23 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Younger

1. Things aren’t always going to be easy.
In the words of musical legend (I use the term very, very loosely) Ronan Keating: ‘life is a rollercoaster, you just gotta ride it’.

2. Listen to your orthodontist and wear that post-brace retainer. 
Otherwise, the two years you spent picking food out of your Train Tracks will literally have been for nothing.

3. Experiment with your sexuality if you want to.
If you feel inclined, experiment and explore! Have no fear or shame in getting to know what you like and enjoy!

4. Change is a good thing and you will get way better at dealing with it as you get older.
Life’s magic tends to happen when you are outside of your comfort zone, so embrace change! It might take a while to adjust, but it will be so #worthit.

5. Wearing sunglasses indoors is not cool.
Unless, of course, you are Stevie Wonder.

6. If you can’t already, learn to ask for help. 
Because at some point, just like everybody else, you are going to need it and there is no shame in that.

7. Enjoy being single.
Relationships bring their own challenges; enjoy ‘me time’ and make the most out of being able to eat blocks of cheese in your pants on a Saturday night.

8. Hair will, in most cases, always grow back.
So don’t totally freak out next time you lop off a few too many inches.

9. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
Learn to laugh at yourself – I promise you, it will make life SO much easier.

10. Your tastes and opinions will change over time. 

This is a good one to keep in mind when you are considering getting something as permanent as a tattoo. Your adult self might not be as huge of a Britney or Bieber fan as your teenage self:

11. Your life might not end up exactly how you envisaged it.
Okay, so you might not get the law career, the big house and the white picket fence you dreamed of – but that’s fine! When I was four, I thought ‘being a mermaid’ was a tangible career option; needless to say, life under the sea hasn’t quite panned out for me.

12. Some people won’t like you, that’s okay.
Also, don’t change yourself for anybody. Stay true to who you are – people should love you for you, not the person you are trying to be.

13. Stick at that hobby.
It might just turn into an awesome career.

14. Keep a record of all your passwords.
Because I am still grieving the Hotmail account I lost access to five years ago. The thought of all those unread emails though…

15. No one will remember that time you *insert embarrassing situation here*. 
It might have seemed absolutely horrifying at the time and you might relive the scene again and again in your head, but trust me when I say, people are far too concerned with themselves to remember that embarrassing thing you did.

16. When you get your heart broken it feels like the end of the world, but it will ALWAYS heal in time.

So try not to waste too much of your young life hung up on the fools who break it.

17. Don’t give time to people who make you feel bad about yourself.
Because backhanded compliments are the worst.

18. Do what you want to do, not what you think you should do.
It might mean taking a risk, but if you feel it is the right thing to do, don’t let anyone stop you.

19. Stop sleeping in.
Sometimes I think of all the great things I could have done instead of sleeping in until midday. If I had spent as much time learning a new instrument as I did napping, I’d be first chair in an orchestra right now.

20. Put your friends before you crush. 
It’s so easy to fall into the relationship bubble where you stop seeing friends and instead spend night after night in your significant other’s arms. But, if your relationship doesn’t work out, you will want those friends there to support you through the break-up. Make sure you spend time with them instead of Netflix and Chilling 24-7.

21. Listen to your gut instinct.
Trust yourself; that inner voice is so often right.

22. It’s not a race to lose your virginity. 
Really it’s not. Don’t ever feel pressured to have sex just for the sake of being able to say you have lost your virginity. Make sure you are 100% ready by your own standards, no one else’s.

23. Try not to waste time regretting
What’s done is done. You cannot undo the past. Instead of focusing on ‘shoulda, woulda, coulda’ – look at how you can move forward in a positive way.

Any other things you wish you learnt when you were younger? Let us know in our Community.

10 Things parents say to teens vs what they are really thinking

1. What they say: Are you going out like that? 
What they are really thinking:
Your outfit is too skimpy for my liking/alternative for my liking/dirty and creased for my liking – or, all of the aforementioned.

2. What they say: Aren’t you cold darling?
What they are really thinking: For the love of God, put a jumper over that crop top.

3. What they say: I would never have been allowed to do such a thing at your age.
What they are really thinking: I did it. Not once, but twice. Gramps just never found out.

4.What they say: It’s so nice to spend some quality time with you.
What they are really thinking: Can you please stop staring at your phone.

5. What they say: Wow (as you present yourself in prom outfit) you look so grown up! 
What they are really thinking: If I could rewind to when you were a babe in arms, I would. Like, without a second thought. In fact as soon as you leave I’m getting the baby pictures out. *Begins to sob uncontrollably*

6. What they say: We’re out of milk…
What they are really thinking: I need some alone time.

7. What they say: Do you know who did this? 
What they are really thinking: I know it was you that broke the vase/googled something wholly inappropriate.

8. What they say: It’s so beautiful outside! *Opens your bedroom curtains*
What they are really thinking: I’m about to cancel your Netflix subscription.

9. What they say: They seem nice…
What they are really thinking: Your friend has an attitude problem.

10. What they say: I’m a cool mum/dad aren’t I?
What they are really thinking: I can’t be that out of touch right? I mean, I have a Facebook page? *Shakes with insecurity*

Comedian Josh Blue on the 10 things you should never say to a disabled person

1. What happened to you?
The response to this should be an obvious one: What if someone asked what happened to your…FACE… See? It doesn’t feel good.

2. Are you drunk?
Nope! And even if I was, I’d still be walkin’ like this.

3. Let me do that for you!
Chances are, they’ve already made it this far without your help, they probably don’t need it. If someone does need your help, they’ll ask for it.

4. Is that contagious?
Only if you want it to be, baby?

5. Can I have some of your medication?
Not for free!

6. How do you get rid of that?
Counter question: How do I get rid of you?

7. You can’t do that
Just watch me!

8. How much government’s assistance do you get?
We’re very capable of having jobs and we enjoy working! (Most days)

9. Have you ever had sex?
That’s DEFINITELY none of your business. We’re just like anyone else – we like to keep our private lives, PRIVATE. If you are curious about sex with disabilities, I’m sure there’s a whole dark place of the Internet available for research.

10. Do you ride the short bus?
No…that’s my Uber over there.

Comedian Shannon DeVido on how she usually answers these 10 common questions about being a wheelchair user

1. How do you go to the bathroom?

I didn’t do well in science, but from what I can tell, after I drink a lot of water or eat, after a few hours, my body lets me know it needs to come out…unless I eat Chipotle, then it’s only about 30 mins. Worth it though.

2. How fast does that thing go?

Sadly, not as fast as I want. If I had my way, I’d “pimp my chair” so it’d be able to go on a highway, but my family don’t think it’s very “safe”. Also, I often hear “you’re going to get a speeding ticket!” Nope. Not true. Not even in a school zone.

3. Can you have sex?

I think you need to buy me a nice dinner and be interested in my extensive Harry Potter knowledge before I answer this question for you.

4. Do you sleep in your chair?

This often comes from kids, so I will usually say, “No, because the stuffed animals on my bed would be lonely.” To adults I just eye roll.

5. Does she need something? (Asked to the person I’m with)

Hi! Down here! You can talk to me! I graduated college, Cum Laude. I’m pretty good at ordering chicken fingers.

6. Do you know [insert name here]? He’s also in a wheelchair.

Steve McSteverson? Yeah! He’s usually at the underground wheelchair meetings where we talk about stupid questions.

7. What’s wrong with you?

Plenty! Just ask my therapist! Honestly, I don’t mind when people ask me about my specific disability, but when it’s said in this curt manner it makes me feel like I should think there’s something wrong with me just for being a wheelchair user.

8. Is your boyfriend in a wheelchair too?

No, James McAvoy is not a wheelchair user… unless he’s playing Professor X. Then yes.

9. Can I get a ride?

How much are you paying me? Rates go up during peak hours and big events. #WheelchairUber

10. Do you need help?

Nope. I’m good. Thank you for asking. I promise I’ll ask if I need it.

**Disclaimer: I’m not actually dating James McAvoy. Sorry, rumour factory and apologies to his incredibly attractive wife.**

Written by Shannon DeVido

www.shannondevido.com

Comedian Joleen Lunzer lists 10 Myths About People With Bipolar Disorder

1. We’re scary

When I tell someone I have Bipolar II Disorder, they always look at me with fear in their eyes and ask, “Are you going to be okay?” However, what they’re really asking, is if they are going to be okay. The answer: No. Since bipolar is a brain disorder, the only treatment is to eat your brains! Okay, that’s not true. But if I ever become a zombie, all bets are off.

2. We’re hyper-sexual

Sorry to get your hopes up, but this is a myth. Not everyone who is bipolar is Netflix and chillin’ every night. And even if we were, it’s none of your business.

3. We can’t be trusted

Don’t worry, we’re not going to steal your sneakers or share your secrets. I’m actually a very loyal friend. I’m great at keeping secrets. For example, I’ve never told anyone that my friend Victoria steals the toilet paper from her work and that I once caught her flossing her teeth with her hair. Wait…pretend I didn’t write that.

4. We’re not really bipolar because bipolar disorder is a made up mental health condition

Whenever I hear people questioning the legitimacy of bipolar disorder, I always ask, “Where did you go to medical school again?” That usually shuts them up. Then I remind myself that those who think bipolar disorder isn’t real are the same people who believe that the earth is flat and that Jay Z is a time-traveling vampire.

5. There’s no hope. We’re doomed

False. There ARE ways to manage bipolar. Medication, therapy, exercise, getting enough sleep and a healthy diet are just some of the great ways we manage our disorder. However, sometimes, lying in bed and eating a pound of chocolate while crying works just as well.

6. Bipolar is a weakness of mind and we should just get over it

Mental illness is difficult for some people to understand because unlike other illnesses, you can’t always see it. The wounds are internal and the pain is often hidden behind closed doors, but it is a legitimate medical condition that requires treatment. You wouldn’t tell a person with pneumonia to just get over it. And you wouldn’t look at someone with a broken arm and say, “You’re just being weak.”

If you would say those things, you need to enrol in a human anatomy class ASAP.

7. We’re manic all the time

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT!?! I’M NOT MANIC! I’M JUST REALLY EXCITED! LET’S GO SKYDIVING WITHOUT A PARACHUTE! I’M THE SMARTEST PERSON IN THE WORLD! I LOVE YOU! I HAVEN’T SLEPT IN A YEAR!

Never mind…everything is awful. I hate you. I’m going to bed.
Some people think this is what it’s like for us every day, but it’s not. Mania comes in episodes; it’s not constant.

8. Arguments and disagreements are always our fault

When you are honest about yourself, you run the risk of having it unfairly thrown back in your face. During a disagreement, the blame tends to fall on us. Why? Because it’s easy, and then the other parties involved don’t have to take any responsibility. But the truth is, it’s not always our fault. Sometimes I’m a jackass and sometimes you are too. It’s that simple.

9. We’re crazy.

Unfortunately, crazy has become synonymous with bipolar. Whenever someone thinks a person is acting “crazy,” they label him or her bipolar. Here’s the deal – we are somewhat crazy, but so is everyone else. We live in a crazy world and it rubs off on all of us. Own it. Embrace your crazy because there is no such thing as a normal person. The people who are willing to admit they’re crazy, are actually the sanest ones of all. Self-awareness is cool!

10. We’re all really attractive

This isn’t actually a myth. It’s true! Everyone with bipolar disorder is insanely attractive (see what I did there). We’re also very humble. We’re hot and we’re humble, but mostly hot.

Written by Joleen Lunzer

http://palegurl.com

Comedian and Transgender Frontwoman of The Axis of Awesome, Jordan Raskopoulos lists 10 things she misses from before she transitioned from male to female

1. Pockets
It is now a remarkable thing if an item of clothing I own, has pockets. So much so, that I’m afraid of using them, because I won’t think to look in them if I’ve lost something.

2. Not crying at all the Pixar movies
Before I transitioned I was an emotional brick wall. Now I cry all the time. I dropped a carton of milk and cried last week. I literally cried over spilt milk. SO many feels.

3. Running without my chest hurting
I love my boobs, they’re the best. I grew ’em myself and I’m very proud of ’em. Whenever I want boobs – I got boobs. But oh my god, they hurt a bunch when you’re doing anything active, like descending stairs.

4. Not being patronised about the Marvel Universe
Before I transitioned, folks presumed I was competent at pretty much anything I was doing. Now I have guys trying to explain stuff to me all the time. It’s cool dude, I know who Dr Strange is.

5. Urinals
There’s a lot of things I don’t miss about men’s bathrooms, but I do miss the convenience of just waltzing in, pissing on the wall and waltzing out… I mean, technically I could probably do this in the ladies’ bathrooms as well but…

6. Pockets
Did I mention that there’s a distinct deficit of small bags sewn into women’s clothes? Cause there is. A severe deficit.

7. Upper body strength
Testosterone fuels muscle growth and once I’d gotten that hormone out of my body, my muscle mass began to dwindle. I mean there were plenty of positive changes too (boobs) but I do miss being able to effortlessly lift sh*&!

8. Not getting my butt grabbed
Everyday harassment wasn’t really a thing before I transitioned. I lived in the ignorance that, every day, ladies cop a torrent of whistles, butt grabs and all manner of harassments. It’s an awful thing. Let it be known that it is not okay to grab my butt (or anyone else’s) unless I/they explicitly invite you to.

9. A simple morning routine
I do miss that I used to just walk out the door, think to myself “am I wearing pants?” and if the answer was affirmative, I could carry on with my day. Now I gotta brush my hair and stuff.

10. Pockets
Yeah, pockets. I really do miss pockets.

Follow Jordan on Twitter: @JordanRasko