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10 things that took me 26 years to learn

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

simply wanting to to share my feeble and sporadic wisdom with you

They run in themes, each unrelated to the next. As a 26 year old, I don’t know much. I spend most of my time confused and doubtful – but these simple things, these I know to be true. Not because someone told me, not from a book I read but because life threw them at me. Some were painful to learn, others were liberating, most of them took years  but above all, I am happy to have discovered these little personal truths that I can call my own and share with you.


You only have yourself in this world.  Your parents, siblings and friends are your trampoline, they will bounce you up but you’ve got to use your own muscle to get back from whatever or whoever made you fall. Wine doesn’t work, wallowing makes things worse and anger is a wasted emotion amongst all the beautiful feelings you can feel.  It is always all up to you, everything you want, anything you feel and there is absolutely no one but yourself ever to make it all happen.

Hanging Out In Bars

As a girl who spent the majority of her early twenties in bars of all kinds, always refrain from sitting on any toilet seats you might use. People do all kinds of terrible things on these surfaces and your derriere is far too pretty for that. Do not date the bartenders. Do not stay after hours, this is when all the worst mistakes are made. Do not fall asleep anywhere but your own bed. Talk to everyone but don’t drink everything.

 hashtags are not real

Social media is the realm of show-offs, don’t buy into it. Your life is as awesome and you are as inspiring as anyone you might follow on instagram or facebook. Just remember that it’s a one-sided view into someone’s life. We don’t share the sheets we stain with tears at midnight, or the horrendous arguments that silence us for days or the dips of doubt we sink into. There are no hashtags for these very real, very human parts of life. These outlets aren’t reality– your life, in all its facets, however, is real – so focus on that.

the fat word

Fat is a word that should be banished from the dictionary. This word is tossed around like a Frisbee, whacking all kinds of girls and women right in the face. It’s just a word and a Frisbee is only plastic but the hit still hurts. If you have a body with limbs that move and a heart that beats, you have everything. Your skin keeps your soul safe just like socks keep your feet warm – and the size of either is really no one’s business but your own. And to the boys who’ve called me fat? You can be banished too, in fact you can pack that terrible word ‘fat’ in your suitcase and together can go live in whatever sad abyss that compelled you to say it in the first place.


Diets are boring. People aren’t interested in your diet, not even your best friends. Diets are a waste of time. Starving yourself is a sad way to live. Don’t diet, just don’t do it. Please!  Eat healthy, stay away from refined sugars, processed glutens…you know what to eat and what not to. Just do that, everyday. Vegetables and fruit and green tea and so on.  Investing in your health will make you rich in so many ways.  In the last year, I’ve developed an absolute, verging on obsessive devotion to nourishing my body. It takes a lot of time and it takes money.  But name one thing that is more important than your health? Any answer that might have popped into your head is nonsense.  You should probably go eat a carrot.


Makeup doesn’t make you beautiful. It makes you feel beautiful  and that is wonderful. But wearing too much is a mask – and masks hide all the wonderful things a person can be. From the freckles on your cheeks to the scar from a volcanic blemish to your uneven eyebrows. No one else on this entire earth looks exactly like you. That is amazing. Don’t hide away – don’t try and look like someone else. You have the most beautiful face of all, and you know why? Because it’s your face. It’s the only you will ever have. The quicker you embrace this, the prettier you will be. I hope this photo of me (above) with my beady little naked eyes, skin that mysteriously blotches red and chubby cheeks, inspires you to just wear a little less or none at all for a day.

the opposite sex

Most men are a waste of time. They are cruel or controlling or lying or just lousy in a way you can’t quite define but can feel in your vague dissatisfaction with them. But then there are the good ones – they are rare and hard to find. You will probably only meet one or two of them in your lifetime, but they will be so shockingly and perfectly great, you will finally have faith in what all your married friends bored you with for so long. I am yet to find one of these men, but when I do, I will marry him.


 Do I really need a diptyque candle? Must I add yet another Breton striped t-shirt to my wardrobe? Isn’t that lipstick the same shade as every other one I have? Will this face cream make any difference to my skin? These are the sorts of questions I ask when I am tempted by shopping. As women we are constantly being sold something that we feel we must have. Money is hard to come by and yet we part with it with an incredible ease. It flies from our fingertips to feed our ever thirsty vanity. Now I love clothes and I can discuss cosmetics for hours on end. I enjoy shopping for these sorts of wonderful things but not excessively. Save your pennies, collect them– you don’t need another pair of shoes – buy some books or jump on a flight somewhere new. These are the two ways I prefer to spend my extra cash. I hope you do too.

real friends

Real friends will tell you when you have spinach in your teeth. Real friends will call you from time to time instead of texting. Real friends will hate all the men that mistreated you and defend you until their voices are hoarse. They will buy you flowers on your birthday, turn their couch into a bed for you and there is no end to the ugly selfies they will send you. You might not talk for months but as soon as you do, it’s as if no time had passed at all. They will ask for favours in the same casual way they’d ask their family.  They will get mad at you, not talk to you but they will forgive you. And they will be the most important people you choose in your life. I am lucky enough to have 6 friends like this and not a day goes by where I don’t feel relieved to have found them.


You will die one day. Hopefully at a very old age you will take your last breath and earth will no longer be a place you exist. This isn’t a morbid thought for me, but a beautiful one I remind myself of as often as I can.  Every breath we take is a stroke of luck and every day we live is an honour we don’t appreciate enough. I hope you can feel how incredible it is to be living and breathing and simply existing on this weird, wonderful sphere called Earth. Your blood is pumping through tiny things called veins that beat your red heart and the Earth is a big spinning ball! Can you believe that? You are alive right now and that is all that matters, that is all that will ever matter.


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