It’s graduation time! I remember those days like they were yesterday, instead of 13,140 yesterdays ago. Give or take a few days, that’s when I joined 27 other classmates in the right of passage into adulthood.
There are certain things you learn as you go through life that you think, “Gosh, it would be helpful to have known that.” I like to think that I might have been forward-thinking enough to plan a little better and not be caught by surprise by nature’s cruel jokes. 😀
Personally, I think it’s nature’s way of ensuring that we don’t take ourselves too seriously. How else can you explain some of these things?
1. You will always have zits.
Really? I was lucky enough not to have a ton of them at the same time. Oh, no, the kind that I had was the occasional huge festering pustule which seemed to linger for weeks. Like a beacon signaling a ship to shore, they were especially fond of the tip of my nose, graciously appearing before a major social occasion.
They still pay me the occasional visit, only with age I’ve become more resigned to them and better at ignoring them. Kind of like a familiar friend who overstays their welcome and you’re relieved when their gone.
And if you are one of my friends reading this, I promise it was never you. 🙂
2. You will always pee your pants.
What a bittersweet irony that something really funny can be such a curse. 😀 (It’s okay, you don’t have to tell me if you peed just a little reading this.) Or, OH NO HERE COMES A SNEEZE IF I SQUEEZE MY LEGS TOGETHER REALLY TIGHT WILL I BE OKAY….Nope. Dang.
3. Men really don’t want to hear it.
Thanks to Cinderella and all those Princess stories, we grow up thinking that our handsome Prince is out there, life is beautiful and you talk about everything with the man of your dreams.
I remember very clearly a young woman I know well, having fallen madly in love unexpectedly, told me “I can tell him everything!”
I remember thinking at the time, “Whelp, that will be the death of that relationship!” And, eventually it was. (Of course she has gone on to bigger and better things and is happily married now.)
We all think this though, and I remember my former boss’ wife who finally broke the news to me after listening to me gush, “Men don’t want to hear everything. They really don’t. My husband and I have a very shallow relationship, but it’s worked well for 26 years!” (That was over 25 years ago, and they are still happily married.)
4. A key to staying happily married is deciding what your definition of clean is.
When I was younger, I was nearly neurotic about keeping a tidy, spotless house. In order to do that, you have to make lifestyle choices that support that goal.
Because my lifestyle choices included multiple large dogs and a husband whose life mission is not tidiness, it was an unattainable goal. Working towards that goal was like spinning my wheels on an icy road and going nowhere. If I did achieve it for 20 minutes, I can’t say I was ever happy. How can you be when you’re exhausted and crabby? 😀
So, my solution was to redefine my definition of ‘clean.’ In other words, what can I live with?
Nowadays, I can have a foot of dust on everything, but if my floors are reasonably clean and the house is mostly picked up, I’m a happy camper. 🙂
I remember very clearly the picture below. I felt very awkward, walking in front of the crowd. Because people were looking at me! What if I trip? What if I stub my toe? I never realized it was so far during practice?!!!
5. Like sands in the hourglass of time, friends will come and go in your life. And that’s okay.
Another thing I wish someone would have told me when I was 18 is how my friendships will evolve over the years.
If life were a carnival, I think of the sphere of our friends as a ginormous Bumper Car Ride. We all go and go and go on our own route, working on our own stuff and goals and families. We may have started out with one group of friends, but we all went our separate ways as our individual decisions zinged us down different roads.
Many of us still meet occasionally, which is awesome. We wave, hug, laugh, catch up, and happily enjoy every moment before we’re zinging down our separate roads again. (Can’t you just picture it?) 🙂
And all of that is okay. Sometimes friends cycle back into your life, sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t mean you don’t love them anymore, it just means you’re on different paths. It is part of the color and fun of this big, beautiful thing called life.
What do you wish someone had told you?
Cheers, friends! 🙂