1. Compliment people more, and not just on their appearance. The best compliments are on our work, our strength, our personality.
2. Life is enriched when you free yourself from the constraints of only being friends with people your own age. Branch out. Learn from their experiences, and they can learn from yours.
3. Stop waiting for the perfect time. Stop procrastinating on your dreams. Just do it. Get moving. Lay the foundations.
4. Going to therapy doesn’t mean you’re broken. We probably all would benefit from therapy. Also, therapy can help you see that you’re not necessarily the one that needs it most – the people who hurt you do.
5. Protect your energy. Be unapologetic in this. If someone damages your joy, it’s not wrong to distance yourself from them.
6. Hurt people hurt people. Protect others from your hurt. Understand that when others hurt you, it’s because they might be hurting on the inside – it’s not a reflection of you or your worth.
7. Think about how much you’re worth – and then double it. Triple it. Times it by a million. You’re worth the world.
8. Take the compliment. Say thank you. Don’t make excuses. Just take the compliment. Run with it. Believe in it.
9. Without the lows, the highs cannot be reached.
10. Challenge your own negative thoughts, and your perception of self. If you would never talk to someone the way you talk to yourself, you’re doing it wrong.
11. We’re all on different paths. Don’t compare the speed of your path to someone else’s. Don’t assume that someone’s path is better than yours. Don’t assume there’s no struggle just because they don’t show it.
12. Writing often feels like speaking into a void. Sometimes, though, there’s someone listening – a person in the void, right there with you. Speak for that person. Speak to that person. Or don’t. Pretend no one is listening, instead – sometimes that’s more comforting. Just don’t stop speaking.
13. You can compare yourself to other people without being jealous of them. You can support other people whilst still supporting yourself.
14. You don’t have to know exactly what you want. It’s never too late to start again.
15. It’s not your job to fix people. It’s also no one else’s job to fix you. Work on yourself.
16. Women: support other women. Protect other women. Build other women up. We’re trained to distance ourselves from femininity, to say we’re ‘not like other girls’, but femininity is power. Be unapologetically feminine.
17. Stop apologising for existing and taking up space. Stop apologising for things a man would never dream of apologising for. No really, stop it.
18. It doesn’t matter where you come from or where you start or what you start with – it matters where you go from there.
19. You’re young. You have time. Don’t rush. Enjoy the process.
20. Buy yourself a birthday present. You deserve it.