9 Unexpected but Important Life Lessons

Posted by Philicia Penney on

Life as a young adult often takes an unexpected whirlwind. Not only that, but you find out plenty of surprising things that make you seriously re-evaluate almost all other assumptions. That's why I came up with a list of very important things to know:

1. Never take a hot shower for granted.

Picture this - you just moved into a brand new place after bringing in everything from the van. It's the evening and you finally get a chance to take a nice, long, hot and steamy shower. You turn the knob - no hot water!

How aggravating and disappointing it is to be without such a refreshing and essential thing, which you have had almost your entire life! I'm pleased to let you know the above example was actually from personal experience - and there actually was hot water. It was the best shower I ever had! No exaggeration.

You see, hot showers offer so much that you might not have realized. They give you peace away from the public, soothing for your hard-worked muscles, and haul off the sludge to reveal your natural clean scent. If you buy bath crayons, you've also got a place to write new ideas on the tiles. This is as close as you're going to get to becoming a new person, on the regular. 

Keep in mind - you never know when you'll get that experience again.

2. Enroll in acting class

Theater is truly a remarkable thing. The sound, the costumes, the ridiculous makeup... I love it! When performing, it is an art that develops your social skills. It opens you up to being different, and allows you to be free from social constraints. In high school, it was a beloved subject which I excelled at. Even my teacher was wondering if I was going to take advanced theater, when I was actually graduating that year!

You also get to meet people and have a laugh. You must often come up with a response on the spot, which boosts your creativity and wit. Any actor must enunciate and project, so your ability to communicate clearly gets boosted. Not only that, but you quickly find out that you never have to take anything to seriously. Not even yourself!

If you're not interested in acting, at the very least sign up for a social skills course of some form. Take away the um's and uh's in your daily dialogue and watch the magic happen!

3. Rich people take the bus

Mr. or Mrs. CEO works in a big tall building. They also wear a tailored suit and live in a nice condo with a skyline view. It may seem like they'd stand out like a sore thumb while riding public transit, but it's actually very very normal.

They make mega bucks, not to waste on a fancy car to sit in traffic for hours. They want to keep their money they'd have otherwise spent on the full total for the purchase price, the insurance, maintenance, and administration fees. The subway gets them there faster, and therefore earlier. Public transit is cheap in comparison, and there's no costly car to scratch, dent or break into. No need to look for parking either, and pay $20 for a working day. 

No. Why do all that when that money can be invested in other things? For example, more tailored suits, real estate, the stock market, their own business... For wealthy younger generations, there is also the need to show off designer fashion and accessories. Public transit means more money to spend on Gucci, Louis Vuitton x Supreme, Off White, and Nike. 

You do the math. 

4. Nobody can tell it's not from Sephora

It always feels nice to try a new product from a high-end store. Once the makeup and skincare is on your face, though, nobody really notices who made what product. Enjoy what you bought in full and love every bit of it! If you're looking to impress, quality doesn't mean high-ticket. Even if you take care of your skin in affordable ways, nobody will know exactly how you did it just by looking at you. Nobody knows who is on your face.

This is the part where you can finally breathe a sigh of relief! If Maybelline or Nivea works well for you, you don't have to break the bank and change brands. That is, however, if you really really want to. There's nothing stopping you from treating yourself!

5. You control if it's a problem to you

Ever hear about confidence being from delusion? It's similar with not sweating over things that may be problematic for a few folks. The fact you got Pepsi instead of Coca Cola? Not an actual problem. Your son wants to play with dolls? Not a problem. 

For the record, I will never ever gaslight anyone into thinking they're being silly by having a concern. What I'm talking about is very minor, and mostly first-world problems, aren't always worth stressing over. 

6. Things will show up once you need them

There have been some occasions where I lost something but it came back to me another day. Lately, I've been letting lost things be lost until I find them again. I already spent way too much time stressing myself out over things I don't need ASAP, but have been itchin' to find (and be over with finding them).

There's a sense of peace in letting the nature of things play out and return lost objects when I'm actually meant to have them. I won't label it, but there is a natural and peculiar force at work that understands the concept of necessity. It will be persistent in keeping you focused on the right things, as long as you're accepting of it keeping you from harm's way.

Take a breath. Haul it in. Maybe you can't find your car keys because a reckless driver is currently on your route. Perhaps you can't find that gift card for home decor you got for your birthday because you need to clear out some space first. Until you find what you're looking for, consider alternatives. 

7. Business/employment connections aren't materialistic

That big job search is making you insanely confident about your future! Great! Now stay focused on going in for the kill. Keep in mind that as long as you dress professionally, your network will keep you in their loop. There is no need to take on a big expense by trying to impress future employers and business partners with the latest thing from the runway. They really don't care, unless they're in the luxury goods industry. 

Take a look at how Elon Musk dresses. He doesn't have to dress over-the-top, he lets his hustle do the impressing for him. Suppose you worked in a coffee shop and were awkwardly tasked with guessing what each customer made in a year. It's a total flop from the start, as even the wealthiest person you know wears a t-shirt and jeans on a daily basis. Facts. 

Focus on the quality of the connection with the other person, and maintaining a clean and sensible appearance. 

8. Join "Free Stuff" groups on social media

Truth is, people are giving away things all the time! What you just bought for $20, you could have gotten free of charge. Although I wouldn't get used beauty products, mattresses, and underwear from someone else, I keep my eyes open for freebies all the time! Facebook Marketplace has a section specifically for free stuff that you can get just by arranging it with the one who posted it. 

However, keep in mind that people will put "Free" in their Marketplace ad title but actually mean there's a list of prices in the description. Locals will likely have a free stuff group that you can join and get notified on when something is up for grabs. For the sake of keeping good karma around, I wouldn't advise selling what's been donated to you once you've asked for it. 

9. Depart with humor

I didn't realize this until recently, but I have the habit of trying to make people laugh towards the end of the conversation. My last words would often involve something funny with the intention on leaving lighthearted. Of course, this doesn't happen every single time. I don't add jokes to all of my goodbyes. That doesn't make it special, and there's times when it's inappropriate. 

When I do add something comical, it's a great way to get people to remember you. If you've got charisma, use it! You really enhance your personal encounters and make people want to keep talking to you. They might pass on what you said to someone else, and the smiles keep spreading! 

Also, don't worry if you haven't got a funny bone. You still have the opportunity to finish off the dialogue with something positive and on the uptick. "Anyways, I've got to go home and enjoy some supper. Take care!" As an extra tidbit, note how I said "enjoy" rather than "eat" or "have". Language cannot be underestimated! Mind your vocabulary, and use certain words to add a nice mood to the sentence. Even ridiculous words that make people giggle. Time to dust off your thesaurus, pumpkin!


Photo Credits: Tiffany Catron on Scopio