As today marks my 24th birthday, I wanted to share what I’ve learnt in my 20’s so far. Yeah okay, I’ve not even reached the half way mark of my twenties. Which I can only presume are set out as our ‘trial period’ in life, while we do our best to figure out the true meaning behind adulthood. That being said, I’ve definitely learnt some valuable lessons in just four short years. So, I have compiled a list of the top twenty I wanted to talk about and maybe, just maybe they might help you too.
If I could go back in time and tell my younger self what I know now, I would save myself a whole lot of trouble. Unfortunately, time travel is yet to be invented. So, what better way to talk about my problems and/or embarrassing stories than post them on the internet, for everyone with access to WIFI to see. (Which is almost everyone these days)
01. DON’T ASK, DON’T GET
I was taught this phrase at a young age, along with ‘stretch or starve’. This applied mainly when I was a guest in someone’s house. If you want a drink, ask. If you’re hungry, speak up. It’s no good struggling on someone’s couch, holding your bladder because you are too scared to ask the question and worst-case scenario you pee your pants. Now that I’m a bit older, I still use the phrase, I just apply it in a more mature approach. If you like someone, ask them out. When you’re checking into a flight and feel lucky, ask for an upgrade. The last top in your size at your favourite shop has a mark on it, try and get a discount. If you don’t, you’ll never know and spend the rest of the day, week or lifetime wondering ‘what if’.
02. DON’T BE AFFAID TO MEET NEW PEOPLE
Being socially active is a good thing and as humans we crave it. So don’t be afraid to mingle with new faces every now and then. I used to be very stuck in my ways and shied away when I knew people I didn’t know would be at an event I was invited to. Over time I have realised it is good to have multiple friendship groups with different interests and I’ve found I can talk to complete strangers about my life in more details than some of my close friends. Next time you are out and someone you don’t know engages in conversation, don’t brush them off. Join in and get to know them, you never know they might just surprise you.
03. IT’S OKAY TO CRY
Stop bottling it up and let those tears run free! It’s absolutely fine to have a cry every now and then, in fact I find it helps. Especially when I’m feeling overwhelmed or something is just becoming too much. Take yourself out of the situation and just let it all out. I would find myself on the verge of crying for no reason, once I was done and dried my eyes, I could finally see straight again. We all have our fair share of bad days, whether it’s something as small as losing your keys or a life altering event don’t be afraid cry your way back to normality.
04. IF YOU CAN’T AFFORD IT, USE THE CREDIT CARD
This is definitely my favourite one. First things first, if you don’t own a credit card I suggest you go out and get yourself one. Sure, this isn’t exactly the smartest approach and you could end up eyeball deep in dept, but f*ck it! Just be sure to plan ahead, when your credit due vs when you next get paid. As long as you set aside the expenses and pay it before any interest is added then you and your new card will have a beautiful friendship – you’re welcome. I however do not do this, and I am forever in my mother’s dept for bailing me out. (Thanks mum!)
05. IF A RELATIONSHIP IS A SECRET, THEN YOU SHOULD’T BE IN IT
Speaking from experience, this is a dangerous game to play. When you enter into a partnership/relationship with someone and either you or the third party wants to ‘keep it on the down low’ ask yourself why? Is it shame, judgement, pressure or complicated circumstances. Whatever you or they are putting forward, question it. If you are in a relationship you should want to tell the world and scream it from the roof tops. Eventually you’re going to have to tell someone and let’s be honest, nothing ever stays a secret – especially where I come from. So stop worrying about hurting someone else’s feelings, whether it’s an ex, a friend, your family or boss. As long as you’re happy, everyone else will just have to accept it.
06. FAMILY IS EVERYTHING
I think we can all agree on this one. My family is my entire world and every chance I get to spend time with them I take it. Having lost my dad at a young age, under sudden circumstances. I find myself thinking about all the things we didn’t do together, all the major milestones he’s missed or won’t be present for. Life can be cruel and take our loved ones away from us. While they are still around spend as much time with them as possible. If you have had an argument or no longer have a relationship with someone, fix it. You will regret not resolving problems, when you no longer have the opportunity to.
07. YOU CAN’T CATCH UP ON LOST SLEEP
I used to try and trick my body into thinking if I had a nap here and there, I could catch up on lost hours from the night before. This unfortunately is a myth and doesn’t work. You either get a good night’s sleep or you don’t. So get up, and get on with it. You can sleep when your dead.
08. YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, NOT EVERYTHING
This is defiantly my new life motto. There is no such thing as setting the bar too high, in fact aim for the stars in all aspects of life. However taking on too much and trying too please everyone but yourself will leave you broken. Try new things, do the impossible, prove everyone wrong and step out of your comfort zone. We only get one shot, so start living your best life – Just one step at a time.
09. DON’T BE AFRAID TO MAKE THE FIRST MOVE
Let’s not lie, we’ve all been there. Does he like? Is he looking for something serious? Should I ask him out? What if I’m getting the wrong signals? If you are facing the problem currently, I say step up and be that girl who made the first move. If you get rejected, SO WHAT! You tried, you failed. No harm done, nothing lost, nothing gained. In fact, I respect you for taking it into your own hands. When it comes down to it, us females don’t have time to sit around waiting for guys to make the first move. For the majority of us, we have an end game. Get the ball rolling sister!
10. NEVER PASS A TOILET
Even if you don’t need to go, try and thank me later. You never know when you’re going to pass another manhole so just this once, play it safe.
11. NEVER TRUST A FART
Let’s not shy away from the idea that we don’t do this, because we do. It’s a natural bodily function. So don’t hold them in too long, or you might explode. However, no matter how much you trust your body. NEVER trust a fart. No, I’m not referencing this because I’ve experienced a ‘shit my pants’ moment (or have i?). I’m telling you this because no matter how loyal you think your bowels are, you can never determine the volume and/or smell you are unleashing.
12. SAY ‘YES’ MORE OFTEN
Make every year, the year of yes. Stop moaning about how boring your life is, or how you never have anything to do, if you’re always saying no to new opportunities.
13. LISTEN TO YOUR HEART
Sometimes you just gotta through the rule book out the window, take a risk and follow your heart. Yes, it might end in tears, but at least you know you gave it a shot. On the bright side it could lead to something great. I’m a firm believer in, that is for you, won’t go by you – So take a chance.
14. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVER PACKING
Pack away until your hearts content. Pack that suitcase until the zipper breaks. Sure you might not really need your favourite jumper in the Bahamas, but – you never know. Just take it and trust your instincts. Make sure you look cute at the check-in desk, ready to bat your eyelashes when it’s 5kg overweight and you ain’t remotely planning to pay of excess baggage.
15. LIVE IN THE MOMENT
Forget what happened yesterday, stop thinking about what could be tomorrow and just enjoy today. It’s as simple at that people!
16. NEVER GO OUT DRINKING WHEN SOMETHING IS PLAYING ON YOUR MIND
I learnt this the hard way. As if a normal night out with your friends wasn’t life threatening enough. If you’re anything like me, I have the tendency to ruin my life almost every time. Therefore, going out when your mind is elsewhere is potential social suicide. Clear your head, before you fuel your body with honesty juice (alcohol), as you’re more likely to speak the truth and spill the beans. Only to wake up the next day, with fear and regret. Keep your filter intact and say no to the sesh just this once, especially if you aren’t in the right place.
17. STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE THINK
I used to care so much about what other people thought of me – or if they were even thinking/judging me in the first place. How I dressed, acted, even things I said or how I came across – then I had my turning point. I personally don’t take too much interest in other peoples life choices, so chances are, others don’t when it comes to me. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so let them have it. At the end of the day as long as you are happy in your own skin, thats all that matters. There will always be a ‘Regina George, Miranda Priestly or Vivian Kensington’ in one chapter of your life or another. But, if you let people like that dictate who you are, and what you stand for. The world would be a boring place and everyone would be the same. Be proud to be different and let your uniqueness shine bright.
18. TALK ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS
19. WATER IS YOUR BEST FRIEND, DRINK IT MORE OFTEN
Not much I can say on this subject really. Drink it more often, drink it all the time – it’s free from most taps. (unless you are in Mexico, then don’t, you might get sick) Water has so many great properties, to name a few: better skin, weigh loss, hangover cure, high energy levels, reduces headaches the list goes on… AND if you didn’t already know, the most important one, it keeps you alive!
20. & LASTLY, WHEN LIFE F*CKS YOU… JUST CHANGE POSITION & ENJOY THE RIDE