Twenty fucking six.
When, what, how, help, please, thank you, thank u next.
Now look, I know it’s not old for anyone currently plotting to murder me/who’s just bought a tanned, blonde doll from Amazon ready to turn into a voodoo. I know it isn’t. But I just can’t help but feel like, wasn’t it only yesterday that I’d just turned 19, had fresh skin, zero eye bags, not a scrap of cellulite in sight, a shit load of energy and a nickname of baby Elle because I was SO BLOODY YOUNG.
Anyway, I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20 now – here is the part where I insert a laughing emoji because I am laughing through the pain/attempting to laugh rather than cry but mostly just achieving psycho grin – so yeah, I feel a bit more like an adult now, or more like I should feel more like an adult now and this year, afterall, has been a bit of a bloody big one so I thought I’d list a few things I’ve learnt in the 9538 days that I’ve graced the earth with my presence.
1. The older you get, the more comfortable you get in your skin
until you reach around 50 and start getting all saggy and wrinkly lol jk. But there is absolutely no doubt that my self confidence has progressively increased as the years go by. I’m not sure whether it’s more that the older you get, the less shits you give, or whether it’s that you finally give up and realise that this is just your face and there’s nothing you can do it about it… but either way, it’s really bloody nice.
2. Friends come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. This was the year that I finally let go of negative people in my life that literally brought 80%+ neggy, bad vibes. The thing is, these people generally aren’t bad people, but some just take a lot longer than others to gain perspective in life and some never gain it at all and I kinda just feel like, life is difficult enough as it is, erase the negativity and make your life easier. As soon as I did I honestly felt like a thousand weights had been lifted off my shoulders and it’s a big reason why this has been my happiest year yet.
3. Life is really fucking short. I know I’m not telling you anything you don’t know here but I’ve experienced a lot of death in the last 12 months – one of which was a school friend who was 26 years old, studying law and had her whole life ahead of her – and it finally gave me the kick up the arse to enjoy every minute of life.
4. Working less doesn’t necessarily mean working less hard. This year was pretty big for me career wise because not only did I decide to cut down significantly on content – quality over quantity and also how on earth did I ever post 2 instagram pictures a day – which meant I could focus on other non social media related work and you know, that thing called time off (nope, hadn’t heard of it until recently either) but I also signed to Margravine Management. A huge step for me because basically I’m a massive control freak and find it terrifying handing over a little part of my little baby (blog not actual real human) to someone else, but it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I finally feel like I have a little team and I finally feel like the dreams that I had that were too big are maybe not too big after all.
5. I will always love NYC and I will never ever not feel like I belong there.
6. Once you start taking a step back from social media you really do see the world through your actual eyeballs as opposed to a camera lens and it really is incredible. Yeah, it’s nice getting the perfect instagram pic but do you know what’s nicer? Making memories with the people you love or even just for yourself. Never get too wrapped up in your online life that you stop appreciating your actual life.
7. The other day I thought to myself, are these trainers – you know the ugly cool ones? – a little bit too young for me.?And mostly it just got me thinking, fuck.. what do I wear when I’m in my thirties and my entire wardrobe is full of tiny skirts and over the knee boots.
8. I realised what I’m actually getting a bit too old for is travelling for over 50% of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore travel and love nothing more than visiting a new place or an old favourite and exploring every corner living my absolute best life…. but I also really enjoy coming home and readjusting to life. So yeah, maybe I’ve got one or two more years left of living out of a suitcase and never knowing what time zone I’m in.
Or maybe I’ll just retire now and buy 10 cats and never leave my house again.
9. I’m actually getting less patient as I get older. For example, I just realised this was only point 9 and thought, jesus christ I’m not even sure I’ve got time/cba to get to the end *insert cry laughter/”I’m having a quarter life crisis emoji here*
10. I still love Take that. I still give zero shits that people still think that’s uncool.
11. I still could rewatch the whole of Grey’s anatomy and never get bored.
12. I still adore Harry Potter.
13. I still truly believe I was meant to grow up at Hogwarts.
14. I still get bored easily and constantly need to be mixing things up.
15. I realised this year that I’m not invincible. I am a firm believer that with hard work you can achieve anything but sometimes I know I can take it a little far. At one point this year I had travelled to 5 different places in 6 weeks, been in 6 different time zones living off of 4 hrs sleep average and not only did I consistently feel like a bag of shit, but I was also not really performing the best I could. We all need a break and I’m not bloody superwoman so yeah, it took me 26 years to figure that out, but here we are.
16. I fall in love with grandads easier than Taylor Swift writes about men.
17. Why are grandad’s so adorable, I need help with this please.
18. This year was the year that I started putting goals out to the universe rather than keeping them bottled up for fear of not achieving them. Basically I learned to not be a massive
pussy wimp, it also made me work harder to achieve the goals. 19. Love can be the most painful goddamn motherfuckin thing in the world but it can also be the best. As terrifying as it is, it’s better to put yourself out there, no regrets, and risk getting hurt 10x over than to hold back and not give it everything you have. And trust me, I get that it’s not easy (this is coming from the girl that got told at least 7 times through dating that my guard is taller than the burj khalifa – not in those words fyi, far too witty for the chronically boring people I managed to match with) and I quite often fail to practise what I preach… but what I do know, wholeheartedly, is that when you finally let your guard down and give something/someone everything you’ve got, the happiness you can feel is like no other.
Now BRB whilst I vom into a bucket for cheesy/soppy messes.
20. Trust is earned when actions meet words. It also takes a long time to build and a very minimal amount of time to break. Be careful who you give it to and keep that circle small. Not everyone has your best interests at heart and the older I get, the better I get at recognising who deserves to be in my little circle.
21. I am buying my own house end of this year/next and as much as this makes me want to shrivel up into a little ball and die to say…. I’m really f**king proud of myself. I mean, it’s in London so it’ll be a shed, but I would’ve done it all by myself. Hard work really really does pay off.
22. I will always value self deprecation and being humble over
arrogance confidence, especially misplaced confidence. To me, nothing is more attractive than someone who is incredible but doesn’t even know how incredible they are.
23. Ryan Gosling is timeless isn’t he? Just forever fit.
24. My patience is still super shit and I’m so happy we’re nearly at point 26.
25. Every day I feel more and more grateful for the life that I lead and I feel more and more grateful for every single person that engages with what I do. I will never be able to believe that I get to talk about things/people/places I love, get paid to do so, and have people take an interest in what I do. Thank you endlessly.
26. Age really is just a goddamn motherf**kin number. Do what you, when you want. Live life for you. Unapologetically.
Love 26 year old Elle, currently rewatching Gossip girl for the 4th time. Still drooling over Chace Crawford.