28 Aug 2011

Don't Look Back in Anger - Top 10 Things I'd Tell My 21 year old self...

As promised on the poll on the facebook page (are you a fan yet?), here is my list of top things I'd tell my 21 year old self. In fact, I think it's good to remind my 30 year old self of these things too!

1. Everyone else is faking being so confident. Really, they're shitting themselves also, and in fact, if we were all honest about this, life would be so much easier!

2. Don't be so hard on yourself - most of the time, you're just doing the best you can with what you have. There is no rule book to life, as much as you might feel like everyone else has one and you don't. Write your own rules instead - it's cliched but true - only you know how you like to live your life.

3. One day you'll look back and realise that actually, you really weren't fat! Really - that tiny roll you were worried about - NON EXISTENT.  So be gad you wore those furry hotpants/leather mini skirt - you won't have a chance to again without looking like an ageing hooker.

4. No one cares about A-level results (high school grades) past the age of 21. Really. I know that graduate recruitment is a minefield. But remember - not everyone goes into a corporate graduate job. In fact, the majority of graduates don't (approx 80% in fact). This does not mean that you are a failure. It's much cooler instead that your A-Level grades spell out your name (BECC). Besides, if the peak of your achievement is aged 18, it's pretty much downhill from there - not a cheery thought :P

5. Don't try to fit your square self into a round hole, this way lies madness. Honestly. Again, wish I'd figured this one out so much sooner. Instead of constantly reminding yourself what you're not (organised, concise, political, aloof, reserved), remind yourself of what you are (excitable, passionate, loyal, happy, keen). It's not all bad you know. If we were all the same, it'd be a goddamn boring world.

6. Eventually it'll be okay not to tolerate other people's crap - so start now, rather than waiting until you're allowed to not give a shit (approx. age 30). Other people's opinion is just that - their opinion - what they do with that and their life is entirely up to them - equally what you do with yours is up to you. If they wish to express an opinion on yours, thank them kindly and then do what you want. Only listen to the opinions of people you love, respect and value. And even then have the courage of your own convictions. Sometimes only you are right - and it's great when you can prove it!!

7.You really should have gotten your fringe (bangs) cut in now, rather than waiting until you were 30. I don't know why you didn't do this earlier.

8. It's okay not to do things when the majority of people do them. Whenever you do them - early adopter or late adopter, that's when it's right for you. Pretty much as per the above. If you want to do it, do it - if you don't, then don't. That's okay too. No-one's coming along with a little register, checking that you've fallen in line with everyone else. That's a whole political regime also.

9. You'll never really know what's going on inside someone else's head - really, you won't. You can try to figure it out but that way lies pain. Just ask them. Don't speculate or spread rumour or work yourself into a frenzy of worry. Equally, if someone's pissed off and won't tell you why - that's their problem. You're not a psychic.

10. And most importantly......A life lived in fear is a life half lived. This adage is, unfortunately, so true. There are so many things I spent far too much time worrying about or being too scared to try. I wish it hadn't taken me until I was 27 to realise that this meant I wasted a lot of time not enjoying myself. Since I started rock climbing, it's totally changed my outlook on life. Generally it really all is in your hands - make the most of it.

Finally, with the news about Steve Jobs this week, I just wanted to share a quote from him that I heard and loved. It made me feel much better about a lot of things.

"Things don't have to change the world to be important"

For the other quotes, check this out.

What would you have on your list - have I missed out anything? Let me know in the comments section.

Thank you and good night

Stupidgirl has left the building


  1. That you will kiss a lot of frogs, and they won't turn into princes. This does not matter. What is meant to be will be.

  2. true, true, true....follow your bliss. if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life....I didn't coin these aphorisms, but I agree with them...also - don't sweat the small stuff....don't sweat....BUT we do sometimes come up against 'gate keepers' and I still don't know how to handle them. though I suppose if you don't allow them to judge and weigh you, they won't...this is where having the courage of your own convictions comes in...to thine own self be true....and then, once you get all this stuff straight, get out there and SELL, SELL, SELL!!!

  3. Oh,I have just been thinking about this, too! But I'm a 40 year old self!

  4. oooh so true...and I'm over 40 now.
    I kept thinking I was fat....now I know I was skinny with no self-esteem.
    I'd also say "Dont surround yourself with negative people...they bring you down and it's hard to climb back up"

    Oh...and dont believe all the bullshit. Develop a BS radar and trust it

    Great post me dear xx