Advice to my 20-year-old self

There’s no such thing as no strings attached. While we remain emotionally-driven creatures there will always be strings. It’ll get you in the end.

Life’s not fair but you can be. Compassion and fairness are your major strengths. Hold them close and in the very least be consistent.

Kiss chase is for playgrounds. If he’s not texting you he’s not into you. Harsh, yes; true, also. Don’t kid yourself he’s busy nursing his poorly mum/cat/pigeon. Cut your losses and move on.

It’s OK not to be OK. There will be bad days and good days. When the bad days leaving you crying for hours and perilously close to darkness, it’s time to get help.

Wear sunscreen. What’s all this “I go red then I brown” nonsense? Stop kidding yourself, kiddo. You will always go red, peel and return to white. Slap on the SPF (30 minimum) and look after your skin.

Always say yes if a friend asks: “Fancy going for coffee?”

Explore. Yourself, your boundaries, places, jobs, books, films, music, ideas, skills.

You can settle for some things (a car with manual windows, the red shoes instead of the blue ones, an early version of an iPhone that saves taking out a bank loan) but never settle for a man.

It’s not you, it’s them. No matter how nice you are, how fair you try to be, how hard you try, some people are absolute tools. It’s them and will always be them.

Hangovers? Hahahahaha. You’re so cocky. Just you wait.

The Atkins diet is NOT the green light to consume plates consisting entirely of sausages and cheese. Eat your greens, you fool.

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating and liberation is freedom. You will find this particularly useful for a raft of decisions from career goals to financial investments. Ignorance is the framework for regret and disappointment.

Keep those cowboy boots. Ditto the silver slingbacks. *weeps for their loss*

Listen to your mother. She’s right. Damn her.

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I'm a writer, journalist and communications officer based in the South West of England. I write about wellbeing, the outdoors and life in a rural playground.

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