Friday, 20 October 2017

21 things I’ve learned in 21 years | Entering a new life chapter

I’ve made a hell of a lot of mistakes but every single f*ck up has given me a life lesson that my naive little brain needed.

On Friday, October 20, I reached the ripe old age of 21. I can finally get pissed and gamble in Vegas, and that’s pretty much it because I could do everything at 18 but hey hoe. 

I'm still young, foolish and naive, but it's been one heck of a roller coaster and this is what my time alive has taught me so far:

1. Sadly, money doesn't grow on trees. I haven't had anything handed to me on a silver platter so I've had to go out into the big wide world and graft myself. However, it has taught me the value of money and I honestly don't know if I'd be such a determined little thing if I’d grown up differently and for that, I thank my parents for not spoiling me but for instead giving me everything I needed and telling me to save up for the things I wanted.
2. Slimming World is a life changer. I wish I'd done it years ago. I've lost nearly two stone and I feel great.
3. Love is a motherf*cker, as Samantha Jones once said. It will hurt but you will always get over heartbreak. No matter how sad/alone you feel at the time. 
4. Treat people how you would like to be treated. This one took me a while to learn, I won't deny it. But if you're nice to people, help people out, and be there for your loved ones then if they respect you too it will all be returned. 
5. Being a bitch is not cool. This was a lesson I learned towards the end of secondary school and it's one I wish I’d learned so much earlier. I will always regret the names I called people, the way I tried to act ‘cool’ but it wasn't at all. It was shameful and now I purposely go out of my way to smile at strangers because you never know what someone is going through.
6. Mental health is real and watching someone you love struggle with theirs is beyond heartbreaking. One of the main reasons I wanted to be a journalist is so I could use my voice to raise awareness on issues such as mental health. I will spend my entire life doing so. 
7. Money doesn't come out of your bank straight away and can take a couple off days. When I first started earning money I didn't have a clue that this was the case so I would often go into my overdraft and wonder how it had been possible to do so. Now I'm much smarter with my finances. 
8. Treat friends like family. My friends mean the bloody world to me and like I would a relative, I often check up on them. 
9. Saying that not everyone is meant to be in your life forever. I've had friendships and relationships end that I walk past in the street now and all we do is smile at one another. But that's okay if something's meant to be you will always find a way back to one another. 
10. Sex can feel as shit as it does good. Sadly not every sexual encounter you experience will be particularly great, something I was most displeased to discover. 
11. Humour and a good laugh can solve anything. Laughter truly is the best medicine. 
12. Take care of your teeth from day one. I was terrible at brushing my teeth when I was young and I'm paying for it now - literally my dental bills are mad. I floss like five times a day and luckily my teeth aren't too far gone but look after them!
13. It's important to know how to live a healthy lifestyle. I've only just started living a more healthy lifestyle in the last year or so and I'd never go back to how I was before. I have more energy, I'm losing weight and feeling more confident. 
14. Being attractive isn't what life is all about. I’ve always looked at myself in the mirror and thought I was ugly my entire life but I no longer give a shit. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. 
15. You really do only live once. Buy that top you adore, or go on that once in a lifetime holiday - you'll regret it if you don't just live.
16. Having dogs is like having children. There's no denying it.
17. I will always run to my bed after turning my light off due to the fear of a monster being under my bed - no matter how old I am.
18. Cap your phone bill. I learnt this quickly but capping your phone bill is the key to life.
19. Organisation is key to success. Be organised and plan your day, week and year, and everything will run smoother.
20. Fizzy drinks are bad for your teeth of course but don't be mistaken, even the 'diet' versions are too - a lesson learned recently at the dentist.
21. Most importantly I’ve learned who I am. What I'm capable of, my strengths and weaknesses, and exactly who I am as a person. My personality is, I would like to think, consistent. I've grown into someone who can get over and move on from whatever life throws at me, and I always have a positive mindset. 

So, I’m looking forward to seeing what I learn in the coming years and I'm beyond excited to see where my twenties takes me. Will I be married by the end of it? Rich? Single with just my pet dogs for company? Who knows. I plan to work hard throughout them but also to live in the moment (aka by getting drunk when I can).

What is the most valued lesson you have learned in your life so far?

Written by VavaViolet's Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sophie Blackman.



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