As you (probably don’t) know, in 3 days time I say goodbye to being 20. I’m not usually a big birthday person, in fact I’ve hated most of them, but this year I’m making the effort. I liked being 20, I have great people in my life, and I do want to celebrate another year of it. So, to honour that, all my posts this week will be somewhat birthday related. Starting with another one of my 10 things posts, this time with a birthday theme! Welcome to 10 things I learnt in my twentieth year.
Background: What’s 20 Been Like?
My twentieth year of life was a pretty great one, with more happening than I intended to. Honestly, I can testify that I grew a lot as a person, and I learnt more than I expected to. It was the year my blog went a bit crazy, I went to the USA for the first time and I all round became a more self-assured version of me.
I’ve had a lot of ups and I’ve had a lot of downs. But overall, I’d give it a 10/10 for a solid year, I just hope my 21st can live up to it.
10 Things I Learnt…
1) I look better in colourful clothing than I thought.
I wrote about me embarking on a colourful clothing journey a while ago, and it sounds frivolous, but it meant a lot to me. As mentioned in the post, I spent a lot of years dressing in only black in an attempt to blend in as much as possible. Now I’m (slightly) more risky with my clothing choices, steer straight into colourful choices, and look and feel better than ever. I’m slowly leaning into a sense of style. It will probably still take some time, but I’m getting there.
2) It’s okay to like being in front of the camera.
If you look at my blog Instagram a year ago vs now, it is drastically different. I barely featured on it before: if I did, it would be the occasional selfie. Now, it’s me, me and more me, in posed photos. I never used to pose for photos by myself! The more I got into outfit posts/photography in general, the more confident I came in front of a camera. I’ll happily pose for pictures in the street now. That was completely unheard of for me before.
3) Who I am.
I’ve spent a lot of my life focusing on where I fit in, rather than me, myself, and I. I think once I accepted that I’m never going to look perfect, and I’m never going to be that big and amazing, the pressure was gone and I started focusing on me. I definitely focus on being the best version of myself more than anything else anymore, and it’s so refreshing.
4) Surprisingly, if you stop cutting your hair, it will grow.
STOP CUTTING YOUR HAIR WHEN YOU’RE BORED JASMINE. YOU WANT IT LONGER JASMINE. DON’T ACT ON YOUR IMPULSES JASMINE.
5) I work more than I think.
Back in November I was working my way through an application for an extra-curricular achievement award, and freaking out. You needed to register 50 hours of extra-curricular things you’d done in the last year and I hadn’t done much. I sat there for ages wondering why I was always busy and yet, appeared to be doing nothing. However, then I realised that I haven’t been doing nothing. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this blog. I spend 5 hours on my blog on a bad day, and that’s only doing the admin stuff. I work through the night during Uni so it doesn’t interfere with work. So much of my life is spent working on my blog, and it’s taken me so long to realise that.
6) Go out and get what you want.
This is probably the first year that I’ve really committed to being a “Yes” person. I’ve said yes to events outside of my comfort zones, chased up opportunities that I knew I wanted, and made myself happier in the process. I’ve learnt in this year more than any other that you really have to go after what you want in life, and in this last year, it has worked out insanely well for me.
It’s weird, because essentially all this brand work and events started from me plucking up the courage to one particular thing, and from there it’s been a snowball effect. I’m going to do a post on the event that, I believe, made this all kick off for me soon (It’s already written and scheduled), stay tuned.
7) I am actually good at some things?
Following on from the last one, chasing after opportunities has made me realise that I do have some merit. I find it hard to believe in myself, and with my blog being something that I did for myself, I don’t really get that validation and reassurance. I’d convinced myself that I wasn’t really all that. However, I got my internship at the Guardian, and have had brands choose to work with me over other people. It’s slowly convincing me that I have a right to believe in myself.
8) The right people can make all the difference.
I’m such a people pleaser, and will stick it out until the end at risk of hurting the other person. However, this year I’ve made a conscious effort to only focus on those who I deem the “right” people. I have an amazing group of friends, a beautifully supporting family, and a pretty cool boyfriend, who have all made my life a lot smoother this last year.
9) It can’t hurt to smile.
I think that I’ve mentioned on here before that I hate smiling. I think it’s to do with my teeth, or the fact that I’d had it drummed into me that pouting is the only form of sexy. However, in this last year I’ve come to love my smile. It may not be the straightest or the whitest or make me the sexiest girl in the world, but it’s a great representation of me and what I stand for. I’d take that over everything else any day.
10) Not everyone you’re close to will support you, but why should you care?
Over time, the better the opportunities get and the more I talk to people I’m close to about them (Despite how uncomfortable it makes me), I’ve started to notice who supports me and who doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect anybody to read every post I write, comment on everything, like every photo or share what I do. I do a lot of things, and I really don’t expect massive levels of support (Although, some of my friends and family are amazing at that). However, I’m starting to notice the same people never congratulate me, or interact with my success. What surprised me most about this is how little I’ve cared.
A few years ago, maybe even a year ago, I would have been seething inside, but I’ve noticed how much my attitude has matured. I understand that some people just don’t support me, and that’s their prerogative. It allows us to both carry on as normal and not create any toxic energy.
And there you have it!
This was a rather long and rambly recollection of the lessons I learnt in my twentieth year. For the first time in a long time, I’m actually looking forward to my birthday, and what’s to come as a sparkly new 21 year old. Thank you for entertaining this post and my blog thus far, and I hope that you enjoy the posts I have planned for the rest of the week!
What’s a lesson that you’ve learnt in the last year? Let me know in the comments!
Lots of love,