23 things I’ve learned in 23 years

on
Lemon tart and raspberry sorbet at The Oxford Brasserie, Southampton

This week, I turned 23. I’m kind of at a point in my life where I don’t think birthdays are really much of a big deal to me. They don’t yet inspire dread, but they’re just a benchmark with which to measure how much of the year has passed.

Fish finger sandwiches in Halladay's Tearooms, Southampton

I had a wonderful, relaxed day, involving lunch at Halladay’s Tearooms, shopping for shoes, a very needed birthday nap, dinner out at Oxford Brasserie and the amazing present of a camera from my boyfriend! I am so lucky to have had such a lovely day, filled with food and sleeping – which is exactly how I feel a 23rd birthday should occur!

Canon powershot g7x mark ii and rafaello

Duck breast, cherries, almonds and kale with jus

With every year that passes I feel a little more wise and experienced – just last week I came face to face with a fax machine for the first time and feel like I achieved some kind of office job enlightenment. That’s why I thought I’d generously share a little bit of that wisdom with you!

Here is a list of some of the most valuable things I’ve learned in the 23 years that I’ve been alive:

  1. Being able to say ‘no’ is, in some ways, more important than being able to say ‘yes’.
  2. Always drink more water.
  3. Swear as often as you feel like – but select your words carefully for maximum impact.
  4. Do not attempt to draw your eyebrows on after 4 cups of coffee.
  5. Find someone who makes you want to be a better version of yourself. Not someone who makes you want to change to accommodate them.
  6. Being pedantic about grammar and language is largely a waste of your time. Who fucking cares?
  7. Contrary to what you might think at 18, Tarantino probably isn’t the best director of all time.
  8. Owning up to the cringy things you did when you were younger is important!
  9. Agonising over your past mistakes isn’t.
  10. You should always do whatever you can to make someone feel special on their birthday.
  11. Sometimes just living a healthier, more productive life will make you feel less sad. Even if you convince yourself that it won’t.
  12. It’s important to allow yourself guilty pleasures and stop taking things so seriously. Why waste energy sneering at other people’s inferior music tastes when you can just stay in your lane and get on with your life?
  13. Embrace that you don’t know everything – and get excited by the opportunities to learn!
  14. If a restaurant doesn’t have squid on the menu, it probably isn’t worth it.
  15. There will always be someone better than you at what you do. Just work on being the best that you can possibly be.
  16. Give yourself 20 minutes to be really, truly, devastatingly heartbroken about someone or something. Then get up, dust yourself off, and move on.
  17. Take more pictures.
  18. Spend less on crappy takeaways and more on making your own meals.
  19. Try a new recipe every week.
  20. Time to yourself is so valuable. Sit down, read a book, do some embroidery, write a recipe. Make the time to relax and recuperate from whatever’s going on.
  21. Don’t put off seeing the doctor. Don’t suffer through a kidney infection for 3 weeks. Don’t harm your body because you didn’t want to go to the doctor’s office. Your health is the most important.
  22. Everything you do should be engineered towards happiness.
  23. Do what you want – just don’t harm anyone along the way.
Do you live by any of these words of wisdom? What have you learned in the time you’ve been on this planet? 

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