This is the kind of post I didn’t give much thought to. I don’t mean that I don’t care about it — I care about everything I write on this blog — or that I didn’t put any effort into it — ditto — just that I just sat and wrote everything down as it appeared in my head. There wasn’t much planning involved, I just let my brain take over (those are the best kind of writing days, when it all just flows). I think, more than anything, this post is an open letter (or should that be a list?) to myself when I was younger. Enjoy.
1. Don’t waste your time, energy or tears on people who don’t make the same effort for you in return. Get the fuck out of there and move on.
2. Spend as much time as possible with people who do care about you, and who you care about right back. You’ll get this warm, fuzzy feeling no alcoholic drink can replicate.
3. People who are negative about Every. Single. Thing. will only sap your energy (and chances are one of the things they’re negative about is you. You deserve better).
4. Your mum was right.
5. Your dad was right… most of the time.
6. A hot bath can make everything better.
7. Especially when you’ve got your favourite Lush bath bomb.
8. It’s important to look after yourself, but sometimes only the most calorific junk food will hit the spot. Enjoy it.
9. Never trust anyone who is rude to the waiter/waitress/bartender/bus driver/taxi driver…
10. A kind, Welsh lady calling you ‘lovely’ is one of life’s biggest small joys.
11. Your family probably have amazing stories they’ve never told you before. Ask them about their lives, and listen. If all else fails, it can be turned into an amusing biographical piece for your Creative Writing classes (just me?)
12. Feminism is not a dirty word. There’s nothing shameful about being one, or saying you are one. Feminism is about equality between the sexes and having freedom to choose, and that’s pretty wonderful.
13. Speaking of choices, people will make decisions you wouldn’t necessarily have made yourself. Everyone is different; let them live. Good for you, not for me, and all that.
14. Starbucks and a chat with a good friend can turn a bad day right round (I’m looking at you, Hamill❤)
15. Ignore anyone who tells you buying that expensive lipstick is frivolous. If you’ve got the money then why not?
16. All the things that made you feel awkward as a teen — your shyness, your baby face, your love of books, writing, make-up and ballet — are the things you should embrace.
17. Well, maybe not all of them. Wrapping headscarves round your waist like they were belts was never a good look.
18. Read as many books as possible.
19. Some friends will come and go, and some friends will stick around, but the best friends are the ones who you might not see for months at a time and have no trouble slipping back into conversation with.
20. Base your life around doing what’s right for you and what makes you happy.
21. You are doing just fine.
What have you learnt so far? Do you relate to any of these? Let me know in the comments.
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Beth, 25, South East England.
Lover of books, dogs, yoga, travel, gin, and the Oxford comma.
I write about cruelty-free beauty, vegan & veggie food, and trying to lead a less wasteful life. I throw the odd think piece in there, too.