13 March, 2013

If you could do it all again

What advice would you give yourself?  A couple of months back, whilst at a family party, I was a little bit drunk and got chatting to one of Himself's cousins.  She's well on her way to having a Law Degree but is now considering journalism.  
Sigh, imagine being that young again?  Which is what I did, imagined being that young again, and then suddenly launched into the kind've advice that only drunk aul' wans give you.  
I was telling Sinead about this and she reckoned I should write it down.  Giving everyone a laugh in the process.  Feel free to add your own pointers by the way.
  • Study!!  A no brainer now that I am 20 sodding years out of school.  I wish I had've had more faith in myself and aimed higher.  Wish I'd bloody studied harder.  I did, meh, alright but could've done so much better.  The world is your lobster when you have an education.
  • Don't think that having a degree will solve all your future problems either!  Ha!! Not everyone who has made their mark on this world has a piece of paper saying they are brilliant.  Yup, turns out some of us don't need it.
  • Learn to type, it's the working woman's tool.  
  • Learn to drive.  Seriously!!  I really wish I had've done this when I was younger, pre-kids etc. as we could have gone so many places.  Living in the centre of town is great and you don't need a car for that but you do if you want to go to Galway at a time of your own choosing and not by  Bus Eireanns (time table)
  • Look after your mates.  
  • If you come away from time hanging with friends feeling miserable . . . maybe it's time to walk away from that friendship.  Sometimes friendships become toxic, you don't have to tolerate anyone's continued bullshit.
  • Get hammered once in a while but always have the money for a cab and, if your mate is more pissed than you, sober up!  One of you needs to get the other home.
  • Go to as many gigs, concerts, clubs as possible.  Dancing rocks.  Singing so loud your voice hurts is the best fun.
  • Don't forget your earplugs whilst at a Fatima Mansions gig in the Rock Garden and stand in front of the speakers.  You'll be replying " er, half one" to everyone, no matter what the question, as you really won't get your hearing back for at least 3 days.
  • Definitely go on the trampoline/harness thing in Marley Park, even though you are convinced your arse is huge.
  • Your arse is not huge.  You are gorgeous.  Your hair rocks and your elbows will NEVER again be this pointy.
  • Don't believe his balls will explode if you don't er, see him sorted.  
  • Don't think giving a blow job makes you the coolest girl ever.  Ugh, seriously.  Only give something that good if you're going to get something that good in return.  
  • Sex should be a mutual thing,  it should be fun (you should occasionally laugh so hard he, er, slips out, cackle).   If you're not enjoying it, don't do it.  Oh, and don't do something because 'everyone' is doing it.  Believe me, they're  not.
  • Leggings and a short top is NOT a good luck.
  • Have picnics.
  • Understand that your life is NEVER going to look like a Next advertisement.  EVER.
  • Save some money, I know, I know.  What's the point of saving for a rainy day when you are never allowed out when it's raining.  Still, savings are important if only for running away.
  • Laugh lots and lots.  Laugh so hard you pee.
  • Waxing really fucking hurts.
  • Travel.  Always have a passport.  
  • Use contraception.  Pregnancy scares really wrinkle your face.
  • STD's really wreck your body.  There are worse things than pregnancy.
  • Learn how to walk in high heels.
  • Learn one really, really funny joke.  
  • Take a compliment graciously.  I sometimes wonder if people are pissed off when they say to me "your hair looks great/have you lost weight?/love the dress" and I smile and say thanks.  I have taken to assuming I look fabulous dahling, fuck it, I'm 40 now.  I'll take whatever compliments I can get.
  • You don't have to marry the first person you sleep with.  In fact, in hindsight, I think you should sleep with a few.  Damn it, Himself was only meant to be a sodding fling but . . . he made me laugh, like, really laugh.  Plus he told me I was gorgeous and he said it in such a way that I believed him.  Sigh.  Still do.  
  • Learn to laugh at yourself.
  • enjoy the rain, you live in Ireland.
  • Don't feel you have to follow the sheep.  Be yourself.  Terribly boring when everyone is the same.
  • Listen to your ma and da, they have more experience than you. A lot more than you probably reckon they have.  Definitely a lot more than they want you to know they have.
  • Try not to take any drugs until you are old enough to handle them. Seriously, some of that stuff really fucks up the chemical balance in your brain - you can't fix that.
  • Make sure you can swim.
  • If it looks like tripe . . . it probably is.
  • Cackle, try all kinds of new foods. Except tripe, that can really mess up a trip to Barcelona.
  • Have a party piece handy, see 'good joke' above or learn a funny limerick or song. Some bastard is going to put you on the spot one day.
  • Stand up for those weaker than you.
  • Read.
  • Realise that everyone isn't "looking at you".  Honestly, they're not.  I wish I hadn't been so self conscious when I was 20.  Jesus, I was gorgeous yet I still wouldn't have gone swimming in the sea in a pair of togs.  Three years ago I got into the sea in my bra and knickers.  In the daytime.  No one looked . .  at least I don't think they did.  It was worth it anyway, myself and Carol had a blast.  No. 1 was old enough to mortified.
  • Remember, this is a one shot deal.  That's it.  So do everything, try everything and remember "it's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't" e.g. I regret lying about finding Ger's keys an hour before I rang her but I don't regret blagging my way into DJ Shadow.
  • Respect yourself.
  • If you are not prepared to sign your name to it DON'T send it/say it.
  • Stand up for what you believe in.
  • Go paddling once in a while and always, always have bread where there might be ducks.
  • Love someone with all your heart at least once.
  • Consider having kids when you're er, ready.  Jesus, they're tiring but worth it.  Especially when they are asleep and look like angels.  As opposed to when they are awake and murdering each other.
So yeah.  That's it.  My guide to a happy life.  I've done nearly all of those things bar studying hard.  It may have stopped me having the career of a lifetime but I'm not bothered as I don't think I was ever a careerist.  I am 40 and, on the whole, happy with my lot.
Go forth, have fun, use protection, always have clean knickers and money in the bank and yeah, happy days xxxxx

p.s. Be nice to drunken cousin-in-laws.  They'll be mortified in the morning.


  1. Oh, thank you. You're not so bad yourself. I'm sure some of these are yours.