This one comes to you not from a place of ‘do what I do’ or ‘my way is the right way’ but, simply these are a collection of points that I have learned over my 26 years – fast approaching 27 – on the planet and how I have survived this long. If any them happen to make you feel a little better, more centered and generally happier then brilliant, if not well I am sure the read will pass the time.
- Cherish your friends and family. I cannot stress this enough because to mad lib Kelly Rowland, when life takes over it’s easy to get swept up in day to day life. Don’t forget about the ones who loved you before your current distractions ie. Binge watching Stranger Things instead of eating family dinner. Don’t roll your eyes at your mother when she tells you to phone your Grandparents because one day, not everyone will be around that dinner table or at the other end of a phone call and you will regret the time not spent together.
- Don’t give in to peer pressure. Obviously, you say? Think back… how many times have you done something just because someone else did it? From small things to the biggest of things, never let anyone influence you heavily enough to sway your opinion from what you want and don’t want to do. Your friends are going to Uni? Great, you don’t have to right now. All the troops are going out on the sesh? So what? Make every decision because you want to, don’t be a follower.
- Nobody is perfect. No body is perfect. For the longest time I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. It took a lot to get over judging myself based on appearances and how I looked in clothes, what way I had my hair, etc. Now? How you see me is how I am. I worked hard to become confident no matter what size I am, what my skin is doing and how those jeans look on me. Years ago, I would use bags to cover my stomach and drown myself in clothing that was unflattering to try and hide what I thought were ugly parts of my body. Ironically, the size I was then is now my goal weight and even though I know changes can be made for a healthier lifestyle – I remain confident in myself as I am.
- It’s OK to make mistakes. As Bob Ross once said, “we don’t make mistakes, we have happy accidents.” It’s down to those happy accidents in the last 26 years that I have the personality that I have, the views that I have and I honestly don’t regret a single thing. Even the really bad mistakes. As any right minded adult would have told you when you were younger ‘mistakes are there to be made’ and it’s from those mistakes that we learn and grow. Basically, regret nothing.
- Never apologise for being yourself. This is something I realised that I can do recently. To me, I am unapologetically me – I shouldn’t have to explain myself to anyone, or have to apologise for the actions that I do. Unless the actions you do are horrific, but on the whole I will not apologise for who I am. If you don’t like it, then it won’t affect me if I don’t see or hear from you again. Life is short, I will not waste it apologising.
- ‘It’s not like it is in the movies.’ Sometimes it is. Some will tell you not to get hung up on looking for that fairy tale movie kind of life. I’m telling you, never give up. Who says your life can’t be like a movie? Make your own God damn movie. Our lives are exactly like the movies, it’s just that a movie is 90 minutes or so long compared to a life of 90 years or so (hopefully). Don’t rush, your movie scene is coming and when it does and you find what you have been looking for all that heartache and uncertainty will all have been for something. It led you to this point. Granted, Ryan Gosling or whoever your on screen crush is (John Cusack) will probably not pop up but something or someone even better will.
- Be. Happy. Find what makes you truly euphoric and surround yourself in it. This is why my house is filled with fairy lights – Joel drew the short straw when we moved in as I pay for the TV each month but he pays for the electric… sorry. Whether you take 10 minutes out of your day to do a crossword puzzle or you go for a walk to clear your head or you just simply watch your favourite TV show to be happy – I recommend you do it. It’s the only way we will actually get through our day.
- Dance. Not only is it seriously fun but research shows that dancing can actually improve your mental health. I’m not saying you need to go out and take ballet lessons but dancing is freeing, and so fun. I dance while making dinner, standing in work, doing my makeup and even when I am not listening to music I break out into spontaneous dance. I went out last night sober as a judge just so I could dance. That’s dedication.
- You don’t have to be married young like your Facebook friends. A new day, a new engagement or pregnancy blasted all over social media from people 23 and under. While this is perfectly normal and acceptable, it doesn’t mean everyone has to be at it.
- You don’t have to pick one thing to be good at. When I was in school I thought I was going to have to label myself as one thing career wise. Like, people are good at cooking and are a Chef, people are good with math so they are an Accountant. Why do we have to pick one thing to be good at? I am a Make Up Artist, that’s not all I am. I learned that I am good at loads of things and don’t want to label myself as just one.
- It’s OK to not make picture worthy dinners. Leading on from the last post, this is something I am not good at. Don’t get me wrong, I can feed myself (a lil too much) and make tasty dinners but they look so unappetising whereas every plate of food on Instagram and Pinterest looks like it walked straight off an à la carte menu – and that’s ok! I’m just surprised I haven’t burned the house down.
- Surround yourself with people that will support your interests. One of my earliest memories is using my grandparents wooden staircase as a table, my legs fit through and I would sit there for hours upon hours drawing. Drawing anything. I was a very creative child and didn’t come from an overly creative family. SURE, they liked my drawings and told me I was good but when I got to secondary school and I was doing Art at GCSE and A Level for example, I became more of a hindrance. My art got in the way, it covered the dining table and was a mess, basically. I wasn’t encouraged to do anything with my love for art and it was treated as a hobby. 7 years later, I can’t help but wonder where it could have taken me career wise had I stuck with it or been encouraged. My point is, whatever your passion is and whatever makes you happy (see #7 again) surround yourself where possible with people who encourage and nurture.
- Pancakes & Pizza. Are my happy foods.
- Social Media is bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s amazing and the impact it has had on our lives is detrimental to our relationships and businesses but all in all, a lot of it is bullshit. More specifically, the lifestyle gurus and the people you follow on instagram because they talk about how amazing their life is and how they got their shit together, they are here to motivate you and help you get your life on track too. Bullshit. They are normal people, with normal lives with Final Cut Pro and Photoshop. Do not compare yourselves to strangers on the internet. Get off the app and go live your life. I post make up on my Instagram – I do not have a made up face all the time. I am sitting in sweats and a tshirt that should have been in yesterday’s wash and I have yet to remove last night’s crumbly mascara from my under eye. It’s 12.34pm. IDGAF.
- Don’t resent your job. We all have our bad days, do not get me wrong but just remember this, if you are unhappy in it – get a new job. Your job pays for your rent, car, clothes, heating, food and drink. Think of those less fortunate unable to get a job, are homeless and starving (I know, I know… dramatic) the next time you moan about getting paid to be somewhere. Also, remember you are more than likely replaceable so be careful who you moan to.
- Listen to music you like. My Dad introduced me to some of the greatest music I have ever heard and I will be eternally grateful to him for that. In school, I was made fun of for liking artists like Stevie Wonder, Paul Weller and Elvis Presley while everyone else was in love with some boy from 5ive. Because I was made fun of I tried to pretend that I didn’t like the music I liked. Oh God, I have to stop this is making me sound like a sad child. The point is, don’t listen to music or watch movies just because the are the norm. Listen and watch because you want to.
- Teenagers are so annoying. On the bus, on the street and probably in their own houses they are so annoying. I like to think that when I was that age I wasn’t as annoying as they are but the reality is that if anything, I was probably more of a pain in the arse than all of them put together. I think I am jealous… youth! Yoooouth!
- The ups and downs of getting ID’d. When I was Under 18 it caused me to sweat profusely when I was ID’d because I would hate getting denied. There is very little more humiliating than having to put back the alcohol that you were denied. 18 years old hits and sees a smug Amy walking into Winemark and skulking out with a a large bottle of WKD and West Coast Cooler because honestly, that’s all it took. Skip forward to now, and I can’t even get ID’d getting into a damn nightclub. I told the security guard last night that I didn’t have ID, sorry and he simply shot me down with ‘and? on you go’. I’m done.
- It’s OK to not be OK. Yes, although you should always strive to be happy, live your best life, bla bla bla… It is still OK to not be OK. It’s OK to want to have a duvet day. It’s OK to do nothing on your day off because you’re too tired. It’s OK to struggle, to reach out and talk to someone. Without this blog post taking a turn, just promise yourself that if you are having a bad day you will talk to someone and not let it eat you up inside.
- Primark leggings are not your friend. I learned the hard way that they are see through and I need to stop buying them.
- Failing is normal. When I flopped out of Uni, I thought this was the worst thing but as my mum told me everything happens for a reason. J K Rowling (hero) in her twenties was broke, suicidal and felt like she was failing. As of last year she is worth £650 million. Steve Jobs was fired. Everyone fails at something, it’s having the courage and the strength to pick yourself back up and try again is something that I learned how to do in my twenties.
- Take care of yourself. Take that vitamin, eat that veg, walk that ass, buy the better skincare and take better care of yourself. The inevitable is happening, you are getting older. That McDonald’s you ate when you were 16 evaporated off your hips, and now it clings to them like white on rice. In order to have a happy, long life you may need to make some changes!
- Opinions are opinions. Believe what you want to believe and respect that others will not have the same opinion. From what kind of apple is best to politics, listen to others opinions.
- Save. Save what you can, when you can. My advice? To set up a direct debit to a savings account for yourself no matter the amount. It all adds up and when the time comes that you’ll need a few extra coins it’ll be there waiting for you.
- Sleep. It was uncool to have a bedtime when you were younger. Now it’s the part I most look forward to. Not only does it feel great climbing into bed, especially with new PJs and fresh sheets but a good night’s sleep really does contribute to our overall health. So away and have a nap!
- Love yourself. Similar to a few points already but I just really mean it. Love yourself for everything that you are and everything that you do. Once you accomplish that my friends, you can accomplish anything.