5. 24 Things I Have Learned At 24

On the eve of my 24th birthday, I sat cross-legged on a kitchen chair wearing Hello Kitty pyjama bottoms, a Download Festival 2014 t-shirt and Christmas socks with holes in the heels. As I polished off my smashed avo on toast (I’m a millennial and an adult, it is perfectly acceptable to have smashed avo for dinner. Also there was nothing else in my fridge apart from wine), I realised that although there are still a lot of things I don’t know yet – how to fold a fitted bed sheet, what to do with yourself when people sing happy birthday to you in the office, when it’s time to buy new socks – I have by now learned at least some important lessons.

And so I present to you: 24 pieces of wisdom straight from my rosé tinted brain.

  1. Your Mum was right, you really do need that extra jumper.
  2. Sieve the cocoa powder. Thank me later.
  3. Talk to your friends. And I mean real talking, not just sending cat memes back and forth. Just because someone posted a photo of a beautiful sunset on Instagram, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t spend the other 23 hours and 59 minutes of their day feeling like shit.
  4. You do not need to buy another black top.
  5. Heat the oil up in the baking dish in the oven before you put the potatoes in. Et voilà, crispy roasties that haven’t stuck to the bottom and turned into chewy crisps.
  6. Do not sit around for hours in wet bikini bottoms. Just don’t do it. 
  7. Oat milk is the best non-dairy milk for coffee. Be cautious with almond and soya – they curdle.
  8. If you need to send a risky text, throwing your phone halfway across the room after pressing send and not looking at it for at least two and a half hours really helps.
  9. Put your basil plant on a saucer and pour the water onto the saucer, so the basil can slurp up as much or as little water as he likes. If you pour the water directly into the soil, you’ll drown him.
  10. Write down exactly what you want to say to the doctor before you go in, to avoid sitting down in the chair when you get there and saying, “Oh yes I’m fine, how are you?” Also, keep track of your periods because there is at least a 92.7% chance that the doctor will try to relate your twisted ankle to your uterus.
  11. You do not exist solely to perform emotional labour for men. There is a big difference between being supportive and being used. It is not your job to raise a man.
  12. The numbers on the side of the toaster do not equate to the level of toast intensity, but rather, the number of minutes that the bread remains inside the toaster for. (WHAT).
  13. Never stay in a situation out of convenience. Contracts can be broken, flights can be cancelled, phone numbers can be deleted.
  14. Pilates. You need to do pilates.
  15. Be honest about how you feel, even if you can’t work out why you feel it.
  16. When you meet someone for the first time, say “It’s nice to meet you, [NAME]”. Using their name makes them feel like you’re actually paying attention, and apparently it’s also more likely that you’ll remember their name if you say it aloud. (You will not remember their name because you have a sieve brain, but it is important to look like you are trying).
  17. Stop faffing about and ask him out on a date. (Step two: see number 8).
  18. Nobody is staring at you in the gym. But maybe do your hip thrusts facing a wall. And for the love of God do not make eye contact with anyone.
  19. You are not one of those people who can function on less than 7 hours of sleep. Coffee will not help you. Please go to bed before 11pm. Please.
  20. Your hamstrings are really tight. Stretch them some time.
  21. The remedy for a bad day is as follows:
    • Do a sweaty workout
    • Have a hot shower
    • Put on clean fluffy socks
    • Watch some early episodes of Gilmore Girls  (the ones where Rory starts to fall for Jess because Jess and Rory are endgame and I will argue this point to the death)
    • Pasta.
  22. Stop apologising for not wearing make-up. If someone is offended by your bare face, that is their problem, not yours.
  23. You are not less of a person because you are quiet.
  24. It is very important that you keep a bar of 85% dark chocolate in the house at all times.

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