It’s not knowing what to do, it’s doing what you know

~ Mark Twain

Ever-revolving, the door of life circles round and round, collecting memories like a heavily vibrant dust that just cannot be wiped away. One day, perhaps in the not too distant future, I want to write a memoir; a literary timeline on which I’ll pencil in personal and colourful tales, interposed with scribbling shades of black and grey.

I ruminate often, about what I’ll write, and I worry that my pockets are still only half-full – I feel like I haven’t yet collected enough life-trinkets and that I don’t know enough. But then again, how many do I need and shouldn’t I be focusing on what I do know?

Sometimes, writing a list helps me, especially in the lonely solitude of a sleepless night when I lie awake, heavy-eyed, and fretting about my life and where I’m going and what I’m doing and where I should go next and what I could have done differently and how I shouldn’t have said it like that and oh Lord above, my brain hurts, please just try to calm down.

The past year has been one of illuminating self-reflection and discovery. It grew and grew, like a weeping willow tree from the painful clutches of heartbreak. For most of it, I chose to walk a solitary road with only a backpack of emotions to accompany me, I wandered aimlessly. Or so I thought.

Last night, evaded by sleep once again, I thought about that road and the things I’ve experienced along the way, and it slowly occurred to me that I do know things. And so I wrote a list.

Things I know:

  1. ‘Forever’ is too high an expectation to promise anyone.
  2. Striving to be the very best version of yourself is enlightening and terrifying, all at the same time.
  3. Growing tomatoes is easier than you think. Just water them and put them in the general direction of sunlight. Simple.
  4. The premise of growing tomatoes can be applied to keeping your own body and mind healthy.
  5. It’s ok that I make mistakes. But it’s important that I learn from them, so that I don’t keep on making them.
  6. Self-help books are like a road map for when I’m feeling a little lost inside my own head. They’re a good starting point, but the most interesting and soulful journeys are the ones I’ve made when I just felt it out.
  7. Letting go of negative people in your life allows more and more room for it to be filled with positive people.
  8. Everyone has a light and dark side to their character and it’s ok to not always like yourself.
  9. Loving yourself, however, is really important.
  10. When I’m scared of doing something, I should do it anyway. Like driving on motorways. Because they’re really not as terrifying as I once thought.
  11. A ‘one for the road’ nightcap nearly always winds up with regret and vomiting.
  12. Listening more is a good thing. People can be really interesting, even the weird guy on the train.
  13. Procrastinating about whether to go for a run or not is actually more exhausting than just going for the damn run. I should just go.
  14. If I’m faced with the choice of housework or going out with a good friend, I should go out with my good friend. So what if my sink is full of dirty dishes or my laundry basket is overflowing? Tidying up my house won’t tidy up my mind, no matter how much I think it will. But an inspiring conversation with my friend might just do so.
  15. Crying is good.
  16. If I say yes, when really I mean no, I’m only compromising myself.
  17. Empathising is better than sympathising.
  18. Adding chillies to food is a good thing.
  19. Embrace your passion, no matter what it is.
  20. Reading is great. Books are awesome, people.