23 At 23 – 23 Things I’ve Learned In 23 Years Of Life

I turn the big two-three today and yesterday I got accepted for my first non-student house. Boy do I feel old his week!

As I’m practically ancient, I’ve amassed a little bit of knowledge that I want to impart on you lovely people. Hopefully you will be able to relate and hopefully someone reading this can gain something from it. If nothing else at least I had a lot of fun writing this post!

In no particular order here are 23 things this wise old owl has learned in her 23 years on this planet:

  • You should listen to your heart more – your head is more practical and it’s only thinking of your best interests, but it’s your heart that really knows you best. Listen to it a bit more.
  • Confidence comes with age – I’m nowhere near as confident as I want to be but I’m much more confident than I was at 16 (I even managed to leave lots of voicemails the other day whilst in an office full of people!). Confidence will come.
  • You’re never as fat as you think you are – I wish I was as fat as I thought I was at seventeen.
  • Your mum is right about 99% of things – it pains me to admit this but my mum has been right about the majority of my decisions, friends, exes, worries etc. Listen to her a bit more often because it might save you a lot of trouble.
  • Life is better when it’s lived by your rules – many of the decisions I’ve made based on other people’s perceptions and opinions I’ve regretted (except my mum’s – see above). Many people are biased when they give you advice as they’re really telling you what they’d do or what society thinks you should do. Be your own person.
  • There’s a lesson in most negative situations.
  • Some people just aren’t worth the effort – no matter how much you want them in your life or how hard you try to keep them around, sometimes you’ve just got to give up trying.
  • Cereal always tastes better when eaten in bed at midnight.
  • Sometimes money isn’t worth worrying about – on your deathbed you won’t look back at your life and wish you’d saved a few quid instead of buying those gig tickets/ having that wild night out/ going on that holiday. Obviously debt isn’t a good thing but if you can realistically spend some of the money you think you should be saving on something that’ll make you happy, do it.
  • Nothing is more important than your health – physical and mental. If something is going to have a negative effect on your health it is not worth it. And if you need an issue checked by a professional, you’re never too busy to do so.
  • Mental illness is real and horrible – being in the grips of a mental illness is also terrifying. It’s very difficult to get yourself to someone who can help but there are always people who will listen and be there for you.
  • Standing up for those less fortunate is always the right thing to do – no matter what the bigots are constantly screaming at you, using your voice to stand up for the rights of those who don’t have a voice or who are constantly ignored is never a bad thing to do.

  • All animals deserve our kindness – animals are not food.
  • Black boots and red lipstick goes with everything.
  • You don’t have to do something just because everyone else is doing it – it’s very difficult to not give into peer pressure when you’re younger but you’ll look back one day and realise just how unimportant some things really were.
  • ‘You have to be able to love yourself before you can expect anyone else to love you’ is terrible advice (sorry, Rupaul) – you’re essentially saying those people who find it almost impossible to love themselves, either through depression or low self-esteem or something else, aren’t worthy of love. Don’t use other people’s love to validate yourself but you can use it to help yourself see that you’re worth loving.
  • Tea and books are gifts from the gods.
  • Leaving your bubble every now and then does wonders for your character – it broadens your horizons, opens your mind and educates you about different backgrounds, faiths, cultures, ethnicities, countries etc.
  • Minimalism is the way forward – you don’t need much to live; clutter only ends up making you unhappy.
  • Learn to go with the flow more often – it took me a long time to figure this one out but not everything in life has to be thoroughly planned. Some of life’s greatest adventures are born out of spontaneity.
  • You should never give up on your dreams – your dreams are your dreams for a reason (remember what I said about following your heart?). Life is too short not to spend it doing what you want.
  • Love is love – it’s okay to love who you love and it’s okay to be open and honest about it. People who love you aren’t going to stop loving you and those who do aren’t worth having in your life. Oh, and it’s okay to not fit stereotypes – don’t get so hung up about ‘not looking the part’
  • People who have their lives completely figured out are anomalies – when you become an adult you don’t suddenly know how to pay taxes or cook a three course meal. You don’t suddenly realise what you want from your career or how to budget. You don’t suddenly start liking olives or getting up at the crack of dawn. Life is one long lesson and, with each passing birthday, you stay the same person trying to figure out the world – just with a higher age!

 

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