23 Things I have Learnt

Fun fact! I am an Aquarius. If you’re not into the spellbinding and elaborate world of Astrology, then you may roll your eyes over star signs and their meanings. However, I’ve always been interested in horoscopes and how the night sky could indeed affect our personalities so I enjoyed learning more about the traits of an Aquarius. From what I have managed to decipher, Aquarius women are particularly independent, a little bit weird, think outside the box and tend to hate being told what to do. It’s fair to say, I identify with these common traits and would pride myself especially on being a little weird. I’ve always struggled to fit in one box -– why would you when there’s so many to choose from?!

Illustration by VETVY

My birthday rests on the 9th February, I have always liked the month but it is not always ideal in what you can do to celebrate. This is mainly due to slushy cold weather and the lack of holidays – when I was in high-school my birthday would also be accompanied with the clash of mock exams. But this year is different, since it will be a lockdown birthday. Interestingly, I am quite relieved to be spending my birthday in isolation this year. Hear me out – I had just missed the first national lockdown last year and managed to spend my birthday in a bar. I know, seems a far away dream now. But my friends unfortunately have all had to spend their birthdays in lockdown with very little options at hand. So, we’re fair now!

I will be turning the youthful age of 23, still very much apart of the early twenties category. If you were to ask littler Hattie about people who were 23, I think her view would be very different to what I am currently doing with my life. She’d probably confidently tell you that if she was 23 she would be married, with a big family, lots of money and a cat. I have none of these things, most 23 year olds don’t have these things. I have realised that most of your twenties is a tug-of-war between letting go and panicking about the future. A wonderfully chaotic combination!

Although I am very much yet to start the adventure of adulthood as I finish my degree this year, I have still learnt a lot in these past 23 years. So I thought I would share with you these nuggets of somewhat helpful lessons and advice.

  1. Don’t bother with high-heels on a night-out. Honestly you’ll be wasting plasters and limiting your dance moves.
  2. Nobody knows what they are doing. Even the ones who pretend they do!
  3. Sexuality and gender are on spectrums. Educate yourself as much as you can and explore!
  4. Comparison can be the beginning of any mental spiral. Honour and love your differences.
  5. Money is not everything, debt is normal. It is okay to not be as stable as you want to be financially, worrying about your bank brings a whole lot of stress and not very much change.
  6. To cope with money stress, it is useful to keep and make monthly budgets.
  7. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. (In all honesty, I’m still trying to accept this one!)
  8. Meal plan for your week! It will save pennies and indecision dilemmas.
  9. You don’t always owe an explanation for your actions. Sometimes it’s enough to just say your action.
  10. Being creative takes effort and work, this can take time to master and it’s okay to have slumps.
  11. Write your bibliography as you go! There are apps, websites and all sorts to make this easier. Do not spend half of your degree doing it manually, at the last minute, without any page numbers!!! (Completely calling myself out here…)
  12. Call, email, write or message your loved ones. You don’t know your last message.
  13. Grief can strike at any point, there will be good days and there will be moments you’ll be hit with a loss without any preparation.
  14. Healing is not linear.
  15. Keep an album of your favourite photos. This will help on your low days.
  16. Invest in a comfy dressing gown. (A favourite for lockdown fashion!)
  17. Admitting you got it wrong goes a long way and will earn respect.
  18. Drink water, seriously, drink water. Reminding apps and a groovy water bottle helps.
  19. Weight fluctuates, stretch marks will appear and it is all normal and bloody beautiful.
  20. Some friends will come into your life like seasons, not everyone is meant to stay.
  21. If you spend more time crying over your partner, rather than laughing with them, something is not right.
  22. Keep a pound in your car or favourite jacket pocket for a trolley.
  23. Listen to your body; you know your body best.

This list will most likely get longer and longer over the years and something exchanged or added on. My version of 30 year old me now will probably be very different to the real deal. But that’s far away… In a land called Denial.

I’d love to read your advice and tips you may have collated over the years. Have a wee natter down in the comments, I’ll be reading and adding some to my own list!

Looking forward to our next chat,



One thought on “23 Things I have Learnt

  1. As a Aquarian too I laughed out loud, we have similar traits. I so dislike being told what to do and love being inspired to start things but struggle to see through. I love beginnings………
    You seem to have a good bag of knowledge already to start your 23rd year. Don’t think I have anything to add, wish I had some of your insight at 23. Lots of love, Dx


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