A review on “Things I have Learned in my twenties” by Ryan O’Connell from Eldest’s perspective

21 May
I saw this article from my Twitter and college friend, Jess Chandler, and thought it would be a fabulous idea to comment on this well written, to the point, true article.  Enjoy both the article and commentary of yours truly. Happy Monday, fools.
MAY. 21, 2012 
  1. You can’t date a jerk and expect to turn them into a good person. Jerks are fully committed to being unpleasant. Those brief moments of tenderness they give you are designed to trip you up and give you false hope. It’s best to stay away altogether. “I learned this lesson way back in the days of high school. No matter what I had tried to do or say, the “jerk” never did change. He chose drugs, booze, and skanks {rumor has it he even got a girl preggers WHILE we were dating} instead of me. At the time, it hurt like a moufo and after some time, I finally was able to let go of the jerk.”
  2. The rumors are true: your metabolism does slow down as you get older! That means if you’re still eating whatever you want, there’s a good chance you’ll start to gain an awkward amount of weight. It won’t be too drastic but your clothes will start to hang differently on your body and you’ll feel an overall feeling of unattractiveness. Start to be conscious of what you eat and strive to live a healthier lifestyle if you want to get your teen body back. (Let’s be real though, that might not ever come back.) “This my friends is a true story in Ali’s life. I was thinking about this the other day and it just so happens that every time I had graduated (high school, the center, SVSU, & GVSU) I would gain some weight. At the time I didn’t think any thing of it, but looking back at pictures and such this changing of my metabolism is, sadly, accurate. Damn you Ali for getting older! And praise Jesus I am done with schooooool!”
  3. You’re going to lose touch with a lot of your friends. With some people, it will be expected but with others it will feel like a punch to the stomach. No friendship is truly safe in your twenties. You’re undergoing so many personal and professional changes that there’s bound to be some casualties along the way. Don’t worry though. You’ll end up with the ones that matter. If someone’s no longer in your life, it’s for a reason. “I never thought I would lose touch with my closest friends from high school. When my parents told me this would most likely happen, I thought they were bat shit crazy.But they were right: Things happen, people change. Sure it sucks, but life goes on.”
  4. You’ll be jealous of everyone who’s more successful than you. That’s okay. Just transfer that jealousy into something productive, like working really hard so you can one day eclipse them and make them feel jealous of YOU. “There was a point in my life where I was jealous of all of my social worker friends who were able to find a job in our field before me {Perhaps it’s the competitive side of me, eh?}. I just couldn’t grasp why I didn’t get chosen for any of the jobs I applied for. I continued to apply for jobs all over the state of Wisconsin and U.P. and would get rejected many times. Praise Jesus I had Kmart to fall back too. I am not sure what I would have done without consistency in my life.”
  5. You’ll question every decision you make and never feel completely certain that you made the right choice. It’s pointless to wonder though. You’re here now so you might as well make it be the right decision. “I will always wonder if I have made the right decision(s) in my life. That, my friends, will never change. The day Eldest stops worrying/wondering will be the day when hell freezes over. Can you imagine what worry free Ali would be/look like? Oof, I don’t really want to know….”
  6. You’re going to give your heart to a few people who don’t deserve it. Then, one day you’ll come to your senses and ask them to give it back. “I have given my heart to several people in my (short) life and I would honestly have to say that I would ask for heart back by two of those bastards. Enough said about that.” 
  7. You’ll see your parents get older. You’ll come home during Christmas break and see new lines developing on their faces. One day it’ll just hit you that your parents are old and going to die. There’s nothing you can do about it, besides treat them with kindness and visit as much as your budget permits. “The dorks (Middlest and Youngest) were just discussing this over Mother’s Day weekend. It is scary to actually think that our parents are growing older and will eventually die. It sucks thinking that years (many years) down the road we will be “orphans” if you will. I am not (nor will I ever be) prepared for that day.”
  8. You’ll have a boss who makes you feel like you’re nothing. It doesn’t have to be in a Devil Wears Prada way. The cruelty can be much more subtle. Don’t let them get to you though. They have no idea who the hell you really are and you’re probably going to have their job someday so… “This hasn’t happened to me just yet {knock on wood}. I feel/felt 95% of the time that I was appreciated at the jobs I have done. Sure, there were days where I want to gouge my eyes out b/c of my bosses/clients/customers, but who really has never felt that way? And if you say you haven’t, you are lying, bitch.”
  9. Doing drugs is fun until it’s not, until it starts affecting your life in negative ways and leaves you feeling guilty and wrecked. If that happens, you should stop doing them. “As Sarah Palin once said about the use of marijuana, {and I cannot believe I am quoting that cra-cra) “I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say that I never inhaled.” Enough said. 
  10. You’re going to puke in public. It’s fine. No one cares. Just puke. “Oh boy will I ever. I just puked in a small Chester’s white cheddar popcorn bag on the ride home from Michigan over the weekend in front of people. Praise the Lord I had a sheet to cover me so they didn’t have to see/hear me doing it. According to Meghan, I am what we call a “quiet” puker. #winning”
  11. You’ll know how to make twenty dollars last an entire week because you spent almost all of your paycheck on groceries at Whole Foods and drunk cab rides. This lesson in frugality will serve you well. “I shop at Aldi’s but do spend a good chunk of cash grocery shopping twice a month. Praise Jesus that I live in the suburbs (and on site where I work) or else I would have to find a third job to support my habits of going into the city/MKE/outlet shopping and blow cash like no other.”
  12. You’re going to betray your convictions. You’re going to feel shame. You’re going to continue to put yourself in situations that aren’t good for you. And then, slowly but surely, it will become less frequent. It might not ever go away completely but it won’t be as bad. In the meantime, stop shame spiraling about it. It gets you nowhere. “True story.”
  13. Loving yourself is hard. Hating yourself is harder. “I am very hard on myself. I didn’t think people/friends/family could actually see that until the other day when one of my residents commented on my “negativity” towards myself. Loving myself is a thing that I will have to work on….”
  14. You’re going to hook up with someone who you would never touch in the daylight sober. Just don’t freak out too much about it. Consider it to be your good deed for the day. “I sure hope this never happens to me. I have; however, hooked up with someone that I wish I could take back in a hot second…Not because I would not touch him in the daylight sober but because I realized {after the fact} that he was a douche bag hoe who really never cared about me to begin with. Lesson learned.”
  15. You’re going to have people in your life who are toxic. They may say that they love you, they may say that they have your back, but they don’t. Get rid of them. “Mentally noted. I am slowly beginning to realize who is “toxic” in my life and who is not.”
  16. You’ll have moments with someone that are so intense, it’ll feel like you’ve been electrocuted back to life. You’ll hold on to these moments for a long time. They’ll give you hope when you’re going through the motions. “I live for those moments and do not nearly get enough of them as I would like. But when I do, I feel like I am on top of the world….”
  17. You’ll always care about your first love. That doesn’t make you crazy, it just makes you human. When relationships end, it’s not so cut and dry. You carry everyone you’ve ever loved into every relationship thereafter. “I’m glad that I am not “crazy” about {still} caring about my first love. He was someone in my life that {at the time} meant the world to me and I grew {or at least I felt} up as an individual. I have some of the greatest  memories from that time I was with him and would not change anything for the world.”
  18. You’ll enter your twenties as a fashion disaster and (hopefully) leave them looking fantastic. If you don’t know how to put yourself together by then, I really don’t know what to tell you. “Thank God for mannequins in stores because there is no way in hell I would be able to dress so fly and classy without them. And if you think I am kidding, I am not. I will go into a store and check out to see what the mannequins are wearing. If it’s an outfit I like, I will buy whatever she has on…”
  19. You’ll realize that the Internet can be a cruel son of a bitch but, you know, http://www.whatever.com. “I love the internet but he is right…The internet can be a cruel son of a bitch…Fuck it.”
  20. So much of what you think matters doesn’t actually matter at all. It’s kind of rude. Like, thanks for making me believe in things that are ultimately so inconsequential, you jerk.
  21. You’ll treat someone terribly. Whether it to be a lover or your friend, there’ll be someone whose feelings you take for granted. We focus too much on whether or not someone is hurting us. The reality is that we might actually be the one who’s hurting someone. “I am guilty on this. I didn’t realize I was guilty on this until my friend called me out on it a few months ago. It was for sure a pot hole in the road on our friendship, but I sure hope that it is mended.”
  22. Doing “grown-up things” doesn’t make you a grown up. Shopping for housewares, buying a plant, embracing domesticity — these things don’t create maturity. If you’re still a baby who hasn’t figured things out, you’ll remain a baby, no matter how many times you pay your rent on time. “Most of the time I enjoy being a ‘grown-up’ but when it comes to having to pay for things like hospital bills, student loans, or rent I wish I could go back to the days of bumming off my parents and working at Kmart without a care in the world.” If only….”
  23. Don’t force yourself into loving anyone. If it’s not working in the beginning, it’s probably not going to work ever. “Also, don’t force yourself into liking just anyone.” I learned that the hard way, boy let me tell you.
  24. You are so lucky to have everything that you have. Stop crying about an unreturned text message and get some perspective. “I am lucky. I have a roof over my head, I have jobs that help me pay the bills, I have food in my stomach, I have an awesome family, rockin’ friends, and I am healthy (finally). It could be a hell of a lot worse, I know this but there are days where I do feel sorry for myself and think a person hates me because they haven’t returned my texts/phone calls/facebook messages/etc. This is where the wine/beer/booze/comfort food/good friends helps. Sure the alcohol is a bit of a depressant, but having a good cry every now and then while watching a tear-jerky movie sipping on some “gin and juice” is just fine…once in a while.”
  25. Don’t go too long without having sex. Ever. TC mark “Duly noted.” 😉

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