twenty one lessons for twenty one years

I know, I know. This isn’t the most original of blog posts… But equally, it’s not every day you turn twenty one! And I really do feel like I’ve learnt a lot this year. I mean, we all have, right? So what better way to honour that than by dedicating a blog post to it – which will go live the day before ya girl turns the big two one 😉

1. Our bodies are constantly changing

Like, literally everyday. Both between and within days. Our bodies aren’t static, fixed entities, and there are so many things that can affect how they look and feel. Which brings me onto my next lesson:

2. Life is too short to worry about these changes

I’ve finally, in my twentieth year of life/ going into my twenty first year, learnt this lesson. And yes, we all have better and worse days, but overall I have come to accept my body’s constant evolutions and find the beauty in that. Food, exercise, and body freedom are so incredibly precious to me, especially because it took me so long to find them 🙂

3. Too much free time isn’t good

After a year of shambles in which I was meant to have my year abroad in Madrid and instead had virtually nothing (especially in semester two, after I’d finished my internship), I’ve discovered that I really do need structure. Too much free time makes me feel lost, lose all motivation, unproductive, uninspired, lonely even.

4. You need a routine that’s roomy enough to live (spontaneously) in

Routine is great. I think my above point kind of spoke for itself. But it’s important to find a routine with the right balance between structure and freedom. You don’t want to feel stuck or limited by something that is meant to keep you on your toes. We’re aiming for motivated and inspired rather than restricted and burnt out. Spontaneity should have its place within your routine.

5. Friends and family are invaluable

Because they’re the ones who have got me this far. However cheesy that sounds! To any of my close friends and family reading this, this one’s for you <3

6. cats are not selfish

The amount of times people have said this to me… CATS ARE NOT SELFISH. The end.

7. Don’t be scared to reach out

The worst that can happen is the person blanks you. Honestly, the amount of times I’ve sat there overthinking whether I should send a message to someone (current or old friend), only to send it and then receive the loveliest reply, is crazy. If they reply, you know they’re worth keeping in your life. And if not, there’s the clarity you needed.

8. Friendships exist in a constant ebb and flow

That’s a lockdown lesson, that is. Distance (physical, emotional) can really put a strain on friendships… but as soon as you’re communicating again, you feel as close as ever. I’m always trying to remind myself of this and stop stressing about whether I’ve grown apart from someone (and whether it’s my fault). Because if they’re meant to be in your life, they’ll find a way back in.

9. some people will take you for granted

And that’s just the way of the world. You can either cut them out or do what I do which is keep them at arm’s length. If they choose to change their ways, I’ll let them in again. It’s as simple as that.

10. Privacy is important

As much as I like sharing things online, privacy is important. I think sometimes, especially when I first started blogging, I lost sight of this and would overshare on the internet. But I’ve learnt that I don’t owe the internet anything and my life is mine to share or not.

11. labels can be useful…

And sometimes not. Some people will choose to adopt them (for sexuality, race, gender) and others will eschew them completely. Both are equally valid.

12. There is no single way to live your life

Often, we’re sold this “one size fits all” life plan: school, college, university, career, family, retirement, death. When in reality there is such a plethora of routes to travel down, and that’s the beauty of life. One isn’t better than the other.

13. some people will never listen

Because, no matter how many times you try to make them see or hear your point of view, they will be blind and deaf to it. It’s not your responsibility to try to make them a less sh*t person.

14. you always have a choice

Even in the most difficult of situations, there’s always a choice. It’s just whether you have the courage to see it and take it. Because the easy route isn’t always the right route.

15. people change

Someone you might not have liked five years ago could become one of your closest friends tomorrow. And one of your best friends could become an anecdote in your life. People change with the seasons of life and sometimes it can hurt, but I guess that’s just life.

16. talking is the best therapy

Whether it’s with an actual therapist, a friend, or a family member, talking is medicine for the soul. Excuse the bad metaphor.

17. Loneliness is one of the hardest experiences to navigate

I don’t think anything more needs to be said on this one.

18. Another person’s success is not your failure

We need to celebrate others’ wins more and stop seeing them as proof of our own shortcomings. The best friends are those who will always hype you up for your achievements.

19. passive aggressiveness is worse than outright aggression

Not saying I’m not guilty of ever being passive aggressive but I try to just be forthright if I have an issue with something. I honestly despise petty, indirect yet hurtful behaviour.

20. Not everyone is going to like you

And that doesn’t mean you’re not a great person or worthy of love. It just means, in a world with almost 8 billion people, there are bound to be people who vibe with you and others who don’t. Stop trying to make everyone like you by being a different person and start appreciating the ones who love you just for being you.

21. Mental health is as important as physical health

Thank god society is finally (slowly) starting to acknowledge this. Don’t keep putting off your mental health. We can’t function without it.

And I guess that’s where I’ll leave it for today! I hope some of these lessons were useful to you too and have a lovely week <3

Emma ♥♥

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