21 Life Lessons in 21 Years

It’s my birthday!

I’ve never been too thrilled about getting older (i have two existential crises every year: one before my birthday, and one before new year), but it’s something that happens and birthdays are actually pretty good. Mainly because I get presents. I realise that I’m a bit young to be making one of these kinds of lists because twenty-one isn’t exactly a significant age in the UK, but I feel like I’ve done quite a lot of learning in my life, and I’m still learning and realising new things every day. So, I thought that for my birthday, I would collect twenty-one things that I’ve learnt in twenty-one years.

1. Not everybody is going to like you. That’s just a fact of life that you have to deal with and brush off.
2. Loving yourself is not easy. Nobody just wakes up one day and realises that they love themselves. It’s a long process and it’s hard. Take your time with accepting yourself and being comfortable with who you are. Confidence doesn’t just appear overnight.
3. It’s perfectly fine to like things that are intended for people outside of your age group. I still watch cartoons and I like Sesame Street, and it’s not hurting anybody at all.
4. Being nice to people you don’t like is not two-faced. It’s called being a decent human being.
5. Variety may be the spice of life, but it’s perfectly fine to have a routine or stick to old favourites. Being adventurous isn’t a trait that everybody has.
6. The friendzone doesn’t exist. It really doesn’t.
7. Happiness is not a choice. And to say that it is is actually quite insensitive. You can’t force yourself to feel a certain way as if you are turning a light on or off. Emotions are much more complex than that.
8. Don’t ever cut a glowstick in half with a pair of scissors. Trust me on this one, it’s a bad idea. (i got glowstick fluid in my eyes one time when i was a dumb child. it stuck like hell.)
9. You shouldn’t ever put up with somebody treating you badly or putting you down. Stand your ground, stand up for what you believe in, and don’t ever let yourself be silenced by other people.
10. It’s perfectly fine to like popular things. Hating on something just because it’s popular it pretty shallow, in my opinion.
11. There will only be one of you, so it’s pointless trying to be somebody else.

12. While crying when you’re upset is perfectly healthy, not wearing your heart on your sleeve does not mean that you’re a soulless monster. Different people deal with emotions in different ways. Some people cry at the drop of a hat, and some people don’t.

13. Not everybody deserves your forgiveness. I never forgave any of my bullies for making school living hell for me, and I am completely unapologetic about it.

14. Listen to what your body is telling you. If your tooth hurts like hell, go see the dentist. If that face mask burns your skin, take it off and bin it.

15. There’s no such thing as being “too young” or “too old” to do certain things. Unless it’s physical things, like getting pregnant, or legal things, like drinking alcohol or being able to drive a car. Harmless things, though? Go for it!

16. You will use the things that you learnt at school at some point. We go to school for a reason, and while we may not be taught important things like how to pay taxes or deal with money, we are still taught vital life skill that we need to use throughout our life. So stay in school and do your homework.

17. Minding your own business is important. Wanting to know every single detail of something may be vital to you, but some people just don’t want to share and you need to respect that.

18. “You look better this/that way” is not a compliment. And it will never be. You shouldn’t force yourself to be uncomfortable all the time just to please other people.

19. Growing older doesn’t mean that you have to grow up. You can continue to love the things you loved as a child because it doesn’t harm anybody.

20. You can’t like every single thing on the planet. It’s just not possible. Don’t force yourself to like something that you just can’t bear.

21. Stress is normal. Too much stress is harmful, but too little stress can be bad too. You need to care about important things just that right amount.

What are some lessons you’ve learnt throughout your life? Also, what did you get my for my birthday? Just kidding!

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