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22 Things I Learnt in my 22nd Year

22 Things I Learnt in my 22nd Year
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So my 22nd year on this earth is officially over, and F me it has been a ride. There have been a million tears, a million swear words, I've said the word FUCKBOY more times than I can care to count, whilst also having a million laughs, a million memories and 22 lessons I've definitely learnt. So whilst I hope my 23rd year is better, I can't ignore (and not pay it forward) the things I've learnt this year...

Face masks are life 
Right, so, I kid you not this is one of the best lessons to come out of this year. Feeling sad? Face mask. Feeling ugly? Face mask. Bored? Face mask. Want to friend zone someone? Face mask. Want to feel better about eating a tub of ice cream and necking a bottle of wine alone? FACE MASK. 

Alone time is the best time 
Right, KBJ a year ago hated spending time on her own. I mean I really hated it and would dread a night in - but I’ve come to realise it’s the most important thing in the world. Having a night, or two, or three, just on your own to chill out, relax is the most incredible thing. 

Self love is the most important love 
For such a long time my life has been lacking this kind of love; I’ve loved others, I’ve loved things, but for a long time I’ve not loved myself. I’d never try to undermine a love you can give to someone else, but the love you give to yourself often impact and reflects upon the love you give out.

You can’t love someone if you don’t love you
You may meet someone you so desperately want to love - but simply cannot in a way that is healthy. I’ve tried so many times in the past to love someone else without loving myself, and it’s always ended in a love that was destructive and dangerous. 

Talk, and never stop talking 
Talk about what you believe in, talk about your feelings, talk about your life, your friends, your loves, your passions, your beliefs. Talk until you are blue in the face about everything you want to because my god there are many people in this world who want to listen, want to support you and get it and you’ll never know this until you just open your mouth 

It is SO okay to not be OKAY 
My god I wish I’d known this; it’s so okay to not be okay. Last year I went through monumental upheavals and it almost broke me, and from that I continued to pretend I was okay. It has only been in the last month I had actually realised I still wasn’t okay - that pretending, medicating with people and keeping busy didn’t constitute as being okay - and that is totally okay. 

It’s okay to miss someone 
I used to think that missing someone was a weakness, that it meant I wasn’t strong enough to not miss them - but it really doesn’t. I have days where I miss exes, old friends, family and it’s okay. I had a day the other day where I missed my ex from last year; for absolutely no reason. And it’s okay.

It’s also okay to not miss someone 
On the opposite side, you’ll have people you think you’ll miss and actually when push comes to shove, you don’t. And it’s weird because you’ve prepped yourself for missing this person but actually recognise that it’s better without them, that you miss elements but truthfully you don’t miss them and you should never feel bad about this. 

People come and go 
The relationships in your life will function like a revolving door; people will come, people will go, people will leave and come back, and sometimes it’ll hurt, sometimes it won’t, sometimes you’ll know it is for the best and others you’ll have no idea. 

Not every guy is fuckboy 
It took me until lately to figure this one out; but not every guy is a fuck boy. Firstly, I went on a few dates with someone who was categorically not a dick, and actually it was me who was the dick, and this BLEW MY MIND. I have channelled this narrative that all guys are dicks and honestly it’s just not true, and I know when I am eventually ready it is possible to meet someone who is actually a decent human.

Do not lower your expectations 
The above being said and relating to the same person, it’s also not a good idea to lower expectations. Mine are high; I expect the person I am with to be there for me at every blip, every low, every high and every hurdle - and if they’re not, then they’re not for me. And I am not changing that, or looking for someone who is anything but abiding to that. 

Fake tan makes you look thinner 
Honestly, I look about 8 pounds lighter when I’m 3 layers deep in tan. Life changer. 

It’s okay to not have your shit together 
I recently dated someone who was just 2 and a bit years older than me - and he really had his shit together. Sometimes it made me panic, because I knew I wouldn’t have my shit together that much in two years time and it scared me. But why? I found the whole thing inspiring, yet it still made me worry and question the longevity of things with him. But why do I care if I don't own a flat at 25? Why am I so worried if I don't hit a certain career milestone by 24? Why am I worried about where I'll be at 30?

Being an adult is bloody expensive 
This has really been the year I’ve realised how bloody expensive being an adult is. I mean you want to eat? You have to pay for it. Stressed and fancy a glass of wine? Goodbye £12. Want to breathe? London will invoice you. 

In the grand scheme of things, I am still a baby
I need to stop worrying about things - I am so young and I need to stop trying to achieve things at impossible rates. 

Stop faking it 
I was so guilty of faking it if I liked the person, but my 23rd year on this earth shall not include any of this. Life is too short for shit sex. 

Friendship isn’t always forever 
Sometimes friendship isn’t forever; I have friends I’ve had for years, 6 months, 3 weeks. And I’ve had many I’ve said goodbye to. There are some I miss, others I thought I would and ones I really just don’t. 

Going to therapy really doesn’t make you anything other than human
For months I’d convinced myself that going to therapy would be a massive warning sign I wasn’t okay when for months I’d convinced myself I was SO great, that if I treated people a certain way they’d be nice,  if I acted a certain way I’d avoid getting hurt, if I was always elated and smiling then I simply MUST be happy - right, right?  But actually I was miserable, I have been for a while and two weeks ago I took the step to go to therapy and sort my shit out. It doesn’t make me crazy, or weak, it makes me human.

White wine is never your friend 
White wine, as refreshingly delightful as it is, is the devils juice and should be avoided at all costs. 

Letting go of anger is the best thing you can do 
People will hurt you, they will let you down and make it so incredibly easy to be angry with them - but holding onto this will only ever hurt you. 

Fuck the diet culture 
I have been that girl who counts calories, kills myself on a treadmill to lose weight and been quite horrifically sized whilst constantly being starving - it isn’t and never will be fun. God if I’ve learnt anything about my body and it’s capabilities it’s that it can lose weight, put it on, lose it in record time and I shouldn’t ever sweat scoffing the last of the crisps or eating an entire tub of Ben & Jerry’s…which by the way I totally did whilst writing this.

Life is what you make of it 
Life really is down to you; it’s up to you what you do with it, whether you take action on things or ignore them. I have been in and out of states of misery, anxiety with periods of being down for the last three years and it’s taken me until two weeks ago to finally do something about it, and honestly I’m feeling more positive than ever because I have. 

Life is really down to you; it’s not luck, or fate, it’s about getting out as much as you put in. It’s about taking opportunities, learning from mistakes and building yourself based on that. 


Hangover Friendly Date Spots in London

Hangover Friendly Date Spots in London
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The Most Hangover Friendly Date Spots in London

We've all been there; it's a Sunday, you've hit it a little too hard on the Saturday, the world feels like it's ending, your bank account is on the brink of overdraft (or brink of using the remains of your already large overdraft) and you're just about ready to call it a day and succumb to the grim reaper. I wish I could honestly say this feeling was foreign to me - but you know I’ve been in London three years and it’s become a, disturbingly, familiar feeling, and I am sadly realising that hangovers only get worse.

But low and behold, in your less painful sober state you made somewhat naive plans to go on a date with someone. What once seemed like a glorious idea, now appears to be a treacherous decision to date on a hangover. 

Your liver is on its last legs, you quite literally cannot stomach another drink but your date looks like a, slightly, less attractive version of Ryan Gosling and it’d be rude to cancel.  

I've been in that woeful state too many times in my very short existence; and I hate cancelling. So I have powered through and found the most hangover friendly date spots.

Everyman Cinema 

Particularly good for those of you, who are dumb like me, who plan dates on SEVERE hangover days. 

Now I won’t lie; up until recently I hadn’t been on a cinema date in about 6 years because I couldn’t disassociate the cinema with a 16-year old date spot with a little peck here and there, with the guy suggesting the back row and me sheepishly opting for the best seats because at the age of 16 the only thing beginning with D on my mind was dogs...not much has changed actually.

Think lounging around, lots of carb heavy food and a film - without the Netflix and chill conversation. Though to be honest, hungover that's what we all want right? 

Needless to say, if you’re feeling woeful this is the best option for the low-key date spot as it really does require little, if not no, effort from either sides.

The quest for the best roast 

This only applies to Sunday hangovers - but, honestly, what better way to cure a roast? 

The best part? For this Sunday, and this Sunday only, you won’t have the disapproving family comments and instead will be faced with a delightful roast.  A couple of favourites of mine would be Pig & Butcher in Islington or The Grange in Bermondsey. 

The best of the brunch 

I've done a brunch round-up previously, but it’s undoubtedly the best way to get your morning off to a great start if you have opted for a daytime date. Whilst, if you’re like me, stomaching food on a white wine hangover before 4pm is something of a mystery this may not be for you.

But if you wake up, ravenous for carbs, then the best of the British brunch is a great option. London has brunch spots in abundance; some of my favourites in South West London can be found HERE but places such as The Table in Southwark, Joes in Borough are well worth a visit.


Markets in London make a great date any time, whether hungover or not, because combining food and drinks from different cultures is somewhat heroic…well for me, but perhaps I am bias.

Think the South African burgers on Maltby Street, various brownies from Borough Market, buttermilk chicken burgers from Broadway Market. The possibilities really are endless - and if you’re like me, so is your stomach.

And, if you’re feeling cute, why not hit up Columbia Flower Market. One of the most beautiful markets with fantastic flowers and plenty of places to go afterwards. 

Leicester Square Theatre 

This could be a hungover or normal date spot - or with friends - and I’ll do a proper write up because it’s one of the best evenings I’ve had in a while. Whilst I didn’t go on a date, this theatre has such an array of alternative productions.

I saw ‘Murder She Didn’t Write’ and honestly, I have not laughed that much for such a long time. 

Tickets can be found here

Garden Centres…no I’m being serious

Right so before you judge me - hear me out. I recently went on a date to a garden centre, and at first I found it hilarious and somewhat a bit of a joke, but actually it was, weirdly, one of the funnest, alcohol free dates I have had in my somewhat questionable dating life. 

I guess you need a purpose - but honestly as far as carefree dates go, it’s surprisingly suitable. Though, please note, you will be the youngest person there by about 40 years if you’re reading this and under the age of 30 and the right company for this really is paramount. 

My best advice to handling the date whilst hungover would be:
  • Cancel it...

I'm kidding, but seriously please don't throw up on them. 


What the F is happy?

What the F is happy?
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Are you happy?
Someone asked me this recently, alongside, what would make you happy – and honestly the question stumped me.
What is happiness” is something I have pondered for some time; by pondered I mean I’ve become a little bit obsessed with the idea of being happy, the goal posts of what it is and whether I am or not.
Happiness is a multi-faceted beast that has so many elements it’s increasingly hard to grasp what it is; for me happiness may be something completely different to what it is for you. It’s complexity doesn’t stop there, the many different elements that feed into this overall feeling of ‘happiness’, anything from jobs to people to finances can impact your happiness, are often not in sync.
But the hardest part about it for me? It’s largely out of my control.
I’ve seen a millions ‘inspirational’ quotes masking the fact that happiness isn’t necessarily a choice with words like “to be happy you must XYZ” and truthfully, that’s not really true.
I don’t choose to be unhappy, nor do I choose to be happy. Yes, I can do things I know that will aid the quest for happiness but it doesn’t promise it. I can also do things I know will make me unhappy, yet often go down that path.
And it’s not just actions; it whittles down to things such as mental health. You could have every element to the typical happy life – but if you’re not feeling it then that is simply that.
I’ve had every element before; a job I enjoyed, a boyfriend I ‘loved’, friends, family. Yet, at that point, I couldn’t have been more unhappy. I’ve felt incredible lows and incredible highs; I’ve had days where I feel like I can’t go on, and days where I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world. I’ve had days of crying, and days of laughing, and absolutely no control over these emotions.
So what is happiness and how do you chase something that really, truly cannot be caught?
I think for a long time I’ve found myself chasing something I thought was happiness, but actually isn’t my own happiness. I have chased people, things, dreams, job and lifestyles that from the outside in looked to be happy. I had more friends than I had time to spare on them, more plans than I had hours to sleep and dreams I wasn’t sure I’d love if I got there.
From a young age you become obsessed with the idea of what happy should be, rather than working it out for yourself. Working out what makes you happy, because for some the big house, the ridiculous bank balance and hard work will make you happy, for other a humble existence surrounded by those you love will be what makes you content.

So when I ‘grow up’ (allegedly I should have already) my focus is going to be on being happy; wherever, however that may be. I’ve become so obsessed with the idea of what it is that I’ve forgotten to just be; let things happen and find what happiness means to me.

Ditch the rules

Ditch the rules
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As a woman I find that I am weighed down with numbers constantly:
  • How many people have you slept with?
  • How many dates did you wait?
  • What's your dating rule? 
And honestly, it's driving me a little insane. Especially the "how long should you wait" saga that seems to creep up in the world; even from the most forward thinking people. 

Purely based on the fact that I have a vagina, it's expected that I have to wait X amount of time due to fear of being seen as "easy", "cheap" or whatever other insult is reeled off. Or you've got the problem that you have to play these games of waiting to "prove" that you're not these things - but why?

Why does sleeping with a guy on the first date mean you lack class? Or waiting until the fifth mean you are draped in it?

And why, I mean seriously, are you dating someone that even questions the fact you slept with them too soon.

I've been the girl who does both; I've waited and I've jumped straight in and honestly, it doesn't make a difference to the relationship long-term.

So why is dating, which is supposed to be fun, plagued with this overriding rule book of numbers, behaviours and do's & don'ts.

Why am I not supposed to do this, or am supposed to do that, why can't I forge my own path in a world that is full of swiping, fickle dating and fuckboys.

Another thing - you know what if you want to go on one date, smash and dash, then that is also fine and these conversations about girls being "whores", "sluts" and "slappers" need to stop. Sleeping with someone early on does not lessen your worth, it does not make you anything less than amazing and if someone thinks this then this falls onto them.

You're not "giving up" anything too quickly; you're making a choice dependent on how you feel in that moment.

On the topic of sex; sexual partners. Another number that's top of peoples list, and I can safely say that in any relationship I've been in it's one of the first things I have been asked.

There was a study last year concluding that 12 people is the ideal number of partners - but why are people building an ideal of sexual partners? If you have had 1 or 50, it makes you no less of a person nor does it take anything away from that person just because they have chosen to explore the options available to them.

And this "what is your number" or "what is your rule" needs to stop. It's yet another annoying part of the mindless swiping minefield that dating already is.


Thank You 2017

Thank You 2017
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2017 - you almost destroyed me but you’ve pushed me to become even stronger, loving, optimistic and happier than I’ve ever been before. It’s a year that has invoked my empathy, added to my compassion and truly changed me for the better.

If you’d have asked me three months ago how I felt; it would be a narrative of “worst year of my life” with a dash of “I can’t wait for it to end”. 

A year that I found myself dropping people I considered life-long friends, boyfriends I thought could be for the long-hall, jobs I thought would flourish in.

A year that saw my mental health reach news lows, my physical health deteriorate as well as my inability to be truly honest with those around me about what was really going on. 

A year that up until recently I found myself resenting, citing it as my worst year yet, and whilst I’m ready to let 2017 go and move onto pastures new in 2018, it’s taught me more than I could ever imagine.

You see this year pushed me emotionally to new lengths - but the one thing I learnt was to truly know myself. And, trust me, when I first heard expressions like this I laughed too.

For a long-time, I’m talking years, I’ve had this overriding feeling of being unhappy. I’ve hidden it, I’ve tried to fix it by using people as a form of medication, I’ve ignored what I needed and instead replaced it with what I thought I wanted.

I have spent time in relationships that, now, I wouldn’t ever have entered, I stayed with people because I felt like I needed someone, I dated someone recently largely on the basis I couldn't bear the thought of being alone.

I’ve spent a long period of my life with this overriding fear of being alone; friends, boyfriends, family. In turn, it’s manifested in me being unhappy, and relying on others to fill a void. 

In 2017 this really came to light; I came out of an 18-month on/off ‘relationship’ to go into another a week later, whilst telling the person I’d been single all year. I was embarrassed by my own actions I had to lie - yet this wasn’t warning sign enough for me. 

When that person cheated, it really did break me. But, after taking a massive step back it was one of the most positive things to come out of this year. Whilst it broke me, it also forced me to assess my relationship with myself and instead of jumping to the next person, jump fully into a relationship with myself.

Much like my relationships, my friendships have carried toxicity for longer than I’d hoped.

In London, you will find that many friendships are built on fickle fundamentals. You will become friends with people that you think will be there for you for anything, but actually they won’t.

I lost my best friend this year and truthfully losing him hurt me more than anything else this year; this was someone I adored like a brother, shared everything with and genuinely would have done anything for. He was my best friend.

The problem with losing friends is that it’s worse than a break-up, it’s so much deeper because it was something built on the best parts of a relationship without the complicating physical and mental side. It’s the most incredible partnership you can have.

But it can also be the most toxic.

Being friends with this person meant it had a negative impact on me and truthfully when I needed this person to be there for me, they couldn’t have been less interested and demonstrated just how fickle they can be.

It’s not just relationships in any capacity that hurt; jobs.

I quit my job in April to begin in a new industry, which I was super excited for, and truthfully it went awfully.

The company were anything but what they’d advertised, deep rooted issues with little prospects, no respect and a deeply unrealistic expectation of everyone there but themselves. 

But - whilst I could dwell on the past - this year has taught me that I want to do anything but.

Because whilst there have been a million failures, a million mistakes, a million tears there have also been a million blessings, a million laughs and a million memories that I will never forget.

This has been the year that I feel I have really found myself; in the last few months I’ve become comfortable just being me, to the point I actually love it and I couldn’t be less interested in finding someone. I’ve found a solace I didn’t know I had in myself, I have found a sense of content I didn’t realise I had and - dare I say it - I have developed a love for myself.

And whilst I’ve lost people, I’ve gained people.

I’ve gained a circle of friends that I can truly depend on, the friends who are there for you to go for a random drink through to picking up the phone at your lowest 2am moment, the friends that you can go out for dinner and drinks with or just slob in front of the sofa with. The friends that you couldn’t ask for, the ones that you just find and truly realise what the word ‘friendship’ means.

Whilst I can’t sit here and tell you that it’s been my finest year, it actually has been my most insightful. It’s been the year I’ve learnt so much about myself; I have learnt that I have the ability to forgive even when I don’t want to, I have a new compassion, a new sense of what I want from live.

And you know what, for the first time in what feels like years I can say I am truly happy.

So thank you 2017, you've been better than I ever could have imagined.


I choose to forgive

I choose to forgive
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I've always thought of myself as a Blair Waldorf when it comes to people hurting me.

Revenge is the best option.

I mean I’ve spent the best part of the last 5 years re-watching every series to the point that I know most episodes word-for-word, I know the soundtrack and I’ve mentally envisioned myself marrying Chuck, Nate AND Lonely Boy, a.k.a, Dan.

So when my ex cheated on me, part of me wanted to channel my inner over-privileged teenager. I told him I'd do everything I could to ruin his life, I told him that until he felt as rubbish as I did in that moment I wouldn't rest.

I mean, imagine every dramatic set of words you can and I probably said it with a floating sensation that I’d follow through with every action.

And for about 30 minutes I believed it. I mean I genuinely came up with a genius idea to subtly annoy him for months, then go in for the bigger goals. But I realised - revenge isn’t for me. Revenge isn’t a dish “best served cold”, it’s a dish best served not at all.

When someone hurts you, you're often presented with two options; fight them or forgive them.

You can choose to fight; aim to make them feel as small and insignificant as you do some how. Try to bring some form of pain and trouble to them, spend your days thinking about what would hurt them as much as they hurt you.

And your thoughts will undoubtedly run away alongside your anger. You'll come to have thoughts that aren't in the slightest bit rational and your anger will manifest into your own deeply rooted unhappiness.

I know because that was me. These thoughts, no matter how fleeting, ended up hurting me more than they’d ever hurt that person.

And I mean, hell to the no will I be known as the psycho ex.

Because as much as I'd love to send a GG blast with the intimate details of his private life, do a BW and sleep with a best friend in the backseat of a limo or even marry a Prince in spite - that's just not how I operate.

Sometimes people need your forgiveness more than they need your anger - and sometimes it’s you who needs your own forgiveness more than holding onto the hurt they caused you.

I realised the worst thing I could do to him is forgive him, and forget him.

The thing is being angry and holding a grudge wasn't doing anything to help me.

Sitting there day in and day out thinking about why he did it, the girl he cheated with just manifested into my own hell. A bubble of unhappiness where I felt inadequate, when in reality I'm anything but.

So I chose - I chose forgiveness.

I forgive him for everything he did, I forgive him for hurting me and I forgive everything else that followed after.

The truth is you really do live and learn. You live, you get hurt and you can choose to cling to that pain or forgive and move on.

So in the words of Oasis, don't look back in anger. I mean it.
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