I think I’ve discovered the secret of adulthood. You know, that thing all the older people know, which makes them so much better at life than we are? Well, I think I figured it out, and it’s not what you expect. I’m sorry to tell you, but the secret to being an adult, is that you never really become one.
Everything I imagined being a 21 year old would feel like, it’s not here. Am I delayed, or is it something else..
What’s my age again?
I feel like this is no different to when you move up in school. When you started High School, do you remember how those older kids seemed like they already had two kids and a mortgage? And then you get to that age, and you realise.. wait, nothing has changed.
And this feeling carries on. When you turn 18, you just feel like a 12 year old with ID. You apply to Uni but you feel nothing like Blair and Serena in Gossip Girl or even Troy and Gabriella in HSM3. Okay, maybe you’re a little on Troy Bolton’s stress levels (choosing between music and basketball?!)
And don’t even get me started on going out at 20 and queueing up at the bar next to a group of girls that should definitely still be wearing a school uniform. Where has the time gone? You suddenly start to sympathise with your aunties, who would always moan about how they still remember you being ‘this little’. That’s us in their place soon.
I’m still a child, I swear.
It makes me look back to when I would play with Barbie dolls, as the most important part was always the start, because you chose your Barbie’s name and age. And my exact words were:
‘No, 16 is too old, I’m going to make mine 15’
Erm, what? Thank god the past me isn’t seeing this 21 year old mess right now, because she’d be up for a shock.
All this has taught me to start really looking back at my life, as it’s speeding past me and I’m not keeping up. If nothing else makes me feel my age, then thinking about all the lessons life has given me so far might do the job. I might not be that old, but after all, I’m not as stupid as I was a few years ago. Or, I hope not.
21 life tips I learnt in 21 years
I may still be a kid at heart, but today’s children will look up at me and call me Miss – a moment I’m still dreading to experience. So, you’d hope these 21 years haven’t been a waste, and I actually have some useful advice.
Here are a few life tips I picked up along the way:
1 – Make life uncomfortable. You won’t grow if you stay in your comfort zone. It is such a huge trap that I’ve fallen for so much and still do.
2 – When something bad happens in someone’s life, make your first question ‘are you okay?’ and not ‘what happened?’
3 – Watch a TED talk every morning. Seriously, this has changed my life. I put at least one TED talk on during breakfast and getting ready – just watch out for the emotional ones if you’re doing your makeup. Try this.
4 – Avoid people who make you feel guilty for being you.
5 – Ask questions. I don’t mean irritate everyone by asking the obvious, but science proves that asking questions is a the ultimate life hack:
6 – Stop recording at gigs. I used to be so guilty of this. And I’m not trying to moan at ‘all those young people with their smartphones out’, god no! I’m all for new technology and overuse of Insta stories. But, concert footage is always skipped after the second snapchat and, ask yourself this – have you ever actually watched back your videos? Lose yourself in the music.
7 – At a busy bar, tip well on your first round. You’re likely then to get served first every time. And bartenders really deserve the tip.
8 – There is always another side to a story. Whether you like it or believe it.
9 – You first have to be happy on your own, to be happy in a relationship. You need to stop depending on someone else to provide happiness for you and find it within yourself. Once you do that, then you can find someone who you can share that happiness with.
10 – Love isn’t enough to make a relationship work.
11 – There’s always someone who has it worse and someone who has it better than you. Know your privilege, but remember that your problems are valid.
12 – Never publicly post anything on social media that you wouldn’t say in front of your grandma.
13 – People don’t always need advice. Sometimes they just need you to listen and understand.
14 – Finding happiness isn’t the secret to a good life – it’s searching for meaning. Another TED talk for you.
15 – Never assume things.
16 – Anything can change in a single year. Always be prepared for your entire life to change with a blink of an eye, nothing lasts forever.
17 – Question everything, including yourself. Just because things have always been done a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s the right way. And just because you grew up believing something is normal, doesn’t mean you can’t question it.
18 – Do things for people unconditionally, without expecting anything in return.
19 – Remember, it’s the smallest things that stay in your memory – a smell, a feeling, a word, a smile.
20 – Never send anything you wrote out of emotion. At least sleep on it first.
21 – On your death bed, what will you want to remember about your life? Keep asking yourself this.
I know the last one is a little deep, but it really helps me put my priorities in order. I stopped just wondering what I want my life to be in the future, and now I also ask what I want the future me to look back on.
These are some of the things my short life has taught me to follow so far, but there are as many lives as there is people – so don’t feel obligated to follow my advice, if your life has taught you something different.
One thing I do recommend though is writing a list for yourself – what life tips have you picked up in the years you’ve had the pleasure to exist? Writing these out has been such a reflective experience, that has helped me put the things I have learnt into words. I might feel like I’m younger, but I can see how I have grown, and it just makes me look forward to facing more life lessons. I wonder what list I will write when I’m 30?
So, type out your life tips – and share them with me! Tag me or put it in the comments, lets share our life lessons and learn from each other.
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