With my twenty-fourth birthday approaching this weekend, I thought I would share some of the things I’ve learnt so far in the twenty-three years I’ve been alive. I definitely forget some of these at times and I still have a thousand more things to learn but here we go, some of the lessons I’ve learnt:
1. Love hurts. And if anyone tells you it doesn’t, they’re either lying or they’ve yet to be in love. It really is the best and worst feeling in the world. When it’s good it’s good but when it’s bad there’s nothing that hurts more.
2. Put yourself first. No matter what, everyone else will always put themselves first so it’s something everyone should do. I’ve put people before myself before and had it thrown back in my face.
3. Only you can heal your broken heart. A tub of Ben & Jerry’s, your girls and your mum can help but at the end of the day the only person who can heal your pain, is you. I always thought that after my first breakup, someone would come along, sweep me off my feet and put all my broken pieces back together. They didn’t. I’m the reason I’m so strong, nobody else and my happiness is down to me.
4. Love yourself before you love anyone else. Something I’ve always read over the years, but something I’ve never actually took on board until last year. A healthy relationship with yourself is much more important than a relationship with anyone else, because nobody lives in your head but you. Loving yourself is more important than being loved.
5. Gin doesn’t give me hangovers. How have I only just discovered I like gin?! My chosen pre-drink tipple has been Vodka since I was eighteen, I now can barely drink it. I started drinking gin & tonic as it was lower in calories so I didn’t feel as bad going out than I did if I was drinking cider or cocktails. I discovered gin doesn’t give me hangovers and I feel slightly disappointed that I didn’t drink gin at uni when my hangovers almost killed me! G&T’s for life.
6. Exercise makes you feel better. I used to hate exercise with a passion when I was at school, avoiding it at all costs (who thought it was a good idea for double PE at the end of a day on Friday?!) I now exercise most days, I get a good buzz after exercise, whether it be going for a walk, lifting weights or doing a 5K run. I can definitely tell the difference in my mood when I don’t exercise.
7. Don’t be so hard on yourself. I’m probably one of the worst people to do this, I’m not the best looking or the smartest person, and because I think this then I think it portrays that way to other people. In my first relationship I always thought my boyfriend was much better looking than me, therefore he probably believed he was too, meaning there was a hierarchy in the relationship when there shouldn’t have been. In the words of Elle Darby, you do you boo.
8. Your weight will fluctuate throughout the month. Hands up if you hate that time of the month because I know I do. One day I can do my jeans up and the next it’s like I’m having a fight with them but it’s normal.
9. Say yes more. I am a planner, I like knowing what I’m doing weeks in advance but a little bit of spontaneity never hurt anyone! Say yes to that full basket of Missguided shopping, say yes to fifty chicken nuggets instead of twenty, say yes to a first date, say yes to that Jagerbomb and say yes to a spontaneous night out – because what do you have to lose?! Except from maybe a sore head, but again a hangover never hurt anyone (not longer than a day anyway!).
10. Don’t get caught up in other people’s battles. Don’t get involved in other people’s drama, even if you feel the need to. I hate seeing my friends hurt in arguments with their boyfriends, but I’ve learnt the hard way to just let them get on with it.
11. Don’t sly tweet. I’ve been very guilty of this in the past, I know my friend’s will be nodding their heads right now! I made it my New Year’s resolution in 2016 to give up sly tweeting and to this day I have not wrote a sly tweet since (not intentionally anyway!). It does not help the situation, shade does not suit me but I do still enjoy reading other people’s sly tweets (as long as they aren’t about me!).
12. Gossip to your hearts content (as long as you’re not hurting anyone). Whoever says they don’t enjoy a good gossip is 100% lying. Whether it be about an ex, their new girlfriend or someone you went to school with, as long as you aren’t hurting anyone is there any harm in a little gossip between friends.
13. Experiences over possessions. I’d much rather go to three festivals in the summer than own the new iPhone X. Memories last forever and materialistic items don’t. Even though I value trips away over possessions, it still doesn’t stop me from spending almost a quarter of my monthly wage on new clothes (I’m only joking Mum..!).
14. Shopping addiction is real. I love new clothes, I’ve got premium delivery with Boohoo, ASOS & Missguided. I don’t actually think there is a better feeling than knowing you have a few parcels waiting for you when you get back from work, even if you do end up sending half the parcel back. Do I know the regular delivery drivers by first name? yes and I’m not ashamed!
15. Don’t be ashamed to like food. I’ve had soooo many people say to me, they can’t believe how much I can eat. I’m not in terrible shape, I exercise and eat healthy 90% of the time. So yes, I will have a Spoons cookie dough sandwich after my curry on a Thursday, and no I will not be ashamed. After a night out I always have to eat, some people don’t want to touch food on a hangover and unfortunately I’m not one of those people, I need food on a hangover or I will be sick, even if it takes me an hour to eat one croissant. I love food and food loves me.
16. Save, save, save. Until I graduated I had no savings (the downsides of a shopping addiction!), when I moved back to Devon after I graduated I couldn’t find a job for two months and had about half a month’s wage to live off, if I had some savings it would have made my life a little bit easier. Always have some money put back for emergencies (including that emergency Missguided shop..!)
17. Not all friends last forever. I’ve had a lot of friends come and go, I’ve no longer got people in my life that I thought would be in my life forever and I’m sure in years to come friends will enter and leave my life, that’s just life. However, I have a great bunch of friends who aren’t going anywhere.
18. Pay everything on time. Whether this be a credit card bill or your friends. I’ve got a credit card for emergencies, however I do pay this off fully every month to ensure that my credit rating is not effected and when I’m ready to buy my first house I’ll have a better chance at getting a mortgage. I hate having to chase people for money, therefore would always pay my friends money I owe them as soon as I can.
19. Forgive, but never forget. Forgiveness is liberating, but never forget. I’ve forgiven various people in my life, I’ve also been forgiven. Never forget how someone made you feel, whether it’s in a good or bad way.
20. Having a good cry is okay. I’m a crier; I cry if my cat looks cute, at Coronation Street and when someone close to me is crying. I basically cry at anything! It’s okay to cry and sometimes it’s all you need to make you feel better.
21. Don’t do something you don’t want to do to please other people. If you don’t want to do something then don’t. Do not let anyone pressure you or make you feel bad for doing so. No I don’t want to go out tonight and no I’m not boring, I’d just rather stay in watch a whole series of Broadchurch tucked up in bed.
22. Everything happens for a reason. Another one of those mantras you hear all the time but it’s true. You didn’t get that job, because there’s something better around the corner, someone walked into your life just when you needed them and so on. Everything happens for a reason, even if it’s not what you want.
23. I have no idea what I’m doing. At twenty-three I thought I would have my shit together, I’m far from it! When I was fourteen I thought I’d be married by twenty-five, I’m currently a single pringle so think being married in the next year is definitely not achievable. It puts me at ease that a lot of people my age also have no idea what they’re doing.
So, there we go! Just a handful of things I’ve learnt in my twenty-three years, until next year!