Next week I turn 22… I always feel weird around my birthday because I hate the thought of growing another year older. Every time a new age comes around I can’t help but think that my life is rushing by and my youth is slipping away, which is a silly thing to think at this age.
My mum has always said that when I was a kid I never wanted to grow up and to this day I’m left to wonder why. Is it because I thought adults had no imagination? Did I think the older you became the less you believed in magic, fairies and Santa Claus? Maybe I thought with age came less child related freedom? Or was it just because of my obsession with Peter Pan?
I think this is something I’ll always be guessing but I don’t think little Billie realised that with age comes new experiences, friendships and general excitement at what your life will bring. Anywho, here’s a list of things that I have learnt in my almost 22 years, realisations that I think have made my life that little bit easier.
1. One major thing I’ve learnt is that people don’t have to like you and that realisation was so freeing. As Dita Von Teese one said: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches”.
2. Some things aren’t going to go as planned but can work out better than you thought they would, just roll with the punches.
3. Your friends aren’t always going to be there for you when you need them but it doesn’t mean they don’t love you.
4. You’re also not going to see your friends as often as you would like but that doesn’t mean you love each other any less, your busy people living your own lives.
5. You might not be at a point in your life where you thought you would be by now but that’s ok.
6. If you put in the work while also letting yourself live a little you will get to where you’re meant to be… but it might not be where you planned to end up.
7. Some of your goals are unrealistic but that’s ok too! It’s not always about achieving those goals but setting benchmarks to work towards (I still think I have a shot at winning a Tony award…)
8. Boys are going to kiss you and say nice things but not mean them.
9. Most of the time when a boy wants to be with you he’ll pursue you and if he isn’t showing you enough interest then don’t let him waste ya time!!!
10. You’re going to make some questionable choices that will result in hilarious stories.
11. You don’t have to be in a relationship to be happy, even though I know they force it down your throat. I have seen friendships that are deeper and more pure than couples who swear it’s forever.
12. Some friendships are not worth it and you need to let gooooo. You may look back on the good times and want it back but you’re looking at your memories with rose tinted glasses (and like useless boys, they ain’t worth ya time).
13. Just because you’re not working in your dream job or field now, doesn’t mean one day you won’t be.
14. Remember, you’re still young and you have a whole lifetime to squeeze everything you want out of life (which is something I’m still learning).
15. You don’t owe anyone anything so stay home if you really feel like some alone time!
16. Sometimes you have to make your own mistakes, no matter how much people may try to stop you.
17. Don’t compare yourself to other people. If at any point you don’t know what you’re doing or you fail a few times, you’re made to feel as if you’re screwing up your entire life and are going to end up drinking vodka on park benches at 8AM. But the truth is, almost nobody has any idea what they’re doing in their 20s, and I’m preeeetty sure that continues into adulthood.
18. Everything is fluid, from sexuality to gender identity to values to musical taste. Even your body is in flux for the rest of your life. You’re always going to change so get comfortable with those changes.
19. You don’t owe your body to anyone. Not sexually, not aesthetically. Your body is yours.
20. Take up as much space as you want. You don’t have to be small, or quiet, or docile, regardless of your physical size.
21. Wear whatever you want and ignore all of those bloody “how to dress for your body shape” articles. Dress yourself in a way that makes you feel happy and confident and beautiful. Celebrate your body, your style, your creativity and most importantly, yourself!
Love yaself like I love ya!