1. The big stuff, like Brexit, and Syria, and the President, and benefit cuts and the continuing existence of Nigel Farage – is going to happen. And it might break your heart, but all you can do is know that you did your bit in your own small way to set the world to rights. A vote, a tweet, a blogpost. Buying refugees gifts on Amazon, buying homeless people coffee in the morning. Doing whatever you can to make your world the one you want to live in. Sometimes that just means knowing that you’re a good person, and believing that even in a scary world, if there are enough good people out there being good, we’ll be alright in the end.
2. And when you’re really despairing about the state of things, the best thing to do is find like-minded people and get really, really drunk with them and rant about it.
3. If you try to cover red hair dye with blonde, you’ll get orange. That was a scary couple of hours.
4. Babies make your tiny worries seem insignificant and petty. I didn’t know how much love I was capable of giving until my little sister had her baby boy in November. I would literally use myself as a human shield to protect him and his wide, innocent eyes, as he yawns slowly and looks sideways at me suspiciously like he’s not sure what I’m doing there. He has changed me viscerally, deep down somewhere you can’t see. And I know that I want my own children now, someday.
5. I actually really like running. And exercise isn’t meant to be a chore – something you do to punish yourself for eating Nutella straight out of the fridge with a spoon – it’s something you do because you like it and it makes you feel a little bit more alive.
6. When you turn 29, three glasses of wine on a school night will give you a hangover. THREE. Soz, wannabe party animals.
7. But mini cheddars and Lucozade will get you through a morning meeting at a push.
8. There is more than one type of woman you can be. This is something I want to write a whole blog post on, because it’s something I feel like it’s taken me until this point in my life to really, truly understand. You don’t have to be the prettiest girl, you don’t have to have perfect hair or a tiny waist and you don’t have to giggle and simper or get your nails done or wear fake tan or talk about diets all the time. There are other women, other beautiful, confident, funny, inspiring women who you can look up to and learn from. You can become someone you like.
9. Unless you stole it, you should never feel guilty about any food you eat. We make food so complicated. It isn’t complicated. Eat.
10. Being a nice, optimistic, friendly person will make you happier than being super cool and looking down on everything and everyone.
11. Try and hold onto the best moments in life. Like when you’re on a dance floor, champagne-drunk at 3am with your best friends and your favourite song comes on. Or the start of a long weekend when you’re drinking coffee and wearing fluffy slippers and watching Harry Potter, and you can hear your dad singing in the kitchen and your mum chatting on the phone and you feel momentarily five years old, safe and cocooned for the world. Or padding barefoot onto a stone cold balcony in blistering sunlight with a whole holiday in front of you. Or running in cold air and feeling like you’re flying. Whatever your moments are, when you’re in them, try and stop for a second. Take a step back and think, this is pretty bloody good, isn’t it? Because life isn’t all Monday mornings and cramped tubes and losing receipts and chipped nail polish, even though it may feel like it sometimes.
12. A hot bath, a good book and an early night will cure almost all evils!
What have you learnt this year?