20-Something

We spend our entire kidulthood trying to pose we are older than we are, then we halt at a certain age past 25 and start pining for younger years. It is at this age that we start retrospectively advising ourselves. We think back to the lessons we wish we had taken heed to, or the people we wished we would have ditched at an earlier stage, or never let go of. I sometimes share these lessons on Twitter with #LifeLessons, but I thought it best to share a collated list of my best tips in a post. This is in  collaboration with Casper. 
Shirt : H&M | Trousers : Forever 21 | Watch : Guess

1) Time is precious - live your life in the 'now'. Don't pine for a better tomorrow. Whatever vision or dream is yet to be fulfilled, cease the day and put the plan in motion to start executing it now.
2) Hang in there - one of the hardest lessons I learned in my 20's was patience and resilience. Somethings are meant to come into your life for a reason, and some, only for a season. Be mindful of whether an experience, person, or thing falls into the former or latter category.
3) Read all about it - this is the age of technology, so make use of all the resources that are available to you on the internet; in private and public archives; museums; libraries etc.
4) Coin up on your Cultural Capital - we live in a new age of liberalism. So much is made available to us that may have been reserved exclusively for the elite in days of old. Visit museums and galleries; travel; explore exhibitions; see the world.
5) Binge the box - life is too short to live in regret of having missed X show in Y year; just catch-up! Thanks to the advancements in technology, classics have been digitally remastered, and seasons have been boxed up for your convenience and leisurely entertainment. So book some time off and indulge in a staycation.Upton Country Park, Hamworthy
6) Always on time - you are never too old or too young to do anything. My mum always advised me to live the life I wanted at the expected time. That meant rebelling in my teens, raving up in my early youth, and settling down (hopefully) in my late twenties (or so society would prescribe). Aside from the time restraints that places on one's choices, it meant I didn't look back in regret, longing that i'd done X in Y time, etc.
7) Noteworthy Network - this is something I failed to take heed to until it was far too late (and took up far too much space on my blog as a result, to which I duly apologise). Friends are the family you effectively create, so pick 'em wisely. Be sure to sift through the negative or detrimental lot, and surround yourself with positive, supportive people. They will hold you in good stead in the tough seasons, and exalt you/ celebrate with you in your flourishing years.
8) Lap it up - that's right. Try it all! Whether its to know what it's travelling to a remote part of the world; shaving your hair; or donning a bright shade of lipstick to meet the parents? Do it! Why the hell not? YOLO (shoot me later).
9) Hobbycraft - there is a danger of linear progression in the West, and a dire need to invest in a side hustle. Figure out what you like and invest time in improving that skill, or harnessing that talent. Network with like-minded souls who share that interest, and develop your knowledge and understanding of a new area. It will not only improve you as a being, but increase your network in due course.
10) Empty barrel - the loudest person in the room isn't the most confident. We are all struggling to win our own personal battles, so don't assume that the loudest person in the room has overcome their's and is fighting fit, or has everything under control.
11) Digital Detox - not everyday snap chat, some days just chat. Learn to take timeouts from the online world i.e. social media. There are detrimental effects (the research findings of which cannot be ascertained at this present moment to be credited on this post) of scrolling down your feed of a regular basis, keeping up with the Joneses. You are inundated with [ir]relevant details of just about every Tom, Dick and Sally's life you have ever come into contact with whether it's professionally on LinkedIn, socially on Facebook, verbally on Twitter, or casually on Snapchat. Step back from it all and just take the time to peruse the real world.
12) Yes to the dress - aside from the therapeutic perks of retail therapy, learning to say yes once too often will push you out of your comfort zone. Your 20's is a time to experience all that you can in your most youthful years. You will never again be able to eat a calorific kebab past midnight and still fit into a size 8 dress the following day, so lap it up!
13) Learn to say 'no' - Just as equally as your earlier years are the age of experience and doing whatever your heart desires, and learning from experience. You should also learn to say no to things you have no desire in doing or pursuing. Start to gauge your likes and dislikes, and quit people-pleasing.
14) Kiss a few frogs - this is in no way a push for promiscuity. Rather, a challenge to women to take the bull by the horns and learn to know your likes and dislikes in a life partner. This doesn't necessarily means physically kissing every guy that bats a lash in your direction, rather, a note to women to date or be receptive to courting in the traditional sense. See what is out there and don't settle for less than your worth.
15) Self-love - who are you? Learn to know and love yourself.

Shoes : H! by Henry Holland
16) Psycho Sycophants - whether it's in relationships or bad friendships; some people will just tell you what you need to hear. Be careful of leeches and sycophants in your youth. 
17) Normality is overrated - this is a mantra I have lived by since I braved adulthood. I looked back on my teenage years, masked in clique-mentality, and tied to a unified cause. I fought against the norm and learned when to wade the line of conservatism in order to socially conform and live within the legal limit. Let's not be silly now.
18) Failure is not forever - you are not defined by your past, or even your present. Whatever you want, can be fought for. If it is not attained, consider whether it is truly written within your will to ascertain or there is a different direction worth exploring. The classic examples of failure note the victor trying different avenues before securing success. Do the same.
19) Love liberally - the folk tale about the chill and the sun is age old, with the overarching message being that beaming down with hatred on others profits nobody, but smothering others in love will break barriers, warm hearts and win souls.
20) Age IS a number - Don't fear age. It IS a number. It is an indication of years well lived. It is validation of your experience. Don't deny it. Don't shy away from it. Embrace it.
"20 years...[with] a lot to offer, even to myself" Tina Yothers