21 things I have learnt at age 21
Photos by Carolyn West Photography
Photos by Carolyn West Photography
No matter their age or appearance, gender or ethnicity. Even the bad ones. There is not a single person on this planet that doesn't have a purpose or doesn't know something that you don't. Life has taught me to be grateful for some of the people I haven't chosen to be in my life but I've worked with, or have had to spend a lot of time with when it wasn't necessarily what I wanted. I've always discovered that there was more to them than I first saw. Always give people a chance, the people who comment on your blog, the people you meet at parties, the ones in your tute that don't say much.
2. People will always surprise you.
Even your oldest friends. You might think you know every little thing about them, and they will surprise you with a show of strength or a weakness you never saw. It just makes them as great as you suspected.
3. Confidence is something that I will never be finished learning
Confidence isn't something you just learn and it's there forever, at least for me. The more I work on my confidence and refine my skills the closer I get, but there is always room for improvement in being appropriately confident in my personal and professional lives.
Something that often happened to me when I was younger that I would let one person or thing ruin a whole night out or day. I let things become bigger than they are and am always learning how to put them out of my mind and enjoy the important stuff.
5. You are never really as alone as you might feel.
There is always someone. This world is full of people who are all having human experiences and there is someone that understands what is happening to you. If all else fails, give your parents some credit, they may be a bit old, but they've been around the track a few times and know a lot more than you think. Also, cats are great. They don't argue. ;P
6. There is nothing that hours of trashy television can't fix.
Personal preferences include Pretty Little Liars, Neighbours and Homes under the Hammer (sorry, not sorry).
Good things take time. You have to date the dickhead before you can date your Glenn. You have to book smaller jobs before you can book the big ones. It's the same with most things in life. You'll really deserve it when you get there, and you will get there eventually.
8. I will always believe that we are stronger in union.
There are a lot of things I'm not super sure about in this world, issues I don't know enough about, cultures, religions, political ideologies that are foreign to me but humans beings are always more equip to deal with social issues and create better lives when they do it together. I will always believe in helping those less fortunate and that my skills are only amplified when I work with others.
9. Experiences are always worth more than objects
If you have some money and you are torn between new stuff or a concert ticket or going out with your friends or a holiday, always choose the experience. Memories are priceless. Within reason! haha. Savings are important also :P
I practise what I preach. Spend the money on getting a photographer. I am totally not saying this so you will book me, I'm saying it because photos are amazing and you deserve to have them to go with your memories. Otherwise, take those selfies, photograph your feet. Go for a walk and play with your lens and settings. Photograph those you love, photograph what you eat. You don't have to share them, just keep it for yourself. You're never ever going to regret taking a photo but you will regret not capturing something that meant a lot to you.
11. Back up your photos.
This is pretty self explanatory. But like do it please. I've never lost anything super important and I'm so grateful for that. And I have friends who are awesome enough to buy me external hard drives for my birthday because they know I'd rather spend my money of cameras haha.
12. There is no shame in being excited.
Life is exciting, you are allowed to be happy about the good stuff. You should get excited about fairy lights or puppy dogs. Like go for your life! Being excited isn't uncool and people who judge you for it are secretly aggressively unhappy so don't even sweat it.
Buy your friends lunch when you can, do them a favour, give them a lift, think about how you can make their life happier. If 'just because' isn't a good enough reason, then do it because if you're good to others they will be good to you :) Some of my happiest memories are sharing our food and laughter with friends and family and having them share theirs with me.
14. Try not to have expectations.
Things are going to happen the way they happen no matter how much you stress about it. Just go with it :) I know this is easier said than done but it really is the key to enjoying life more.
Sometimes work or school or parties and friendships feel all important but really the most important thing is taking care of yourself and it's okay to put that first.
16. Creativity is an act of self love.
For me anyway, as a creative person. When I learnt that being creative had so much value in that it made me happy and could actually be what I did professionally, that was when my life and purpose really started to make sense. Also, it's been really important for me to make sure I do creative things for myself as well as for work.
17. It's really okay to feel that way.
It's okay to want to stay in bed, it might not be okay to actually stay in bed but it's okay to feel like it. It's okay to love who you love, and believe in what you believe. It's okay to like the music you do, or wear the clothes you want. It's okay to eat more if you're hungry. It's okay to change your mind and learn. It's just all really okay as long as you aren't harming anyone or yourself :)
Mother figures are the greatest gift you will ever be given as a human and your sisters, biological or not are so important. Never underestimate them, always support them.
19. You'll feel better if you just do it. And if you really don't want to, don't.
This applies to exercise, homework, paid work, relationships, everything really. You'll feel better if you just get it done and can get on with the things that are a bit more fun. Sometimes we have to do things we aren't so keen on but if it's something that makes you unhappy or uncomfortable, like studying something you don't like at university, or working somewhere that makes you really unhappy even after you gave it a chance, you shouldn't hesitate to change things where you can.
I found this especially in friendships I've had for a long time, that we have all grown and changed so much and it's so important to make your friends feel like they can show you who they have become and not feel obliged to be someone they aren't when they are around you. My closest friendships have really been that way in that we are really open to each other and to change.
21. Ask for help when you need it.
A lot of times in my life I've felt stupid or inadequate for needing help so I didn't get enough of it. But when I learnt how to ask for help, I learnt how important of a skill it is in personal growth and that it's definitely okay not to know how to cope with everything the world might throw at you.