5 things I learned while I was 21.

So today I turned 22. Which means The 20s Diary turned 2. Holy mother-effing shit.

I am 22 –  how utterly old does that sound?! I’m officially at an age where I should understand how taxes work and know what ‘negative gearing’ is. (Obviously I know neither, but that’s not the point.)

The point is that I’m basically middle-aged, you guys. Or, more accurately, I’m a fully-fledged adult. A human-being lady grown human person. How very odd.

I remember writing ‘5 things I learned while I was 20’ on this day last year in the very chair I write this now. In 12 short months my life, my family, my friends and myself are so different. Everything in my existence has been flipped, shaken, pulled-apart and then haphazardly glued back together. But hey, I’m still in this same chair. I’m still here writing this inane dribble to you. I’m still me. Just a little wiser and hopefully – hopefully – a little bit better.

me at 21 feature

Hopefully also a lil’ bit easier on the fake tan.

OK, enough with the blabbering, here are the five things I learned while I was 21:

1. Don’t buy white jeans. Also: Don’t drink Pepsi Max while wearing aforementioned white jeans.

The price of fancy, slightly wankerish white jeans? $100.

The price of a Pepsi Max? $3.95.

The price of emotional pain when white jeans and Pepsi inevitably collide because you’re an uncoordinated klutz? Infinite. Infinite emotional pain, my friends. Pepsi Max is now responsible for destroying my brand new MacBook ($1300), my white jeans ($100) and probably all of my internal organs (approximately $5000 depending on what black market you go to).

… Still worth it, though. #Aspartame4eva

2. Being in a relationship doesn’t mean sacrificing your personal freedom.

I’ve written so many posts over the last two years that have been cynical about the male species and relationships. A few bad experiences (you can read about them here and here) put me off 20-something men for a very looooooong time.

Until I met a boy named Mitchell.

Mitchell is my boyfriend and I gotta say, the kid’s done a fantastic job so far. He’s basically a champion and my best friend and although we haven’t been together for a squillion years (we met on Christmas Eve… so it’s really only been a few months) I can’t even remember what my life was like before he drunkenly stumbled into it.

The reason I was anti-relationships for so long wasn’t because relationships are inherently toxic, it’s because I hadn’t met the right guy yet. It’s as simple (and for the single folk out there, frustrating) as that. Relationships are great – especially when they’re free of drama and your boyfrand also happens to be a total legend.

michelle and me

Quick test: Close one eye and hover your thumb over my face in front of the other. TELL ME THAT IS NOT A PERFECT THUMB FIT. I used that photo solely for this purpose. I thank you for your time.

3. Don’t complain about a problem unless you’re going to suggest a solution.

Just something I picked up from working with some of Australia’s most glorious women. If something’s broke, become a proactive Queen/King, not just someone who whines. Be a sparkly thinker and do-er and fixerererer of all of the things. As soon as you encounter a problem, put your brain and all of dem sciencey cell thingymajigs to work.

(How much do I sound like a motivational speaker right now? 9000/10, I know. But hey, you’re still here reading so I apologise for NOTHING, suckers!)

4. If you want to get rid of acne, stop putting so much sh*t on your face.

You know those girls who shell out a bazillion clams for fancy face products? That was me until December 2015. I had a $140 Clarisonic brush. I had all of the exxy cleansers and toners and jars containing the pure tears of unicorns and allllllllllll of that shit.

michelle clarisonic

In reality, it saved my skin for a weekend before the horrid acne bastards came back.

And I still. Had. Fucking. Acne.

Let me tell you something: The best thing to do for your skin is to stop wearing so much foundation and to stop suffocating your poor pores in heaps of products. Cut right back on your beauty and skincare routine. I mean RIGHT BACK. You’ll learn that less really, really, really is more.

Now I wear foundation only when I really need to. You know, to birthday parties and when I get invited to the White House to meet Obama and stuff. Almost everyday I get by on concealer, mascara and a little brow powder. Das all! And my skincare routine? Well, it purely consists of makeup wipes, Micellar Water and moisturiser (Olay, you guys, you just gotta get the $10 Olay moisturiser).

You can thank me later.

5. When it rains, it pours.

I’m not gonna go into a huge amount of detail because you guys already know how shit my 2015 was, but I did learn this: In life, when shit gets bad, it gets really bad before it gets better.

That’s the important thing, though. The BIG thing. It always gets better. Things might change and that’s scary and weird, but it’s also okay.

And if things aren’t okay yet? They will be soon, you just have to wait it out. In the meantime, I suggest you call a friend. Eat fries that are drowned in aioli. Wrap yourself in a blanket and watch RomComs. Cry a lot. Join a gym. Start a blog 😉

Because it will get better. And you will be fine. And the world will keep spinning and no matter how bad it gets, remember there are still plenty of fries out there to be eaten. Know that if you ever need a friend to chat with, I am seriously just an email/Facebook message/Tweet/comment/carrier pigeon away.

Fuck I love you guys. I’m already wondering what my five things will be next year.

Michelle xxxxx