1 – It’s not the tea and coffee you don’t like – it’s the milk! Black tea and black coffee ALL the way.
2 – Eyebrows are important. You can spend hours on your make-up, but if you do nothing to your eyebrows, your face will always look unfinished. 16-22-year-old me should have learned this so much sooner.
3 – Don’t skip breakfast. It will make you really irrational, emotional and angry later on in the morning.
4 – You are a putter-offer. But that’s okay, because you also never miss a deadline. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re lazy. They don’t see the effort that goes on behind the scenes.
5 – You are happier when you’re not in a relationship. When you’re single, you don’t ever worry about being the right weight, or having the right clothes or being ‘sexy’ (and it’s also okay that you still have no clue what that even means). Remember this the next time a boy comes along – because he will, you’re only 24, not quite washed-up just yet – remember to ask yourself if he’s really worth it. And if he’s not, don’t go there.
6 – The sea is your happy place.
7 – You have no real sense of identity yet, and this makes you vulnerable and extremely easily influenced. Be mindful of the company you keep and the opinions you form. If one of your new ‘friends’ should dislike somebody, do not automatically assume that you don’t like them either. Life is more complex than that and you need to learn to form your own opinions.
8 – Mental health is not something that can be ‘cured’. You will always suffer from it but some days will be easier than others. Talking about it helps, because you see how dramatic your thoughts/actions are. Remember the worst days as well as the best.
9 – You are not good at saving money. You are bad at sticking to budgets. You need to find a way to be better at saving!
10 -There are some things that you do have strong opinions on. Feminism. Diversity. Inclusivity. Books. Music. Maybe put those out there a bit more.
11 – Things have a way of working themselves out. Try not to worry.
12 – There is never any need to lie. Always speak the truth, you will feel better for it and others will always trust you more. We haven’t told a lie of any great significance since we were 14 after a series of massive whopping falsies got us in heaps of trouble and we decided never to lie again. I’m proud that we managed to stick to this.
13 – Being too warm is better than being too cold.
14 – People will constantly tell you how to ‘improve’ yourself. It is okay not to act on this ‘advice’ as long as you accept it graciously. It is enough to know yourself and your faults. You are under no obligations to make yourself an easier service for the general public to use. You are a human being, not a self-service check-out and your opinion of yourself is worth more than theirs.
15 – The most important thing to look for in a man is not their looks or their music taste or their sense of humour – it is how they treat others. Before you consider your next boyfriend, whenever that time may come, know how they treat the under-dogs of society. This matters more than you think.
16 – Having bright red hair is the fastest and most effective way to sky-high self-confidence.
17 – We will never be so drunk that we can’t remember the night before. We’ve never tried a cigarette, nor will we ever. We admit, parts of our youth were misspent, and there was ample opportunity for going off the rails. These particular vices we avoided, and it shall remain that way. You just get to a certain age and you know these kinds of things about yourself: what you would try and what you wouldn’t. Different people have different limits and that’s okay. You’re not a prude or a spoilsport or a baby.
18 – Baths are wonderful – not time-consuming and pointless as you once thought.
19 – Books are the perfect escape from anything. It’s okay if your dream man is somewhere in-between Luke Brandon from the Shopaholic series and Dexter from This Lullaby. I hope you find him one day.
20 – You mainly swear for a reason. If you’re swearing in every second sentence, something is very very wrong and people should watch out. Likewise, if a swear-word seems to be casually dropped into conversation, there’s probably a highly-charged emotion hiding somewhere under the surface. I guess you could say that we believe in profanity, just not in diluting its potency.
21 – Yellow is the colour of happiness.
22 – You haven’t yet come to terms with thinking of answers to big scary questions like sexuality and gender and career choices and lifetime goals but that’s ok. You’ll get there.
23 – There’s not much that a hot cup of tea can’t solve.
24 – Anything you’ve wanted with everything that you have, you have gotten as long as you’ve put the work in. Work hard and it will pay off. The world is your oyster. Grab it by the balls and don’t let go.
Good luck, future-me! You got this!