I remember that magic feeling of turning 21….in fact I’m pretty sure I kept the champagne cork with a coin in it and have it somewhere in my jewellery bottle. It was like….YASSSSS!…I’ve arrived! But looking back at my 21 year old self…had I really arrived? Or was it actually more like I was only just starting out? I mean WHAT on earth did I know? Probably a lot less than I realised eh? So what would I say if I had ten minutes to tell if like it is to my 21 year old self (as if she would listen anyway!!). Well, I think it would go something like this….
There’s still a lot more to come
Hey, Miss T…I know you think you are all big and grown up as a 21 year old but did you know…that your brain is still growing! So although you think you’ve got this in this big wide world and that you’re basically invincible, you might want to bring things down a notch or two. I know it’s just you trying to prove yourself because if you’re honest with yourself, you have absolutely NO IDEA WHAT IS GOING ON, and your energy is on FIRE right now, but seriously…just try not to live your life at a thousand miles an hour because you have many more years to experience everything.
About those jobs
I know you’re desperate to get that first job out of uni, and that you’ll take pretty much any job just so that you can break free, move out on your own and have total independence but just know that you can be more discerning and take some time to breathe and think about what you want to do with that hard earned degree.
Once you get onto the treadmill of that big old bad world of work I’m telling you now…it’s VERY hard to ever have a breather. THIS is your time to have a breather. So if you feel like you need it, take it….because this is your last chance to truly be free. The thrill of your first job will fade just as quickly as it came once you’re doing menial grunt work round the clock because you don’t know how to say “no” yet.
Be good to your body
I know what you’re thinking – once you move out…cooking for one is the dullest of tasks. But seriously, step away from that microwave and cook yourself something decent. And take it easy on that chardonnay will you? It gives you the worst hangovers in the world. Dancing all night long might be some form of exercise but work on getting your body strong so that it can bolster you later on down the line when you don’t have the power of youth behind you.
Be nice to yourself
You might think “you’ve got this” but trust me….you are going to make some pretty major mistakes over the next few years. Yup, we’re talking some pretty shocking decisions. In everything you do, listen to and trust your gut. Only hang out with people who have your best interests at heart, and who make you feel good. There are going to be so many people coming in and out of your life over the next few years that it will feel like it’s been a lifetime. Hold onto the golden ones – you’ll know which ones they are.
Don’t give up on what you love
Welcome to the real world….the world where you have less time to do what you love. But don’t give up on what you love…because that’s what makes you you…amazing. And in ten years time you don’t want to be kicking yourself because you gave up belly dancing, or playing the ukulele, or writing poetry. Keep that fire alive inside you and continue to challenge yourself!
About living by yourself
Yep I know – you are so desperate to strike out by yourself. You want to rent your own pad but I’m telling you now – first time renting is an expensive business and will leave you with very little except a futon and a sad TV to enjoy in your apartment all by yourself at the end of a long hard day. Also be careful who you choose to rent out a flat next to because let’s just put it this way…not all neighbours are equal when it comes to a single 21 year old girl living by herself. Oh and when you do finally have some money to buy some possessions…and don’t roll your eyes at me here…but go take out some tenant contents insurance because I’m telling you now…you’re going to need it!
Learn to say no
Just because the world is your oyster, doesn’t mean you have to say yes to all of it! When something (or someone!) doesn’t feel right, don’t say yes just because you feel too awkward to say no….you will feel much better about things if you learn to stay true to yourself.
The “one” usually isn’t the one
I know – that guy – he just swept you off your feet? But how do you even know who or what is good for you at this age? I’m telling you now…that whatever you think you are looking for, it probably isn’t what you really need but hey! it’s a process of trial and error….there are going to be times when you’re sky high in love and other times when you’re crushed to the floor and feeling like it’s the end of the world. The next ten years will be a roller-coaster and then after many “the ones”…you will actually find the one precisely when you’re not looking at all!
It’s ok to stay in
Hey T, I know you like a good old party, but you don’t need to spend every weekend in a party frenzy only to wonder what on earth you have done by Sunday and feeling the pain when Monday rolls around. Try not to waste all your weekends because you got too steaming again ok?
Life usually isn’t what you think it’s going to be
It’s ok to have dreams so by all go ahead and dream, but just be sure to manage your expectations because you know what they say – we make plans and then God goes ahead and laughs at them!
So Miss 21 year old T….you’re old enough to make the right decisions and young enough to make the wrong ones too. Your twenties are going to be a decade of serious self exploration…there will be massive highs and sob-worthy lows. Travel, explore, fall in and out of love, be your fun and crazy self, make the very best of this decade because the next one will be the beginning of a very different chapter.
Love from one T to another,
P.S. excuse the photo quality but I don’t suppose you have any idea what a smart phone is do you?
*This is a collaborative post