22 Things I've Learned In 22 Years

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Turning 22 this year has made me realise that I have a whole lot of learning to do but also that I've learnt so many lessons in my life so far. I've made plenty of mistakes and I've learnt from them. I've trusted the wrong people and gotten hurt because of it. I've started making the right decisions for myself and putting myself first. I definitely don't have it all figured out yet but I've learned some valuable life lessons in my 22 years.

1. Its' 100% ok to not have your life figured out in your early 20s

Your 20s are for discovering who you are and the things that make you happiest. Don't get stressed about not having a perfect relationship, perfect job and life in your 20s. You'll figure it out someday, but this is your time for learning.

2. You're definitely not going to be married with kids by the time you're 24

You have to laugh at all those times in primary school when you're teacher would ask you what age you wanted to get married at and the majority of your class said 24 or 25. Yep, that's not going to happen. Maybe for some people it does but 24 comes around a lot quicker than you'd expect! 34 is probably a much more accurate estimate for it.

3. You're going to let the wrong people into your life

This is a given. The important thing is to learn not to let those types of people into your life again. These people will hurt you, take advantage of you and not value the amazing things about you. The wrong people will lead you to the right people.

4. Never feel guilty for putting yourself first

If you're a people pleaser like me, you'll know that it's hard to put yourself first instead of doing everything for others. Never feel guilty for not wanting to do something or deciding that something isn't right for you. You don't always have to make decisions based on how it will effect others. It's so important to put your own happiness first at times.

5. You'll learn how to say no

If you're someone who finds it hard to say no to things incase you complicate plans for someone else or don't want to put someone else out of their way, you'll learn that it's so necessary sometimes to say no to things that you don't want to do and not feel guilty about it. It's great to say yes to opportunities but it's also completely ok to say no to things you really don't want to do.

6. You'll fall in love with the wrong people and have your heart badly broken

You're going to fall for some jerks, no questions asked. You're going to fall for a guy who tells you he loves you but really couldn't give a crap about you. You're going to get badly hurt but you're also going to get through it and learn to never let the same horrible people hurt you again like that.

7. You'll learn to stay away from those types of people

You learn from your mistakes, simple as that. You learn to stay away from shitty people and you'll not let anyone hurt you like that again. You'll rise above it and be stronger than before.

8. You'll lose friends who don't agree with your choices, and that's ok

You don't exist to please other people. You're not here to make other people happy and conform to what others think you should be. Don't change yourself because someone doesn't agree with your decisions. Be you and if a friend is unable to accept that you're different to them then maybe they're not a friend after all. Your real friends will stick by you no matter what so only focus your time and energy on them.

9. A lot of people are out for themselves

Trust is something you'll learn to give sparingly and cautiously to people. A lot of people don't care about others wellbeing and will do what it takes to succeed. Be wary of people that you think aren't 100% genuine because in most cases, they're not.

10. It's so so so important to do the things you love on a daily basis

Your happiness and mental health comes from the things you love. If you do the things you love daily, your happiness will improve so much. Make time everyday to work on that thing that gives you happiness. It's very important to look after your mental health in your 20s.

11. Don't stress about things that are out of your control

If you can't change it or control it, let it go. If it's out of control, release it from your life and forget all about it. Don't dwell on it and erase it from you mind.

12. Don't try and make peace with a guy who screwed you over

Forgive if you can and forget that a**hole immediately. Don't stay friends with someone who didn't respect you or treat you like the amazing person you are. Let them get on with their life and be glad that you escaped that mess.

13. Casual dating is good to discover what type of person you want to be with

The more you date people, the more you'll find out what you're attracted to and what type of person you get on best with. Go on dates for fun and enjoy every experience you have with people. Don't be afraid to go on a few dates with different people to find out what your 'type' is.

14. One of the worst things you can do is compare yourself and your journey to others

Social media is fake. People post highlight reels of their lives and we can't help but compare how crap our lives seem to theirs. It's great for people to be proud of their accomplishments but not when it seems all too good to be true. Unfollow that person who constantly posts about how amazing their life is. It's having a negative effect on your mind and putting you in reverse rather than making you motivated. I advise to not follow anyone, but instead walk alongside the real ones.

15. Travel while you have the money and time to do so

Don't be scared to invest money in yourself by travelling and seeing the world and gaining amazing life experiences. There's no rush to have a house, mortgage, car etc. in your early twenties so make the most of this valuable time and see as much of the world as possible.

16. It's OK to try things and quit them if you realise they're not for you

If you got a new job and realised that it was the complete wrong thing for you, don't feel guilty about quitting to find the job that is right for you. If you take up a new hobby that you're not actually keen on, don't feel like failure for not continuing with it. Try as many things as possible until you find the things that make you happy.

17. Put yourself in new situations and try as many new things as possible, even if it's nerve wrecking

You'll grow so much as a person by putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. Do the things that scare you the most. Take risks. Tick off all of the things on your list of things you've wanted to try. You'll thank yourself for pushing yourself to do new things.

18. Remind yourself that things will get better

Even if it seems like they won't, things will get better. In the darkest of days when you're finding it a struggle to keep going, just remember that this is temporary and amazing things are coming when you make the choices to do so. The pain and suffering is tough but you will get through this and you'll be so much stronger for it.

19. Don't apologise for being you

Don't change for someone else just because they don't like something about you or don't agree with your choices. As long as you're not hurting anyone and are happy then don't apologise for doing things that you want to do. 

20. Don't rush into relationships and enjoy being single

People who constantly need to be in relationships are usually lacking in something big in their own lives. If you can't go six months being single then you need to seriously look at what your missing in your own life and why you can't cope on your own. Never rely on someone else for happiness and you should be able to be 100% as a single person on your own without needing anyone else. You need to be able to love yourself before you can love someone else.

21. If you have a gut feeling that something isn't right, then don't do it

Always follow your gut. If you have a bad feeling about something, then  you shouldn't go for it. Don't hope for the best if you know somethings not right. Assess every situation and make sure that it won't negatively effect your life.

22. Never ever give up on the things that make you the most happy

The one strength you have that will get you through the toughest of times are the things that make you genuinely happy. Whether it's playing an instrument, sport, cooking, dancing, writing, or anything that takes away your stress and pain, never give that thing up because it's what will get you through the toughest situations in life.

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How To End It After A Few Dates

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You've been on a few dates with someone, you've enjoyed getting to know them but you know that there's a spark missing and you can't see yourself dating this person in the long term. 

Stopping seeing someone after a couple of dates is a tricky situation because you don't want to hurt the person but you know that it's in your best interest to finish the relationship now and move on.

If you have a gut feeling that the person you're dating isn't 'the one' then it's only fair to both of you if you call it quits and tell them that it's better for you not to see each other. You might find yourself wanting to make yourself go on a few more dates just to see if it gets better or if you develop a connection, but after three or four dates you should have a pretty good idea of how well you get on together and if you can see this person being in your life for a long time.

It's normal to feel guilty about wanting to end it after a few dates, but don't beat yourself up or feel too bad about ending it, because if you're not the right people for each other then ending it is the right thing to do. It's much better to end it now in the early stages before one of you develops feelings, because you or the person you're dating will end up getting very hurt if you don't.

Read Next: 

3 Ways To End It After A Few Dates

1. Send Them A Meaningful Text

If you only went on a few dates, then sending a thoughtful text to explain your feelings will be enough to let the person know that you don't want to continue dating them. Let them know that you really enjoyed spending time with them but you feel like you're just friends and can't see it progressing into a relationship. Be honest with the person and be open about your reasons for wanting to end it. You don't have to force yourself into a relationship with anyone an if it's not working out then don't worry! Just be polite and respectful and end it on good terms. If you had different values or there was no spark, just let them know that. Don't give them false hope by saying things like, 'maybe we'll see each other again.' It's better to be brutally honest than to lead them on to thinking that they may have a chance with you again.

2. Have A Face To Face Conversation 

If you've been dating for more than a few weeks then a face to face conversation or 'breakup' may be more suitable. If you think the person you're dating has developed feelings for you and there's a connection there, then it's only fair if you explain to them in person that it's not working out. Don't take the easy way out by sending a text if you've been seeing each other for quite a while. Although it's hard for both people, arrange to meet the other person and have a chat to explain exactly how you're feeling and your reasons for not wanting to see them anymore. Help them to understand why you want to end it and give them the respect of a proper explanation, they have given a lot of their time to you after all.

3. Stay Friends If You Think It Will Help

Usually people who break up and agree to stay friends don't work out, but if after a few dates you realise that you're only just friends, then maybe it's good to stay friends! Although it hasn't worked out for you both as a couple, maybe you've found a great friend in each other and there's no reason why you can't continue the relationship on a friendship level. Just make sure there's no feelings more than friendship on both sides, to avoid getting hurt.

However it ends, let them down easily and be thankful for the chance to meet someone new and gain experience in the dating world. Everyone we meet has an impact on our lives and at least you've been able to discover someone new who will lead you to discovering who is really meant for you. Whatever you do, don't ghost someone and don't cut them out of your life with no explanation. Everyone deserves to be loved and respected and remember to show kindness always.

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An Open Letter To My Ex

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To the guy who broke my heart,

I fell for you. I fell really hard for you. You were the first person I let into my life in four years, because I'd been broken before and wasn't ready to be broken again. Little did I know that you'd hurt me more than anything I'd ever felt. Little did I know that every second I spent with you meant nothing.

It took six months for you to show your true colours. Six months in which I let my feelings grow, in which I looked forward to whatever time I could spend with you. Six months in which I grew to love a version of you which wasn't real. You showed me a version of yourself that I adored and admired. It's a shame that version was a lie.

You told me you loved me. You told me I was your best friend. Why did you decide days later that you'd never bother to see me again?

You promised me an amazing future together. When I found the long distance between us tough, you told me to just hold on for a few more months until you could move closer. I kept holding on, but you let go.

You kept me a secret from your friends and family so as to not hurt your ex, yet not even a month after you've left I see that you're with someone else. Clearly my emotions don't matter to you. I see you posting on social media days after you've broken my heart, that you're having a great time with your friends. How do you expect me to mend.

Worst of all, you did it over social media. Those six months where I grew a connection with you were ended in a few short drunken words over text. That's the hardest part. Not even a phone call, not even a goodbye. Was it too much to ask to have a face to face conversation? To even give me a reason or explanation? Why tell someone you love them then leave them?

When I spent those seven straight days with you I never imagined that they'd be the last. If I'd have known that was the last time I'd wake up next to you. If I'd have known that was the last time I'd see the person I thought I loved, the person I thought I knew. If I'd have known you were about to show your true colours. If I'd have known you were about to break me.

I let you into my life and I wish I hadn't. You hurt me in ways I didn't know I could. The tears have finished but I'm still filled with anger. I can't wait for the day that you're a distant memory and I don't even remember what you sound like. I regret every minute I spent with you. You didn't deserve to have me. You didn't deserve me.

I would expect this off a 15 year old boy. Not a 23 year old man. But you're not a man, and it took me too long to understand that. Your immaturity in dealing with this has shown that you have so much growing and learning to do, and I hope that some day you'll learn how to properly treat a woman. 

When I heal I'll be stronger. I've learnt things that I'll take into future relationships. You've taught me valuable lessons and by breaking my heart, you've made me stronger than before, so for that, I thank you.

I hope no one hurts you in the ways you've hurt me. I hope no one makes you believe that they love you and then ends things out of the blue over social media. I hope you don't learnt to trust someone and then discover they're a completely different person. I hope no one breaks your heart like you've broken mine.

You made me believe in love again. You made me learn to trust again. You made me remember what it's like to be happy. And then you made me unable to do all of those things again.

You made me love a guy who never existed.


Has Social Media Taken Over Real Life Communication?

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I'm currently sat in a cafe, writing an article on ways to benefit your mental health, when I look around and notice that everyone sitting around me is either facing away from me or deeply distracted by their phones. I watched three people come into the cafe and, out of about 10 seats, chose the ones facing away from the centre of the cafe, and away from me.

I see a man swiping vigorously on his phone, probably on tinder. I see a girl who looks quite bored, scrolling through her phone and I wonder if she's scrolling aimlessly on Instagram at lives that look so much better than hers, because I'm guilty of the exact same thing sometimes. I see another girl who looks like she's writing an article or blogging on her laptop, but again chose to face away towards the wall.

I'm sat at a large round table with eight seats, facing the centre of the cafe, yet all of the other seats are empty. I began to wonder why no one else wanted the company of working together, or being near another person who they could possibly start up a conversation with.

I understand that sometimes people just want their personal space, but I realised that anytime I'm in a cafe, the exact same thing happens. Everyone sits as far away from each other in their own corners.

Read: Why I'm Sick Of Social Media
Read: The six ways to manifest anything into your life

Has social media taken over communication?

The only people speaking to each other in this cafe are groups of teenage girls, just out of school and having a good time. Is social media to blame for less communication and less human interaction?

I'd love nothing more than to take a break from working and talk to someone else in this cafe, but I don't want to disturb the guy scrolling through Facebook, or the girl who's deeply concentrated on her phone. Has it always been like this? When did we all become so concerned with social media and the internet that we stopped communicating with each other?

Of course, social media is a great tool for business or even keeping up with friends, but I feel like social media has replaced a huge part of human interaction and I'm also guilty of avoiding talking to strangers by scrolling through pointless things on social media on my phone.

Has Social Media Gone Too Far?

A relationship I recently came out of was predominantly over social media. We eventually only communicated over snapchat and rarely had actual conversations. I actually think social media was one of the main reasons that relationship failed. I don't want to be in a relationship with someone who the only way we communicate is by sending 10 second long pictures with a few words attached.

Social media doesn't often allow for meaningful conversations or to make proper relationships. Social media is a good tool for keeping in touch with friends or people we wouldn't otherwise be able to speak to because of distance, but I feel like social media is taking over our lives and our relationships with people.

Any relationship I have in the future I'm going to make sure I limit the use of social media and only have actual phone conversations if I can't speak to them in person. Social media can make us so concerned with everyone else's lives that we forget to focus on our own.

I wish we could make more connections in real life, rather than connections over social media.
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Why Travel Is Good For Your Mental Health | 7 Reasons To Travel

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Everyday we get so caught up in our jobs, in the pressure to be the best, to succeed in life and get ahead of the crowd, that we forget to look after our own mental health. Life is full of stress from relationships, friendships, family, studies, work, money and so much more. Traveling is a huge stress relief and this is why travel is good for your mental health.

Our mental health falls behind so easily and we forget to put ourselves first quite often. Your Mental health is just as important as your physical health, yet many of us tend to forget to look after our mental health. If you've been working extremely hard with no holidays or breaks, then it's time you took some time off for yourself to recharge and improve your mental health.

I get stressed out about not being high enough on the career ladder by a certain age, even though I'm not exactly sure what I want to do with my life. I worry about not succeeding enough in life, even though I'm not sure what direction I'm heading in.

I've realised recently that I need to take a break from everything and see the world. I need to explore different cities and cultures. I need to find myself. Travelling can open so many doors and you need to escape the stress and pressure of work and life and travel to clear your mind and get a better picture of what you're doing with your life.

7 Reasons Why Travel Is Good For Your Mental Health:

1. Travelling Helps You Find Yourself

I'm not sure what I want to do with my life, and if you're reading this then you're probably not entirely sure what to do with your life either. I have a few different interests, but I can't pinpoint one thing that I'm 100% sure I want to do for the rest of my life. Now that I'm young and don't have many important responsibilities, I'm planning to travel for at least a couple of months, just to get away from everything and clear my mind. Travelling helps you to discover the things you love and the things you don't love. Travelling allows you to try new things and explore new hobbies that you might not have know existed before. Travelling gives you the opportunity to find yourself and discover your true passion in life.

2. Travel Lets You Escape The Stress Of Life

Travelling is a literal 'escape' from the stresses of everyday life. Travelling lets you pack a bag and leave your problems behind for a while and destress. You can pick up all the interesting things you once wanted to do, but forgot about due to work and everyday life. Travelling lets you take a break from life and relax your mind and body and recharge to improve your mental health. You'll feel a lot happier by exploring, traveling and allowing yourself to be free. Travel is a great stress relief.

3. Travelling Gives You Independence

You might feel like you rely on certain people or things in your everyday life but travelling helps you to mature and grow as a person and find your own independence. You'll face challenges that you'll overcome on your own and you'll be able to navigate through new countries and locations. It will give you a great sense of freedom and you won't feel like you have to rely on people or things anymore. This will lead to you being strong emotionally and having more resilient mental health.

4. It Will Open Up Your Mind To The Bigger Picture

When our mental health takes a toll, it can feel like all that exists is this little life you're in that is consumed by working and just getting by. There's a whole big world out there waiting to be discovered and just by getting out of your own life and city, you'll realise there are so many possibilities out there and you can literally be or do anything you want.

5. It Will Get You Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety or depression, you'll understand how easy it is to just stay in your own little comfort zone. Whether it's your house or your bedroom, sometimes you just want to stick to what you know and not venture out of your comfort zone. Staying in your comfort zone is one of the worst things you can do for your mental health and you will overcome so many mental struggles by putting yourself out there and pushing yourself to your limits. Travelling will open so many doors for you and it is one of the best ways to permanently get you out of your comfort zone.

6. You'll Meet Amazing New People

If you go traveling and stay in a hostel, you're guaranteed to meet new people from loads of different countries and possibly makes tonnes of great new friends. You'll make new connections who you can visit if you ever travel to their home country and everyone you meet will be eager to meet new people too. If your mental health has stopped you from making friends in the past, then travelling will help you to develop great interpersonal skills and communication skills and it will make you more confident as a person.

7. Travelling Makes You Happier

Every time I come back from a trip, I feel a million times happier than when I left. I feel like I'm not stuck in my surroundings anymore and I can jump on a plane and discover somewhere new anytime I like. My happiness and mental health is boosted after travelling and I feel a great sense of joy and positivity in life. The not knowing what you're going to discover, the freedom of going anywhere you want. Travelling makes me so much happier as a person and really opens my mind to so many opportunities. If you're affected my seasonal affective disorder (SAD), then travelling in the winter can really lift your mood and improve your mental health and make you happier.

Travelling has so many positive affects on your body and health and whether you want to travel alone, with a friend or family or with your partner, you should start planning your trip now and get excited about enhancing your life and your mental health through travel.
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28 Things You Will Relate To After A Break Up

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You'll never understand true pain until you go through your first heartbreak. Breakups are hard for everyone and although it sucks, you will go through a lot of emotions after a breakup, whether it's your first, fifth or one hundredth. (I really hope you don't go through one hundred break ups, that would call for A LOT of ice-cream.)

When a relationship ends, it's hard for everyone involved but it's especially painful and heartbreaking if you loved the person and they broke up with you.

There's no denying the fact that break ups are tough. Even if you think you're the strongest person in the world, going through a breakup is one of the hardest things you'll deal with in life and there are certain things you will relate to after a break up.

Although I wish no one should have to go through the pain of a break up, it is a pretty common occurrence in life and you will probably find yourself being broken up with or breaking up with someone at some point in your life. (Unless you're one of those lucky people who found 'the one' with the first try - damn you.)

Even if the relationship was unhealthy, toxic or you knew it had to end, it's still extremely difficult to go through a traumatic break up and the end of any relationship is hard to deal with.

We all have similar thoughts after a break up. It will get easier, even if it feels like you're in the depths of despair right now. Take some comfort in knowing that there a lot of other people in the exact same position as you right this moment. 

If you're dealing with a bad break up currently, then here are 28 things you will relate to about breakups and things you will do after a break up.

28 Things You Will Relate To After A Break Up

1. You feel like you can't make it more than half an hour without crying your eyes out.

2. You delete every picture on your phone of your ex to erase every memory of them.

3. You want to delete them off social media, but you don't want to cut all ties with them because it means you can't stalk them.

4. You then proceed to stalk their social media and cry some more.

5. You see your ex tagged in a photo having a good time and you hate them for being happy after hurting you so much.

6. You regret ever going on that first date with them.

7. You wonder if they still think about you at all.

8. You start looking up flights to the furthest country away from you because you wan't to start a new life in Antarctica.

9. You realise that being single means you can walk around your house looking like a slob without anyone caring, so there is a silver lining to this break up.

10. You realise that you don't have to shave your legs and make an effort with your makeup and hair all the time now - another win!

11. You hate the thought of them moving on and being with someone else.

12. You feel like they were the only person who could ever possibly like you and no one else will want to be with you in life.

13. Part of you still holds on to the hope that the relationship isn't definitely over. (It is, by the way. It's 100% over.)

14. You realise that you have so much spare time on your hands now and don't have a clue what to do with it.

15. You cry some more about not being able to hang out with your ex anymore. 

16. You get angry about how they could do this to you and hurt you so much.

17. You vow to never let anyone hurt you this much ever again.

18. You're tempted to join Tinder and Bumble straight after the breakup, just to remind yourself that there are plenty of other eligible people out there.

19. You hate the fact that you got so emotionally involved and attached to that person who would then go on to break your heart.

20. You feel like writing them a lengthy letter to tell them what a jerk they are.

21. You feel extremely lonely and lost now that you're single.

22. Then you realise that there are so many great opportunities for you out there and you can do whatever you want now. 

23. You understand that they weren't the one for you but it still hurts so much.

24. You didn't realise you could hurt this much about a guy or girl.

25. You delete them off all of your social media because you realise that you don't need a constant reminder about what they're doing in their life.

26. You really want to just message your ex to ask them why they've done this and get an explanation.

27. You want to go out and drink and party all the time to take your mind off of it, but then realise that that won't actually ease the pain.

28. You finally get your shit together and start working on yourself to rebuild your life and realise that  you definitely don't need them anymore.
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