Sunday, 23 March 2008

Lists, lists, lists...

So, I think I’m officially the worst blogger to be tagged, ever! Syrian Brit tagged me more than 3 weeks ago, that was my first tag and, after this delay, I think it will be my last!

So I was tagged to list 6 things to do before you’re 18! Well my 29th birthday was a couple of days ago so theoretically I’m not that far from the time I was 18 but it still feel eons ago.

Any way before I start with my usual flow (that is hard to stop) I have to start by listing the 6 rules to this task:
1. Post these rules before presenting your list.
2. List 6 actions or achievements you think every person should accomplish before turning 18.
3. There are no conditions on what can be included on the list.
4. At the end of your blog, choose 6, or less, people to get tagged and list their names.
5. People who are tagged write their own blog entry with their 6 suggestions.
6. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged.

Well, as Lujayn did, I’ll skip the last 3 due to the delay in replying to this blog plus the fact that most people I know on the blog sphere have already been tagged with this task.

So here it is, my contribution to this serial chain of ideas?

1-Read a book!

I know that this sounds extremely daft but I don’t mean to read just any book, before you’re 18, you should have read at least one book that was able to touch your heart and leave an imprint on your soul. Before you’re 18, you should discover the influence a written word can have. After that life just flow by so quickly and you will barely have time to open up to a book that way, and if you don’t, you’ll miss on so much. In today’s word that gives so much weight to the visual and high tech, the book is sliding away from the public landscape and if you don’t build it in your life before you’re 18 it will be very difficult to do so later and you’ll lose out on one of the greatest pleasures in life. When I was 18, the book that left the deepest impact on me was Roots; it still occupies its special place on the bookshelf on my mind.

2-Stay awake for 3 days working on something!

You will have the energy and the passion to drive you to do so and both will be much less available as you get older and “wiser” and things that will give you such a drive become more and more rare.

You stay awake on excitement and enthusiasm alone and by the end when your energy has finally been consumed you look at the fruit of your labour, let it be the last page on a book or the last touch on an essay and you’re filled with an overwhelming sense of achievement. Your achievement maybe only such a climax in your own mind, most people will tell you that you can’t really do something of substance before you’re 18 but then the eagerness of youth and the pride of a young mind cannot be suppressed by anyone and no one can convince you that what you’ve done isn’t a wonderful achievement. You have such high spirit and too much faith in yourself to allow that to happen, something much harder later in life.

3-Be there for someone,

When you’re 18, you’re in a gray area between adolescence and adulthood; it is during then that people are not sure of which side you’re on. During that time, the first time you get beyond the selfishness that marks us as children and teenagers and someone turns to you for help and you’re there for them that what marks your life in the years to come. If you never do that before you’re 18, you’ll find it more and more difficult to do when you’re older and the demands of life and more and more with every passing day. I remember the day that this happened with me as if it was yesterday, and I know that it has shaped me into the person I’m today.


The second your feet land on foreign soil you feel the possibilities open up in front of you. It’s amazing, how the narrow comfortable world you know, the casual and the mundane that one slips into in his or her own day to day surrounding dissolves when this new world stretches in front of you.

Before you’re 18, you have to know that the world is so much bigger and the possibilities on where you can be in this world are endless. Expand your horizon as much as possible before you’re 18 and you start being afraid of how big the outside is. Before you’re 18 the world is an adventure, the more you take in from this adventure the more you can expand into it afterwards.

5-Put a list of 6 things you want to do by the time you're 30!

It’s funny that just before Syrian Brit tagged me to do this blog, I was sketching the outline for a blog about the different lists we all have, that outline was lost when my blackberry crashed and I never returned to it! Nonetheless, one of the lists I thought of was the list we all put together when we’re younger and just coming out to the world.

Every 18 year old should have already put a list of things to achieve before they’re 30. The faith of an 18 year old will allow them to be bold and creative, they’re ambition is still in full force and the knock backs that life hands them are still too weak to cause damage. At 18, one can take on the world and that’s what one should aim for.

When you’re 30, although you haven’t done the things on your list, it did help in pushing you up and forward. Your list is your own, you don’t have to share it, and the advice is not to do so. This is your own Mount Everest that you will challenge yourself to climb it the following 12 years. Why 30? Well, I’m 29 now and my Mount Everest has changed a lot from how it was at 18 but it remains as challenging as it used to be then.

6- Fall in love

I know that this has been mentioned before in different ways and by many people but I don’t think any list can be completed without it. Before you’re 18, your notion of love is that what you read in books and see on screen, a view that is, in 99 cases out of a 100, skewed at best and totally distorted at worst. The distinction between love, sexual drive and friendship is very vague at that time and it’s so easy to think that any one of the latter two is love. Fall in love before you’re 18 and you’ll get your heart broken, you’ll feel the hurt and ache but you’ll become much wiser. Take your first step towards really falling in love; you’ll learn the difference between infatuation and love, between friendship and love and between desire and love. This is a lesson that you have to start learning before your 18 and carry on learning through out the following years. It is only when you have passed your finals that you can truly know the meaning of falling in love.


The Syrian Brit said...

Delightful answers, my dear.. absolutely delightful.. (and who said there was a time limit for responding to tags?.. What you've written was well-worth the wait..)
I love your choice of a book.. It is a most powerful piece of literature..
I particularly like your advice about staying awake for three days working on something.. As a life-long insomniac, that was a regular theme for me.. Much to the despair of my wife, I still find myself doing crazy things like that, even if I am one or two years over 18!..
As for No. 6.. well.. you will know from my post that I approve entirely!..
Thank you for a most enjoyable read...

Syrian in London said...

Thanks SB, it's very nice of you to say so. as for the insomnia tell me about it! I lose sleep for the silliest of things and then have to drag myself around at the work the following day!