6 Things No One Ever Taught You
There are many lessons in life that you learn over time. Some of them are more important than others, but all are hard earned from experience. No one ever tells you these things, even those people in your life who teach you so much about other practicalities of life. Which could be either a good or bad thing, depending on how you look at it. I know quite a bit of what I have learned about life took hold because I had to go through it first hand.
Of course, I could go on forever about what these things are. As for those of you reading this, you will be sure to have your own lessons you think are the most crucial no one ever told you. But for now, I am just going to post the six that strike me the most at the moment.
1. People’s opinions don’t matter.
This one sounds awful, but hear me out. All the years I was growing up, I was told that everyone is entitled to their opinion, and everyone is right in their own way. It is a pretty simplistic lesson that applies to many things, and I think is important to know as a kid. Someone liking a different movie or band than you doesn’t matter, for example. But then you grow up, and something becomes very apparent: there are a lot of ignorant people out there. Suddenly, it becomes a lot harder to tolerate what everyone thinks, especially since so much is easily debunked or explained or countered. But they continue to say it is just what they believe, whether true or not. I eventually learned to adapt the adage: people are entitled to an informed opinion. Now we just need to start spreading that around, so the world (and the internet) become a much nicer place.
2. The songs you hated in high school are awesome now.
I don’t know if it is a nostalgia factor, or if it is just that the songs that had such massive overplay when I was a kid had fallen into obscurity over time. But for some reason, those songs I found intensely annoying in sixth to twelfth grade are the greatest songs ever now. I love playlists from my childhood decade, and I listen to them all the time on YouTube, 8Tracks, Pandora…anywhere. Even music genres that at the time drove me crazy, I can listen to them with a smile on my face now. From what I can tell, this is a common occurrence that many people experience. Sure, they might prefer a specific category or bands they liked back them. But put on something they shunned in junior high, and they are less likely to hate it. They may even groove to it a bit, because it strikes a cord and reminds them of a different time in their life. So don’t panic when you find yourself singing along to that N*Sync song, or head banging to Quiet Riot. It isn’t your fault.
3. Relationships are hard.
You would think that this would be a given, but people seem to gloss over how difficult relationships really are. Whether you are trying to keep harmony with a parent, remain intimate with a spouse or keep a friendship alive when your life is jam packed, it takes serious effort. Not only on your part, but from the other party, as well. If they are not willing to put as much into things as you are, it just isn’t going to work. I think that Charlie Brooker hit the nail on the head on his show How TV Ruined Your Life. One of the episodes addresses the way that relationships and romance are portrayed on television and in movies, versus the reality. We have trained ourselves to think that you meet someone, fall in love and live happily ever after. That families are close automatically and if they aren’t, you are doing something wrong. Or that friends remain so just because they want to. The truth is a lot more complex than that. Luckily, it should only take about a dozen broken relationships to teach you that.
4. There is a difference between being polite and being walked in.
Once you hit adulthood, you won’t necessarily feel like you have made it there. You might notice that you feel just as uncertain as you did when you were in your teens. This is a feeling that won’t go away on its own, and you will probably find yourself giving a lot of ground you wish you wouldn’t, simply because you feel like you have to. But there are plenty of people out there who will take advantage of that, and you can’t expect anyone to fight your battles for you. Assertiveness is an important trait in life. The only way you will get it is if you start forcing yourself to show it. Sure, it will be faked in the beginning. Over time, however, you will start to see your backbone becoming more genuine.
5. Life will inevitably improve, if you give it time.
I look at how life was when I was first on my own. Then I compare it to a few years later, and a few years after that, and a few years after that. Clear to where I am today, and the way things have changed. The improvements are immense, and based on that pattern I know things will only get better. Yes, there have been hardships. But focusing too much on those downs gets old and helps no one. It is much better to pay attention to the steps up you have made, and always remember that ten years from now, you will be able to look back at things now and see the same positive leaps. Any time you are feeling down, try this trick and I guarantee you will feel a lot less stressed about your current circumstances.
6. People aren’t looking at you.
You know that nervous feeling you get when you aren’t feeling so good about yourself? Everyone is staring at you, judging you, thinking about how fat you look in those jeans, or that you are a loser who has accomplished nothing. Even the best adjusted of us have these days. But guess what? Chances are 99% of the people you encounter out in public aren’t paying the slightest bit of attention to you. They don’t care about you, aren’t thinking anything about you, and won’t remember you in another minute. Which is just the way people work; they have their own lives, and unless you give them a real reason to focus on you, they won’t. This was a relief for me when I finally came to realize it, and I can sit out in a crowd with much more ease than I could when I was a teenager and constantly worrying about what people thought. Besides, even if they are thinking something about you, who cares? Who are they to you?
Come on, people! I know you have your own lessons no one take you. Share them in our comments.