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28 Things I would Tell Myself at 18!

As my twenties are fast dwindling, and I turn 28 (brave, smiley face) this month, I thought of compiling a list of 28 things I would have told my 18-year old self. The last ten years have been unnecessarily educational, fattening, and gravity has introduced itself to parts of my body. If I were to meet my 18-year old self, I will probably hold myself by the hand and go to the nearest salon; I was three hairs away from a perfect unibrow.

Apart from that, I will offer myself advice – I might not call it that, knowing me, I am prone to doing the exact opposite of the advice proffered. Though I would be mildly shocked at hearing the following.

1. Sexual healing will always be the song I will run to the dance floor for no matter the time of day or situation. It is, and will always be my absolute favourite song – can I make it my song for my first dance at my wedding? It could be absolutely anywhere or in any circumstance, when I hear Marvin Gaye singing this song, I turn in to Beyonce and suddenly I'm singing and grinding like I own that song. And I'm not even drunk when I do this. Every year, I pick my theme song - this year it is 'Ten feet tall' by Afrojak and Wrable; it’s usually about a situation I am in that can be best described.

2. Not a good idea to text in the shower, inevitably the soap suds will damage the phone. I am a seasoned texter - I got my first mobile phone when I was 15 years old (years after my friends who got theirs at 13) and I would not dare to part with it, I would attempt to text in the shower and I'd do it with utmost care until I try to place it on a dry surface and drop it.

3. Do not use masking tape to wax your legs. If your mother does not allow allow you to rid yourself of bodily hair at 18, leave home.

4. Maintain a phone book with phone numbers, you will need it years later, when your phones through the years fail. I have damanged, lost and broken so many mobile phones where I store every number of every human being I have met and I lose all contacts when technology fails or when I fail it. I only remember three mobile phone numbers, but do you remember the days when the only way of communicating was by calling people on the land-lines and I bet we knew all our friends’ numbers.

5. Some teachers will actually hate you. But that's okay. You can always send your progeny to school to further antagonize them. My sole purpose to procreate is to ensure my progeny continues my legacy in school. I will make a list of teachers for them to "warm" up to. For those who remember the smoke in the homescience room, that was me. (You're welcome)

6. Shed the friend fat.

7. Keep the old love letters. In 2014, getting a handwritten note from a boy is like expecting Santa to deliver a rainbow-coloured unicorn who poops gold dust. I still have a few of these from back in the day, and I am definitely keeping them.

8. Don't waste money on DVDs and CDs. There will be a thing called YouTube. It will be free, all day, every day.

9. It is never a good idea to stay up until 4AM talking to boys. Sleep is much more important. I can cry over the hours I would have stayed up talking to boys who meant nothing. There was this particular boy who was only a friend and a very good one who I have grown away from now, who would speak to me daily from 10PM until 3AM. Ten years and four boyfriends later, I still have not found anyone I have that level of chemistry with. I am not a phone person and even with a boyfriend my mind wanders after the first 20 minutes, but with this guy I could have gone on for hours. I am very frank now and I tell boys that I am ageing and prone to wrinkles therefore I need to sleep by 9PM.

10. First boyfriends are a big mistake sometimes. You cannot live on a perfect nose alone.

11. Keep relationships off social media. Of course, Facebook was introduced to me in 2007 - I thought it would be a fad that dies off because I couldn't imagine why people would want to see other people's pictures. We all know how that went down. One of the biggest mistakes I had made in my early twenties was to post pictures of my boyfriend at the time and make very public declarations about my relationship. When it ended, I had people asking me three years later about him all because they recalled how I used to pollute my profile with "us-we" posts and people didn't forget them. Two relationships after, I sailed safely without anyone knowing too much.

12. Don't plan a wedding until there's a ring on your finger. Under-planning is better than over planning and ending up disappointed.

13. Men have no clude about love. Their interpretation, definition, context, your waist size and their drunkenness will determine how much they love you.

14. Don't go on dates because he's persistent.

15. On a first date, you don't always understand what is meant by trying too hard. If you’re trying too hard to not give any wrong signals, you probably are doing it. A lot.

16. Not every bar tender needs to know your name. There's a certain amount of respect in not going out every weekend.

17. Date a jock.

18. Don't let go of your hobbies. They will define your interests and when you need a coping mechanism you can probably revert to them instead of Divine cupcakes.

19. Your friends' parents will love you. Remember them in your prayers.

20. It's okay to wave at boys – for my life, I don’t understand why waving at a boy was such a great sin. I remember being grounded for this and I can’t figure out how this could be as bad as 14 year old girls losing their virginity today.

21. Sex is not a dirty word.

22. Shed fat.

23. Keep in touch with your friends from your childhood. I am very fortunate to have three friends who are undoubtedly my closest friends who have known me since I was 10 – they have witnessed the awkward introduction of training bras to the most recent heartbreaks, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

24. If friends let you down, don't be in a hurry to pursue them. If you stand for what is right, the chances are that you will stand alone. (Yes, I borrowed that from somewhere)

25. You will not go to hell for reading Sweet Valley University at 12. Or, Mills & Boon for that matter; think of it as educational.

26. If necessary, learn how to kiss.

27. Don't worry too much about sex, there will plenty of free resources to learn and clarify doubts from - namely, 'Google'

28. Maintain a journal; as of last June I have a daily update of my life. There are times that I will pick a random date and read the entry. I have felt encouraged reading some of the entries made on harsh days, knowing how far I have progressed. If I felt let down and reading of a day I spent with someone I loved, I promise myself that things can only get better.

With 2014 coming to an end and as I enter the 28th year of my life, I’m just excited to see what/how I turn out to be 20 years from now. I can almost picture myself in too-bright nail polish, trying desperately to fit in to a dress made for someone decades younger, typing away what would be advice to my 30 year old self.


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