Things I No Longer Need To Know

I no longer need to know how to get to your house. And thank god because it was in the middle of nowhere and I’d always get lost. I spent a year of my life with you in what felt like Siberia. I learned the layout of the home, had my favorite room and played in your backyard. Now it all means nothing, now it’s just a spec on a deserted landscape. Next exit, please.

I no longer need to know math. I always knew I would never need to know it but I was forced to in high school. The teachers were liars. They said that we would always need to know about isosceles triangles and Pi, but we didn’t! Never once have I been like, “Thank god I know about Pi! It’s going to get me out of this pickle I’m currently in!” No. Screw Pi. Screw math. Screw useless information.

I no longer need to know how to unlock the deadbolt for the apartment in Barcelona. I never could quite figure how to do it and my neighbor would always start yelling at me in Spanish through her door for making so much noise. As someone with only a rudimentary grasp on the language, all I could make out was, “LA PUERTA! LA PUERTA!”

I no longer need to know if I can survive our break up and lead a normal life again. I no longer need to know if a day can go by without something triggering a memory of the two of us. I can! A day does go by without thinking of you! It’s a pathetic milestone for sure but you can’t laugh at progress.  It’s funny how, after every relationship ends, you suffer from amnesia and wonder, “How will I get through this? How will I get over it?” But you always get over it.  You have to. You get over it just like you got over the last breakup. After a certain amount of time passes, there’s only so much you can still mourn. The memories that once crackled and popped, and gave you something to hold on to are now faded and microscopic. You would miss them if you knew what there was to miss. Your body has willed them out of you.

I no longer need to know if it’s weird to eat an entire jar of Nutella while watching Friday Night Lights. I no longer need to know how many drinks I can have before I start Exorcist vomiting (six mixed drinks, a bottle and a half of wine.) I no longer need to know if we’ll remain friends after college (maybe let’s get a coffee?) or if I’ll find a job and make my parents proud of me. I no longer need to know if it’s a good idea to have a hot therapist (I prefer to stick with overweight 60-year-old lesbians. It keeps me honest.) I no longer need to know you because you’re not someone worth knowing.

Do some spring cleaning with your brain and get rid of the knowledge you’ll never need again. You may not be aware of it but it’s actually weighing you down, and once you get it out you’ll feel ten pounds lighter. Promise. I may not know much but I do know that. TC mark

image – Shutterstock

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Captureit

    lesson learnt, Mr. Ryan! :)

  • Nishant

    I think you’re very wrong there. Knowledge, for example math, often isn’t about knowing the value of Pi or about isosceles triangle specifically. It’s about developing an ability to work with incomplete or complex information. 

    But even aside from this pedantry, you never know what information/knowledge/experience may be important to you and when. So to advise “shedding” knowledge based on what you think now is useless or pointless, that’s just really bad advice.

    As for the stuff in the second-last paragraph …  “I no longer need to know you because you’re not someone worth knowing” … that’s something significant you know about that person right there. So yes, you did need to know that person.

    • lalala

      You are getting a little too intense about this here.

      • Nishant

        I don’t mean to be intense. I just figured I should take it as an article with some thought behind it, and treat it that way.

  • Buddyb

    Sure you don’t need to know math. That’s why the global economy is tanking and people can’t figure out why.

  • Rorifer

    Did anyone else come in here expecting to see cursive at the top of the list?

    • lalala

      No, but good point. They told me in elementary school that I would need cursive so much, but the only time I use it is my signature. And that could be print if I wanted it to be, or some squiggles.

  • norwegian

    Ryan, I just love your texts.

  • Amrita Tapadia

    Maths… yes. 

  • Lauras1689

    This is my favorite article of yours, Ryan. Lovely.

  • asil

    I’ve been trying to get rid of useless knowledge (such as lyrics to any Creed song) for years now, and the more you try to ditch it, the more it digs its heels in. 

    • GUEST

      Same holds true for Nickleback.

  • Zorica Stamenkovska

    Best one, here

  • Zorica Stamenkovska

    Best one, here

  • ben

    This is great, Ryan, but I reallly miss Hot or Not! :(

  • mia nguyen

    You’re the perfect composition of atoms. 

  • Eeqlzmc2


  • Anonymous

    “I no longer need to know you because you’re not someone worth knowing.”
    I couldn’t agree more about the spring cleaning bit. I technologically purged my ex’s from my twitter and facebook- not needing to check up on them and feeling stupid about it after. pathetic but it took so long for me to get around to it

    • Rebeccaacts

      Some people never get to that point, so you’re doing better than them! Keep strong, be confident.

  • Victoria

    Useless information is great for playing Jeopardy. That’s about it.

  • chase

    Thanks Ryan, your words continue to remind, inspire and motivate. You rock!

  • Binh Duong

    This is beautiful, I love your post always, Ryan. 

    By the way, You really ate up a jar of Nutella watching Friday Night Lights ?????!!!!

  • Normal

    I feel lighter just reading this. So true.

  • Art Brymer

    God, I wish I could unlearn half of the things you’ve unlearned. 

  • clb4516

    I love this. So honest.

  • Anonymous

    “I no longer need to know if it’s weird to eat an entire jar of Nutella while watching Friday Night Lights.”

    Not weird. No way. Definitely not. Please reassure me?

  • guest

    gurrrrlll you did not just call math useless information

  • Math

    Explain to me compounding interest on your credit card debt without math.

  • Mitzy

    I would love to do some spring cleaning too… though math is not included in my list of things to unlearn. :) 

    I like this article. 

  • Susannah Frew


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