This is something I’ve seen going around a lot and I think it’s lovely to hear people’s insights, see some changes and generally just try to better yourself.
Now I’m a 21 year-old I’ve been reflecting a lot on the past (as well as looking forward to the future!) and even though it might not feel like it sometimes, I’ve done so much and grown loads. Here are some key things I’ve learnt over the years that may be beneficial to you.
1. Practising pays off, even though it can be really tedious and annoying.
For me a key area I learnt this was makeup, and after many years of messing about with the stuff for fun I’m finally getting okay at it. This also applies to other, non-superficial areas too! Just keep showing up and pushing and you’ll get there.
2. No one knows what they’re doing. Literally no one.
Not even that girl who looks like she has it all together. I know this because I pretend to be her and I still haven’t got a clue. I thought that by 21 I’d have everything figured out, but every day is still a learning curve. It’s totally okay, we’ll figure it out one day- maybe.
3. Always be yourself. Do what feels right for you at all times.
Any other action or behaviour will come across awkward, weird and uncomfortable for everyone, especially you! Listen to yourself and try to not focus on what other people might think. You have to live with yourself everyday and that is something you should honour.
4. Don’t be afraid to change it up.
A lot of people go through this stage of altering their appearance, friendships and values when they’re a young teen but I think it’s something that we should constantly do. Experiment with different versions of yourself and try new things to figure out what you like. It’s how you often find that you have always been exactly how you were meant to be.
5. Being girly isn’t a weakness.
Feminism! This one took me far to long to grasp. Liking pink, wearing ‘feminine’ fashion, being interested in beauty… The list is endless. None of the things are a bad or should be thought of with guilt. You are never just one thing so why pigeon-hole yourself?
6. It’s better to not have been the popular one at school.
It gives you an opportunity to grow, change and focus on what is really important right now. School may be considered the ‘best years of your life’ by adults, but trust me it’s not. You have so much wonder to come and luckily you haven’t peaked too early!
7. It takes time to find the right contraception.
You need to educate yourself, try things and listen to your body. The first method you try might not be your last.
8. There are no deadlines on milestones.
You’re going through life at your own pace so it’s pointless to compare what you’re doing with other people’s experiences. (See: sex, first kisses, getting drunk, education, getting married, etc.)
9. Creating a safe place for yourself is the best act of self care.
Whether that place is outside or in your house, take time to figure out where you feel the safest and make that space exactly how you want it. This will be your sanctuary for the days when things seem to be a much and a place for you to chill out whenever necessary.
10. Just because your life and/or choices look different to other people doesn’t mean they’re wrong.
“Comparison is the thief of joy”
You know yourself best, so just do what’s right for you even if it’s difficult or doesn’t match up to others. You should be your number one and this takes time to understand and accept. I promise you- you’re doing fine.
11. Be grateful for your parents/guardians/friends. They do so much for you.
This can be hard to see sometimes but be grateful for those around you who care because one day they may not be around. Gratitude is a wonderful thing to practice and can change your outlook and the way you handle so many different situations.
12. Time doesn’t have to be an important factor in friendships.
You don’t have to stay friends with someone just because you always have been and alternatively you can become brilliant friends with someone you’ve just met. Time isn’t really an important factor, or at least it doesn’t have to be. Sometime you just need to go with your gut and heart to find the right people.
13. Try to save some of your money for a rainy day. Having something behind you can make the world of difference.
Try to budget and keep bits of money back in case you ever need it. If not, it’ll come in handy for that trip you want to do or that bag you’ve wanted for ages. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
14. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad.
Whether you’re feeling bad right now, or you’re annoyed at past you, we need these times to grow and get to a better place. Everything is valid.
15. Worrying can destroy everything you care about.
Try to switch off and get out of your head a bit because worrying and overthinking will ruin your relationships, friendships and experiences. Take a walk, open up to someone close or write it down. You need to find a way to get these things out of your head so you can be more open to the important, and present, things.
16. The internet doesn’t need to know everything you’re up to.
You don’t have to post it to prove that it happened and it doesn’t have to be an instant thing either. Don’t let sharing stuff get in the way of your experiences. It’s brilliant to share and show off what you’ve been up to, where you’ve been and who you’ve seen but remember to enjoy the moment a bit first.
17. Metal actually does explode in the microwave.
I found this out the hard way. It can also catch fire too so be careful and stay aware!
18. Learn how to be on your own.
It might become the best lesson you’ll ever learn. You need to rely on yourself totally and be your own best friend because at the end of the day, you are the only guarantee in life.
19. A good bra will change your life.
It’ll make you look and feel amazing, trust me. It might even be worth spending that little bit more money in order to feel this way. Comfort and confidence are the key to any fashion experience.
20. You can trust places like you trust people.
It can be an instant feeling when you get there; you’re definitely going to like it here. I’ve experienced this only a handful of times in my life but it’s often a great factor when making major decisions (see: choosing a university, moving away, work)
21. The loudest people often don’t have anything to shout about.
Whether they’re bragging about sex, drinking, their love life or success you never get to see what actually goes on behind closed doors so take everything with a pinch of salt. Try not to get too caught up in what other people are doing, because they’re not you and everyone experiences things differently.
Happy Birthday Me!
I’m expecting this year to be full of growth, change, joy and fear and I am so buzzing for it. Although things may get tough I’m so proud of myself for everything I’ve done to get here and I love that I’m only going to continue to learn more.
Thank you so much for reading this post. I’m so grateful for you being here. Let’s hope this blog continues for many more birthdays!