39 Lessons - Lesson 26 - Never say never

39 Lessons - Lesson 26 - Never say never

One lesson I learned over the years is that we should never say never. There is no way of knowing what life is going to bring us, and no matter how self-aware we believe we are, none of us ever truly knows how we would respond in a given situation, if we have never experienced it. There are so many things I never thought I would do when I was younger – and here I am doing them! And the world hasn’t come to an end, and life has gone on. Just for fun, I am going to write this post about a five of the things I never thought I would be doing when I was in my teens and twenties.

1.       I never thought I would drink alcohol – yes folks, I was well into my twenties before I thought that alcohol was anything other than gross. When I was a child/teen, my dad brewed beer in the shed and I should tell you it was pretty nasty stuff! When I went to university, drinking was a favourite student past time, and I remember asking a friend once if she actually liked the taste of beer. She said no she didn’t at first, but once you drink it enough then you get accustomed to it. And all I could think was – if you don’t like something why would you continually drink it until you could tolerate it (unless it was some sort of healthy green juice and NO I have not got accustomed to those yet either!) and on top of that – why would you drink it until you threw up! I remember a few years into uni I had some wine with a friend, and I definitely drank it out of peer pressure (and definitely it was not nice). As I got older, I realized several things – when you have an income and are not living on student money, you can actually afford other types of alcohol such as cocktails etc, and they taste pretty ok. In addition, I discovered other types of wine. Now, as I approach 40, I actually enjoy a glass of wine with (or without) a meal, and just today I did a taste test of Honey Jack Daniels in the supermarket, and I actually didn’t hate the taste. In your face 20 year old me!!!

2.       I never thought I would really appreciate an e-book – of course these things only became reality in the last decade or so. When I was younger, I always loved the feel of books, even the smell of them, and the feeling of turning real pages. My love affair with actual paper was going really well until airlines cut down the amount of luggage that I could travel with, and I realized that carrying 6 novels on a 2 week holiday would no longer be practical and in that moment my kindle was life to me! In addition, when I was preparing to move back to Barbados, I realized that my book collecting habit was diabolically opposed to my desire to be a nomad, and I was sold. I must say that now I am in a book club, I realise how much I relied on the physical book, so that I could see exactly where something was on the page, and remember how far into the book I was when I read something. In addition – who else finds that they cannot even remember the name of the book when they are reading their kindle!! Nonetheless, I will not go back now, and my kindle will be one of my dessert island items, if they can figure out how to make it solar powered. Ok amazon – the ball is in your court!!

3.       I never thought I would own a standing mixer – or a microwave, or an electric can opener… I was so snobbish of labour saving devices (I remember trying to make meringues using a fork to beat the egg whites) when I was young, and I figured that I should be able to do things by hand all the time. Cut to life 2 decades later, and I pop out the electric can opener for a tin of tuna (in all fairness, I would not have bought it myself, but now that I have it I am not sure I could live without it again!) The only reason this would not be coming to the dessert island with me along with my solar powered kindle is the fact that the third item would have to be a tin………

4.       I never thought I would no longer identify with young people – I think we all felt as if we would be the generation who stayed hip and young forever, and could remain relevant. Now I am that person who looks at young people with disdain (and lets face it a little jealousy – where do they get all of that energy from!!!). I realise that I am not in that generation – they talk and write differently, they think differently, they act differently and the most surprising thing of all – I love it!!! I have actually enjoyed the ageing process from the point of view that I feel so much more relaxed with myself and accepting of my flaws (and those of others). I love the perspective I have come to gain, and I realized how stressful it is to feel self-righteous all the time! I think I might even have lost the ability to be embarrassed, and that came in very handy the other night when I jumped up on stage to sing for a prize (which I won!!!) Much as I miss the energy of youth, I love the perspective I have developed as I age, and look forward to more good things to come.

5.       I never thought that the thing I would appreciate most in life was someone to wash my dishes – quite a few people have asked me what I want for my birthday and when I REALLY think about it all I want right now is life, health, to spend time with my favourite people and a clean house (or at the very least a clean sink). I am not even sure when that happened, but I woke up one day and realized that material things just don’t do it for me. I would still enjoy the gift of a book, or music but I think I would actually enjoy a good chinwag with a friend even more! So just in case anyone wanted to get me a birthday gift – unless you can figure out how to give me health and unending resources of energy – I would really appreciate you coming to spend some time with me. And while you are here – I can show you where the sponge and dish soap is.

Are there any things you find yourself doing that you never thought you would do when you were younger? Would love you to share them!! 

And on that note – I am off for a glass of wine while I ignore the dishes.

Big love from a small island!

Ps I took the above photo at Roccoco Gardens in Gloucestershire when I lived right around the corner from it. Love the maze! We never know where we will end up in life...