20 Pieces of Advice for Turning 20

20 Pieces of Advice for Turning 20

Hey guys, so in two weeks time I’m turning 20. I was terrified because I’m really going to miss my teens and it’s sinking in that this whole adulting thing is happening. I asked Twitter users what their advice would be to their younger selves when they turned 20 and I felt inspired to share some of these with you. The response has been amazing. So here are 20 pieces of advice for anyone turning 20!

1. Not everyone has to like you

Meganne said “It’s okay if someone doesn’t like you. You don’t need to kill yourself over trying to make everyone like you! At the end of the day, loving yourself is more important than anyone else’s approval.”

2. Enjoy your freedom

Roxanne said “Don’t commit to everything too early! You don’t need a forever home yet. Get a cheap flat and spend your money on the experiences you may not have time, money or freedom for later.”

3. It’s never too late

Liz said “It’s great if wonderful life-changing things happen in your 20s, BUT – it’s also okay if they don’t!! You aren’t old! I spent a lot of my 20s thinking it was too late for me and I’d never change or accomplish anything & then my 30s hit and BAM – everything happened. There’s time.”

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4. It’s not your job to fix others

Dannie replied “It is not my job to fix other people, especially people who treat me badly. Walking away doesn’t make me a bad person, and it’s not selfish to have wants and needs of my own.

It’s okay to have an opinion. I don’t have to apologize all the time. I’m allowed to take up space.”

5. Don’t rush

Alyssa said “That you do not have to rush everything! So much pressure is put on young people to have their shit together. Do what you love, focus on happiness and not wealth.”

6. Don’t forget to live

Eclipsa replied “Don’t pressure yourself into “growing up.” Don’t compare yourself to others (especially when it comes to careers, status and achievements). You have your own pace, own time. Love what you do. Live in the now but don’t forget to look forward to tomorrow.”

7. Don’t overwork yourself

The Hamster Ball said “Do not ever overwork yourself. Burning out in the early 20’s can cost you the very career you’re working towards. Work hard but protect your mind and body at all costs. 😘”

8. Don’t take anything for granted

Tessa: “Don’t take your health for granted. Things rarely go the way you want to. Especially long term plans. Be flexible.”

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9. Always do the right thing

John said “Integrity matters. Always do the right thing. You know what it is. If you feel the need to ask someone, “Hey, do you think it’s a good idea for me to …” — then you already know the answer.”

10. Live every day like it’s your last

Lucifer’s sidekick replied: “Live every day as if it’s one of your last. Regret nothing. Treat people with respect. And just always remember, this life is the only one you get, it’s not a practice run for the real thing. One life, live it and enjoy.

11. Family don’t always know what’s best for you

Fandom Magick: “Family is not always right and, sometimes, you learn that their desires/designs are more important to them than your own growth. Don’t let others dictate your life for you.”

12. Don’t waste your time on worrying

Kathryn said “Your 20s are likely to be just as emotionally and personally turbulent as your teens, but with adulting on top. Don’t waste time worrying though – your time is now, your dreams are waiting for you, and if you don’t go for it you may miss your chance forever. Do it. Do it now.”

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13. Don’t resist routine

Myk said “Routine is your invisible handle on an uncertain world, don’t resist it, lean into the certainty of knowing what you’re supposed to be doing.
Then use that solid grounding to launch yourself towards what you want to be.”

14. Don’t compare yourself to others

Laura replied “Don’t compare yourself to people! Just because someone is married, has a masters, or a house doesn’t mean their life is perfect by any means.”

15. Always travel when you can

Liann says “Travel every chance you get. Don’t miss opportunities to experience life because you’re in a rush to graduate and get into the “real world.” It’s all real, and travel will give you more perspective than 20 textbooks or 20 years in an office job.”

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16. Life does get better

Kirstie said “That things WILL get better. My early 20s were rough but I wish I knew and believed that.”

17. Life is a journey

Finding the fearless life replied: “Life is a journey. You will continue to change and grow. When life seems to hit hard, and it will at times, just know you will get through it. And all the other struggles that you may face.”

18. No one has it figured out

Sam says: “Just because someone is older than you doesn’t mean they have it “figured out.” We all don’t know what we are doing! So do what you want to do. Don’t let other’s opinions stop you. ❤”

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19. It’s not weak to ask for help

Andrea said “💙 It’s not weak to ask for help.
💙 Just because people have plans for you doesn’t mean those are the plans for you. (If that makes any sense 😂)
💙 Learn better spending habits young, it’ll save you later.”

20. Never say no to new opportunities

Memory Drone replied “To never say no to something I had never tried before from food, sport, activity as it may turn out you love it that much it becomes part of your life and imagine having a life full to the brim of things that we love.”

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Does anyone else just want to hang these tweets on a wall and look at them each day for motivation, because I sure as hell do. A huge thank you to everyone who took part, you have made this nervous girl a little less anxious!

Why I Want To Move To New York

Why I Want To Move To New York

So since it’s #TravelTuesday I wanted to share my reasons of why I want to live in New York, the city that never sleeps.

If you have moved from the UK to the US I would also love to speak to you so do get in touch!

Endless possibilities

Even though I now live very close to London, it is so difficult to find work and get to London on time for events. I don’t think London even compares to NYC at all, but there is a lot that goes on here.

Despite that, New York is the city that never sleeps and it has so many opportunities. There are countless things to discover within the city and outside of it. There are lots more publishing jobs in New York than London and if I actually lived within New York it wouldn’t cost me as much to get to work as it would to get to London every morning. Plus, who doesn’t want to be walking the streets of New York with a Dunkin Donuts in hand?

It’s Busy

You’d think, as someone with social anxiety, I would hate the fact there are so many people. But I actually become more anxious when there are fewer people around because I feel as if they’re judging me.

Whereas in New York because it’s heaving, I can just blend in. Everyone is so busy caring about their own lives that they don’t even notice you.

Sense Of Belonging

Whenever I go to New York I feel like I belong there. It ticks every box on my list and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I feel at home walking the streets. I don’t feel this way in the UK and I don’t think I ever will.

Now I just have to let fate decide. Because it’s so difficult getting a visa, I have to pray one day I’ll find a job that enables me to work there. But that’s very hard to do when you’re a freelancer!

Have you ever moved abroad? And if so, where did you come from and where did you go? (I now have the Cotton Eye Joe song in my head.)

Review: Seeing Ricky Gervais Live

Review: Seeing Ricky Gervais Live

So yesterday Oliver and I saw Ricky Gervais live in Guildford for his warm up show.

We got last minute tickets with only two seats left but we managed to get aisel seats so win win. The warm up act was Sean McLoughlin, a London based comedian. He was quite funny, telling jokes about his fiance and millennials. I really enjoyed some of his stuff and hopefully he may be at the comedy store at some point.

Ricky, as always, was hilarious. Of course there’s the usual jokes that will part the audience but most of them I find funny because, like Ricky says, what you don’t find funny, someone else will. There’s always a demand for comedy. And for lots of different types.

This is one of Ricky’s first warm up shows for his new tour, SuperNature. As we know, Ricky is passionate about animal welfare so expect a lot of hysterical animal jokes!

It was nice to see Ricky laugh at his own jokes and be real, not just scripted like he seems to be with the odd laugh here and there. I’d much rather go and see a warm up show rather than the real thing because of how genuine he was.

I enjoy Ricky’s comedy because he’s so honest about everything and he lays it all out on the table. He doesn’t believe in God, he believes we are worm food. I agree with him and while death scares me, for a moment Ricky made it funny. That’s what life’s about: seeing the humour in every day.

I can’t wait to watch the SuperNature show on Netflix when it comes out and I was so privileged to go and see him on stage before his big tour! I hope everyone has an amazing time going to see him perform.

My Experience With OCD

My Experience With OCD

This is quite a sensitive subject to cover on my blog. But I think it’s important to make people more aware of OCD. I never really realized I had OCD until it started to get worse. First of all, I’m going to start off by explaining what OCD is and then move on to what my version of OCD feels like.

What is OCD?

Mind describes OCD as: “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. It has two main parts: obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, worries or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind. They can make you feel very anxious (although some people describe it as ‘mental discomfort’ rather than anxiety).

Compulsions are repetitive activities that you do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. It could be something like repeatedly checking a door is locked, repeating a specific phrase in your head or checking how your body feels.”

My Experience

I’ve always had a bit of OCD. When I was 9 I went through a phase of having to drink lots of water – more than normal – so that I felt things could be alright. I have had those “I have to touch it otherwise a family member dies” type experiences. But predominately the one obsession I get over and over again is having to read the same sentence in a book three times over. If I’ve read the sentence twice because I wasn’t paying attention the first time around, I have to do it a third time otherwise something bad will happen. It changes every day, which person will die if I don’t do it, whether something else bad may happen. I know it won’t, but my mind always asks me “what if?” So to be on the safe side I do it anyway. I haven’t really told people that – and it’s partly why I’m such a slow reader.

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Another compulsion I have had since I was little is to have to say goodnight to everyone I love three times in my head. And to also repeat the same sentence three times if I think a bad thought and want it to go away.

I try to work on it every day, by dismissing it and telling myself over and over that nothing bad will happen if I don’t say the same thing three times in a row. But our minds work in mysterious ways. I know for a fact we will all die, something bad always happens no matter what. It’s just trying to overcome the urge to complete the compulsions that I find difficult. But I will get there.

I wanted to write this post mainly because I always feel very alone in this. But I know there are loads of people out there who feel the same things as I do. We aren’t alone in this. OCD has always been stereotyped as needing to be a clean “freak.” But that’s not at all what OCD is. It’s about obsessing and having to repeat yourself and battling with the thoughts in our heads every day. You are not alone.

How to Take Care of Yourself

OCD can be really scary sometimes but there are ways to take care of yourself. These include:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Try some relaxation techniques
  • Try mindfulness
  • Create a support network of who you can trust
  • Try to get some exercise
  • Try to say affirmations every day
  • Manage your stress levels the best way you know how
  • Get online support (OCDAction and OCDUK have online communities)

I hope you found this post helpful. If you did, don’t forget to check out my other mental health posts.

 

Review: After Life

Review: After Life

Oliver and I finished watching After Life the day it came out because we wanted a good laugh and I’d been looking forward to watching it ever since Netflix started promoting the series.

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Review

At first I thought it was going to be another one of his goofy films like The Invention of Lying. I had no idea this wonderful series was going to put a humorous spin on an otherwise dark topic.

From the very beginning to the very end, I loved every second of the series. It was quite clear from the start that Tony (Ricky) needed to get on with his life. I’ve seen a few people criticize the series saying that they didn’t like the way Tony’s grief disappeared. But it didn’t disappear, he just learnt that he needs to enjoy the time he has on this planet. We’re all going to die. Should we waste our time wallowing in self pity and misery when there’s a whole world to explore? A world that your loved one didn’t see but you know they’d want you to explore?

This series sheds a light on what grief really is but Ricky always manages to make us laugh in the darkest of times. I think my favourite parts were when he called the school boy a “tubby little ginger cunt” and when he’s laughing at the women’s tit puddings. If you have no idea what I’m on about then I suggest you go and watch it so you can have a right laugh.

The series is so witty that I found myself laughing about some of the scenes long after they had passed. I really enjoyed he fact that I knew all of the actors from Ricky’s other TV series and movies such as Kerry Godliman. They all had the right parts and didn’t overshadow Ricky’s character.

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Over all the episodes we can see Ricky soften up and we see what he truly cares about. We see him care about his nephew George – maybe not in the right way! – and his dad, his colleagues and dog. After all, the dog did save his life. He brings up some serious issues such as self harm and suicide which need to be talked about openly. Not only has Ricky blessed us with yet another hilarious series but he’s also brought a more serious side of mental health to our attention. Did you know that in the UK men remain three times as likely to take their own lives than women, and in the Republic of Ireland four times more likely? This is a shocking statistic that needs to be changed. We all know that men receive a lot of stick about talking about their feelings. This needs to change and the fact Ricky has brought this to our attention means we need to fight the stigma related to men talking about their feelings.

I also liked the fact that it wasn’t about Tony just moving on with his life and forgetting his late wife; it was about learning to live with the loss and grieving in the right, healthy way. I loved the series; it may not be for everyone but I enjoy dark humor and offensive swear words!

 

Poetry Review: Under The Influence

Poetry Review: Under The Influence

In this week’s blog post I’ll be reviewing Jacquelyn Lee’s poetry debut, Under The Influence. Trigger warning: A book about trauma, abuse and addiction.

Blurb

Under the influence is a journey of abuse, trauma, and grief through poetry. It is divided into three chapters: addiction, withdrawal, and overdose. Each chapter depicts a different part of the author’s abuse-ridden life as she grew up “under the influence” of her dysfunctional parents.

Jacquelyn Lee turns her pain into something beautiful through her gripping and moving words. Through poetry and prose, she expresses her experiences with an alcoholic father, a mentally-ill mother, the suicide of her father and everything in between. Under the influence brings the darkness into the light and gives a voice to the voiceless.

Review

I interviewed Jacquelyn Lee a while ago and asked her about her writing and Under The Influence. I’ve wanted to buy the book for a while and with Christmas money I was able to afford to.

I knew it was going to be about abuse and trauma but it was still surprising how many awful things happened to her and her family.

Jacquelyn is determined to help others through her writing and reading her book made me feel less alone. I, myself am from a broken home and can relate to some of Jacquelyn’s experiences. It’s a horrible thing to have to go through but I’m so glad she decided to share her experiences to create more awareness for domestic abuse victims.

The book is full of affirmations about how it’s not the victim’s fault for the abuser’s actions. She talks about addiction, alcohol, trauma and the abuse her and her siblings went through.

I admire her for talking and opening up about her parents and I can’t wait to read more of her writing.

You can follow Jacquelyn on Instagram: Jacquelyn.Lee

Twitter: _JacquelynLee

Facebook: JacquelynxLee

Or visit her website: http://www.Jacquelyn-Lee.com

I urge you to buy this book if you or someone you know has been through abuse and want to make a difference in the world. Until next time, love, Vee x

Ways to Practice Self Care in the Winter

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! So we all know that our mental health can go downhill in the winter months because of the nights drawing in and the cold, rainy days. This post gives you some insight on how to take care of yourself and your mental health during the winter. Self-care isn’t just about face masks, eating chocolate and buying your favourite magazine (although I sometimes do this). There’s a lot more to it! Read below for some ideas on how to practice better self-care!

Take a Bath or Shower

I personally hate having a bath because, as Chandler puts it, you are “sitting in your own filth.” And that just does not relax me. However, I absolutely love showers and when I’m feeling really low I like to take longer ones and just feel the water hitting me; it keeps me grounded when I feel like I’m floating away. If you like showers like me, why not

But if you’re a bath person, one way to practice self-care is to have a long bubble bath, buy some Lush bath bombs or read a book in the tub. Do whatever makes you feel more relaxed. Light a few candles and pamper yourself! You can even get a stand like this one so that you can read/watch TV in the tub.

Start a Bullet Journal

If you’re having trouble with figuring out how you feel or just want to document your journey, then bullet journaling is a great idea to keep your mind active and to also be creative. You could use your journal for drawings, paintings, calendars or even a mood chart. You can even download bullet journal spreadsheets and printables for inspiration.

Journals are an excellent way to keep track of your mood for your mental health and gives you a good idea of how you’re dealing with certain situations. The journal below is an example of a bullet journal (not mine). It’s not only for self-care but it’s also a great hobby to have and really lets your creativity shine through.

Declutter

Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed or I’m struggling, I like to sort out my wardrobe and have a clear out of things I don’t need or use. It helps clear my mind and keeps me busy. I tend to feel relieved and a little less confused after I’ve had a clear out.

Declutter your wardrobe and get rid of clothes you don’t use or items you don’t want. Winter is a great time to throw out the old for the new year ahead!

Take Up Meditation or Yoga

Meditation isn’t for everyone, but it can be a very relaxing technique to practice for your self-care. Take ten minutes to reflect, think or listen to some tapes. I used to listen to Paul Mckenna to help with my anxiety.

Yoga is also great for relaxing and releases endorphins. If you aren’t a fan of yoga, you could take up a different sport or exercise such as running or cycling. I cycle to work each morning and it really makes a difference. Make it a routine – whether you get out of bed and do the sun salutation each morning or go for a run after work in the evening.

Read

Have you got a favourite book? One that you’ve read over and over again? On days where you need a bit of TLC, why not read your favourite book or pick up a new read, maybe even a winter one to take your mind off things?

If reading isn’t for you, then why not watch your favourite movie? My favourite is Bridget Jones and I always watch it when I need cheering up. You could watch a Christmas movie to get you into the spirit.

Go Shopping

If the cold is getting you down, then maybe you should go out for a coffee date with yourself to try a new spiced latte or hot chocolate. You can learn to be in your own company and try something new at the same time. It’s good to be by yourself sometimes and to treat yourself to something new, whether you’re buying new clothes for the season or something simple such as a face mask, some chocolate or a hot drink.

Make a Quotes Jar

If you’re feeling down, why not ask your friends, family or online friends if they would send you a positive quote, compliment or note for you to write down on a piece of paper and keep. You can create a jar of positivity and look at these words whenever you feel down.

Alternately, create your own quotes or happy memories and read one to yourself every day to keep a positive mind.

I hope this post has given you some self-care ideas! Until next time, love, Vee x

6 Powerful Poems from the witch doesn’t burn in this one

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! In this week’s blog I’m going to be sharing some of the most powerful poems from Amanda Lovelace’s collection: the witch doesn’t burn in this one. Please tell me in the comments some of your favourite and inspiring poems.

1. This has to be one of my favourites from the book because it’s so damn unapologetic. Do not, I repeat, do not let anybody walk over you.

2. You have all the strength in you that you need; use it and empower others.

3. The simple line is, you need to look after yourself just like you would a small child. Treat yourself with respect, self care and love.
















4. We are strong, independent women and we’ve got this. When our enemies intend for us to crawl up in a ball, stand up and fight back. Not because you want to but because you have to.

5. You have no idea what you are capable of until you pick up a pen and write your heart out. Inspire others just like you and not like you to stand up for themselves, fight for what they want and live their happiest life.

6. It is not normal to go through abuse. I’ve learnt this throughout the years and I’m here to tell you it isn’t right. Society has altered our perceptions of what a healthy relationship is.

I hope you feel as inspired as I did when I read Lovelace’s books. Be powerful, inspire and take care of yourself. Until next time, Vee x

5 Ways Books Make You Rich

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hi guys. This week’s blog is all about how books make us rich and not in the monetary sense of the word. Have a look at the 5 ways books make you rich and add some of your own in the comments if I forget anything.

Knowledge is Power

Books give us knowledge and the power to use words – either for good or bad reasons. As J.K Rowling wrote: “Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

Comfort

We all need comfort, whether it’s from family and friends or from characters in books and the stories that authors tell. Books are an invaluable source of comfort for any bookworm and they will always be there for you when you feel alone.

Strength

It may be similar to knowledge but strength is absorbed from books and the morals within them. Books give us the strength to stand up to people, to tell someone we love them; to seize the day. To me, that’s what a book is all about.

Role Models

Role models are an important part of any book – every person in the world needs to look up to someone, whether that person’s fictional or non fictional. Some people look up to Katniss Everdeen for courage whereas others look up to Luna Lovegood for being her authentic, quirky self.

Authors

As readers, we often read a book and don’t think twice about the author unless they’re well known or we want to read more of their work. However, authors are an important part of the world we live in because if it wasn’t for them, we wouldn’t have stories to brag about on Insta or bookshelves of stories to read when we need someone to be their for us. Authors make us rich by giving us the stories we crave; the stories the world needs.

I hope you enjoyed this list but please feel free to add your own ways that books make you rich. Until next time, Vee x

Poetry Review: the witch doesn’t burn in this one

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! In this week’s blog I’m going to be talking about and reviewing Amanda Lovelace’s second installment of poetry. I have read the princess saves herself in this one and it was one of the best collections of modern poetry I have read. I’m also open to more poetry book suggestions so please feel free to comment your recommendations!

So Amanda Lovelace’s idea of poetry is different to the normal, old fashioned type but in lots of ways it’s so much better in getting messages across. In this second poetry collection, Lovelace explores topics such as revenge, politics, sexual assault and feminism.

When I first read the book my first impression was that it was very anti men. I haven’t been through her experiences so I can’t comment on that but I feel like most of the poems attacked men – maybe it was just aimed at rapists and bad men but for me, I would feel rather uneasy about reading this as a guy.

However, Lovelace explores her inner strength in this book as well as her previous one. She writes mostly about women helping women, supporting one another; knowing that we are strong. I think it’s so important that she has written about this subject because we do need to stick together and change the world through art. If even one person reads your work, that might be the sign they needed. That might be the thing that they need to hear. If your art can change or empower another person, even just one person, it’s still worth writing, painting, drawing, crafting.

Lovelace also explores eating disorders and how we see ourselves. Lots of young people could feel less alone just by reading her poems. A major theme in this book is having confidence and exploring how that isn’t a bad thing. As long as you don’t have a massive ego but you love who you are, that’s all that matters.

We need to cheer each other on and that’s what I have taken away from this book. I want to stand up for myself and be the happiest version of me possible. Reading Lovelace’s poetry always inspires me to follow my dreams – shouldn’t all writers’ work have that effect?

Have you read any of her work? If you haven’t I highly recommend getting down to your local bookstore or online to buy both her works! Until next week, Vee x