What I should have known when I was 20 (a poem)

There are probably a shit tonne of essays and books and blog posts (and maybe a poem or two) about what people wish they had known when they were 20. Looking back, we all wish we could go back and impart our acquired knowledge upon our younger self.

But I was a little bit broken and it was the reason that I ended up not having the career that my friends enjoyed or the relationships or the posh holidays and fancy cars. While they all grew up, I remained a sixteen year old who downed shots, even on a Tuesday.

Now that I have put my drinking days to bed and decided to make a real effort at getting my brain sorted out I feel like I can piece together something similar to all of those other lists on the internet. But mine isn’t what I wish I’d known; mine is what I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN. It’s the stuff I really should have picked up if I wasn’t drunk, or high, or wandering around somewhere dangerous in Africa.

So here’s a little poem with some of the obvious stuff and also some of the things that are only applicable to wonky people like me.

When I was young and left my home,

There was a big, exciting world to roam.

But I did not know how to look

After the girl whose world was shook

When she found that drink was nice,

It’s just she didn’t know the price.

I wish that she had understood,

That letting go was what she should

Be doing when those heavy woes

Pushed her deep into her lows.

Let go of all that she resents,

All it does is swiftly robs and then prevents,

The happiness that could be hers,

But anger seems to be what she prefers.

I wish she knew that money, houses and a car

Aren’t the answer, not by far.

They’ll scratch the itch that plagues her so

But they won’t help her fly or grow.

The joy that they will make her feel

Is transient; it isn’t even real.

I wish that I could tell her to

Try the thing that scares her through

To her core; the thing that sets her heart on fire,

A passion of which she’ll never tire.

Don’t do what they all think you should,

Don’t think you need it to be good,

You’re good enough just as you are

Just don’t let them eclipse your star.

27 thoughts on “What I should have known when I was 20 (a poem)

  1. dominikmorss

    Excellent! This was such an inspiring read right now. Such a great idea to put your thoughts and feelings into this form of a poem πŸ™‚ Thanks a lot for sharing this. Really something special!

  2. Joanna

    Drinking is a very bad habit that can crush your hopes and dreams. It’s not long between one glass becomes one bottle and then your life starts going downhill.

  3. Blairvillanueva

    We chose different path during our 20s and that’s okay because now, you are working on something more for your future.
    Btw, you wrote beautifully!

  4. seekingdivineperspective

    Great life lessons. You would enjoy my re-post of a piece by Cepotania, posted August 30 – “A Recovered Alcoholic’s Perspective.”
    I think you might also enjoy the song “Dear Younger Me,” if you haven’t heard it already.




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