I can think of a lot of things I wished I had learned! At 33, I think I am considerably wiser than I was at 16, or even 18 or 20.
I wish that I had learned earlier that life is NOT like our favorite movie or novel. People DO get sick and die. People do leave and not come back. Sometimes the happy ending we wish for is just not to be.
I wish that I had learned earlier that the things we say and do to those we love have a life long impact on them. I think of some of the things I said to people and shudder now.
I wish that I had learned earlier that a penny saved can turn into a dollar later. I blew a lot of money on junk, junk, junk.
I wish that I had learned earlier that appearances can be deceiving. People can wear a mask, and hide what they REALLY are from all who see them. Only when you get close do you see it.
I wish that I had learned earlier that although children are messy, most of the time it's fixable. And when it's not fixable, it's replaceable.
But mostly I wish I had learned a lot earlier that only PEOPLE matter. Not the things we have or want to have. Not the pursuit of money. Not a bigger house, newer car, or that set of sneakers that I -just-have-to-have-or-I'll-die!
With these lessons learned earlier, I would have taken more care with the hearts of those I loved, and even taken more care with the feelings and thoughts of those I didn't. So, although life is NOT a Disney movie, and sometimes the happy ending is not there, I want MY happy ending to be, that I finally did learn the important things.