As my thirtieth birthday draws perilously close, here are four things I wish I’d told my twenty-year-old self.
- Figure out who you are…. and accept her
You’re gasping for air in the slipstream of peers who seem to have it ‘all figured out’ (here’s a tip – they don’t). Stop letting those around you define you.
You read Keats, and rap Dre.
You’re both intensely introverted, passionately extroverted.
Ferociously independent, irrationally romantic.
You want to be a rockstar…
…but you also want to be the kind of person who has three kids and knows how to bake a cake from scratch.
And guess what?
That’s all ok.
- Do all the stupid things (because they’re fun)
But learn from them.
You will have that bad boy boyfriend you insist on having. Wtf Emma.
Don’t let the actions of boyfriends be a seismograph for your own self-worth.
You will have too many hangovers to count.
Learn that tequila shots are never a good idea.
You will blow money on psychics, exorbitant phone bills and late night kebabs.
These are not sound investments. I repeat, these are not worthwhile ways to spend your money.
Those diamante covered hot pink shorts are not a good investment either, in case you were wondering.
- Learn how to say no… and let go
Let go of perfectionism and people pleasing. It’s a lot of effort, for hollow gain.
Accept you won’t be the astronaut you thought you would be.
Let go of toxic friends, dead-end relationships and destructive habits early.
Back yourself enough to trust your gut instinct.
- The going will get tough
You will lose people close to you. In fact, this decade will be suffused with grief, so brace yourself.
To top it off, you will get sick and spend a chunk of your twenties in hospital.
But bearing testimony to your resilience (that becomes one of your favourite words by the way) your heart beats on, quite literally.
So always remember that interesting people don’t have easy pasts.
Embrace your story.
And believe thirty-year-old Emma when she says the best is yet to come.