Letting the baps free: 26 lessons in 26 years

July 11th marked my 26th trip around our star. As much as I’d like to be, I’m not one for lists, however a somewhat mediocre birthday (due to being stuck in my own head for a lot of it) has sparked two lists dedicated to no one else but myself. In an attempt at self-love, then, here are 26 lessons I’ve learned over my 26 years on planet Earth. Either as a prompt for happiness or objects of avoidance, over the next year you should remember that:

  1. Exercise can make you happy, literally encouraging the release of happy hormones. You should do more of it to keep an active mind and avoid overthinking.
  2. Culottes suit absolutely every body type and can make you feel put-together, as opposed to throwing on leggings everyday.
  3. Stop pushing people away to fuel your melancholy. You might think it poetic to be in a miserable state of mind, but you don’t want to look back on a lonely life which ultimately made you feel unhappy a large percentage of the time. Similarly…
  4. A problem shared is a problem halved. Even if someone can’t comprehend your mental illness or current issue, if they’re prepared to listen to you, you’re loved. Let it out.
  5. Never stop singing.
  6. Go outside. Feel the sun on your skin or the rain in your hair. Routine is great, but if you and your child/your friends/your family are laughing together in the beer garden, or park, or before you part ways, give it time. So what if you put the kid to bed 20 minutes later than usual?
  7. Let the baps free if you want. Don’t like the way they look without a bra, but it feels great to not wear one? Loads of us feel the same. Just to do it, Free The Nipple. (Of course wear a top in public because our bodies are still sexualised, obvs.)
  8. Don’t ever rely on another human being to determine your happiness. Dogs, however, can be relied upon.
  9. If all else fails, take a nap.
  10. Look after the world around you. It’s desperately trying to look after us, but it’s struggling. If anyone denies that, don’t waste your time arguing with them – they’re idiots.
  11. Learn what your body needs and how to make it feel good. You can’t get the best out of yourself when you’re sluggish.
  12. Quit following in the previous generations’ footsteps which treats the female body as taboo. Talk to your sons about what we need for periods and support women who breastfeed. It’s all normal. (Before you say it, fed is best and I did not breastfeed my son.)
  13. You can learn a lot about a person by how they treat food servers. Also…
  14. Everyone needs to work at least one job in customer services. It will teach you a lot about how humans should treat one another and I do not mean how customers should be treated.
  15. Read everything. Adverts. Product descriptions. Posters in waiting rooms. Books, of course. You’ll learn something.
  16. It’s absolutely your right to own your body. If you want your bum smacked one day and not the next, let them know about it.
  17. If you’ve thought about it more than three times, buy it.
  18. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
  19. ‘Ideals’ of beauty and fashion change all the time. Go with what you’re comfortable, sexy, or fierce with.
  20. A smile is the same in every language. Your mum’s heart burst when she saw it for the first time, so keep using it.
  21. You’re exactly where you’re meant to be right now. Even if it’s a dark spot, crap job, or heartbreak, it will all make sense one day; one moment always has to lead on to the next, so don’t worry.
  22. Learn to cook new things even if no one eats it – you made nothing into something.
  23. Cut the elderly some slack – they’ve had to put up with double/triple the amount of shite that we’ve had to. However if they display bad manners, absolutely pick up on it.
  24. Eat the pasta/cake/chocolate/pizza.
  25. Try to travel and learn the language.
  26. Shoulders back, tits forward, head straight and hold on. It’s ever such a bumpy ride.

If you enjoyed reading, feel free to follow my blog for my second list of things I want to achieve before I’m 27! (Ugh, feels really strange saying that.)


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