20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years

Happy birthday to me! June 24th 2019 marks my 20th birthday and I am currently celebrating in Spain with my boyfriend Lewis. Wonderful. I cannot believe my teenage years are over? I’m definitely a little bit sad about it, but looking forward to being taken a little bit more seriously now I can knock the “teen” part off of my age. I do feel beyond my years though, I feel like it should be a 3 in front of the 0, not a 2. A lot has changed in the last year that has heightened my adult status more than I could have ever imagined. I’m not a wise old owl (yet), but I am growing, learning and changing every single day.

I remember my 12th birthday so vividly. Surrounded by Puffles (who remembers those), cheesy badges and a blue pullover fleece (12 year olds now would never). Actually, I remember every year quite vividly, and I can sit here now and recognise how much I’ve developed and matured each and every year. Time has flown by so incredibly fast, I find myself struggling to catch up. One minute I’m episodes deep into Good Luck Charlie, and the next I’m paying council tax. MADNESS. So I wanted to culminate just 20 things I’ve learnt in my 20 years of existence.

Born Thursday 24th June 1999 6:45am

You cannot change yourself, so learn to love yourself.

I’ve finally dealt with the fact that I stand tall at 1.78m and that is not going to change. I am going to embrace my giraffe stature from here on out. I may not be able to wear heels without being at least 6″ tall, but that’s okay, because I can reach things high up on the shelf in Tescos.

Clubbing is quite gross when you’re not intoxicated enough to ignore it.

Turning 18 marked months of partying (and a bit of vomiting). It was such a laugh at the time, but as I don’t really drink anymore, I think back to those days and think bloody hell, if only the lights were on.

Travel if you can.

When I finished my A Levels in 2017, I went to South Korea for 10 days rather than going to uni or learning to drive, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. That trip changed my life, so travel when you can and whilst you don’t have commitments.

Friends come and go, but less is sometimes more.

Much like farts in the wind, the friendship group I cherished so much just a couple of years ago, is now non-existent. Excluding online/blogging friends, I have 1 friend in real life that I’ve been friends with for around 12 years. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it can be hella lonely at times. But some people hinder your growth and don’t help it.

I’m content in my own company.

After growing apart and losing touch with so many friends I used to see all the time, I’ve learnt to make use on my own company and find enjoyment in going solo.

Not all men are douche bags.

Many of them are, yes. But not my man – he is a rose between two thorns and I am grateful every day for the amount of love I am shown. I would not be in the position I am in today without him.

Quitting a job because it sucks is okay.

Your mental health and future comes first.

Saving money is probably my own talent.

I can’t draw, sing or touch my toes, but I can save to my heart’s content when I really want something.

Not knowing what you want out of life does not mean it’s the end of the world.


Your mum is right.

She just is. Whatever has come out of that woman’s mouth will hit you again in the future and you’ll want to slap yourself for ever thinking otherwise.

It’s crucial to go at your own pace.

Recently, I’ve been getting a bit ahead of myself. Taking a step back to ground yourself again is a good thing.

You’re not always right.

Take time to listen and learn.

Everything happens for a reason.

EVERYTHING. Even if it sucks at the time, that moment was slotted into your life for a reason.

Dreams don’t work unless you do.

If you want something, you will find a way to go out and get it. I don’t sit at a desk 40 hours a week because I enjoy it.

I want to be a mum one day.

I was never too fussed about having children, but I have a lot of love to give and would love my own little person one day.

I know what I want out of life, but I don’t have a timeline.

Life never goes to plan, so I don’t have a plan. Things will happen when they are meant to happen.

You can’t be friends with everyone.

As nice as that would be, certain personalities and traits just won’t gel with yours, and it’s good to recognise that. Not every person is your person.

Setting goals for yourself and achieving them is so rewarding.

No matter how big or small, it’s so satisfying to give yourself a pat on the back and appreciate your achievements no matter how big or small.

I am capable of more than I could have ever imagined.

Similar to above, I’ve surprised myself at the big and small things I’ve achieved so far.


Have endless amounts of fun. Laugh, smile and enjoy every day because life is too short to not cherish every moment. Be spontaneous and adventurous, you’ll thank yourself one day.

Seoul 2017

So many people and events have shaped me into the Emily that has written this post. The Emily that can fall down, but get back up again. The Emily that has worked hard for the things she wants. The Emily that loves music and food and her dog (scary amounts). So I’d like to leave this post on one note:

I’m off to relax in the sand, sun and sea and celebrate making it this far!

Until next time,

Emily x


16 thoughts on “20 Things I’ve Learned in 20 Years

  1. Charlotte says:

    Happy birthday, hope you have a lovely time in Spain !! Loved reading this post about things you’ve learnt in 20years. I will be 20 in 1 1/2 years and it’s scary thinking that. So thankyou for the things you have learnt.


  2. Millie says:

    YESSS LOVE THIS EMILY!! bro good luck charlie was the THE BEST OH AND JESSIE. I am glad you have decided to not worry about ur height because u look AMAZING! I am also glad I’m not the only person who feels so old (yet so immature at the same time) good luck with the next year of your life and hope it is EVEN better (not just cause u meet me xx)


  3. Chloe Osborn says:

    I love this, it’s so positive and just goes to show how much we learn over the years! It is crazy how time has flown, it didn’t feel that long ago I was celebrating my 20th too and now I’m 22! I especially like the one about not having a timeline to do the things you want, we shouldn’t have too much pressure put on us and realising that there is no rush will make us a lot more relaxed! I’m glad you had a great birthday in Spain!x


  4. Geraldine says:

    I love this post! Belated happy birthday! ❤️ There are so many things I agree with you on. I love how you compared transient friends to farts in the wind, haha that got me! 🤣 I’ve never gone clubbing but I did hear it wasn’t all that great. So glad you found the man for you! It can be so tough nowadays. I’m lucky I also found my Rose! ❤️ Thanks for sharing Emily!


  5. Naomi (Inching Forwards) says:

    Happy Birthday, and thanks for the wisdom! I particularly liked that you both endorsed setting goals AND not having a strict life plan – I really think that’s good advice. Yes, nothing will get done if you don’t have some plans, but you can’t get stressed out that your life is ‘behind’ – things can’t always be rushed.


    • emilygabriellax says:

      Thank you and exactly right! I think if we plan too much and then life throws a curve ball, it’s so much harder to deal with!


  6. Tajinder says:

    Such a beautiful post, I love every point, especially about travelling and mother’s being right. The number of times I look back and realise her advice is golden, warnings are accurate and generally has wisdom to share.


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