On the eve of my 27th birthday, I felt it was only apt for me to share a cliche list of the things that I’ve learned in 26 years of living. I can’t say I get things right all the time, if indeed ever, but I’d like to think I’ve picked up a few words of wisdom in my time.

  1. It’s completely normal to feel like you’re falling behind in life.
    Everybody’s path looks different.
  2. Don’t let boys tell you what and what not to wear.
  3. Friends you’ve had for years and years can and probably will stab you in the back.
  4. Follow your heart – always. Then use your head pragmatically after that.
  5. You’ll never fit in with the popular girls and there’s no point in ‘buying the bag she wears’ or ‘cutting your hair like hers’ because she will still bully you. Anyway, high school hierarchies don’t matter in the Adult World.
  6. Kindness will leave you richer in the long run.
  7. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
  8. Coffee is all you need to survive a Monday. Such sweet nectar, that is.
  9. Never underestimate the power of the perfect swishy midi dress in your sartorial arsenal.
  10. Always carry a spare tampon or pad in your makeup bag.

  1. Night cream will give you an entirely new face by the morning.
  2. You’re way, way stronger than you think and you’ll be able to overcome almost anything if you believe in it.
  3. You’ll never be able to force somebody to stay in your life if they don’t want to stay.
  4. A cashew is technically not a nut.
  5. How to make the perfect salsa.
  6. Ditto that for guacamole.
  7. Don’t ever forget to pack a face mask for long-haul flights.
  8. Turn your duvet cover inside out and use the corner-to-corner method to save yourself from the dreaded Bedsheet Olympics.
  9. When you succeed, pay attention to those that say nothing.
  10. Moving abroad will remind you of who is actually worth keeping in your life.
  11. How to enjoy my own company.
  12. You don’t have to do it all to be successful.
  13. What you do doesn’t define who you are as a person.

  1. ‘Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.’
  2. It’s totally up to you to create and define your own magical life.
  3. There isn’t much that tea, a little soak in a bubble bath, a good series on Netflix and a cosy warm hug won’t fix.
And one thing I’ve still not mastered: how to portion pasta. See you when I’m 27 – eek!

Photos by Kaye Ford.

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