Wednesday, 8 November 2017

22 Lessons. 22 Years.

On the 31st of August I turned 22.

(and of course I had cake for breakfast).

I wanted to share some of my thoughts, tips and lessons with you today. 
I've actually been meaning to write this for a while!
I have learned these not only from myself and my life experiences but from those around me too. They're a collection of important observations and life lessons that I'd like to remind myself of.

1. Avoid using the phrase "it could be worse".

I hate this phrase. We're all entitled to feel how we feel. We don't have to justify our thoughts and emotions. They are what they are.
Everything is relative to you and your situation. It is solely yours and no one has the right to judge you because yours is a life they'll never live. Never belittle yourself or what you're going through by saying "it could be worse".

2. Fuck what other people think.

I have spent a whole lifetime changing my behaviour based on what I think people would like and how I think I should be. I have spent 21 years being anxious about other people's judgements and other people's opinions. Well fuck that. If you don't like me then leave because I need to start living how I choose. This is MY life.

3. Loss/grief is the worst thing you'll ever have to face.

It is incomparable. You will never hurt as much as you do when you lose someone you love.

4. Take photos.

You don't realise the importance of photos until they're all you have left. So when you're busy making memories make time to take a quick, candid picture. Forget the filters and the editing, just take the picture. Capture that moment and never let it go.

5. Pick your battles.

Some fights aren't worth it. When you rationalise thing you'll see that sometimes you're giving more than you'll gain. Petty arguments are pointless.

6. Think about the words that leave your mouth.

Words are important. You never know what might resonate with someone. When you fill a person's head with negativity it will stick. When you call someone fat, they'll remember it. If you say someone isn't worth it they'll start to believe it. If you call someone stupid or annoying they may start to think that. Just take time to think about the words you're saying and the impact they might have on the people you're saying them to.
You may say something as a joke but it plays on an insecurity and they'll never forget it. 
Be thoughtful with your words. Say each word as if it's the last words you'll ever say to someone because at the end of the day, it could be and you'll have to live with that.

7. Dress for yourself, not anyone else.

I have always struggled with body image. I have felt uncomfortable in my body since 11 years old and that began to reflect in the way I dressed. I also suffer with social anxiety (and AvPD) which means I don't really like to draw attention to myself and would prefer to fade into the background.
This became more prominent in the last couple of years. I have been buying basic clothes that cover and hide my body. So instead of buying what I'd love to wear, I'd play it safe.
This year I decided I'm sick of that. I used to buy size 14 clothes but now I'm actually dressing for the shape of my body I've realised I'm actually a size 10. I can't say I feel totally comfortable in my skin but I am learning to embrace my body and dress how I want regardless of what people might say.

8. Cuddle cats at every opportunity.

I don't need to say anything else about that.

9. Appreciate the little things.

Just appreciate them. Appreciate all things.

10. Spend time with nature and embrace the world around you.

Trees are so grounding and peaceful. I have found that I am content when I am around them. I really love it when I can smell the fresh air, feel the breeze and feel the sun on my skin. I have also developed a real appreciation for flowers. They're absolutely beautiful. 
"A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms"

The one thing I asked for this birthday was flowers. My mum came through with those. They were stunning!

11. Don't take anyone for granted.


12. It's okay to cut people off.

It is your life and you get to decide who stays in it. If you don't want them there for any reason then cut them off. You're allowed to put yourself first. 

13. Make time for those you love.

Simple as that.

14. Treat yourself.

And that doesn't always mean buying yourself something. It just means take some time to do something you love or start a new hobby. Do whatever makes you happy.
Don't feel bad for spoiling yourself now and then.

15. Always make time for yourself.

Leading on from the one above, you need to make time for yourself. Self care is important and whether it be sitting down and having a coffee and a biscuit or taking a half an hour bath with your favourite bath bomb, just do something that focuses solely on you.

16. Give 100% of yourself to everything you do.

And if you find that you don't want to do that, question whether what you're doing is worthwhile.

17. Ask for help if you need it.

This was a big lesson for me. Never suffer in silence. If you don't ask then you don't get. Asking doesn't mean you've failed. It means you;re on your way to building a better life.

18. Telling lies is not okay.

Lies will always come back to bite you and someone will always get hurt. Even when you're keeping the truth or lying because you want to "protect" someone it is not okay. It prevents that person from dealing with whatever it is you're hiding and denies them of the right to move forward. Keeping secrets and telling lies will eat you up inside and it is never worth it.

19. Kindness costs nothing.

Kindness is a gift you can always afford. Whether you show it to your family members or to complete strangers, an act of kindness is never wasted.

20. No one is happy all of the time.

And that's normal. Regardless of how people may appear on the outside everyone will experience down days, days of self doubt, low motivation and just generally feeling fed up. Don't assume that other people are perfectly happy because that is never the case.

21. No one has it all figured out.

When I was young I thought that all adults really had their shit together. I thought that when you hit 21 you're working, you have a nice house, you might even be engaged... Little did I know. Everyone's life plan is different and none of us have a clue what's going on here. Life is so very unpredictable that things rarely work out the way we plan. I've just learned to live life each day at a time. Take it as it comes and just go with it.

22. Talk.

We all have a habit of talking about the things that are good in our lives and I get that positivity is important but it's equally as important not to paper over the cracks by denying you have any problems or worries. It's vital to share your experiences and open up to those around you and even those that are not. Once you start making a habit of speaking about your issues and doubts you'll start to feel a massive sense of relief. You'll realise that not only is it okay to talk about everything both good and bad but that someone, somewhere knows how you feel and is so relieved to hear/read that they're not alone. You have no idea the kind of doors you open when you speak up.
Start a conversation, send a letter, make a call, start a group chat... whatever it is you do, connect with those around you and don't brush over the bad stuff. Embrace it for what it is: a part of life.

So there we go, 22 things that I take with me as I move in to my 22nd year.

If you have any other lessons you'd like to share, leave them in the comments.



  1. Such wise words of wisdom, I follow a lot of these myself and some of them are very helpful. I hope you find your look and you can rock your personal style x

  2. I am 25 and I am still learning most of these lessons. Lately I had told myself "it could be worse" several times because indeed in my situation, it could. But no, never tell it to anyone else coz there is not comparable situation xx corinne

    1. I'll be honest I'm still working on them and probably will for the rest of my life.
      We live and we learn.

      Thank you for your comment x

  3. Happy belated birthday, my dear! I hope that you had an amazing day! <3 Such great lessons! Thank you for sharing! <3

    1. Thank you Khadija. And thanks again for your comment x