This is a reviewed and edited list from a tumblr post I wrote as an angsty 17-year-old. It accumulated over 10,000 notes which led me to believe I had something big and important to say. Now, as an angsty 21-year-old, I have chosen to add to it, because I still have big and important things to say...

Content warning: eating disorders

1. Your journal will never look like you want it to look.  This continues to be true. But I read somewhere that clever people have messy handwriting, so I’m pinning my terrible penmanship on my very large, very evolved brain. 

2. The best people are the ones that stare at the same things that you do. To be totally honest, I don’t even know what this means. I now believe that the best people are the ones that get excited over the same things you do, at least to some extent. If you both scream DOG!!! when you spot a dog, it's true love. 

3. Your world will collapse upon itself a million times. In the morning, you will build it back again from scratch. Worsening mental illness has made this one harder to believe, but whenever I manage to peel myself off my bed after a night of crying and self-hatred, and I drag myself to the stove to cook myself some pancakes, the truth behind these words flickers in the back of my head. 

4. The best kind of moments are the ones you don’t need to tell anyone about. Perhaps this still holds some truth when it comes to romantic moments that you share with the person you love. But I’ve drifted away from this in other ways. Tell people about the times you feel you’re at the top of your life – they’ll remind you of it when you’re at the bottom.  Boast about your achievements, buy yourself some champagne, celebrate your accomplishments loudly and proudly. You only have this one life to do so. 

5. Standing outside, looking up at the moon, and following the curvature of the earth with your finger will make your problems seem smaller. I was on Omegle (who else remembers?) and some guy who was very high told me about the curvature of the earth. The truth is some problems will make you so tired you won’t want to crawl outside to look at the stars. But try to do it anyway, because this one’s still true. Once you realise there is so much more out there, everything feels a little bit less intense. 

6. Just because you’ve been wanting something for a really long time doesn’t mean you’ll get it. This one hurts, because it’s true. For boys, for visas, for jobs, for shoes on sale… Life is not a first come first serve.  

7. Many boys will call you beautiful. Only a handful will make you feel like it. I think I knew this was bullshit when I was writing it four years ago. No one will make you feel anything until you feel it for yourself. 

8. Your body performs an infinite amount of processes to keep you alive. This fact alone is more important than whatever you’re going through. I mean sure, kid, but this is gonna be hard to realise when you’re in the thick of it. I wrote this as I was healing from my eating disorder. It’s been four years and I’m still healing. Some days this rings less true than others. 

9. You don’t have to have all the answers. A pretty obvious one, but the easiest to forget. It’s okay not to have things figured out by the time you graduate from your bachelor’s degree. Or your master’s degree. Or by the time you’re 25, 30, or 35. Just try to believe in the good things coming. 

10. Your heart can not break. It is a beating, bloody, pumping muscle. A boy, or a girl, can’t shatter that. I sure didn’t feel like this when I finally let go of my high school sweetheart, or when I broke up with my ex-boyfriend, or when my dog died. Heartache is a real thing, even if heartbreak might not be. Don’t minimise your pain. Learn to accept it. It’s here, but it won’t stay. Not forever, anyway. 

11. The pain in your chest will find a hole between your ribs, and slowly, it will seep beneath the cracks and become a part of you. You will come out stronger. This is painful to read. It’s hard to know that seventeen year old me thought you needed pain to become a better version of yourself. Pain is an unnecessary extremity. Jessica Chastain said it best about Sansa in Game of Thrones – “A woman doesn’t need to be victimised in order to become a butterfly. The little bird was always a phoenix.” 

12. Envying other’s success won’t make you any less of a failure. Fucking hell, I was harsh on myself. What I wish I’d known back then was, other’s success doesn’t make you a failure. Jealousy is an ugly emotion, but a human one nevertheless. Persevere and you will get there. 

13. People who are confident enough to not give a damn should be taken note of. This one makes me cringe, but it’s true. Befriend people you look up to. My mum used to say, if you stick your finger in a pot of honey something’s gonna stick. Meaning - choose a pot of good honey. 

14. Every problem, other than death, has a solution. Another gem from my mum. Hard to remember mid panic attack and ambitious of me to think I could keep this at the forefront at all times – but still true and worth trying to remember. 

15. Parents are not always right. I love my mum and dad but they had no clue most of the time. Had it not been for my stubborn yet very progressive character, I would’ve been a very different person today.

16. The plan that the Universe has for you will outweigh any plan you have for yourself. Believe that life will always take you where you need to be. This is partly true, but I think some things are too big and too important to not take them into your own hands. I’ve become a hopeless romantic who also believes in the importance of hustling hard. 

17. Over time, you will be a different person. This can be in thirty seconds, or a year. People will tell you you’re not true to your beliefs. People will tell you anything. But keep in mind that to change is to evolve. Without change, there is no life. Your ancestors did not survive because they remained sleeping alone underneath the stars. I had an ex-boyfriend who used to tell me I’d changed for the worse. But it felt right in my heart. Positive change always does. It wouldn’t make sense to be the same person I was at twelve, now at twenty-one. I’ve grown out of Bratz and Smackers lip gloss and grown into passionately discussing social issues and subscribing to Vanity Fair. It’s only normal. 

18. If you add paprika to anything it will faintly taste of hot Cheetos

19. Being late isn’t cool

20. Just because it seems things won’t fall apart doesn’t mean they won’t. Everything is so fickle. Half an hour in a room with a stranger can change how you feel about someone you’ve known since you were three

21. There will be times when giving up will feel comfortable. Luxurious, even. But you, your mum and dad, and their mums and dads didn’t work this hard for you to not get to the finish line. You deserve to see the end. If anything, get there because not knowing is going to hurt more than whatever it is that’s making you contemplate this. Spoiler alert – everything that has to be fine, will be fine.