Words for my twenty-something life

Be resilient. Wear bright lipstick and walk with purpose. Be grateful but not obliging; say no gracefully. Take evening classes- and give up when they drag. Pick up an old hobby- and quit when you remember why you first stopped. Assemble an Ikea flatpack without the instructions and don't question yourself when you're left with three screws. Eat more seafood.  Enjoy your own company. 

When someone asks what you plan to do after graduation: be honest. Wait for the look, for that look. Don't show that you're concerned or disheartened, that your plans are just scribbled words on paper and not yet tangiable. Revel in the knowing that your life is one free from the corruption of routine. Eat the last slice of cake. Keep lavender in the wardrobe. Never stray far from your wellies. Bake fresh brownies on rainy afternoons: Leave your windows open to incite envy in your neighbors. Become familiar with farmer's markets and butchers. Lavish your bedroom with fairy lights, high heels and incense before you move into a home.

Buy flowers. Visit museums and look at art work you are yet to appreciate. Invest your time in things you truly love. Find your way around a city until you can travel with your eyes closed. Be reckless with cinnamon. Write to-do lists. Read newspapers; they will make sense after a while. Exhaust the likes of Starbucks and H&M. Travel extensively while you can still fall back on your parents. Drink cheap wine on your own and premium prosecco when you're in company. Experiment with french pastries and long words. Let yourself be clumsy.

Spend your mornings wisely. Plan your future house six, seven, eight times over - save cuttings from Interiors magazines, you'll thank yourself later on. Run 4k for charity; don't train, don't warm up, just run. Dabble in foreign languages. While you're renting, take advantage of free water - have long, candle lit baths and stand under the hot shower. Read fictional crime novels. Listen to old men's stories about the good-old-days. Develop a taste for black coffee. Wear silk pyjamas. Buy free range, organic, corn-fed meat. Take an interest in politics. 

Stop wasting hours at the gym; spend that time walking through new cities, climbing the steps of St Paul's, jogging in fields. Dabble in foreign languages. Eat fruit straight off the tree. Invest your birthday money: You'll be grateful one day. Sing loudly in your bedroom while you still have a forgiving roommate. Change your hairstyle weekly.  Make plans; too many plans. Busy yourself with day trips, evening drinks, dinner dates and nights out. Stay away from coloured eyeshadow. 

Equally, take time out to drink creamy coffee. People watch in frosty windows on Oxford Street mid-winter. Ride a bike. Grow vegetables, even if you only get one harvest. Paint freely, write with passion. Treat your credit card as a wary friend. Wear pyjamas until the evening. Compliment strangers. Vow to touch the ocean at every chance you get in life. Wear badly fitting clothes whilst you still can. Listen to the wind and watch the rain. Eat breakfast on the balcony in the morning breeze - even if you have to wear a jumper and a blanket. Show the people you love how much you appreciate them. At the same time, let go of people who don't show how much they appreciate you

Change your internal monologue; train questions into statements, handle the bad days, and trust your gut instinct. Forridge into the depths of the countryside to find the stars. Reside your Hollister hoodies to pyjamas; or better still, to charity. Listen to thunder. Learn to cook a signature dish. Risk the freezing British sea. Burn expensive candles. Spend summers topless. Drink lemon tea and read fantasy crime novels. Divulge in fashion trends that you'll regret in coming years. Make plans with the naivety and innocence of a child - forgo the guidelines - write a frivolous and near-impossible itinerary. Spend days on cultural excursions and lose yourself in ocean-side mornings. Discover the depths of foreign lands. The plans will come together in the end. 


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