“Growing up happens when you start having things you look back on and wish you could change.” ― Cassandra Clare
I read those lists and can feel my heart beat with motivation. But then I x out of the browser and go back to reading nonsense on Facebook or check my text messages and I forget all about how I should be living right now – at this very moment – before it’s too late.
So here’s a different kind of list – of things I have a good feeling i’m going to regret when I graduate from my 20’s and walk into my 30’s.
1. Being in a serious relationship – with my phone
The amount of time I’ve wasted – and will continue to waste – while looking down at my rectangle cell phone, waiting for a text message from what’s-his-name or reading the same thing over and over again on my Facebook Newsfeed, or swiping yes or no on some dating app when I could be having a conversation with the person next to me or staring out the window enjoying whatever it is that’s passing me by or just simply enjoying something that’s a rarity these days – peace and quiet.
2. Not using moisturizer
I’m starting to get wrinkles on my forehead and it’s almost as if my skin is yelling at me for not putting moisturizer on it for the past 26 years.
3. Eating a ton of pizza
& other food that’s processed or filled with high-fructose corn syrup or other ingredients that are 15 syllables long and seem like a foreign language to the average person. As every new birthday rolls into town, like an unwanted ex-boyfriend, it becomes even more clear to me that my metabolism has started to go, more frequently, on these long vacations. Leaving me, here, wearing that gigantic slice of cake and medium sized pizza that I finished myself, around my butt.
4. Overusing the phrase “I don’t know”
When really I know exactly what I meant when I said what I said – or how I feel – or where I want to go stuff my face for dinner.
5. Library fines
Not doing the simple act of walking a couple hundred feet to the library to return the stack of books I didn’t get a chance to read, or finish, has (and will) cost me quite a lot of money that I could have spent doing more of #3.
6. Spending too much money on things
And not enough money on adventures. I’ll probably forget about the top I bought from Forever 21 or the iPhone 5 I had to have in 10 years from now. But i’ll never forget about the time I flew across the country to spend the weekend surfing the pacific ocean, or how I spent three weeks backpacking through Europe with my best friend. (Note to self: waste my money on more of those kinds of things, please.)
Sending someone a text message during a fight – or waiting for someone to text me back – or having my fingertips lead a conversation when I know that picking up the receiver of the phone and dialing someone’s phone number will help the anxiety and the confusion and the over analyzation of words on a screen disappear.
8. Holding in my pee too long
I know my bladder will laugh at me (and maybe even on you) later.
9. Not listening to my parent’s advice
Things like: make sure you go to sleep early or eat more protein or give people a second chance. I know I’ll always wish I listened to them more because believe it or not as we get older our parent’s become our best friends and the wisdom we desperately need.
10. Not saying I’m sorry
11. Or I Love You
Wearing an SPF that has double digits.
13. Breaking up with people
When I know I need to. Relationships, friendships, old jobs. The people in my life who are literally hanging on like a baby tooth that’s obviously ready to be shaken out of our mouths. The people that cause 80% of our racing heartbeats of frustration or our unnecessary loss of sleep. Letting them go when it was time to let them go and not a minute later.
14. Asking more people: How Are You?
Because everyone has a story or a challenge or something going on in their lives that a conversation can help. That they don’t have the courage to outwardly talk about it, sometimes, unless they are asked. Unless we (you and I) show them that we are there and that we have the time to look up from our phone and give them a chance to talk.
15. A 401K or a savings account
I don’t have much of either as we speak.
16. Second chances
The one’s I’ll wish I gave friends or even guys I went on one date with.
17. The amount of time I spend on social media
I doubt that in a couple of years from now the amount of Twitter followers I have or the number of people who like a photo of flowers that I post on Instagram will make up for the amount of time I wasted trying to grow my following and internet presence on those sites. Because a lot of my free time is spent doing just that.
18. Holding a grudge
Because even when we say sorry (and we mean it) or even when someone says sorry to us (whether they mean it or not) it’s hard to put the whole situation behind us. We let it linger and push us backward when we should just try a bit harder to move forward. I’m guilty of this, of course.
19. Not standing up for myself
When someone makes fun of me or my writing or my career choice or why I’m still single. All of the times I come home, upset, and say to myself again and again and again: I should have said something back to them.
20. Talking to strangers more
Because they have the power to change our delicate little chaotic lives.