First things first. I am not 23 yet. I will be in six months. And I have very mixed feelings about it. I feel like I haven’t made up my mind about so many so many things…it’s painful. But on the other hand, I am also looking forward with eager anticipation what adulthood holds for me. So, I just thought I’ll write one of those ubiquitous lists in the line of ” x things x years of life has taught me” “x things you need to experience before you’re x years old.”.
The list is purely my opinion, and is not exactly “path to Nirvana”.
1. Learn to lie without getting caught
The first thing you really need to learn to do is Lying. This is a really important skill you have to develop as early as possible. It takes immense creativity and spontaneity to cover up. And a decent amount of lying really works to benefit your relationships.
2. Learn to speak the truth
Yes, much as lying works, saying the truth becomes inevitable at times. Even though being honest will entitle you to being a really trustworthy person, it is really difficult to just tell the truth when it involves somebody else’ feelings. So it is important to speak intelligently EVEN when you’re only giving facts.
3. Learn to Remember
Chances are when you grow up, you’re only going to know more people, more names. Always find a way to remember these people, their anniversaries. You could do it by associating a picture, a funny line or a mnemonic. Learn it your own way, but learn it.
4. Learn to forget
Ok. I don’t really intend to speak in opposites, but forgetting is an important skill too. All those unpleasant memories from the past aren’t really worth your time because they are going to be replaced with even more unpleasant days anyway. Just get over it and make better use of your grey cells.
5. Learn to make connections
Not friends. Connections. Connections are friends you can make use of. In this world today, it is important to have people who can help you. This doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a survivor. Go to those gatherings, find people in your areas of interest, make conversations, a little flirting doesn’t hurt either. PR is everything.
6. Learn to swim
I can tell you this because I can’t swim. Some of my friends though are like fish in water. So it’s embarrassing and also painful to be left out. So learn how to swim, or you’re just missing out on all that adventure.
7. Learn to accept failure
At 23, you have seen nothing, you’re yet to live like twice the number of years you have. So accepting defeat doesn’t mean you will give up. But that’s the very first step towards working better towards your goal. If failure leaves you bitter and cold, you’re still 12.
8. Learn to eat with discipline
Some people you see eat like pigs but are still very slim and sexy, that is because they have disciplined themselves to adhere to a fixed eating pattern and their system works perfectly well and their entire body is in harmony. And since 23 is the age you can look your best, I think you should try and eat well and understand the signals your body sends you.
9.Learn to drive
Get that damn license!
10. Learn to sleep once you hit the bed.
God knows, I have trouble with this. Sleep is that one thing that totally rejuvenates you. And by learning how to sleep once you hit the bed you’re saving on all the extra bedtime you take up in the morning, and makes you so much more productive.
11. Learn to clean up after. Very quickly.
You have no time to waste sobbing and brooding. It is very important to get over your past. IN. NO. TIME.
12. Learn to end relationships gracefully
There is only one way #11 becomes possible
13. Learn to speak English properly
I don’t know how it is abroad, but in India, speaking good English is an asset. Learn to speak English without an accent, you’ll be surprised how much good this would do to your career.
14. Learn to use the internet
Ok. Since you’re reading this, I’ll skip this point.
15. Develop your own style
I know lesser than one or two things about fashion, but I think it is important to have your own style. Learn to carry out those clothes. To look beautiful is easy but to feel comfortable even in ugly is an art and takes a lot of getting used to. Not just clothes, everything you do, let your name be inscribed on it.
16. Learn to use silence communicatively
I can barely shut up. Even when I am not talking, I am communicating. Use different periods of silence and pauses to convey what you have in mind.
17. Learn to be emotionally independent
Never let another person’s state of mind influence yours. Practise detachment occasionally.
18. Learn to be funny
Yes, make people laugh. And do it as often as you can. Test your joke on your friends first. And just watch your friend circle grow in size!
19. Learn to argue without leading to a fight
This is difficult. When you’re talking about something you’re passionate about, and someone disagrees, it is hard to fight the need to gouge out their eyeballs. But fight it. Learn to defend your point with politeness. That person could prove to be more important to you than you thought.
20. Learn to be sympathetic
When someone is in trouble, learn to listen to them even if you can’t say anything that helps their situation. Even a perfectly timed nod or hug will do the trick.
21. Learn to Love. Deeply. Unconditionally.
I am really glad, I have learnt to do this. Love someone so much and so well that nobody can take that away from you. Not even you. And let it be steady even when you’re wronged on.This is the best ever spiritual exercise. Because that is how you’re going love your children.
22. Learn to Sex
I am not saying you should learn it by doing it. But once you’re 23, you should know fairly well how the thing goes. (I mean, how else are you gonna have dem babies?)
23. Learn to smile
No matter what happens….
Like they say, the best of lessons are taught outside the classroom.