20 Mistakes Millennials Nearing Their 40s Wish They Never Made, As Shared In This Online Community
We live and learn. If not from own mistakes, then from the mistakes made by others. Yet, very often, we disregard the advice given by people who have been walking this Earth longer than us. Some people get defensive when hearing a bit of advice. It’s perhaps a reaction still not grown out of unruly teenagehood. And very often, after some years have passed, we will look back and wish we had taken that advice earnestly because the person was actually right.
It takes a certain level of maturity to learn to hear the advice and filter out what you can apply in your own lifestyle. No one is born knowing, but we learn as we live. An online user turned to the Ask Reddit community with a candid appeal: “Millennials of Reddit now nearing your 40s, what were your biggest mistakes at this point in life?”
Look at what Reddit’s millennials had to share and wish they knew when they were younger.
More info: Reddit
#1 Not Living Life To The Fullest
Image source: MrDundee666
40 already. Born in 81 so I think I just make the millennial cut.
Work to live, don’t live to work.
You have half your working life after you turn 40 but only 20-25 years to really live it up before the responsibilities become heavy and your joints start to ache. Live life. Really LIVE it. Experience as much you can. Every sensation, sight, sound, touch. Be open. Be brave. Live your first few decades in the fast lane. You have the rest of your life to take it easy, when you have no choice.
#2 Settling Down Way Too Early
Image source: _DiligentState_
Getting married at 20 and having kids shortly after. A LOT of people warned me that I was starting too young, but I thought I was the exception. I spent my whole life being told by everyone that I was “mature” for my age. So certainly I wouldn’t be a statistic!
After years of marriage collapsed into horrible divorce, I realized I wasn’t the exception. It’s not that my love and desires weren’t real, they absolutely were! It’s not that I couldn’t hack the practical day-to-day tasks of family life, I managed that quite well. The problem is that I was not prepared for how much my partner and I would change as humans in our early 20’s. 20 year old me had way more in common with the 15 year old me than the 35 year old me.
If you are under 24(ish) and thinking about marriage, do yourself a favor and wait another year or two. If this is truly the perfect match for the two of you, then you have nothing to lose – that person will still be there. But if you are wrong, and your underdeveloped brain hasn’t caught on quite yet, then you will be grateful you waited just a little bit longer.
#3 Not Using Sunscreen
Image source: blueboxreddress
Not wearing sunscreen.
#4 Not Resolving Trauma Earlier In Life
Image source: broccolimountain
I wish I had taken the initiative to resolve my own childhood/developmental trauma much earlier than age 30. I would have had more self-worth in my early relationships, jobs/earning potential and friendships.
#5 Staying Too Long At A Job Because It Was Safe
Image source: Hrekires
Staying too long at a job in my 20s, just because it was safe and easy. When I finally got the motivation to leave, ended up with an almost 50% pay boost.
#6 Not Spending Enough Time With Their Dad
Image source: CharlieChooper
I wish I spent more time with my dad while I had the chance
#7 Not Finding Self-Acceptance Earlier
Image source: guscallee
I turned 40 this year and just started liking who I am. Why the f**k did it take 40 years for self-acceptance?
#8 Not Looking After Their Hearing
Image source: Kusanagi8811
Not taking care of my hearing, not even 35 and going deaf
#9 Not Listening To Their Body
Image source: bakedlawyer
Try not to get cancer.
If you feel unwell go to the dr.
I felt numbness in my fingers and toes. . Let that go for a few months. It turned to arm Pain. Went to the hospital and it turns out I have stage 4 renal carcinoma.
Don’t let any symptoms go unchecked. You’re older, and if your body is telling you something is wrong f**king listen to it.
#10 Ignoring Red Flags In A Relationship
Image source: SunshineSpectacular
Not recognizing early red flags for an abusive relationship. It can be tempting to give yourself over to someone showering you with affection after a long dry spell but pay attention to some important details – how long have they known most of their friends? Are they asking you for money really early on, and for something that seems like they should be able to take care of? Bonus point if one or more of their friends brings up money they owe them too. Do your friends seem to like them? How quickly do they start trying to change things about you or make negative comments? I realized 3 months in that this wasn’t a good relationship but stayed for another year just because it was comfortable and I wanted someone to be there, not because it was the right person. Fortunately, I was smart enough not to co-sign on anything. Once the wrong person is living with you it can be extremely difficult and stressful to get them out of your house without risking your own safety, especially if you have pets. It can be tempting to move in together quickly, but it’s sometimes not worth the risk.
#11 Missing Out On A Trip With Their Grandad
Image source: Thirdstringreddit
When I was 12-13 my grandfather and I talked about driving from Florida to Alaska over the summer after I got my drivers license.
By the time I got my license (17yo) I was too involved with being with my friends/girlfriend and working. Biggest regret if my life not doing that trip. I’m 37 now and think about it from time to time.
#12 Not Holding Onto Their College Friends
Image source: mpssss22
When you get out of college, keep your friends. No matter how hard it is. Hold on to them.
#13 Not Taking Care Of Their Back
Image source: GuyTallman
Take care of your f**king back. Lift with your knees. Sure it’s rad when you grab a fridge by yourself and lift it in the back of a moving truck unaided, but one day that s**t is going to have consequences that won’t just magically go away by resting and “taking it easy” for a week.
#14 Not Asking For More Pay
Image source: SensibleReply
Always ask for more pay. Starting, yearly, before leaving, whatever. Get that money.
#15 Not Saving Up
Image source: PutAForkInHim
If I could tell my 18 year old self one thing, it would be to save 10% of every paycheck I ever got.
#16 Staying Too Long In An Unhappy Marriage
Image source: Zenstation83
Staying too long in an unhappy marriage. I lost the last half of my 20s and most of my 30s because of it.
#17 Not Buying A House
Image source: Thelazywitch
Should have bought a home. We qualified 20 years ago for enough to buy a small 2 bedroom but I didn’t think we could afford it. That 2 bedroom would be worth nearly 3Xs and paid off by now. We pay nearly double in rent what our mortgage would have been. Gotta love the SF bay area cost of living.
#18 Not Prioritising Themselves
Image source: lenalily227
Thinking that I could and should put myself on the back burner for anything and anyone else.
#19 Spending Too Much Money On Avocados
Image source: Kytti_Korner
All the damn avocados I bought, I could have gotten a house.
#20 Not Investing In Friendships And Relationships
Image source: deleted
I moved a lot as a kid and am what is called a third culture kid. I feel at home nowhere.
Because of this I also learnt to see friendships and relationships as transactional and didn’t maintain them or invest in them.
Because my early life experience is different to those with stable childhoods, I am also really closed. I have learnt to assume I have relatively little in common with others, and no longer bother to even try.
I have effectively become a hermit, am largely friendless, and ended up sacrificing any chance of happiness to take care of an elderly relative.
It is probably too late for me.