Notes to a future self:

Stephanie Rose- Quilt

In a Queen Dolly Alderton style list, here is everything I learned in 2020 and the lessons I should remember for 2021. 

  • If you start the day by listening to Lovely Day by Bill Wither’s, combined with two large cups of coffee, it almost certainly can’t go badly from there. 
  • Your favourite memory this year came from the day in Greece with a small of group of friends when your phone broke & you couldn’t use it at all; coincidence, I think not- use your phone less.
  • If you want to, wear no makeup and baggy clothes, it’s more fun to dress for yourself than for others. 
  • If social life has opened up again, remember the night you all danced in joggers in the 601-style living room, that was a lot more fun than the £90 ball. 
  • You got skinnier for a bit, but it made you insecure, forget the correlation between confidence and size that society loves to tell you exists. 
  • Take Dad’s music suggestions, he was right, Can You Get To That by Funkadelic is a banger. 
  • You lost someone this year and you miss them every day. Take that on board and remember to send that text with the tv show you think they’d like. It’s not as cringe as reminding someone that you love them but small actions show it all the same. It takes two minutes and you’ll regret not making the effort for a lifetime.
  • You went through this weird phase in summer of waking up a 6am, going for a run and actually enjoying it, maybe try that again?
  • Probably stop using Snapchat, you’re not 12. Along those lines, if a boy asks for your Snapchat before he asks for a date, cancel him, he’s not the one hun. 
  • Practice self-love and not in that materialistic, spend £100 on skincare, kind of self-love the brands endorse, actually love yourself.
  • All pain is relative, but you’ve been dealt some pretty great cards in life and don’t take them for granted. Though this privilege doesn’t discredit your own unhappy days and self-pity isn’t indulgent, check yourself more often on how fortunate you really are.
  • Friendship isn’t owed or transactional so do things for your friends because it makes you happy and never expect anything in return. 
  • Stop looking in the mirror, it’s narcissistic. Don’t long for ribs that don’t stick out or thighs that don’t have scars. In the wise words of your flatmate, your ribs are there to protect your heart, love them because you need that protection for all the disastrous dates you’ve been on this year.
  • Spend more time with your American friends, you’ve only got one year left before they live horribly far away and all you’ve got is proclaimers’ Letters from America to remember them by. 
  • You’ve probably forgotten how good the air fryer is, get it back out gal, it’s revolutionary.
  • Stop comparing yourself to lockdown you, she had a lot of time on her hands and complained a lot about it.  Endless free hours may seem like a virtue now you’re back to an all-over-the-place, busy days again but there is no benefit to romanticising an experience as better than it was, even if in retrospect it looks desirable. 
  • Return the ASOS parcel the day it arrives if you’re not keeping it. That pile of January sale returns in the corner does not add to the room’s feng shui, Marie Kondo would never. 
  • You did a lot of wishing time away this year, stop doing that. For the rest of your life these will be the years most asked about, reminisced over, remembered. Take time to live the stories you will tell. It may seem never-ending but eventually you’ll be able to animatedly describe 2020 TikTok trends to your grandchildren and the bad sides of lockdown will seem irrelevant to the tale.  
  • And finally, I hope you come out of 2021 happier. You learnt a lot about yourself in 2020 so maybe time to put those lessons into practice. Are you really happy or just distracted? An age-old question yet ever relevant. Happiness is earned and deserved by everyone and it’s never out of grasp. Most of all, be unashamedly you and the rest will follow. 

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