• Ellie Stennett

24 things I've learnt in 24 years

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

I turned 24 on the 10th of March. I wanted to write this blog post so I can look back in the future and see how much I've grown as a person, and what I need to change for future development. I'm really proud of the person I've become and the lessons I've learnt over the years (no matter how good or bad the situation was in which I had my eyes opened). I still have miles and miles to go, and there are so many more lessons I need to learn. I'm trying my best to education myself in so many different ways to be as good as I can be, but for now I thought I would share all the incredible lessons which have shaped my life to where I am now!

1. Reading is awesome

A chapter to two before bed can put you right to sleep. Plus, it gives you more topics to talk about with people, and, for an introvert, this is great!

2. Don't ever beg for someone to love you

While at university, my boyfriend at the time and I broke up. It was awful because it was my fault - I was not in a good place mentally, but I struggled to come to terms with that until a year later. After weeks of begging (yes, begging. for us to meet up for a chat about everything, we got back together because I convinced him I would change everything about myself to be with him. After a week or so of being a couple again, I hated it. I felt worthless, I felt uncomfortable, I felt like I was in a complete out-of-body experience because I was playing someone completely different to myself. That was when I realised that I shouldn't change everything about myself to please someone else. So, I ended it and I took some time to work out who I am (some may say that's lame, I said it was vital) and I've never felt more confident, and in doing so, I found the love of my life who loves me for exactly who I really am.

3. Always trust your gut

More often that not if something doesn't feel right, it's probably because it's not. It's really odd. I spent years fighting against gut reactions, from things as small as when to go home after a night out to whether to take a job or not, and my gut was always right. If I didn't listen to it, bad decisions were usually made.

4. It's OK not to be OK

I think this one is pretty obvious. It took me years to admit that something wasn't right with me, such as depression and anxiety, and I regret all the times I couldn't join in at uni or the relationships I ruined because of it. It's OK to feel this way and more people do than I realised. It took a huge step and a lot of conversations before I went and got help, but it was the best decision I ever made.

5. Being quiet and/or introverted isn't a bad thing

I used to hate the fact I was quiet, shy and introverted. I used to seriously envy confident people and wonder why I couldn't be like them. But then I realised that actually being quiet and introverted is actually bloomin' brilliant. You learn to love your own company and focus on who your real friends are by limiting your circle, but most important of all... you become really good at keeping Sims alive. Not only this, but I feel like my ability to listen, take in other peoples feelings into consideration and make conscious decisions increased so much because the time you're spent alone or sitting quietly, you're taking in so much of the world around you which I think shapes you as a person. But this is just my experience.

6. Learn to enjoy your own company

This kind of links to the one above, but once you learn that you don't constantly need people around you, everything because so much easier. Less drama, less guilt, less bad decisions, more time focusing on the things you enjoy For me, that includes reading, cruelty free and vegan updates, blogging, improving my skills and focusing a lot on self care. I feel like once I learnt that my own company is awesome, I grew up a lot more and stopped 99% of the drama in my life.

7. Always pee after sex

No one likes a getting a UTI. They're painful and uncomfortable. If you pee after sex, it works as an antibacterial to clear any nasty germs away, which reduces the chances of getting a UTI. This is like the biggest life hack I've learnt and I literally tell everyone to make sure they pee after sex.

8. Put your phone down. Life is happening right in front of you and you’re missing it

Ironic for me to say while I'm trying to make my way in the world of Instagram, but I’m actually not on my phone as much as people think. This last year has made me realise that I don’t want to live my life through a phone, especially during days out, birthdays, family gatherings, concerts, ect because yes, the photos are nice, but I’d rather be in the moment and enjoy it with the people who are with me. They won't be around forever (as much as I wish they were) so enjoy the moment while you're there. I always think in the grand scheme of things, is anyone going to care about this photo? Is posting it online at this exact time actually an issue for me? In 1,2,3,4,5 years time, am I going to care about this post more than I am spending time and making memories? No. I've said 100 times, and I even have a blog post on it, the I'm not like other bloggers, but I'm OK with that. I literally explain this section in so much more detail if you want to have a read.

9. Having a small group of friends isn't bad

It's exactly the opposite. I would say currently I have five to six friends who I honestly consider family. We don't always keep in contact, in fact I hardly talk to any of them on a daily basis. Weekly at best, or even longer. But I know full well, day or night, 1 mile apart of 1000 miles apart, they are there for me no matter what, and that is an incredible feeling.

10. Drinking water solves almost everything

Breaking out? Water. Dry skin? Water. Hair and skin looking a bit dull? Water. Headache? Water. Too drunk? Water.

11. Recognising negative relationships and cut them out

They're not worth the drama. This could be anything from a horrible 'friend' to a current partner or even family member, just cut out the negative energy. I'm all for giving people second, third, fourth, even fifth chances, or sticking around to be a loyal friend, I get that. But at some point you've got to put your foot down and cut it out. Last year, I cut out a friend who no one liked, and didn't like them for YEARS, but I stuck by them through so much drama, until they started to be horrible to me. I put up with it for a couple of months, but then I thought 'nope. I've tried my hardest here, bye bye.' and I've had limited drama in my life since. BEST decision I made.

12. Peanut butter is f*cking awesome

Don't even fight me on this. Crunchy or smooth, for breakfast or dessert, dpread on toast with bananas or frozen in dark chocolate cups in your ice cream, it's all amazing.

13. Just because your family, doesn't mean you have to get along

I have limited experience with this (although I've got one on-going battle that I'm still trying to figure out regarding this subject, maybe ill come back with an update soon.) BUT I always hear people say 'but they're family' or 'blood is thicker than water' and I'm like... no. If someone that you're related to is a horrible person, why should society dictate that we have to be loyal to them because they're family? I've got friends I consider better family than some people I'm related to. You pick who you want around. You pick who you stay loyal to, family or not. This goes back to cutting out negative relationships because I am 100% for that. Sorry but you pick who you want around.

14. Make sure people pay for your years, not your hours

I can't express myself enough with this. Creative minds spend years crafting and perfecting their skills and talents to be unique. They get into debt to pursue their passions. Do not expect their work for free. Do not expect it to be rushed. Do not put a time limit on it. Do not hire someone because you don't have a creative mind or the skill set, then give them a project with LIMITED notes and tear their ideas to shreds when they're doing the work for free/limited pay. Go back to making things on paint and powerpoint if you don't want to pay for the years of craft, dedication and passion of a creative mind. There is a difference between a 5 minutes job, a 5 hour job, and a 5 day job. Remember that.

15. There is no such thing as a 'proper job'

and it's insulting to keep using that term. A job is a job, whether you're working in a restaurant or in an office, whether you're a freelancer or CEO of a company, we're all trying to make our way in this world. Some people need to move with the times and realise that there are more jobs now than just trades and offices.

16. University, grades and qualifications aren't everything

Yes, university taught me a lot, and yes, qualifications look great on paper, but do they actually matter? Not really. I think it comes down to passion, skill, who you know and common sense for most jobs. Most of the time you learn on the job anyway. I have a BA (Hons) and an MA degree, and I've learnt more from my current job by being hands on, involved and challenging myself that I ever did at university, and that's all in a 8 month period. I'll admit, I have more degree's that all my friends, but they're way further ahead in their lives and careers than I am, or probably ever will be, and I am so proud of them.

17. Question everything, and speak up if something doesn't feel right

This is a combination of listen to your gut and being quiet isn't a bad thing - like I said, you pick up on something that doesn't feel right very quickly. If someone made a joke you think is offensive, call them out on it. If someone made you feel like sh*t, tell them and don't let them get away with talking to you like that.

18. Vegan and veggie food is awesome

I'm including veggie food in this because I know more and more people are making changes to their diet before going fully vegan. The speed in which vegan food has grown and developed over the past year alone is so impressive. One second we're living off tofu, next we've got realistic meat alternatives for burgers, hot dogs and chicken that you genuinely have to ask the server who bought over your food if they've given you meat or not. Like... have you ever tried oat milk?! That stuff is AWESOME. There's basically a vegan version of everything now!

19. Mushrooms are still gross


20. Always tip your server

There is nothing more heartbreaking than working so hard for a table, making sure they have a great dining experience and laughing at all their rubbish jokes for them to leave without giving you an extra couple of quid to put in your pocket. Most servers are paid a shockingly low wage (at one point I was on £3.68 an hour lmao), so unless your server is actually the worst person ever, leave them a tip. Eespically during the holidays and weekends (valentines day, new year, Christmas and easter), chances are they've had to give up time with their loved ones so you can spend time with yours.

21. A simple text/phone call can make someones day

I used to seriously take this for granted. Just a simple I miss you message or sending someone a meme can just remind them that you're there, you're thinking of them and whether you have the time to have a full blown conversation or not, you're still making the effort to stay connected, which is beautiful.

22. Upsetting people is part of life

I try so hard not to upset people, but sometimes you'v got to realise that annoyingly you can't please everyone. I used to get myself into proper little fits when someone was upset with me for something that was out of my control or it was my fault, but I needed to be selfish at times I just ended up making myself miserable, and them, and it was just a horrible circle. One day, I was like no this is ridiculous. If someone's sad with me the best I can do is apologise, take this as a lesson, hope they forgive me and move on. simple as.

23. Everyone's happiness is different

Books, sims, popcorn, Greg, friends, finding a pen that is satisfying to write with, jurassic park, veganism and black jeans make me happy. This may all seem very lame to some people reading this, and that's ok. Everyone's happiness is different. My only major life goal is to have a family and children of my own, whereas I have friends who don't ever want kids and purely want to succeed in their chosen career, and that's ok. People have their own source of happiness and none of it is wrong.

24. Kindness doesn't cost a penny

A please or thank you will not kill you and can seriously change the outcome of someones mood.

So there we have it! 24 things I've learnt in 24 years on this planet! I will be doing a blog post soon around 24 eco friendly and cruelty free facts so keep your eyes peeled for that!

Have you learnt any major life lessons that you want to share?

Until next time,

- E x

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