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.