picture posted – it didn’t happen” philosophy, this is hard. Plus being an avid blog reader and somewhat of a blogger myself have made it hard to draw the line of what goes out there and what does not (and, to add oil to the fire, I’ve always had the habit of oversharing). Still, I’ve learned that it really pays off to not have every bit of your life exposed to the public eye. Some things are treasures and should belong only to you and your closest people. So be a bit mysterious, never show all of your cards and keep your goals away from the trolls.
  2. No matter how expensive your skincare is, it cannot beat full 8 hours of good sleep! I thank my aunt for this piece of beauty wisdom.
  3. Take a day or two off work when you’re sick. There is no point in showing up and devouring every cold medicine out there only to end up barely keeping your eyes open. You will not be productive and the sickness will take longer to go away. Just take the two days to get better.
  4. Drinking a lot of water is non-negotiable. You know why and you know how much. As someone with chronic kidney problems running in the family I had to learn this the very hard way (you could say even kidney stone hard… heh heh… painful memories). Want to be healthier, thinner, with better skin and more energy? Drink water – the pure stuff – tea, coffee and fizzy junk do not count.
  5. You start realizing how old you are getting once you feel bad in the morning after an outing with friends, not because you’re hungover, but because you stayed up talking until 5am and did not sleep enough. Also – doing this during the work week is not fun at all… take my word for it.
  6. People grow apart. It’s natural. Live with it.
  7. Wear SPF every single day. Even if you don’t put anything else on your skin. Even if you’re staying inside the whole day. This is the 80/20 rule of skincare.
  8. No matter how much time it takes, the truth always comes out. Always. You can’t force it, but it will happen. So sit back, relax and let this natural law do it’s job.
  9. A hot shower may not solve all of your problems, but it sure makes them seem less horrible.
  10. Dogs are godsend fluffy four-legged angels and adore you no matter who you are, what you look like or how much money you make. If the opportunity arises – always have more dogs!
  11. You know how you’ve heard people talk about feeling happy for no apparent reason? You know how you thought that it was all silly and that this feeling could not possibly exist? Guess what… IT DOES! You will feel it and it will be just awesome!
  12. You can never go back to Italy too many times. Never.
  13. Your Mojo will come back. Don’t worry too much about it, but until it does – keep working anyway.
  14. Every day has something good in it. Try to look for the little details, the little happy moments, the little lessons. That’s how you end up with a joyful life.
  15. All failures, setbacks and heartbreaks are a good thing. They teach you a whole lot about yourself and life, and make you stronger. The trick to dealing with them is in the way you look at the situation. Learn the lesson, but always be aware that something waaaaay better is right around the corner.

  16. What other people think of you is none of your business. Plus, they don’t do it that often anyway…
  17. Write EVERYTHING down! Ideas, shopping lists, tasks, numbers, song names… everything! You thought your memory was bad back in high school, wait till you get in your twenties. I don’t know how to live without Evernote and my bullet journal anymore.
  18. Your orientation and coordination skills are not getting any better. Upping your bra size the natural way isn’t looking good either. Guess you can’t have everything in life.
  19. Try not to stress too much about anything and take yourself and life too seriously. In the grand scheme of things – does it really matter that much? Failed project, bad grade, burned food, bad haircut, a few extra pounds, too much work, stolen wallet… you name it. Just laugh it off and move on. Things have the wonderful property of working out over time. Trust me.
  20. You can get addicted to avocado. You are addicted to avocado. You might have to research if too much avocado is bad for you…
  21. Travel as much as possible – close or far. I’m as introverted and homely as they come, but even for me the motivation, inspiration and sheer joy that comes from visiting a new place and getting a taste of a different culture never gets old.
  22. You can pull off red hair just fine. Show a bit of the fire inside.
  23. Be whoever you want and don’t be afraid to try something new. Dress as preppy as possible and listen to metal. Write reviews about eye shadow palettes and play 16bit Nintendo games in your spare time. Try hip-hop dancing and fail miserably. Try skateboarding and fail miserably (I’m seeing a trend here). Read super crappy books and classics. Wear diamond earrings with second hand jeans. My philosophy is – you can’t say you dislike something, before you’re read/listened/watched or tried it. My other philosophy is – never shy away from something just because it’s not part of your label/aesthetic. It’s stupid.
  24. Never skip the warmup before your run. Have been limping for two weeks now…
  25. Take the time to be thankful – for your friends, for your family, for the opportunities life gave you, for every new dawn, for being healthy, for having a roof over your head, for being able to explore the world, for obstacles, for art, for the existence of chocolate, for every minute of laughter, for every good song, great book, amazing movie or awesome video game, for dog kisses… you know – the good stuff, no matter how big or small.

Whenever I think of life, I remember a quote from Richard Dawkins (and Nightwish) and I don’t think I can say it any better: “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place, but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of those stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here. We privileged few, who won the lottery of birth against all odds how dare we whine at our inevitable return to that prior state from which the vast majority have never stirred?”

It took me 25 years, and it is a lesson I am struggling to remember when times are bad, but life is wonderful and unique and well worth living. I’m looking forward to the rest of it.

Dessie

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