As all Douglas Adams fans know, 42 is the answer to the meaning of life, the universe and everything. So, in honour of my birthday, here are 42 pieces of wisdom comprised of some of the things I’ve learned – often the hard way – during my time on the planet. Strap in and don’t forget your towel.
1. A better world is always worth fighting for.
2. Realising your dreams is hard work, but it’s worth it.
3. Your friendships are some of your greatest achievements.
4. Happy ever after is a fairy tale.
5. Literature is nothing short of miraculous.
6. Your heart will be broken, repeatedly and unexpectedly. You will heal.
7. Don’t let anyone else decide your limits.
8. You had it right at 13 – you really will always love George Clooney.
9. Ditto Christian Slater.
10. Your Mum would walk through fire for you. Try not to let things get that far.
11. No one really knows what they’re doing. Don’t sweat it.
12. Never stop going to loud rock gigs and dancing the night away.
13. Learn to accept help.
14. Tequila is never a good idea. Champagne always is.
15. The rules of grammar can be broken in pursuit of style.
16. Speak up.
17. Being alone and being lonely are not the same thing.
18. Nothing tastes as good as not giving a fuck how much you weigh feels.
19. You’re wasting your time trying to fit in.
20. Whatever else happens, your family will always fight for you when you need them.
21. Poetry is the closest mortals can get to magic.
22. A little stubbornness goes a long way.
23. Jump in and start swimming, even if you can’t see the distant shore.
24. Obviously, don’t panic.
25. Save your anger for the things that are worth it.
26. Doc Martens are the only reasonable choice of footwear.
27. Say no if you want to.
28. Romance is only one of many ways to enjoy love in your life.
29. Every night at the movies is special.
30. Forgive when you can, walk away when you can’t.
31. Don’t compare yourself to others.
32. If you love someone, tell them.
33. Support artists and live performance – it’s always worth the investment.
34. Your nieces and nephew just might be the loves of your life.
35. 42 pieces of wisdom is a lot.
36. It’s never the end of the world. Get up.
37. When people tell you who they are, believe them.
38. Trusting people may make you vulnerable, but do it anyway.
39. Time and distance don’t mean anything to true friends.
40. You can never have too many books.
41. Change is scary, but so is everything staying the same.
42. Don’t listen to anyone else – earn your own wisdom.