On… things I wish I’d known at 18.

1. Don’t dye your hair. Seriously, GemGem, trust me on this one.

2. White wine is not for drinking without food.

3. Hummus is not food.

4. Stop fighting your parents about university. They are right. You need a real degree. And you’ll learn the important art of bullshitting when you’re writing English and History essays. This will give you a huge advantage when you start working as a copywriter in advertising.

5. Read over everything you write four times, then read something else or sleep or walk to clear your mind. Then read it again.

6. Then read it again.

7. Sometimes formerly nice people become fuckwits. This isn’t your fault.

8. Every James that ever comes into your life will be a fuckwit from the start. This isn’t your fault either.

9. You are right: there is more to life than writing copy to sell people shit they don’t need. But it is fun. And fun goes a long way.

10. The answer to ‘how many sequins is too many?’ is ‘any’.

11. You will live with a succession of crazy people in various shareflats around South West London. This will be very stressful at the time but make for funny stories later on, so hang in there.

12. There is no such thing as witty jewellery.

13. Relax. Everything will turn out fine.

Any more to add, my people?

EDIT: By the way, this wasn’t meant to be a Back To The Future 2 Sports Almanac ‘Ooh La La!’ post (um, if you’ve seen BTTF2 you’ll know what I mean). I mean, that created Bad Biff. I wouldn’t want to create Bad Gem, even if I did end up with my very own self-themed casino. But I do wish I hadn’t fucked with my hair. It was a really nice dark honey blonde and I’ve spent the past decade trying to get it back. And I wish I hadn’t underestimated myself as much as I did, as I worried about so many things that weren’t worth worrying about… Though maybe I had to, in order to become moi. Gah! We could talk about this forever! You know, this is kind of a stupid post. Sorry.

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5 thoughts on “On… things I wish I’d known at 18.

  1. Marcie

    I love this! I couldn't agree more with #1!! I'd also add wearing sunscreen to my list. Sunspots are a pain right about now.

    #13 is invaluable advice, and is something I need to remind myself even now.

    xo M

  2. P

    I don't regret dyeing my hair (which I started doing at 15!) but I agree with a lot of the others you mentioned!!! :) Especially the living with a lot of crazy people one, albeit in Glasgow rather than London… I still am!!!


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