23 Things I Learned at 23

I’m 24 on Tuesday. What a grown up. Yeah, as if, I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. This year has been a bit of a clusterfuck. I’ve quit two jobs, I’ve been dumped 3 times (and counting), I’ve been published in Cosmopolitan and Top Gear (sex and seatbelts at its finest), got a new tooth (and lost a couple), met so many wonderful lovely people, met some arseholes, fallen in love, fallen out of love, and spent fuck loads of money. All in a year. Wow. What a memoir I’m gonna have. Moral of the story – I’m a fickle bitch. Anyway.

Let’s MOVE FORWARD into 24 and 2018 with some beautiful lessons learned and all that shit. Most of them are dating based. Obviously.

Here are 23 things I’ve learned in the past year.

***

1. I really don’t know how to do my eyebrows and that’s fine. I don’t really give a shit about how to do my eyebrows. As long as they’re on my face and the same colour as my hair (no trawling back to my orange-haired Facebook snaps needed to prove that one), they’re fine.

2. Dreams can come true. They’re often not as shiny as you picture you had but don’t let that dull the fact it’s your dream. The stuff you write about as a kid might happen one day. Isn’t that MAD.

3. Stop playing games. Especially in dating, but in work, friendships, family, life in general. You know what you want, just spit it out. If you want to ask someone out, ask them out. Just say what you wanna say, ask for what you want and get on with it. There’s literally no point beating around the bush. IF you don’t ask, you don’t get.

4. You ain’t on Catfish. You don’t need to sustain a relationship via text. If you want someone to actually see in real life then don’t be afraid to cut the texting ties and find someone who makes actual time for you. Guys can text you constantly giving the impression they are interested in you. Sexting, dirty pics, middle of the night drunken essays, all of this still does not, believe it or not, mean a man wants to actually date you.

5. Tinder is fantastic. At meeting people, at making conversations and connections. I’ve not found The One yet but I’ve had some excellent dates and experiences and genuinely actually met some real friends. Without it, I wouldn’t have met Alter Bridge, flown to Paris, gone for £200 seafood – genuinely lovely things.

6. Doctors are wonderful and I feel like a huge failure whenever in the presence of someone who is so insanely clever and compassionate. Dating one made me feel incredibly inadequate. But, equally, I must remember that the things I work on are equally important in the spectrum of life and give pleasure to many, including doctors.

7. @theslumflower is queen. Her words speak better than mine;

Most of the time when old disappointments return, they’re only returning to check if they still have a hold on you, for their satisfaction. This is very easy to tell, especially when they appear with INTENSITY, then suddenly disappear and move on like nothing happened at all. Wise up and stop wasting your time like you don’t have dreams to be attending to, my friend. Having witnessed the ‘reappearing act’ happen to so many people around me, I’ve seen that the only way to stay sane is to focus on yourself. If he’s not contributing to your dream, he’s interrupting it.

8. Do crazy things. Book a train to Cardiff to meet a guy you met online. Why not.

9. Things will come to you at the right time. This is such a cliché but I never wanted to move out and yet now feels like the time my life has gone Yep, let’s move out. There’s no rush to do it by a certain point. Whenever suits for you.

10. Your LinkedIn profile isn’t as much of a big deal as you think it is. Actually no one gives a shit about LinkedIn at all to be honest. I don’t think my current employers gave it a second glance. Don’t panic that your next job has to look like the next ladder step just to keep up appearances. Life is more like jumping from lily-pads than a scaling a vertical ladder.

11. Twitter is fucking fantastic. I love everyone who I talk to and follow and stalk on Twitter. Damn I just love everything about it. The news, the interaction, the gossip, the stories, the way connections are made. Those who’ve I’ve met in real life – you rule the best.

12. Learning to accept the apology you’ll never receive is the best thing you can do for yourself. Draft those texts. Write those essays. And learn to accept it.

13. It’s okay to want to make your body better despite what all the Body Confidence shit says. If you want to lose some weight and fix your teeth and change your hair then do it.

14. It’s great to have friends, but it’s equally okay to let them go when they are no longer the best person for you to be around. You can enjoy the memories you have and be thankful for the times you shared but be strong enough to go No thank you at being in their presence.

15. We are not as invincible as we seem. Especially Bruce Forsyth.

16. Instagram algorithms are bullshit. Stop checking every list and like and name. Bull. Shit.

17. Snowboarding is fucking awesome. Even when you fall over.

18. I still do not know how to dress myself. I’m still massively uncool. And there’s still plenty of guys out of my league. But don’t worry about them.

19. It’s awesome to be involved with something you love. But don’t let the fact it’s work ruin the enjoyment. I never studied Music past A Level because I didn’t want to stop doing it for fun. Working for music festivals sounds like a dream idea, and to some it will be – but for me, it’ll be way more fun to just go and get pissed in the crowd instead.

20. Everything can be learned. If you’re not confident, if you’re not happy, if you’re struggling, you can learn and you can improve. You just have to be determined enough to bother learning it. You can’t sit around at home moping – go out and get better.

21. No matter how hard you try, some people don’t want the same things as you. Some people are happy being 23 and unemployed and sitting at home with no skills and no social life. Your desire to help and improve will never be seen out of love. Learn to leave them to it.

22. A man can come even without getting an erection in the first place. Who knew.

23. Trust your gut. If it feels awful and shitty, be brave enough to trust it. You don’t have to still leap forward because you feel you should. When you get back to the cold misery of your bedroom, back into your single world, your brain will trick you into thinking differently. But trust it.

Stay tuned to see me repeat the same shitty mantras next year! Wooo!

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