Your feet, cold on the tile floor, looking at your reflection in the mirror. Your brown eyes, deep and sensitive as they stare back at you blankly. You bow your head down into your hands and rinse your soft skin with the light touch of water. Then you look back at yourself, the water dripping down the corners of your brow and the sides of your lips. You inch closer to the mirror and half smile, like an elastic band that slingshots across the room, you smile for a few moments and then relax all the muscles in your face just to test the elasticity of your skin around your eyes. Over time, fewer wrinkles disappear once you relax. Today you notice. Today you notice a small hair growing at the base of your chin. They call it the hair of the wise in Thailand. But you’re not in Thailand, and to you, this hair is but a nuisance that needs constant plucking. Although you’ve grown to like it actually, in times of stress when it’s grown out just enough you end up pulling it with your finger while you talk to other people. They don’t even notice. You don’t even notice. In fact, it’s become a little habit, but you still pluck it, and that’s okay. You never thought this would be you. You catch yourself finding new moles on your body, in your head whispering “well that wasn’t always there” but not in confidence. You’re not actually quite sure…. Is it that you never noticed it? Maybe. Maybe now you’re hyper-vigilant about your aging process because you’ve just turned 25. A quarter of a century. The quarter of the century. Arguably the most important quarter of any century – it’s the first quarter century. In this quarter century, you were born. Your soul was formed and you came into this world – you were created at the beginning of this quarter. In this quarter century, you went through some of the most formative years of your life; you learnt to breathe as you learnt to read and write, communicate with others, and understand the world. You went through puberty, you had all your ‘firsts’; your first kiss, your first time having sex, falling in love, your first cigarette or joint. For god’s sake, you got potty trained in this first quarter century, you went from a simple animal to a lovely cultivated elegant human being. This quarter-century and maybe the last one is the two parts of the full century where you change the most. They say by 25 years old our brain begins to stop developing, soon after on the decline. There’s a lot that I learned until now. But it wasn’t until I started looking at myself in the mirror pointing at different aspects I had never seen before, thinking “that’s not me”, that I realized it was quite naïve to have ever thought that only one-quarter of a century will give me enough of a foundation to truly know who the hell I am. If you think about it, it’s the smallest, least stable quarter century of the full century… so to think I knew almost anything about myself or my identity was a serious joke. And well folks… that was the rabbit hole I fell into on the day I realized I was turning 25 years old. So here it is, a few things I think I know now, starting with the very fact that I know that I know nothing at all:
- I know nothing at all. Not of who I am, not of the world, not of what should or shouldn’t be. I know nothing. And the deeper I try to assess my knowledge, the more I realize there is absolutely no use, for I will always come out knowing more of nothing than ever before. So, I’ve stopped trying.
24 more things I think I know by now:
30 minutes is not enough time (for anyone) to leave the house… one hour always seems to be the sweet spot, yet I still think each time 30 minutes will do it.
- The dishes take five minutes to clean (I’ve timed it!), and so does almost every other chore I put off for “later”
- I can talk myself into doing almost anything … most of the time I probably shouldn’t be doing it. But it almost always makes for a great story.
- I won’t be truly happy unless I wear exactly what I want in the morning. Doesn’t matter if it’s a long sleeve shirt in the summer or a short skirt in the winter, if I make a decision because of the weather and deny myself the simple pleasure of wearing what I want, then it almost always turns out to be a shitty day.
- The same goes for food. I eat when I’m hungry, and if I feel like being greedy, I won’t be satisfied till I let myself. I almost always order fries on the side that I never finish.
- Things never go as planned. Especially if you saw it in a dream, it most definitely won’t happen that way, no matter how real it seemed.
- I’m still young, and that’s okay. No matter how mature I think I am, I still find myself in moments where I am immature. Sometimes I lean into it and my inner child comes out to play, other times I look back and think “well what the hell was that”.
- Meditation is a practice that I sometimes forget to do every day, but have learned to do when I definitely need it.
- I stopped telling myself what I “should” do, and started listening to what my heart “wants”. It’s easier to figure out the rest later.
- I am my own best friend. And that’s a fact I always strive for.
- Live in abundance because the journey is forwards. You’ll figure it out.
- Time goes by no matter what you feel. Almost nothing stays longer than a day, even if it’s only a small window. As Alice says “the only way out is through”
- You can’t be everything. I can’t be everything. I can only be me, and you can only be you.
- Do one thing at a time. Whatever you get to is what is most important for your life right now and will help build the next steps. Be proud of your decisions and keep on trucking.
- Heartbreak hurts… a lot.
- You won’t remember everything forever.
- You get to choose what lens you see life through. Only you. And it takes practice but it is possible.
- Letting go of certain commitments doesn’t mean you couldn’t do it, it just means that you need to be lighter. Get rid of any baggage. Once it’s gone, I almost never stop to think about it … “your iPhone storage is full” is a good sign.
- Everything comes in waves – it might seem “gone” but it most definitely will come back.
- Therapy is important but so is a good therapist.
- Feeling the present moment is one of the greatest gifts you can ever give yourself. Thank god its rare, and oh so significant.
- You are never alone if you search well enough.
- Trust yourself, you know all the answers already. My intuition is never wrong, and the less I doubt it, the more I hear it.
- Self-love is almost the most important routine for your own mental health. I like to caress my face in the morning before I wake up, so I remember who loves me most.