The Book of Wisdom
A collection of things I wish I'd been told earlier.
I've started writing a book. Well, not a real book. More like a Word document that I add to now and then. It's based on an idea I've had for ages now. I want to make something that I can give to my children, maybe on their eleventh, or twelve birthday, as a little Life Bible.
Maybe one day, when I'm sat at home with that pregnancy "glow" that comes after months of sobriety, no pizza and more mood swings than normal, I can sit in my rocking chair (obviously, as all expecting mothers have!) and I can sit with a pen and a plain book I've made Hubby go out and buy, and I can occupy my days neatly handwriting out my 'book'. A complication of little bits of advice, words of warning, solutions, thoughts, feelings, and general facts about life that I wish someone had told me when I was younger. I would have saved myself a hell of a lot of trouble!
I'll start it here with a few ideas.
Words of Wisdom
• Bob Marley’s words; “The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for.” These could not be more true! Even the people closest to you, in fact, especially the ones closest to you. No one is perfect and we’re all only human. Just depends on what you think is worthy of forgiveness or not.
• Be kind to everyone. Everyone is the same; these weird social prejudices that were label people with don’t exist. Be kind, you have no idea the kind of day a person is having.
• The world doesn’t change much. The problems you have now and everyday are no different to the ones I had growing up, or the ones my mum had in the sixties, regardless of being years apart. The nature of people doesn’t evolve that quickly.
• Be observant, be analytical. You learn far more about people by the way they present themselves.
• I’ve regretted far more things that I haven’t done rather than things I have done. Go for it.
• Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument.
• A little education goes a long way. Never be ignorant of others and never be scared of the unknown.
• If you’re in the wrong, apologise and move on. If someone won’t let you move on, move on from them. You don’t need that kind of toxicity.
• A problem told is a problem halved. I kick myself when I think of all the dramas and turmoils I kept to myself when if I had just told someone, they could have been solved so easily.
• Everyone needs help. DO NOT BE STUBBORN. It truly is a very unattractive quality.
• “How old were you when you learnt to hate yourself? How old were you when you let the profanities of society convince you that it was a crime to be anything less than yourself?"—I always want to the answer to those questions to be “I’m still waiting.” You are always amazing. Don’t you dare be ridiculous enough to believe the thoughts and beliefs of strangers who don’t know you over the people closest to you.
• Never be afraid of what people will think of you. A passerby in the street will never see you again. A person at school will not see you again once you leave, and as weird as it might sound but school does not last forever; once you leave, you leave behind all the concepts that you once thought were so important.
• Never be afraid of your feelings. Even they weird and unexplainable ones are all completely natural and I promise you are not the only one who’s felt that way, and you certainly will not be the last!
• In 2018, the brother of a girl I know committed suicide. His name was Ben. He’d spent the night before at his girlfriend’s, come home and his dad was lying half asleep on the sofa watching the telly. No one else was in. Ben said he was going into the shed for a bit, it wasn’t unlike him to go in there and mess about with his bike and tools so his dad never thought anything of it and fell asleep. Ben went into the shed and hung himself. He was nineteen. When he wouldn’t answer his girlfriend’s texts, she panicked and called the police. The first his dad knew anything was amiss was when the police turned up on his doorstep an hour and a half later and asked to inspect his shed. There was no note, no explanation, absolute no idea of why. So many people turned up the the funeral, all saying how horrible it was but some couldn’t get away from how selfish Ben had been. As awful as that sounds, considering the boy felt he had no way out other than to end his life. Though all they could see was the aftermath—It has completely torn the family apart, dad especially, who was metres away and was none the wiser. He has to live with the fact that he could have done something to save his son, his little boy. He constantly questions everything that happened that day and always will. It haunts him. I hope you never ever feel so low that you contemplate such awful things but if you do, I beg you, please let someone help. Even if you think no one will care, in fact especially if you think no one will care. Challenge it. Death affects everyone no matter who you are. We will care, I promise.
• A friend who makes you feel hurt, used, embarrassed, uncomfortable, upset, angry, conflicted, is no friend. Loyalty works both ways.
• It can be terrifying to cut away from toxic people, but if I think of my bully and the time I stood up to her, no revenge was more sweet than to see her withdraw into nothing more than the sad little girl she really was. That’s what bullies are: people who are pathetic and broken and victimise others to make themselves feel better about their absent lives.
• Trust is a funny thing: If you glue a broken mirror back together, you can still see the cracks. While that’s true, you can still see the reflection. Take next time with a pinch of salt and don’t treat everyone with the same forgiveness.
• No matter how they like to portray themselves, boys are just as soft on the inside. Boys need a good cry too. More so than girls I’ve found.
• If you hear a girl complaining about her period, don’t be an arse, be kind to her. It’s all natural and I promise you, she’ll be a million more times embarrassed, uncomfortable and in way more pain than you. Periods affect girls in different ways, but they’re never fun for anyone. The stomach aches consume the lower tummy just under the navel, as I say it affects everyone differently but the pain feels like you’re being constantly punched. A constant lulling ache, it’s horrendous. Don’t joke about it. Don’t joke about the girly mood swings either, because I promise those couple of days are nothing short of an irritating, teary, emotional hell. If you have nothing nice to say, or simply don't know what to say (that's okay too), give them some space and get them a coffee/chocolate/sanitary towels. I know that last one might be unthinkable for you! But promise you, you'll rocket in her estimation.
• Girls do not respond to negativity. Be kind.
• Girls are bitches. Too much estrogen in one room is never good.
• I found that the bluntest and most stand-offish of girls are the best of people because you know where you stand.
• Don’t expect boys to understand periods, that’s often why they make fun of it. They don’t get it and that’s okay, it’s a terrifying thing for them to get their head around. As you get older, you’ll find more guys who are more and more understanding!
• If I could go back and redo my GCSEs & A levels, redo how hard I tried; I totally would. You literally have no idea how much they affect you later on. I know it’s boring and you’d rather be doing other things. I get it, we’ve all been there! And I know everyone else equally can’t be bothered and it’s easy to follow with the crowd, but be focused. I can’t tell you how much you’ll kick yourself if you don’t.
• You can only ever do your best, but you can help yourself to do better. Revision is literally the only way you’ll get there. I didn’t revise at all for my GCSEs. The only one I did work for was maths and that was because mum and dad were paying for tuition for me. Otherwise? I truly did not give a damn. But I will never forget the miserable and hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach in the days leading up to Results Day, I was so nearly sick when mum drove me up to school to collect my envelope. I did okay, enough to scrape through but nowhere near what I was capable of, and for that I was disappointed with myself for being so damn ignorant and stupid. Good news of the story was that I got a B in maths! Mum and I danced screaming for joy around the hall, in and amongst the rest of my year and their parents, getting every dodgy look going! Did not care! Everyone else I knew only got Cs. My B in maths has saved me in my life more times than I could ever say!
• Don’t go to university/college if you’re unsure what you want to do. It isn’t worth the time or money. Don’t be scared if you don’t know what you want to do, we certainly didn’t! The problem was our head of year in sixth form was so set on getting as many of our year, and all the previous years, to go to university purely so the school would have a higher rating of students that were off to uni. They did not give a damn as to whether or not it was the right decision for us. Anyone who ‘rebelled’ and said they weren’t going was literally dead to him and got no support in anything for the rest of the year. If we could go back and change it, we would both do totally different things. I suggest instead you take a gap year, get a job or go travelling, get out into the real world and learn how it works. Explore new things and see what really flickers your interests. Come and talk to us. We’ll sort something out!