So part of the reason that things have been a little bit quiet on here is that a few days ago it was my birthday. I was planning to write this post up in time for my birthday, but after Rocking the Daisies and the recovery that followed, that post didn’t quite make it to being published. I still can’t believe I’m 20, that’s two decades on this earth. But here it is nonetheless – 20 things that I have learnt in the last 20 years.
1. Taking a short break is okay: sometimes it’s okay to just take a step back and relax, and take a little break.
2. Taking a long break is okay: taking a few months or even a year off is okay, taking a gap year to decide what you want to do is perfectly fine, because sometimes we need a change of scenery and the chance to step back and look at our lives objectively.
3. Creativity cannot be forced: if you are having trouble getting the creativity flowing, sometimes the best thing to do is to leave it alone. I have found that forcing yourself to be creative mostly ends up in frustration – it’s okay to wait for inspiration.
4. Don’t undervalue the power of smiling at strangers: it can make the biggest difference in someones life.
5. Reading is never a bad idea: reading books, regardless of genre or difficulty, is one of the best things for our souls.
6. When you love something, love it a lot: life is too short not to be obsessed over things. Whether it’s a tv series, a novel, a colour, a celebrity, a hobby or even just a really good frozen yogurt shop – let your love be known.
7. #SorryNotSorry: you don’t have to be ashamed of being who you are, and if who you are is posting ridiculous amounts of selfies of you and your dog on instagram then hashtag away – no one is stopping you.
8. Buy a plant: having living things in your house that you can watch grow and develop is the easiest way to brighten up your day.
9. Treat yo’self: once in a while buy yourself something that you really want, because if anyone deserves it, it’s you. You don’t need a reason to get yourself something nice – sometimes the reason is just because you feel like buying yourself something nice.
10. Always have enough money to get home: make sure that no matter what, you will always have enough cash hidden somewhere on your person that you can get somewhere safe at the end of the night.
11. Always have something to fall back on: savings aren’t just for old people, you need to have a reserve somewhere for the possible just in case scenario that we all hope doesn’t happen.
12. Friends are the support system you create: sometimes it can be difficult to find people who understand what you are going through, and it will difficult to find one person who can help you through everything – so build a support system of friends who can individually help you with aspects of life that you need support in.
13. Be a support system for someone else: Your experiences in different areas of life can help other people, even if it’s just helping them with the realisation that they are not the only ones going through this.
14. There is always a reason to celebrate: whether it’s because your birthdays are a week apart, or you just got a raise, or that frozen yoghurt shop has your favourite flavour or even just because the weather is particularly good today and you feel like drinking wine – it’s a legitimate reason to celebrate (promise).
15. Find something that you love, and don’t give up on it: whether it’s writing or drawing or riding or climbing (or maintaining a blog), and don’t let anything stop you from enjoying it.
16. At some point you have to talk: it’s all very well keeping quiet in order to keep the peace but there is a point when you have to think about yourself. Sometimes you need to verbalise if something wrong or if you think you need some more recognition – you can’t sit in the corner forever.
17. You’re not the only one: there are other people out there who are going through what you are going through – if not exactly the same, then pretty close. The more you choose to share your experiences and problems with other people, the more you will realise that people know what it’s like and can help you through it.
18. See more than your own back yard: even if you can’t afford to travel the globe, travel somewhere. Even if it means just visiting the towns nearby there is never a bad side to travelling somewhere new and seeing new faces.
19. Be good to yourself: You don’t have to be a fitness freak and run everyday, and live only on kale and green smoothies to be good to yourself, just moderate your intake of things that are bad for you, and do things that make you feel good.
20. Cut out the negativity: Life is way too short to put up with people who treat you badly. If someone speaks negatively around you, or doesn’t support you, they have no place in your life. I’ve learnt that there’s no point trying to maintain friendships that cause you more pain than joy – make space for people who actually care about you and your life choices.
So, there we are, the top 20 things I’ve learnt now that I’m 20. I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will hold.