I turned 21 last week (in case you didn’t see the influx of baby and throwback photos floating around on Facebook), and I most definitely whispered ‘what the actual fuck’ several times throughout the day considering my cheeks and sense of humour can still be likened to the 8 year old me.
You see, by 21 I thought my life would be semi kind of worked out by now. Be in a dream job or have a clear indication of what that is, have a cute little apartment somewhere near a beach, be less addicted to caffeine, use the word fuck a little less, ride a unicorn, own 8 dogs, you know, the usual.
But the reality is, that my idea of reality back then could have been on par with the idea that unicorns are actually trotting around somewhere in a hidden rainforest.
So, anyways, here are 30 lessons I’ve learnt over the past 21 years and 8 days.
- Unless you are completely sold on a career path and have been for years (even then I’m not convinced the following won’t apply), your mind will forever be chopping and changing about which direction you want or should head in. Normal, and actually a good thing in a way.
- You may head in a direction and realize you are 10 million steps further away from where you thought you would wind up. Take a breather. Sometimes the most important thing you can do is literally just take a step in general, whatever direction that is in.
- Unicorns are seriously not real.
- The very day you realize the above, get a dog. 10/10 no regrets even when they pull your washing off the line and you witness them eating poop.
- Invest your time, emotions and mind extremely wisely and pursue people even wiser than that.
- Be realistic when it comes to what you can personally offer someone and be harshly realistic at what they can offer you. Make sure that these compliment one another before you throw your self whole heartedly into a relationship, romantic or otherwise.
- Just because people open up you doesn’t mean that they’re worthy of you giving that back. There are very few people who deserve to see the totality of your soul, make sure they’re worth it and add to your life, regardless of if you add to theirs.
- Sometimes you just really need to say “FUCK IT” and down 10 Mojitos and do the limbo in a skirt and die the next day when Facebook sends you a ‘You have been tagged in a new photo’ notification. You’ll surprise yourself at how quickly you can remove a tag. “No that totally wasn’t my ass Mum that you saw on your feed, nup, nope, no way, I am a fucking saint.” Have some fun ya’ll, always.
- Never let the fear of vulnerability hold you back from something you trust will be beautiful. Take the jump sometimes guys even if its not so clear what you’re jumping into, it’s usually worth it.
- You don’t need to comment or rebut everything you hear that you don’t necessarily agree with. Time, place, and PERSON. 7/10 times it won’t be worth opening your mouth.
- Prepare to be criticised if you put yourself, opinions or your thoughts out there, especially if they are controversial. This is literally the reason why I didn’t start a blog for so long. I have big opinions, I have a loud mouth and I was afraid for so damn long to put it out there in the fear of what others were going to think or say. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, and yes I am met with criticism on occasion. My best advice is be open and objective to it.
- Value your alone time, always. If you’re uncomfortable being in your own company then you need to ask yourself why because there are probably reasons for that.
- Stop getting in useless and dramatic relationships to fill the void of being alone.
- Process your thoughts and remember they are literally JUST that, thoughts. Write shit down, say it out loud, but if something pops up into your head, recognise it and actually PROCESS it. This has been one of the most important things I have learnt to do this year and it’s complimented a lot of other aspects in my life.
- Read books, listen to podcasts, attend seminars and interpret these things in a way that is individual to you. You are not the author, you are not the speaker, you are you. Act and think like it.
- No one gives a fuck, so stop acting like they do. I don’t care if your hair is brown, red, purple, black, pink (how the heck do you maintain this if so?). I don’t care if your shirt is $5 from Kmart or $40 from Reebok. I don’t care if your shoes are Nike, Adidas, Puma, Converse, or really any brand for a matter of fact. I don’t care if you have your nails done or they’re #rachet (LOL, did I say that right). You can flip this around ya’ll. No one gives a shit if any of those apply to you either, the good eggs anyways. Channel your inner Amy Schumer.
- People do give a fuck if you’re not a good person though. I hope you’re that.
- Eat the damn waffle, drink the darn margarita and choose what you ACTUALLY want at a new cafe. Practice moderation and remember that it doesn’t matter what that looks like for another. Eat your greens, but eat some deep fried shit, too.
- You might die tomorrow, that’s the reality. And you literally know this so don’t go about your life “tacitly presuming that you’ll live forever”, as Sam Harris so eloquently put.
- Take your own damn advice. Hard, I know, trust me. Sometimes I dish out shit to my friends that legit sounds like I am a 70 year old guru who has written 294849 books, but when it comes to myself I am a 4 year old chubby child who just pooped her pants. Practice what you preach, well try.
- Sometimes it’s just not the right time – for people, for conversations, for particular relationships. This isn’t a bad thing, but it can be if you pursue it regardless of knowing. Let things be sometimes ya’ll.
- Never force a conversation, ever. It’s important to just let people that you’re there if they need to mental dump, sometimes all they’ll need to do is say a couple of words and sit in silence with your company. But forcing a conversation, in my opinion, is not your place. If it’s not your time, then leave it, maybe one day it will be.
- People show love and appreciation in different ways, recognise it and embrace it. I’m super awkward in person when someone compliments me (getting better haha) or gives me a gift or something. If you watch me I can guarantee you would cringe multiple times… BUT, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean a lot to me or isn’t of importance, and I’ll show you that, hands down, after the awkwardness in person has passed (average 3 minutes). Not entirely sure who captured the candid shot of me below. This is my good side, though.
- Sometimes just bite the bullet and tell someone you really appreciate them, face to face, regardless of how much of an awkward turtle you are. (slight/giant reminder to myself).
- Don’t fake your morals, values or kindness. It all comes out in the end, and someone will call you out on it, rightfully so. Preaching self love and how supportive you are of other females is all well and good and I actually encourage it, until you slam the Victorias Secret models for looking a certain way. Don’t try and fool yourself or those around you.
- Never stop being a student. You will always have something to learn regardless of how ‘successful’ you perceive yourself to be. There is so much beauty in the person who is continuously learning and growing.
- Don’t be ashamed to admit you don’t know something. Ever. Those who shut you down after you’ve voiced it are jerks; don’t let them make you feel uneducated.
- Stop expecting so much of others. I mean this in a good way because I hope its returned. Be free, let others be the same.
- Try and love yourself, completely. And never apologize for that ever. It’s a long process and I don’t think you’ll ever reach a point where you don’t have a single bad thought or day. Maybe you do, I’m not there yet though so I can’t dictate that. All I know is that I love who I am, for all that I am, and trust I’m going to get better and better in all aspects of my life as days and weeks go on. That’s a nice thought.
- And number 30. Remember that you are a work in progress, everyday. I may type all these things out, but does that mean I encompass every single one 24/7? Impossible, I am merely a human, no different from you, and we make a lot of mistakes and errors. But I own that and keep trying, and that’s kind of what matters.
Happy Monday, my loves.
Shea Butter. ❤