So, that time is upon us.
That time where the monthly countdown to my next birthday, the big 26, begins.
I mean alright, 26 is hardly a big birthday, but it’s like, at 25 you can kinda kid yourself you’re still in your early twenties and then bam 26, nope you can’t. You ooooooold, girl.
So that’s me, about to turn old. About to turn into a proper 100% adult.
I feel like 25 has been life-changing for me – it’s made me realise so many different things about myself and the world and the way society works. I don’t know what’s changed specifically, maybe it’s me, but I feel like this year has been the most significant in that journey between teenager and adult. I feel like I’m out of that weird limbo stage, and starting to settle into the groove of grown-up life.
Anyway, thought I’d share a few new things I’ve learnt in the past year…
1. Keeping half price ice cream in the freezer is really damn important. You’ll often crave the things you don’t have, and then work yourself up so much that when you do finally get your clambering claws on it, you’ll consume it greedily (ice cream, Brie, boys, money – you get the gist). When I keep ice cream in the freezer I tend to not want it as much, I tend to help myself to a couple of spoonfuls during GBBO, rather than accidentally ripping through an entire pot in one sitting. Don’t deny yourself, it’s better in the long run.
2. Nothing, NOTHING, in this world (alright, maybe labour, but what do’I know about that, eh?) hurts more than ripping your nose stud out.
3. There will always be people who don’t like you. If there are people in this life twisted enough to not like Ed Sheeran or Taylor Swift or kittens, then there are people twisted enough to not like you, and y’know what? That’s OK. Maybe they’re jealous, maybe they don’t agree with what you stand for, you can’t please everyone, so stop trying.
4. Your body clock is really fucking inconsiderate. No you do not want a baby right now, you want a career and some wine and a trip to Mykonos, but, y’know, mostly the wine. Go hide somewhere for a few years plz womb, stop hounding me.
5. Money isn’t actually that important. So long as you have enough to eat, have a roof over your head and have a basic level of living, happiness will come from the people around you and the experiences you share, and not the new ASOS bag and MAC lipstick. Who knew?
6. Pinterest is really damn helpful for helping you work out your personal style. Spend just 15 minutes a week pinning outfits you like and check back on your board when putting outfits together. Game-changer.
7. You’re never ever the only person feeling the way you feel. The more you open up and talk about it the more you’ll find people who get it and the more content with your own brain and thoughts you’ll feel.
8. There’s a really slippery slope between treating yourself to a skinny latte from Starbucks on a Friday morning and suddenly becoming a chain-drinking slave to instant coffee. HEEEEELP ME AND MY ADDICTION TO FEELING AWAKE.
9. Pets are part of the family – it’s like our generations way of postponing having a human baby. And it’s more than OK to feel emotions towards them as if they were a human baby – whether that’s love, pain or being worried about them every 2 minutes.
10. Nights in are so much more fun than nights out. They involve fantastic food, even more fantastic chat and company, and drinks that don’t make you spend 7 harrowing seconds wondering whether they’re about to shoot back out of your nose.
11. It’s so, so fucking important to spend every day doing something you love. Don’t force yourself to do something where the money’s good or there’s huge opportunities for growth and promotion if it isn’t in an industry that gives you a little burst of sunshine in your soul the minute you wake up. Find something that feels like a hobby you’re getting paid to do.
12. Women older than you didn’t suddenly decide one day that they didn’t give a crap how they looked anymore and surrendered to a life of pie and sofas – whether you like it or not, your body changes as you get older and when you have kids. Your metabolism slows horrifically and your skin loses its perkiness and there ain’t nothin’ you can do to stop it. Your body, its shape and its weight, do not define you.
13. There is nothing that feels more safe, comfortable and like you’re finally home than living with your boyfriend (or, y’know, girlfriend).
14. It’s really important to have things to look forward to – it’s what keeps you motivated and looking forward. Whether that’s big goals you want to hit, exotic holidays or just sleepovers with pals.
15. Flowers, plants and herbs all suddenly get really exciting. Normally about three years after you start showing an interest in trips to IKEA. Who knew you’d legit be one of those people constantly on the hunt for planters and spending 15 minutes arranging flowers by the sink. Hmmm.
16. People still really, really struggle to understand the time, energy, research and self-learning that goes into YouTube and blogging, and how difficult it is to actually be a success at either of those things. You just got to keep on doing your thang and leave the close-minded people out of it.
17. Hand cream, cleanser and lip balm are way more important products in your beauty arsenal than any colour-pop lipstick or shimmer nude eye shadow.
18. You’re not as invincible as you think you are. You have no idea, and no control, over whether your life ends today or in 50 years, and everything could change in any one given moment.
19. It’s way more beneficial to layer up your wardrobe with well-fitting jeans, easy-to-layer jumpers, striped tees, statement but megz comfy flats and Trilby hats than it is party dresses and fad trends. You’ll spend less, always have something to wear, and look effortlessly chic.
20. You have to treat social media as a business rather than a fun way to interact with friends. If you treat every update from everyone you follow as proof that you’re not doing as well as you should be, instead of seeing it as something manipulated to represent that person’s brand, you’ll never feel good about yourself. Learn how important it is to switch off and have face to face conversations instead.
21. Spending too long dwelling on the past and getting lost in ideas about how things could have been different will only distract you from enjoying the present and moving forward into a shiny future.
22. Sheer underwired bras without any padding at all are the comfiest, dreamiest things to ever grace your boobies. And y’know what? It doesn’t matter if that 70-year-old lady can see your nipples through the lace in the gym changing room because she has nipples too. Ground-breaking.
23. It’s totally a legit thing for the weather and the hours of sunlight in the day to affect your mood. Don’t feel like you’re making excuses for feeling like a tired, poorly little lifeless worm, you’re allowed.
24. It’s the people who make a holiday a once in a lifetime trip, not the scenery or the level of luxury.
25. No-one really knows what they’re doing, everyone’s winging it, and everyone’s secretly scared that they’re not up to the challenge. Life is what you make it and you just got to do what you can to inject as many moments of happiness into the ride as you can.