I’m going to be celebrating my 41st birthday next week. A lot has changed over just the course of my life. The fact that I can send out my random rants into something called The Internet and have them available to anyone who has what is essentially a pocket sized super computer that happens to make phone calls is still mind boggling. The subject of this post is the things I wish I knew about life when I was 18 rather than having to learn them through hard experience. So here goes
Things I Wish I Knew At Age 18
In many ways, work is easier than school. At least with work, you get paid for your trouble. And you don’t have to deal with the completely random assortment of jerks, losers, morons, and bullies that you are assigned to just because of your age and where you live. At work, most people are there because they have skills the job demands. And, no, you aren’t expected to make friends at work.
You don’t have to get married and have children to have a fulfilling life. You don’t even have to have a successful career to be fulfilled.
It’s probably best if you don’t get all of your fulfillment from your job. The most interesting people I’ve ever known hate their jobs but made up for it with their hobbies, church groups, community activities, etc.
It isn’t necessary to have a high paying job to make lots of money, especially if you are smart about things like debts and investing. Lots of people make six figures yet are only a missed paycheck away from being behind in their lease or rent. Some of the richest people I ever knew never owned expensive houses, took vacations to foreign countries, or drove anything more luxurious than a new Dodge Ram pickup truck.
Take care of your joints, especially your knees. You’ll miss those when they go bad.
Routine maintenance on EVERYTHING. It doesn’t matter if it’s your house, your car, your physical and mental health, your friendships, your marriage, etc. It will allow you to correct minor problems before they become major crises.
You can tell the truth all the time and some people will still think you’re a liar.
Many people stopped developing mentally and emotionally as teenagers. In fact, I know many adults who have worse morals and make worse decisions then teenagers and college students.
Elders will always complain about the “damn kids.” The only way to avoid doing this when you become an elder yourself is to consciously fight against it on a daily basis. The same people complaining about Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande where the same people rocking out to Rage Against The Machine and Marilyn Manson back in the 90s.
If you want to find out what someone is really like, give them power and money.
Some people will always fight against change. They are usually only delaying the inevitable.
Some people will never be pleased.
Some of your worst critics will be family members, friends, and neighbors.
The only real constant in life is change.