20 Things I Still Don’t Know at 25

Here’s what I don’t know.

  1. What I want to be when I grow up. Eighteen is far too young to make that decision. What did I know at eighteen? Hell, 23 was too young to make that decision. Over six years and three academic institutions I have studied politics, history, psychology, public relations and marketing communications. I still don’t know what I’m doing.
  2. The difference between right and wrong. It’s not as black and white as we’re taught to believe as children. When does the greater good become more important than the individual? When does clearing your own conscience become more important than hurting someone else with the truth?
  3. How to handle criticism. And how to criticize. How to deal with conflict, how to fight with someone and how to stand up for myself. I get red and shaky and teary. I tell people what I know they want to hear, just to make it stop and then afterwards I kick myself for all the things I should have said. I’m terrified to offend and loathe to hurt someone’s feelings, even when they’re hurting mine.
  4. How to file for income tax returns. Somehow, I’ve ended up owing SARS money and I don’t even know how that’s possible.
  5. Where I see myself in five years time. Five years ago, I did not see myself here. In five years time, I could be married. I could be living the life of a nomad in South East Asia. I could be a corporate in Joburg. I could still be living in my parent’s house in Hout Bay. Five years ago, I definitely didn’t expect to still be as dependent on my parents as I still am today.
  6. How to roast a chicken. Woolworths does it better anyway.
  7. Who I’m going to vote for. Is it too much to ask for a politician with a bit of dignity? (Yes. I heard it). From Nkandla to attacking journalists on Twitter to toyi-toying on the floor of Parliament, all I’m asking for is someone with a bit of professionalism and respect. I’m not convinced about Obama’s efficiency, but the guy is a great front-of-house.
  8. If I’m a small town or big city kind of girl. 
  9. If you’re supposed to tip hairdressers. Are you? Someone help me out here. And beauticians.
  10. Which make up brush does what. I even went on a course and I wrote it all down and I still stood blankly in MAC on Saturday, completely overwhelmed.
  11. Which foods are good for you and which aren’t. Every dietitian says something different. Am I supposed to eat plain grilled chicken without the skin, or double cream Greek yoghurt with an extra scoop of butter? I have Tim Noakes at home, telling me carbs are the devil, and my trainer crediting my new found weakness to a lack of carbs. Carbs burn fat he tells me, while Tim keeps feeding me more butter. The more research one does, the more confusing it gets.
  12. If I’m supposed to be reckless and fun, or safe and responsible. I learnt a new word today. It’s called “topophobia” and it means the fear of change. Change is scary and it has always scared me. My mom tells me I get it from my dad; we like stability. So what happens when you get to twenty five and you realise that the path you’re on may not be the right one? Do you risk everything and start from the beginning, knowing you’re falling behind your peers and will likely be dependent on your parents well into your twenties? Or do you carry on, aim for that promotion and that raise and continue building a career in an industry you’re not sure you’re built for?
  13. Which dream I’m supposed to live, because I can’t live them all. Am I writer or a community manager or an entrepreneur. Do I want to run a small hotel somewhere in rural Asia or do I want to join the advertising giants in Dubai? Maybe I still want to be a humanitarian worker or do my masters in conflict resolution, just so I can apply to intern for the UN in Thailand.
  14. How to say no. Hello, I’m a people-pleaser who has a tendency to agree to things without thinking them through which is how I ended driving back and forth between Stellenbosch and Cape Town six times in one day. Or why I’m the girl people call at 4 a.m. when they’re too drunk to drive home and too broke to call a cab.
  15. How to say yes. I really want to see Foals perform tonight but they only come on at midnight and I have work in the morning. I will probably not remember my average Thursday work day in twenty years time, but I might just remember the time I danced my ass off to My Number. As it currently stands, I’m not going.
  16. What kind of music I listen to. My iPod (I don’t actually have an iPod, it’s just a metaphor) contains Edith Piaf, Miley Cyrus, Eminem, Bastille and various versions of Nessun Dorma (which is my favourite song in the world despite the fact that I don’t like opera). I like to think I’m far too liberal and open-minded to pick just one type, which is really a very arrogant thing to confess.
  17. What the story is with Israel and Palestine. I read, a lot. About a lot of things. But I still can’t figure out the Middle East situation.
  18. This thing with macarons. So expensive. So average. Give me a cupcake rather.
  19. How to fold a fitted sheet. I’ve seen the pictures and the YouTube tutorials. I can’t be bothered.
  20. How to deal with heartbreak. Once, twice, three times. It doesn’t get easier the next time round. It takes longer to heal. And you’re never really the same person again. Hearts are like bowls. You can glue them back together but you’re always going to see the cracks, yellow from the glue.

And one thing I do know.

  1. We’re all going to be okay.

3 thoughts on “20 Things I Still Don’t Know at 25

  1. Pingback: 20 Things I Still Don’t Know at 25 | thejollyjammer's Blog

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