I turn 22 tomorrow. Part of me is excited because, you know, presents but the other part of my wishes everything would just SLOW DOWN. The little 8 year old inside me still can’t quite comprehend that she’s an adult now, going to work and renting her own little house. When I first moved in I wasn’t ready for it, but I had no choice but to learn and learn FAST. That has often been the case with most of the lessons I have learnt throughout my 22 years on this earth. Life comes at you quickly and sometimes you just have to go with it and hope for the best. 

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Started from the bottom…

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Now we’re here.

  1. Always have a sanitary towel in your bag. You never know when mother nature is going to come-a-calling and you should always be prepared. After a few accidents and more than a few girls asking me if I had one spare in bathrooms, I learnt my lesson.
  2. You’re not going to ‘like’ everyone, but that doesn’t mean you cannot get along. Back in year 8 if I didn’t like someone they were automatically my worst enemy. As I have grown up I have learnt that I don’t have to ‘like’ someone to get on with them. It doesn’t mean they are bad people or that we have to be enemies, it might just mean we’re different and that’s okay – you’re not going to like everyone.
  3. Not everyone is going to like you. Following on from number 2, not everyone is going to like you and guess what? That’s okay too.
  4. Bitching says more about you than it does them. When I was younger everyone bitched about everyone. It was cruel and unnecessary. I learnt overtime that bitching about people said more about me than it did them. If you have a problem with someone the only way to resolve it is to speak to them.
  5. Pee after sex. This came as a shock to me but yes, pee after sex. Nobody wants a water infection.
  6. Relationships should be 50/50. You should never have to bleed yourself dry to maintain a relationship. Relationships should be an equal balance of give and take.
  7. Always have a bottle of water in your bag. Hydration really is key! Plus, bottled water is expensive and bad for the environment.
  8. Water looks a lot like vodka and lemonade – just keep your mouth shut. If you don’t want another drink just order tap water. Trust me, no one will notice and you’ll thank yourself for it the next day.
  9. Endings are a part of life. Endings aren’t always nice but they are a part of life and symbolise growth and change.
  10. There is no shame in vulnerability. I used to think that in order to get anywhere in life I had to be hard faced and emotionless. Remember all the Facebook quotes glorifying this? Turns out, there is no shame in vulnerability. In fact, I have grown up to find it an endearing quality in others. Without vulnerability I found that life was very lonely.
  11. Sex and self respect do not correlate. When I was younger I firmly believed that sex and self respect went hand in hand but overtime I have learnt that that is not the case. People have both self respect and sex – the two do not correlate. If they are happy and safe then it really doesn’t matter how many sexual partners an individual chooses to have.
  12. You’re going to need anti-ageing creams sooner than you thought. Okay so I haven’t got wrinkles and I’m not greying just yet BUT there is no harm in erring on the side of caution. I have recently brought myself an anti-ageing eye cream to help with early signs of ageing. Kind of expected that to be a purchase I made closer to my 40’s but there you go…
  13. Coffee is cheaper if you just make it at home. Yes I know this is obvious but honestly you will save SO much money if you cut down on your coffee shop habit and just make it at home.
  14. The laundry is not going to wash itself. Turns out it was Mum who did it! Who knew?
  15. You are your own priority. I spent a long time trying to be a people pleaser and it got me nowhere. The more I tried it seemed the less I was liked. I learnt that your happiness should be your first priority. The more I put me first, the more I found people like me who loved and supported me for who I am.
  16. Things hardly ever go to plan. Literally EVER. You really have just got to roll with every new opportunity. As a self confessed ‘planner’ this came as a shock to the system but hey, that’s life for you!
  17. Not everyone has the same heart as you. Sometimes people can be cruel and work from a different moral compass to yourself. Take lessons from these people should you come across them and remove them from your life. Do not sacrifice your inner peace for anyone.
  18. Mum knows best. It didn’t take me long to learn this but it did take me a long time to accept it. Mum’s really are always right. My Mum knows me better than I know myself and her advice always come from a place of selfless love.
  19. You don’t owe ‘looking pretty’ to anyone. Don’t want to wear make up? Don’t. Can’t be bothered to wash your hair? No worries. It took me a long time to learn this but you don’t have to ‘look pretty’. You do not owe being ‘visually appealing’ to someone – you are worth so much more than that.
  20. Heartbreak hurts but you get over it. I have had my heart broken. One time I never thought I would EVER get over it but I did. I still think about that person from time to time but it is usually with fondness. Heartbreak is a part of life. It sucks but you’re going to be fine.
  21. Dry shampoo is a gift from the gods. I thank the gods for the day dry shampoo was invented. Honestly the day I learnt I did not have to wash my hair every single day was a wonderful one.
  22. You’re never alone, even if you feel like it. There are times when I have felt very lonely but I have learnt that I am never alone. In a world where anyone is just a phone call away and friendships with your online pals are as real as friendships with those you have known in person you really are never alone. I promise.

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My last celebration living at home. 

I hope I never lose the little 8 year old inside of me who still jumps in puddles and will go out of her way to do the hop scotch on her route home from work. I might be an adult but I always want to be a child at heart. I always want to keep hold of that youthful, carefree fun whether I’m 22 or 82. Happy Birthday to me. 

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“We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public’ – Bryan White.

Jamie x 

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As Mother’s Day fast approaches and we celebrate International Women’s Day 2018, I felt this blog would be fitting. I’m currently 21 years old. The next decade of my life brings with it some massive pressures and changes that, when I consider that I still haven’t mastered the art of cooking for myself on a daily basis, are pretty bloody terrifying. I interviewed my Mum back before I turned 20 for a radio show and she shared her top tips for smashing your 20s. Back then, Mum was 40 something… Now she’s a little older. I loved this interview and I wanted to share it with you guys so here it goes to celebrate the inspiration that is my Mother- ‘5 things I wish I’d known in my 20’s’. 

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I decided to consult the best and most reliable person in my life for some advice about how to truly embrace my 20’s, my Mum. Mum has been and done it and gave me some words of wisdom, telling me what she wished she would have known as she embarked on her ‘20’s’. In her 20’s, Mum got a job (and another and another after that), she got married, she got divorced and she had her only child. That’s one rollercoaster of a decade, with her 20’s being the home of some of her best and worst years of her life.

1) First up on the things Mum learnt in her 20’s is something that, knowing my Mum, really shouldn’t have surprised me.

“Hangovers get way worse when you get older. If I’d have known that I would have definitely got pissed more.”

I don’t know why I even expected something philosophical and deep from this interview, although we can all learn something from this, whether we drink or not. Your 20’s are a time to enjoy yourself, we’re still young even though it doesn’t feel like it, and life doesn’t have to be taken too seriously. It really is early days.

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2) Next up, “It’s okay not to know exactly what you want to do with your life, in fact I still don’t know now.”

Now this was a massive relief and something that I think everyone I know worries about. I feel like, by 20 I should have some sort of life plan and, if I’m honest, after my degree I have no clue. Mum experimented, tried new things and was brave enough to walk away when something wasn’t right for her.

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3) “Saying that, if you have a goal and something you really want, your 20’s are the time to do it.” Your 20’s are years full of potential and the thought of finally not having any excuses to put off pursuing my dream is both terrifying and really exciting. My mum’s advice was to ‘use your 20’s wisely’, find a work, play balance.

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4) “Having a child is hard, particularly when you’re on your own, but you can do it and she will become your best friend.” The thought that in the next 10 years I could be married with a child is absolutely petrifying, however, whether its just because it was her daughter asking her, Mum also said it was the best thing she has ever done. Mum brought me up as a single parent, which brings with it whole new challenges and, by the end of her 20’s, Mum had an 18 month year old child, not a lot of money and no partner. Things don’t always go to plan but she’s okay now. Everything worked itself out, she overcame the challenges and, if I do say so myself, is the best mother and best friend I could ever ask for.

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5) Finally, “It’s pretty much as my Mum said it would be.” Rephrased, Mum’s are always right. There will be ups and there will be downs and I know going into my 20’s and leaving behind my teenage years isn’t going to miraculously solve all the problems I am facing, but it is nice to know things get better and I have my Mum by my side no matter what.

I am as grateful for this advice now as I was when Mum first gave it to me over a year a go. I am pleased to inform you that the first year of my 20’s has been the best year of my life. I cannot wait to see what the next 9 years has in store. 

Thanks Mum x

 

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