29 Things I Learned in my 20s, part one

I had a birthday this week, and not just any birthday, a significant one. I turned 29, which, if supposedly humourous greeting cards have taught me anything, I’ll be having again and again for the next few years.

I figured this would be a good time to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learned in the past ten years. It’s been a most interesting decade indeed: moving to the big city for university, adventures abroad in Southeast Asia, starting my writing career, and plenty of trysts and lovers in between. So without further ado I present 12 things I’ve learned in my 20’s.

1 Always fully explore a building when you move in. I had this one place that I never ventured much beyond my apartment door, and lo and behold there was rooftop access from a door on the top floor that I didn’t discover until one week before I moved out. Just think of all the tanning and drinking I could have done up there!

2 Multiple orgasms are the way to go!

3  One day you will meet a man who can play your body like an instrument, and you will forever be at his mercy.

4 While time doesn’t heal all wounds, it certainly is the only things that will truly mend a broken heart.

5 Add enough lube (and a little MDMA) to make him feel like he’s getting a hand-job from angels.

6 The thrill of sneaking around, in the moment may outweigh the shame of telling someone (or just breaking up with them), you always have to live with the guilt of getting away with it. “The problem with trying to escape reality is that it’s always there when you return.” my diary, circa 2005.

7 Laziness is one of the most unattractive qualities in a partner.

8-   Ditch all the toxic people you can from your life. You should only surround yourself with people that make you want to pick up the phone and call them.

9- Master 4 dishes- – an appetizer, two entrees, and a desert with which to wow people (aka cute boys) at potlucks.

10 Never read someone’s private writing (journals,   letters, emails) unless you’re completely prepared to deal with what you find. You can never un-read something.

11 I was way too cryptic in my old diaries.   I should have used more initials or something, half the time I don’t know who the hell “he” is.

12 Never take your jewelry off at a one-night stand’s house, especially one that ends with you slapping him in the face (I don’t want to get into it, but it was completely deserved).

If you have any life lessons that you’d like to contribute, leave a comment below.

Photo credit : http://homesweethanna.blogspot.com/2010/09/29-red-balloons-go-by.html


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  • In the name of sexual equality, I am going to comment. I realize there are those that are tempted to label your list a contemporary woman’s experience… While I agree there are differences between men and women, we are also more alike then pop culture academics (I’m looking at you , Yahoo Lifestyle bloggers) would lead you to believe.

    Baring that in mind, here is a man’s perspective:

    1 – Ditto on this point. I have a matching experience involving a rooftop terrace… but basements and tunnels are amazing too. Also, neighbours and a sense of community in an apartment are well worth a little social exploring.

    2 – Yes. And when you (a man) realize you can have them… holy shit.

    3 – When you realize you are the man in this scenario be classy enough to not take unfair advantage of this fact… unless it takes her to another level. Then tease her about it… just a little…. so you sound cute… and not demonic. Also, when you meet the woman who figures you out and what all your buttons are… tell her! Don’t play it cool or coy. Its more then okay to communicate how amazing she is.

    4 – Fully, 100% agree. And don’t bury your hurt too deep. Be honest about the pain and recognize your own need for time and space.

    And don’t call/text/email her after midnight… especially if you’re drunk!!! It resets the clock to 0!

    5 – I salute you angel.

    6 – “The problem with trying to escape reality is that it’s always there when you return.” The same is true of men. And recognizing this means you aren’t a boy. And are ready to meet someone equally significant.

    7 – Very true. Recognize the difference between a rut and laziness though. Life works in ebbs and flows. Some people are looking for a little positive reinforcement to get them out of a rut. Those looking for a crutch are scary. Supporting someone stuck in a temporary rough spot can signify a life altering relationship. Recognition of support is just as important.

    At the end of the day, energy and drive are sexy. And so is overcoming adversity.

    8 – Yes. Yes. And yes.

    9 – And yes. And you don’t need to be a wine connoisseur, but knowing at least a couple wines you personally love can be a great compliment to this… or forget wine and talk Scotch pairings.

    And teaching each other the dishes you know that the other doesn’t = awesome. I’m not going to lie: I like seducing women with food. If I want to sleep with you I am going to invite you over for dinner that I cook.

    10 – Admittedly I failed on this one once when I was young. And suffered the consequences. And realized jealousy is a beast that you can’t micromanage. You just need to take a hard stance on and tell it to go to hell. There’s no logical way to think it through.

    11 – Admittedly (again) I was way too obvious… and spelt out their full names too frequently. And yes, boys do keep diaries sometimes. We call them journals. Their covers tend to be black. Or brown. Or fall colours.

    Fine… there’s a difference between men and women.

    12 – Ok, I was wondering what was up with that… I have a small collection of earrings, bracelets, hair clips, scarves and other small items in a bowl in my room. It horrifies me to think of them as trophies. I really didn’t do anything to hang onto them… after the third, um, incident, I started to wonder what the hell was going on, why these otherwise smart ladies were doing this and if it was done on purpose. Its a mystery. I got to a point where I was surprised when something WASN’t left behind. Please explain….

    Oh, and I’m not a slut. Maybe a well meaning gentleman slut. Hell. I hope Facebook doesn’t identify me on this.

  • Oh, and Happy Birthday. I actually really enjoyed your piece. I should have mentioned that. 🙂 Here’s to you being a fierce and amazing 30 year old woman next year.

  • MDMA? Seriously…And yeah, you sound like a whore. I ´m all about speaking freely about sex, but if your 29 years have teached you only that…

  • You’re really living up to your name with this comment! I have never sold my body for sex, so no, technically I’m not a “whore”. I’m just open-minded and in charge of my own sexuality, something that must be very threatening to your tiny penis.

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