25 is a big milestone to me. I actually thought, when I was younger, that I’d have it all figured out by the time I was 25. How wrong I was haha. I have some things ticked off my list (Graduated, got a good job, found a happy and loving relationship) but I still have a way to go. Having said that, I’ve learnt a lot in my 25 years. Here are 25 of those things. I hope it can be some sort of advice if you’re reading this. If not, at least it’s a little insight into my life so far…

DREAMS CHANGE


You’ll find over the years that your dreams and passions change. Mine have gone in this order: Mermaid, Astronaut, Painter, Forensic Photographer, Photographer, Singer and now Writer. No doubt this will change again, but my point is that dreams will always change. I always felt bad because changing my passion felt like a step backwards, or made me feel like I wasn’t normal for not having a stable dream. I know some people do, and it’s great, but it’s totally fine to figure it out as you go along.

MENTAL HEALTH IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS PHYSICAL


Before university, I never really addressed my mental health. I knew something was wrong, I knew it wasn’t normal to feel anxious about public transport, or to have such a problem with food and dieting, but I just kept ignoring it. After uni I had a really bad time, which led to me being diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety. I’m starting to see a therapist, which is 100% a step in the right direction. The main thing is to be open about mental health, both with your own and with others you love – they may need more help than you know. Be there for your friends or family who are struggling, and listen to what they have to say.


YOU DON’T HAVE TO DIET


I still don’t have this one down, but it’s very important. You don’t have to be thin, pretty, or perfect. It’s okay to have imperfections, bad skin and cellulite – you can be this way forever if you need to be. The main thing is that you feel okay within yourself. If you’re unhappy, by all means change something – eat more veg and try some exercise. But don’t put yourself under stress, and please don’t
conform to what others think of as beautiful. You’re beautiful in your own right.

LOVING YOURSELF IS A LIFE LONG PROCESS


For those who have found it in themselves to love who they are unconditionally, I have so much respect. I struggle with my self worth and image, and it took me a long time to even recognize my body as something natural and something worthy of respect. You don’t have to love yourself right now, but try and accept yourself, you’ll get there.


DON’T BE ASHAMED OF ASKING FOR HELP


It took a lot of courage to go to the doctors and ask for help with my depression. I pretty much broke down in my doctors office. But you’ll find that people are inherently good, and that they want to help you find your way again. Even speaking to a friend or family member can put you in the right direction, you just have to let yourself ask for the help you need.

A LOT OF THINGS CAN BE CURED BY A HOT BUBBLE BATH


I love getting a hot bath, filled with bubbles, whilst listening to music. It’s my favourite thing to do, and I imagine it always will be. It lets me get into a head space where I can think about things and lay them out in my head. It’s really amazing what you can put right in your head when you’re alone in a tub of hot water…

READING CAN BE THERAPEUTIC (AND NOT A CHORE)


The moment I realized that I don’t have to finish a book is the moment I fell back in love with reading. In uni, I was on auto pilot when it came to reading. Sometimes, I had to finish 3 books a week to keep up with my work, and it took a lot of effort to finish all of them. Getting out of that habit took a solid 2 years, but now I like to remind myself that I don’t need to finish a book. If I don’t enjoy it, I put it down and I move onto the next. Life is too short to finish half enjoyed books.


LOVE EVOLVES


Love is an ever changing thing. The love I felt for one person will never be the same for another, and so on etc. Love changes all the time. From intense love to lasting love, you’ll find that there are a lot of ways to have feelings for someone. Not all of them are good, but you only find this out in time.

FAMILY IS IMPORTANT


If you have a family dinner, but you’ve been asked out by your friends, see your family. Always. You never know how long you have with your family, so cherish every moment you get.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO LABEL YOURSELF


I’ve spoken about this before, but I really think that it’s damaging to label yourself. Why cram yourself into a box when you’re an ever changing human with infinite thoughts and possibilities?

YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW THE RULES


I’ve never really enjoyed rules, or people telling me what to do. Obviously I obey the law, but always seek to find new ways to live, I think this is really important.

CATS ARE AMAZING


Having been brought up as a dog person, I never really thought much of cats. My childhood friend had a cat who HATED me, swiped at me when I walked past and hissed in my general direction. It kind of put me off cats… Until I met Rose. I adopted Rose 2 years ago, and she has legit changed my life. She cuddles me when I’m sad, makes me play with her when I’m lazy or distracted, and makes me laugh everyday.

TRAVELLING IS FOOD FOR THE SOUL


Despite my last holiday, I still love to travel. It’s good to get away sometimes, with a boyfriend, friend or family member. Explore new cuisine, try new things and embrace it before life gets in the way.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIVE YOUR LIFE ONLINE


Luckily, I didn’t grow up with the internet that much. I still remember playing outside without worrying about being online. The most I did on the computer was play on The Sims. However, that doesn’t mean that I managed to escape the inevitable. Life online. For a long time I used to put every last detail of my life online. What I was eating, what I was thinking, who I was with etc. This has changed drastically, and I’m the better for it. We all have our highlight reel on social media, which is why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others online. 99% of the time, it’s not who they really are.

POETRY IS ONE OF THE BEST THINGS IN THE WORLD


Writing poetry is one of my favourite things to do. I actually have a tumblr account dedicated to my poetry. It’s a place for me to write, read and find helpful hints. It gets me out of my head for a while, which is only a good thing. My poetry is actually going to be read out at the “Body of My Own” event for International Women’s Day!

SELF CARE IS IMPORTANT


Never underestimate the power of a good shower, a face mask, painting your nails and watching your favourite TV show.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO FOLLOW THE CROWD


If you like the way something looks, then wear it. Don’t follow what you see in magazines, or chase labels. It’s nice to have expensive things, but buy them when you can and for a reason (I plan on buying a designer bag when I hit a weight loss milestone…)

JUST BECAUSE YOU LOVE SOMEONE, IT DOESN’T MEAN THEY’RE RIGHT FOR YOU


This was an important lesson for me to learn. Love doesn’t mean you should be with someone. You can love someone, and they can still upset & hurt you, and vice versa.

DON’T IGNORE POLITICS


When I was 18 I thought I was so cool for disavowing politics and ignoring what was going on in the world. Yet the world still happened. My lack of input did nothing but give more of a platform to the
ignorant and evil.

Read up on politics, find a view point and keep up to date with modern affairs. When it comes to voting, vote. And be proud, we will change the future of the government one day.

YOU DON’T NEED TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT


Some things in my life haven’t happened yet. I can’t drive (officially) and I don’t have my own house. I wanted so badly to have these things done at 25, but life didn’t happen that way. What is meant for you will find a way, trust in that and you will be golden.

BABY STEPS IS ALL IT TAKES


Little by little, I’m getting my life together. Baby steps is all it takes, and it’s easier to see that now I’m older. The phrase can help with anything in life – a lifestyle change – becoming Vegan – learning a new language. Little changes add up to a big difference, you just have to stick with it.


YOGA AND MEDITATION ARE GOOD FOR THE SOUL


Without yoga and mindful thinking, I would be half the person I am. Sign up for a class, learn online – DOYOUYOGA is good, or start a playlist on Youtube with videos you like the look of. Practice little and often, you’ll soon see the benefits. You don’t have to believe in the beliefs behind yoga, simply practicing it as an exercise will be good for you.

Me on my birthday last week - Shirt is Boohoo curve!

ADDRESSING BAD HABITS IS ONE STEP TOWARDS CHANGING YOUR LIFE


It has taken me a long time to realise that I have an issue with food. I don’t want to get into that so much, but finally realizing and understanding that you have a problem is one step towards figuring it
all out. You’ll relapse, but when you know something is wrong, you actively want to change it.

MAKING LISTS CAN ORDER YOUR MIND (AND YOUR DAY)


Who doesn’t love a good to-do list? I’ll take 5 minutes out of my morning to organize my day, my weekend, my spending. Whatever I feel is a little chaotic in my life, I’ll make a list and figure out how to order it. I find that it helps!

WHO’S ACTUALLY THAT ARSED ABOUT STRETCH MARKS?


No matter who I’ve been with, or who has seen my stretch marks, no one has ever said anything bad about them. They just happen, and the sooner you realise it the better. I remember when I got my first batch of stretch marks on my belly at 17, I remember it so clearly. I was at my sisters old flat in London, and I called her into the room. I was crying because I had these bright red tiger stripes on my stomach; I felt like my life was over. I felt like a failure for letting myself gain weight. She was really helpful, and pointed out that we matched haha.

Now I know they’re a natural process, and I try not to let it dominate my thoughts.

Xo