21 Things I've Learned in 21 Years

Hi guys,

I don't know how it happened but I'm turning 21. I have 2 weeks left of being 20 and I can't believe how quickly this past year has gone. I wanted to make a post about turning 21 because everyone has always said how it's one of the biggest birthdays you'll ever have, so here I am, importing some of the things I've learned over the past 21 years of my life onto you. It's cliche to say but I do feel like it was yesterday that little blonde me with my striped tights and dolly shoes was running around the painted playground at primary school with Hula Hoops on my fingers pretending I was getting married. Things move so quick and as life carries on we're all changing in so many ways. As much as I loved that little girl, I'm not her anymore and if I was to bump into her these are some of the thing's I would say.

These are the 21 things I've learnt in the 21 years of my life

1. Allow yourself to speak out. Don't feel like your voice doesn't matter; whether that's in a group discussion or just when you just need someone to talk too. Don't tell yourself nobody wants to hear because honestly, you'll be surprised. note: still working on this.

2. Don't make time for people who don't make time for you. Honestly, this is so important. Don't be the one who sits there thinking 'why haven't they text me back?' or go around arranging plans for people to not put in the same amount of effort you do. So much of your time can be wasted chasing around a friendship you think you have when really if you're having to graft for it then you don't have it and it's time to let it go and focus on the people who have always got your back.

3. You don't need to 'act cool'. I was never the 'cool kid' when I was young and although I say it doesn't bother me, it kind of did. I was a loser and I didn't understand why people didn't want to be my friend. In the past few years, I've realised that it is completely ok (if not better) to just be 100% yourself. It sounds cliche but you honestly will find people just like you and you can all just be a bunch of losers together. AND THAT IS COOL.

4. Don't let people intimidate you. It is so easy to be intimidated by people who are beautiful or who just have their shit together, but in times where you feel intimidated just remind yourself who you are, pick yourself up and just be you. Nobody is superior in any way. We're all just thrown onto earth and are doing our best to get through it so don't waste your time worrying about everyone else.

5. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. I've done so many things this year that are way out of my usual comfort zone and although it is absolutely terrifying it is also one of the best things you can do. You're not going to change anything if you don't push for it. 

6. Take care of yourself. As good as it is to push yourself, it is just as important if not more to put your health first. Don't do things because everyone else is doing it if you know it's a trigger for you. For example, I've learnt that concerts are not my thing as they really press on my anxiety and that's ok. Encourage yourself to try new things but know your limits.

7. Having loads of friends isn't going to make your life better. Much like I said in n.3. It is better to find people similar to you so if you have 2 friends, don't feel bad about that. Be thankful that those 2 friends are the BEST friends you could have. It's better to have fewer but better friends than loads of fake ones. Quality over quantity as they say. 

8. Don't be frightened to have a sense of humour. Throughout my pre-teens, teens and up until probably about 2 years ago, I was nervous to joke around because it's not 'an attractive quality'. I've reached the point in my life now where I have realised that being the funny one is so much better than being the one who doesn't do anything. Who cares if what you do is attractive, you do you for you and nobody else.

9. Age is but a number. Relationships, friendships, age really is nothing. My favourite people and best friends are all older than me and that is totally ok. I've always been 'older than I actually am' and I just so happen to get on with people older than me and there isn't a problem with that. Don't think there is.

10. CRY. You're not weak if a few salty tears come out your eyes. It is perfectly normal and SO good for you to let your emotions out. I used to think that if I was to cry it meant I was acting like a baby, when really, you can be the toughest person in the world and it's still so important to cry if you need too.

11. Make your wages last the month because yeah, you might want to buy every single thing from Urban Outfitters but you'll be counting pennies by week 3 if you carry on.

12. Tell yourself you look good if you look good. There is such a stigma around loving yourself and I get it, you don't want to seem egotistical or self-obsessed. Trust me, that is not me. But if you've sat there for 45 minutes beating your face with a beauty blender and you shaved your legs, look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself you look good. You can't love anyone else until you love yourself, hun. note: working on this too. 

13. Don't drink too much and DON'T play catch up. If your friend can drink 10 vodka lemonades and 3 shots of sambuca and 2 jager bomb's that doesn't mean you have too. Know when is enough. Wouldn't you rather have a good night and make lasting memories than end up with sick on your shoes and struggling to remember where you even slept? Drink if you want too, but don't rely on it to have a good time.

14. Work hard but allow time for self-care. When you work full time, your work becomes your life so do it well. When you know you've done a good job, pat yourself on the back because someone's got to. At the same time, don't forget to have a life away from work. Go out with your friends and use the money you've earned to make memories because that's what you'll think about when you're old.

15. People change. The friends you had at school might not be the same person they are now. I know for sure I'm not. When you're young, a person 'changing' is seen as a negative thing, but as you get older you realise that it is just a person growing, and that's good.

16. Don't compare yourself to other peoples timeline of success. If one person becomes an international pop star overnight and you don't, don't beat yourself up over it because every person has their own pace and that's not to say you won't achieve your goals eventually, it's just that you're taking the long road and gaining other experiences along the way. 

17. These going to be a lot of temporary people in your life who you think will be there forever and even though it's sad to see them go, be thankful to have met them in the first place and to have shared the memories with them that you had because in 30 years time you might see or do something that will remind you of somebody you used to know and it will be something only you can enjoy. Don't resent people for leaving you behind. Things can only move forward.

18. Life isn't fair. When you're a child you're constantly saying 'but that's not faiirrrrrr' and the older you get you realise literally nothing about the world is fair. You won't always get what you want and you won't always be right. You will treat someone one way and be treated back a completely different way. Life is never going to treat us the way we want it too but try to think of it all as a learning curve and a new challenge rather than having a strop about it.

19. Passive-aggressively tweeting or posting on Facebook about your problems isn't going to do anything and you're going to regret it. Don't overshare too much because not everyone you meet is going to see things the way you do and it's easy to forget that once things are online you can't take it back. You wouldn't let someone go through your underwear so why let everyone see every part of your life. Keep some things private.

20. Think before you speak. In the heat of the moment, it's only natural to say what comes into your head but one of my biggest lessons I've learnt is to think before I say anything. Don't talk behind people's backs because you'll only end up being incredibly anxious that what you said might get to that person and it'll drive you into a state of over-analyzing and dramatising the situation to be 10x worse than it was and you'll hate yourself for it.

21. Everyone makes mistakes. Not everyone is perfect even the ones who you think are. I've torn myself apart in the past over this and it could honestly destroy you. You end up thinking you're the worst person in the world, you'll never be good enough, you can't do anything right and people are insanely disappointed in you. But just try to remember that we're all here doing our thing and if we mess up a little, don't stress yourself out about it because it's not worth it.

I'm not saying I've learnt everything you need to know about life but in this past year specifically, I have learnt a lot. Basically, take life with a pinch of salt and nothing is ever as bad as it seems because you're still alive and you're still breathing.

Happy birthday to me


listening to: harry potter and the philosophers stone audiobook, priceless - gardinia sisters, brooklyn in the summer - aloe blacc, reforget - lauv