28 Personal Truths From 28 Years Of Living

Because every (proper) birthday deserves a list.

I always feel awkward on my birthday. I’ve never been able to figure out why. I have some theories. I’ll need to verify with a psychiatrist first.

I turned 28 on the 8th of February. I spent the day cleaning louver after louver, dusting books and packing my den. Oh, I also got a tonne of messages, calls, and notifications. Most of which I did not reply to immediately.

Some made me really teary. Others felt perfunctory.

For the previous few weeks leading up to my birthday, I’ve been in a writing slump. I could barely respond to the notifications on Medium or on any Social Media. I’m working on some projects that mean the world to me. I just realized the toll my obsession was taking on my creativity. I have been debating on some major changes ( killing my wordpress blog for one, ) and new routines.

I kept catching myself doing all the things I said I wouldn’t do. I can tell you, it’s not a pleasurable feeling.

I couldn’t bring myself to write anything on a computer. I did some journaling and scribbled a few verses. But, I never finished any of my 30+ drafts.

Until today. I am definitely one of those obsessed writers who feel pain when they don’t write and worse when their writing isn’t up to standard. Either way, I couldn’t torture myself anymore. So, I picked up a draft I’d wanted to share before my birthday.

I’d been collecting my truths : things I knew to be true, to me. Some of them were really silly — such as: glaring tongue in cheek expressions of my love for Rick and Morty, and the occasional use of Chocolate as a mild sedative. Others are lessons seared when I lost an opportunity, a job, or a friend. A few, from mentors I’ll forever be indebted to, both virtual and physical.

This list is one I will return to whenever I lose my compass. It contains some of the lessons and ideas my work, and life, have been affected by so far.

I have a feeling you may connect with a few of these notes to self. Ready?

  1. You’re your own worst enemy. And best friend. Be careful what you tell yourself. You will always be right.

2. If, and when, given the opportunity to get Schwifty or not, ALWAYS choose to get Schwifty!

3. Parents have their own humanity to deal with. Cut them a lot of slack. They had to deal with your crap.

4. Some friends come. Some friends go. Some friends become family. Some you block on social media, forever. C’est la vie.

5. The Alchemist is the best book ever written.

6. There are few things a big bowl of choclolate won’t fix.

7. When someone shows you who they are, allow them to prove it. Then, believe them. Finally, run for your life if they’re out to take advantage of you.

8. The only necessary trait in a romantic partner is the ability to sustain long, interesting conversations. Everything else can be discussed in said conversations. Even the odds of your incompatibility.

9. A cup of tea serves for oral fixations and writing inspiration. Never underestimate the power of a warm ceramic cup.

10. If you don’t write the idea down, you will forget. Telling yourself you won’t forget it is a sad, pitiful error.

11. Never uninstall the News Feed eradicator on Facebook.

12. Towels, suits, and sheets go to the laundromat. Everything else, wash daily. Don’t let the basket fill. Ever.

13. Never, ever, write directly on any social media platform. You will lose you best flashes of inspiration to platform bugs and third world internet connections. Evernote is invaluable.

14. Those who really care about you will occasionally remind you how you wronged them. It’s not to tell you it hurt. It’s to remind you that in spite of it all, they never left.

15. Get your shit together or you will keep getting a shitty life. It’s really that simple.

16. You don’t need to wash jeans as often as you think. Get three pairs : black, blue, and blue. They will save your life during the laundry apocalypse a.k.a impromptu dash to town for random earth saving meeting.

17. You’ll never be this young. Period.

18. It’s not your fault if you’re fucked up. It’s your fault if you stay fucked up — Jen Sincero

19. They don’t always have to get the idea in the beginning. Trying to explain won’t help either. Show, don’t tell.

20. Sometimes, to help someone, you’ll have to stop giving them advice. When you keep telling them what you think they need, you don’t allow them to get to their own conclusions. You deprive them of the skill needed to take action from intrinsic motivation. Let them make their mistakes. Be there when they need you, not when you want to.

21. Mad Max: Fury Road is the most important piece of visual content ever created by man. A few places behind Rick and Morty.

22. Siblings aren’t parents. Parents aren’t siblings. Be who you are, not who you need to be.

23. Your real clients won’t say ‘it’s expensive’. Even if they do, they will ask what they stand to gain, understand your offerings, and tell you why they won’t pay. If you listen closely, you’ll hear them build your product for you. Don’t listen to those who mock the price. Even if they’re kidding. You weren’t kidding when you built it.

24. When in doubt, take action. Even choosing to take the day off is action. Rest is as important as motion.

25. If you feel like something is wrong, it usually is. If you feel like you’re reacting to life and not taking action, it’s usually the case. Your body knows more about you than you think. Listen.

26. Sometimes, there is no lesson to learn. Really. Life is life. You can’t predict a lesson. You take it when it’s very visible. You ignore it if you need to. However, there are cases when there are no lessons and that, in itself, is the lesson.

27. Communication+ Respect+ Empathy+ Compassion+ Vulnerability. You need all this before you can ‘Love’ fully. Anything else is infatuation, and stuff of movies.

28. You don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate for- Chester Karrass

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Hi! I’m Tchassa Kamga. I’m a 28 year old writer and creative entrepreneur living in Cameroon, Africa. Thank you so much for reading my piece.