26 things I’ve learnt at 26.

It was my birthday on the 10th! Please don’t steal my identity with that information. But I had a great time at bottomless brunch which was… dangerous haha. I started drinking mimosas on an empty stomach while waiting for my friends and then the food to arrive, so there was not much, if anything, lining my stomach and I can safely say I’ve never been that drunk before in my life. I didn’t invite some of my friends that I knew didn’t, or couldn’t drink because I can’t imagine it being entertaining to be the only sober one in an extremely tipsy (at best) group and by 2pm I was in bed so….

I had a lot of fun though! Not so much for the next 12-18 hours after the bottomless brunch but that is definitely the punishments.

Anyway, it wouldn’t be my blog if I didn’t write a listicle at some point #brandvoice #brandidentity. So here is 26 things I’ve learnt during my 26th year around the sun:

26. I am an advanced-level heel walker, but there is a master-level.

I was getting cocky with heels; typically because in my old jobs and with my friends I’m the one tottering around in heels while the people around me go wow how do you wear heels all the time. I typically wear heels with a chunky heel, and I can easily walk in a stiletto.

However, now that I work in the CBD, I have been humbled by the amount of women who literally run up and down in their stilettos that have no platform. Do you know how painful it is to run for an Uber with your foot forced into a tiptoe, placing trust into a skinny stick for a heel and it feels like the ball of your feet is supporting the world? Or when you’re wearing extremely high stilettos walking down an extremely steep hill and it feels like you’re going to fall flat on your face ? I don’t know how women keep these extremely beautiful but painful shoes on their feet all day, but they do. I just want to take mine off after about an hour or two. I wore some really nice tomato red stillettos to work the other day and never again. So much respect to the women stomping up and down with theirs and killing it.

25. I need. Sleep.

I LOVE sleeping. I went to a tarot card reader who told me that because I’m a water sign and that I feel extremely washed out if I don’t get a lot of sleep, which just validated me in feeling like I always need a good night sleep or a nap. My ideal amount of sleep time, which I often do, is from 11 or 12pm until the noon the next day. I have never pulled an all nighter in my life.

24. I am more hippie dippie than I realise.

This year I’ve done a tarot card reading and also hypnotherapy, both with quite a lot of belief or else I wouldn’t be paying $$ for them. Which leads me to my next learning:

23. I am addicted to chips for real.

I got hypnotised to not eat chips anymore. Sort of like when people get hypnotised to stop smoking, except mine was to stop eating chips, chicken nuggets, soft drinks and fast food.

22. I have an SNL sense of humour.

I love Brooklyn Nine Nine, Bridesmaids and Parks and Rec. Trying to get through The Office and waiting for this season of The Good Place to finish so I can binge it. But I really like Andy Samberg, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph and whoever plays Mlepnos on B99. Queens and Kings, all of them.

21.  I do well in small groups, not big.

I went on a Contiki this year for 6 weeks with 52 people. I did not like all 52 people, and didn’t even manage to have a conversation with all 52 people which doesn’t settle well with me because I like forming friendships.

20.  I need friends who like trying new things.

Having met a variety of people above, I found out that I really don’t like people that aren’t curious. I don’t like people who don’t have sensory issues or allergies but are picky eaters. I don’t like people that decide to do the same things over again. I don’t like people that decide to be ignorant to news, politics, culture and whats happening in the world. I need people with depth, not people who spend their time trying to cover their insecurities and haven’t accepted themselves. I am too old for people who act out.

19.  I don’t like pasta.

And yes I’ve had it from Italy. I like the ones that are in the $1 packets that you add milk to though…

Although I accept that I only ate from tourist heavy spots in Italy, and so might not be the best representation of pasta… but it’s freaking Italy. All the pasta I ate in Venice and Rome were meh.  A carbonara I had in France was probably the blandest pasta I’ve ever eaten in my life. I think it’s a personal problem because I don’t like tortellini in butter sauce (pretty much just melted butter) because I thought it was too plain while the rest of my group were going gaga over it.

18.  I look young for my age.

I have been mistaken for 19 on the contiki and people believed me when I said I was turning 21 on my birthday. Although I personally like it, I actually think it affects me at job interviews because I look young and like a graduate when I’m not, and people tend to talk to me condescendingly a lot more too.

17.  I’m not ready for a cat.

I live with a cat, who belongs to my flatmate (ie she is my flat cat.) and what she mostly does is eat and sleep, and that is already too much responsibility for me to bear. You have to constantly make sure she has enough food to eat, and it becomes your problem when she won’t eat and you have to think about whether she doesn’t like the taste or if she’s sick. She wants breakfast from about 5am. And like other cats, she sheds, has furballs and has a litterbox. She’s 14 and very fluffy, so my flatmate has to worry about her health and her grooming- now that it’s getting toward summer she is very hot and because she is so fat she isn’t grooming herself properly.

Once I locked her in the garage by mistake during a storm and everyone thought she was lost overnight :/ . So that was my level of responsibility.

There’s just too much responsibility and chores. I’m in the very, very lucky position where all my input needs to be is pet her, baby talk her and chase after her. Sometimes I brush her fur and feed her treats. I like to call myself her godmother.

This is a revelation to me, because I had always thought that when I’m by myself, one of the first things I want is a cat.

16. I like babies in real life, but not in photos or videos.

This is not an invitation to change my mind. I just find them not that cute aesthetically, presence only!

15.   I’m well travelled.

When I was talking to a group of adults (which I now realise…I am technically part of the group) who were talking about different countries, I realised that I have actually been to a lot of different countries and can talk about them. I felt super bougie and aristocratic.

I’ve been to: China, US, Canada, Australia, Thailand, England, France, Italy, Monaco, Spain (just Barcelona though… contestable whether it’s Spain or not). Vatican City, Greece, Turkey, Austria, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria. Not in that order and I’ve probably missed some countries too.

14. I’m (relatively) well read.

I recently made the big mistake of trawling through Buzzfeed articles with titles like ’35 books you need in your life’ ’10  books that authors love’ and  then going on a reserving spree on Auckland Libraries, where you can get books delivered to your closest library for free. Sometimes more than one person wants to the book so you have to wait your turn. Cue 18 books arriving for me at the same time to absolute horror. I had to go back and forth from the library to the car two times because I couldn’t carry them all.

I’ve read…some of them.

13. I really like dramatic, or at least long winded shows.

I LOVE Greenleaf.  Greenleaf is the most underrated show on Netflix.

Liked Gilmour Girls until Rory got out of hand. I really tried to like Dynasty but I just couldn’t.

12. I got my full license!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (not a learning but I’m very proud)

I was extremely scarred from my restricted driving test- I failed 4-5 times. After the third time, I had a massive rant on my blog (before I lost all my content), which the NZ Transport Agency, NZTA, got a wind of with my emotional tirade and vaguely suicidal sounding post. Cue them finding my number in their database and leaving me a message to call them back. I did and left a message which they didn’t respond to, probably because a) they did more googling and realised I’m not very influential at all and offer no reputational damage b) since I called back I wasn’t dead and my blood wasn’t on their hands.

But I got my full license the week after I returned from Europe without telling anyone and I was SOOO relieved when I passed. I was SO ANXIOUS and literally felt sick since it has been a test that I have consistently failed at the past, and so constantly made ME feel like a failure; sooo relieved that I won’t need to take it again for the unforeseeable future.

11. I’d like to speak to the manager, please.

Since marketing does a lot of work in customer experience (CX) now, I am all ready to complain and let it be known when I’m not happy with my service. I know how seriously companies take their feedback, and when I’ve been dicked around I would like the company to know it and to improve their CX experience.

This means sometimes I raise issues that I really wish I didn’t because while they find it valuable feedback, it really wastes my time lolol. I spent 2 hours on the phone with Netflix last month because the billing part was not working and so I couldn’t renew my Netflix subscription. I had already done a workaround by setting up a brand new account, but I foolishly called the support team at 8pm at night. I asked them if I could go twice but they kept saying ‘it’ll be fixed in a few minutes..”. It has been nearly a month and it is still not fixed and I’m not going to remind them lol.

10.  I don’t get social media fatigue.

There comes a time in every millenial’s life where they declare that they’re “sick of Facebook/Instagram” and decide to delete or take a break. I have yet to have that feeling, and I work in social media. The only thing I don’t like about social media, in particular Facebook, is how Russia uses it to influence elections a la Cambridge Analytica and how that has played a part in Trump getting elected and civil unrising, but they target people who are ‘undecided’ and can be swayed. I don’t know how, because if I watched a week of Trump videos I still wouldn’t change my mind on him – so it’s still sort of on the individual for not being strong in finding their truth and relying on Facebook to form their opinion (google is your friend!).

9. My love language is quality time.

I have realised that when I want to show someone I care about them, I always propose hanging out with them. I can’t stop myself. If it is very hard for me to maintain a friendship without asking if they want to get food lol (but in essence to spend time with them) and I would be offended if they constantly refused.

8. I really like Paris, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Istanbul and Greece.

It is so bizarre to go on holiday to place which you’ve saved for, that you might only see once in your life and yet there are people there in that place that see it every day and go about their average life.

I would love to live in Paris and Greece but I don’t know how I would find a job in France when I can’t speak any French, and I think Greeks struggle to get jobs in Greece, let alone me.

7.  I unintentionally copy the style of women that I report to/respect.

Since I am quite praise-oriented, it extends to the people I respect or seek approval from. I have noticed I start liking/buying clothes that are similar to women I report to so that they compliment me. That doesn’t mean that I go shopping thinking ‘omg this will get me a juicy big ups from my manager” but more like “this dress is so cute. I’ll wear it to work because I think my manager will think its cute too”. I noticed it because my taste in work clothes have drastically shifted since starting a new job, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence.

6. I’m not that bad of a driver, despite #12.

I’ve driven around Auckland probably more than my parents at this point. I have even ventured out to Mairangi Bay, Flat Bush and Whenuapai, which I am pretty sure my parents have never been to. I haven’t been in a car accident either yet, the only “incident” has been scraping my car against a fence and cracking my hubcaps and I am so grateful.

5.  I really, really do not like the smell of airplane food and will go against my Asian genes of always eating food that you’ve already paid for.

I hardly ate on my flights to and from Europe, and any time I’ve been on a plane with meals. I HATE the smell of reheated food that lingers in on the plane before and afterwards. Just imagining sad beef gravy on mashed potatoes is making me queasy (since some sort of beef meal is always included). The only meal I can typically stomach is breakfast because they have fruit and yoghurt and it’s fresh. Do NOT approach me with a sad sausage and powdered eggs.

4. I am not going to Santorini for a honeymoon.

I thought it was pretty much tourists fighting for the same spot and expensive everything. Ios and the other Greek Islands are just as pretty! I would love to visit Mykonos and Crete.

3. I am not going to get trashed before my wedding day.

I’ve always had this fantasy of drinking bellinis and getting tipsy with my bridesmaids before my wedding as we get ready. I might eat a chicken nugget or a bite of a McMuffin because it’s a breakfast of champions and I’m super busy being the centre of attention.

I lived out this fantasy on my 26th birthday, where I was the birthday girl (centre of attention), drinking mimosas with my friends on an empty stomach as I was waiting for the rest of my group to arrive. I have never been that drunk in my life. By 3pm I was in bed passed out and vomiting every hour. Have learnt my lesson NOT to repeat this on my wedding day. That or to eat the whole McMuffin before tossing them back.

2. I really like kitchenware, fridges and pantries.

If I disappeared or was involved in a crime and the police had to go through my browsing history, they’d probably be confused at how much time I spend watching pantry and fridge tours on Youtube. I LOVE watching American housewives film their pantries and fridges; there’s so much food and so many options, and these videos are like half an hour long. I don’t really agree with stockpiling – I’ve seen a few go really out of hand and turn their garages into little stores filled with cans and buckets of beans. Some of them do it because they’re into couponing, and others do it because they’re part of a sect of Christianity where they have to prepare at least 3 months worth of food in case anything bad happens (I think Church of Latter Day Saints but I might be wrong). I think it’s an immense waste of food, money and is quite selfish food hoarding, because a lot of the food will expire or won’t get used. And the 3 month thing confuses me, because their reasons are normally in case:

  • Their financial situation changes and the economy collapses.

But… I don’t understand why they don’t save the $100+ they spend on buying cases of food when they don’t need it for when they do. Food is not an ideal investment vehicle or a term deposit. Maybe that money could pay for fuel to drive to Canada or fly to another country if America becomes bankrupt instead of forcing their family to stay put eating canned corn.

  • A disaster strikes.

I don’t know what natural disaster would occur that would cause their family to be locked in their basement for 3 months. If it was really bad the government would probably evacuate them to a nearby stadium and they wouldn’t have access to their food store anyway. Perhaps maybe if an unexpected war strikes and the supermarkets run out of food then it would be extremely handy, but I feel like wars are not ‘random’, so they can stockpile when tensions are rising. It might be good for a epidemic but that could be helped if the same families vaccinated their children #burn

  • For the end of the world.

I interpret this as meaning when the apocalypse comes, and I highly doubt Jesus would let you and your family hide in the garage when he’s judging everyone OR the world would spare your house if it decided to implode.

I feel like these families should evaluate what this doomsday attitude and fear is actually about, because they’re doing in fear of war, anarchy, plague or zombies when America isn’t that high up for experiencing any of those yet. Other families in other countries definitely do not stockpile as much as the Americans do, and if I turned my garage into a food store my friends and family would stage an intervention. Yet these families are very proud, and show off how much non perishable food they have and how deep their chest freezers are. Why? The psychology behind why food hoarders, typically more conservative families, are so scared would be quite interesting.

The only reason I accept is when they live extremely rurally and it take ages to get to a grocery store, or if they have heaps of kids and so the food runs out fast. I just don’t like food that’s sitting there and not being consumed. But I sure love watching it.

1. More about myself than any other year!

I have been to 3 sessions of therapy, 2 sessions of hypotherapy and 1 tarot card reading session where I am expected to talk about ME. And I’ve never really had to confess my fears and wants so plainly before, and when I start talking, all this new stuff just starts flowing from it.

Like I said in my first post about going to therapy, I thought it would be great and I would love talking about me. But by the end of it, I actually find it quite difficult, especially when I don’t want to explain the full story.

I think it’s quite a millennial luxury to have the time to explore yourself so much (that doesn’t sound right…) but hopefully it will make growing up after this year a little bit easier.

Thanks for reading! What is something you’ve learnt this year about yourself?

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