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What Did You Finally Understand When You Got Older? Here’s What People Said.

I don’t think I was terrible in this department, but there were certainly a lot of things I THOUGHT I knew when I was younger that I now realize I was totally clueless about.

But I guess you live and you learn, right?

And with life experience comes a lot more knowledge.

AskReddit users opened up about what they really didn’t understand until they got older.

1. Right on!

“Wanting to eat healthy.

Last night I cooked myself a medium rare steak and steamed up some veggies for dinner.

After months of depression-eating junk food it was legitimately the best meal I’ve had in a long time.

Sweet potato is delicious.”

2. A hard fact of life.

“You are not the center of the universe.

The public really doesn’t cares what you do. They are too busy living their own lives just like you.

So, don’t worry about looking silly or not greeting people happy birthday because Facebook alerted you.”

3. Life moves pretty fast.

“How short your life will feel.

When you get to an age where your closer to your death than your birth, it’ll feel like it went by too fast.”

4. Moving on.

“That it’s ok to outgrow friends and move on, no matter how long you’ve known them.

Life is way too short to hold onto any kind of bad relationship.”

5. A kid at heart.

“That it doesn’t actually feel any different to be older.

When you’re a kid, people always refer to “when you grow up” as if at some point you will “be grown up”.

I still feel like a 17 year old who’s just given more and more responsibilities.

I’m often wondering “why do people trust me with this task” until I realize, oh yeah probably because I’m an adult with experience, who’d have thought?

You keep growing as a person forever, but you’ll never feel “grown up.”

6. Sorry, folks.

“How annoying you must have been as a kid and how difficult you made your parents’ lives.”

7. It’s gray.

“As a kid I saw everything as black and white.

Good vs evil, right vs wrong.

It turns out the world is very gray, and gets more gray the older I get.”

8. Discipline

“Discipline is not about obedience, but about self-respect and ambition.

It’s not about doing what the coach or dad says, but about having the will to do what might suck in the short term to achieve one’s goals in the long term.”

9. Consider yourself lucky.

“The irony that you get old only if you are lucky.

I’m 44 and already lost two friends.

One died of cancer when she was 32 and the other in a motorcycle accident when he was 36.”

10. That’s no fun.

“How doing a ordinary task can create pain.

“I slept on it wrong”

“I stood up too fast”

“I sat down too long”

“I drank water too hard.””

11. This is good.

“That you’re never really “there”.

Life is constantly in flux, and you aren’t going to get to a place where you’re suddenly “done” and it all just works.”

12. Find the good ones.

“Friendship is based on quality, not quantity.

This is so huge. Foster those meaningful relationships and keep them forefront and honest.

My best friend has TONS of friends and that’s where she puts her stock, not the closeness of just a few. It can be sad.”

13. It’s true.

“How there are so many lonely old people out there.

At first I thought they were all just grouchy, but now I see after college how hard it is to maintain so many friendships. Half my social circle has moved out of state, and of the half that’s left so many are having kids and don’t have time for fun outings.

Friendships take way more work, and you’ve gotta do that work or end up with a very small or nonexistent circle.”

14. It really adds up.

“The importance of proper dental care.

And how expensive it is.”

15. Totally true.

“The public really doesn’t cares what you do.

The faster people, particularly teenagers who think everyone is looking at them all the time, learn that nobody cares as much as you ever will, the happier you will be.

I spent years not going to the gym and participating in gym class and not going to school dances and my own prom because I was so self-conscience of how I looked (I was a bigger kid) that I missed out on a lot because I SWORE men at the gym would laugh at me. or kids would laugh at me

Everyone is just looking at themselves.”

16. I love this one.

“The smartest person you know isn’t the one who makes everyone else feel stupid.

They’re the one who makes everyone else feel smart.”

17. We all learn this one.

“Many of the rules you had to follow as children really were for your benefit.

The “cool” kids at school were just self-centered idiots.”

18. Lots of hard work.

“I always knew my parents loved me, but didn’t understand how much sacrifice they made and love they gave to me until I became a father.”

19. Moving fast.

“How fast time goes by!

I’m in my forties and the 90s seem like ten years ago!”

20. On the fly.

“As a kid, it seems like adults have figured everything out.

Once you’re getting older, you realize that very few people actually know what they’re doing.

The rest of us just kinda make sh*t up as we go.”

21. They’re right about that.

“Why adults say certain things are dangerous or not worth the risk.

Our brains don’t fully develop until around 25, and one of the key things affected is risk assessment.”

22. Start today.

“Retirement. Start investing in your retirement now.

I don’t care how old you are. Start immediately. A 401k and an IRA are great to get started early.

Keep contributing and don’t cash them out.”

23. Life lesson.

“Most things really don’t matter.

You can’t change THE world, just concentrate on YOUR world.

Everyone is doing their best. Their best is not the same as your best.”

24. You know it!

“Some things we label as “Kids’ Shows” actually have a really meaningful message behind them that we don’t always fully see or understand until once we get older.”

25. You’ll thank yourself.

“You really need to take care of your back, your teeth and your hearing.

There’s a lot of good life to be lived on the other side of 50 as long as you can move, eat and hear.”

26. Total creeps.

“That if an older guy/girl wants to date you, they don’t see you as a “mature for your age”.

They are grooming you, or trying to take advantage for your inexperience in life. Teens will think that hanging out with older people must mean that they are cool and special, but no.

The older guys are just being creeps.”

27. Thanks, Mom and Dad.

“What your parents actually went through to support themselves and raise you.

It makes you cringe a little when you remember saying dumb teenager stuff like “you don’t know how hard my life is!”.

How my parents didn’t punch me in the face after working a gazillion hours and coming home to my pouty bullsh*t is beyond me.”

28. A part of life.

“How heartbreaking being a parent is.

Taking my daughter to kindergarten, watching her let go on my hand to run off with friends. They are all moments of great pride in watching who she is becoming. But it hurts so bad. I want to scream “wait, come back!”.

Im the only one who remembers holding her every night til she falls asleep because it was the only way she could. Now she just wants a hug.

Every day she takes steps towards more independence and goes farther and farther away. I encourage and am so proud of her. But she is my world, and there was a time when I was her whole world.

Now its my duty to fade into the background as she spreads her wings and it is a joyous heartbreak.”

Now we want to hear from you.

In the comments, tell us about the things that you didn’t really “get” until you got older.

We can’t wait to hear your thoughts.