Turning 20 was a quite big step and this summer I thought it’d be good to look back on my life and think of what I had learnt in the past 20 years.
After a good think, I found 45 lessons I learnt before I turned 20 (I never thought I would find that many but when you truly start thinking about things, there could actually be way more than 45!)
♥ ♥ ♥
1. Always carry £10, an umbrella and a lighter with you (even if you don’t smoke)… AND some safety pins (one of my grandma’s numerous pieces of advice that actually proved to be quite relevant!).
2. Ask people how their day is going. Genuinely ask everyone with the soul intention of learning how their day is.
3. Parents are complicated business but they love you and will always do everything for you to help you make your dreams come true. (Not talking about my mum here! – well, I didn’t say there was no exception :/)
4. People change.
5. Great things take time.
6. Incredible things do happen. One day you wake up, thinking this will just be another day, similar to the previous one and the one before that. But then, at some point, that thing happens and it’s the least expected thing ever but it’s the most beautiful and it’s making you feel amazing… right here and right now.
7. No matter how shitty you think your life is, there’s always something in it worth smiling about.
8. There are things you’ll have to do on your own.
9. Don’t ask anyone about what to do next – only you know the answer to what your heart truly desires.
10. Always be yourself – don’t change for anyone or to please anyone! You are great and you will be loved for who you are.
11. You are enough! Stop comparing yourself to other girls because they’re skinnier, they have better hair, longer legs and bigger boobs. Be yourself because you’re the only you and no one can match you either! You’re beautiful and amazing in your own way so please don’t change.
12. You can’t let anything get in the way of going after what you want.
13. You have to make things happen for yourself.
14. Keep your standards high when it comes to relationships.
15. It’s OK to not be OK.
16. Tea is fundamental!
17. Everyone makes mistakes and mistakes are good for you.
18. Be in people’s heart. Not in their Facebook friends list.
19. Don’t be scared of saying how you truly feel.
20. Write your feelings down. Write letters to the people you love. Use paper, use ink, but most importantly, use your words and your feelings. Write your heart out, don’t text it!
21. There’ll come a time in your life, when you do something for someone – for nothing but their happiness – you’ll do it even if it hurts. And in this moment you’ll know you love them. Truly and deeply. Because without immediately realising it, you’ll just have given them the biggest prove of your love.
22. Being a friend sometimes means respecting silences when one doesn’t feel like talking. Just give them a hug to show them you’re here and that you don’t need to know everything. That everything is going to be fine.
23. Take a stand. Nobody hears your voice if you stay silent.
24. Embrace every single chance you’re given and move with the wind, wherever it chooses to take you.
25. Dream big. It’s ok to see life a little bit brighter and a little more magical than your fellow counterparts.
26. Nobody knows anybody completely and that’s okay. That’s what actually makes everything so magical…
27. Be kind to others. There’s no point in being rude or mean.
28. Be kind to yourself. Opening your skin will not set your demons free. Open your heart. Open your mind. Open your hands.
29. Smile often. Smile at strangers. Smile at your friends. Smile when nobody is looking and you’re alone in your bedroom. Just smile.
30. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t allow yourself to hate anybody. Forgive them. Learn to love them for the person you never got to see them to be. Believe that a beautiful human exists in that person. Wish them well.
31. Always tell the truth. Be honest with everyone. People will never hold it against you if you tell them the truth.
32. Drink orange juice. Lots of it.
33. Sing all the time. Sing off key. Sing in a silly voice. Sing like you’re on stage. Sing no matter who is around. Singing is breathing for the soul. Just sing.
34. Read a lot. Read everything. Read anything. Read what you love!
35. Take time to think.
36. Take time for yourself. You need to have some time alone.
37. Travel as much as you can. Then come back. You’ll realise nothing has changed that much at home apart from people getting new jobs, new boyfriends, people getting engaged or/and married. However, YOU will have changed. You will have changed so much and no one will truly understand. Your mind, your dreams, your habits, the way you see the world… all this will have been through the wonderful experience of the road, of the unknown and yes – all this will have changed. You left, you changed, you experienced, you grew up, you learnt, maybe you fell in love too and you came back feeling more lost in your hometown than in any of these foreign places you visited.
38. You’ll leave again.
39. Being in love is an emotional roller coaster. Feelings hardly make sense. They get you all confused but the adrenaline of it feels so good that even though you’re feeling dizzy, you would get off this merry-go-round for nothing in the world.
40. If two people are meant to be together, they’ll eventually find their way back to each other. I do believe that…
41. Love is a fire you can’t control. You don’t choose who you love.
42. Don’t worry; it’s not always too late to reclaim your place in someone’s life.
43. It’s not that you refuse to let go. It’s just that you don’t get away from loving someone. You don’t run away. You can’t kill the feeling. It does never really go if it’s real, sincere and genuine.
44. Don’t let anyone tell you who’s right for you. Who you should love.
45. Love, real love, is limitless. Loves knows no time, no distance and distance means so little when someone means so much.