From 12 to 21: The Lessons I’ve Learned

Half of my life has been spent writing stories on the internet. I was only 12 years old when I stumbled across this story-telling portion of the web – there were a few other blogs floating about at the time, but nobody really knew what they were. And here we still are, hundreds of articles later, having just celebrated my 21st birthday and still writing all about it.

Much has changed in the many years since I’ve been here – for one, I didn’t have Facebook, Instagram or an iPhone 9 years ago. I thought I would be Editor at Vogue or covering stories at fashion week by now, but I suppose this is the next best thing, right? (I’m still working on those things BTW).

There are a few things that come to mind of lessons I’ve learned during this time that I thought I should share with you, since I’m kind of supposed to be a grown up now..? I’m considered somewhat wise..? Experienced at life..? Forget about that. Here’s some things I’ve learned that you should learn too:

1. You can still be successful if you don’t know what the f*** you’re doing.

The biggest myth buster you’ll hear of 2019 (you’re welcome). Nobody taught me this, I had a self-inflicted epiphany one afternoon and realised that just because I don’t have a university degree and I’m still pining after my fashion magazine fantasy, doesn’t mean I’m not successful. There is so much pressure to decide, right now, what you want to do with the rest of your life. *THE REST OF YOUR LIFE* (FYI, that’s a long time). Take it as it comes. Travel the world. Work in shitty jobs. Save your money. Make great friendships and learn priceless skills along the way. Go to uni, drop out of uni. Being happy is the biggest success you will ever achieve in life. And that’s the only one that really matters.

Season 1 Friends GIF

2. As Oscar Wilde once said, “You can never be overdressed or over educated”.

My most-said sentence ever is “Is this too extra to wear out?”. Most of the time it’s just jeans, boots and a fluffy jacket, but I’m always so self-conscious about my outfits in case people look at me strange on the street. Is that not the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard? I’ve since understood the importance of individual style, and I always feel my absolute best when I’m wearing something I love and don’t care if anyone else loves it or not. That’s what fashion was made for! (Kind of..). As for the over educated, we are so privileged to have access to so many educational opportunities in Australia. Not all of it has to leave you in debt of thousands of dollars. Take a free course online in something you’re interested in. Utilise the free classes available at local libraries and university campuses. Even just read a book. Knowledge is all around us, and they do say that knowledge is power for a reason.

Matt Leblanc Joey GIF by TV Land Classic

3. It’s okay to stay in your comfort zone.

Myth buster 2.0. You know the saying, “Nothing good ever comes from staying in your comfort zone”? I hate that saying. I’m a comfort zone hobbit and rarely leave, but that doesn’t mean I’m scared. I love reading books, travelling and writing – that’s about the width of my zone. It doesn’t mean I’m not ambitious or I’ll never leave the comfort of my home town to follow my dreams. Unfortunately, my anxiety holds me back from stepping out too far of my hobbit hole. I’m a much more fun person to be around when I’m in my little bubble, stepping out just makes me nervous and weird. And who wants that? So, I’ve learned it’s okay to be comfortable and not to let anyone make you feel badly about it.

Stressed Season 1 GIF by Friends

4. “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you” – Anne Lamott.

We all know this little trick saves lives. Laptop stopped working? Unplug it, plug it in – boom. Works like brand new. Internet? TV? Every time! And the same rule applies for us as human beings. We are a society that have smart phones glued to our hands and Netflix movie story lines embedded in our brains. I’ve only recently learned that sometimes taking a step back doesn’t mean cutting back on work or taking the time to relax. Sometimes you just need to unplug from technology to differentiate between the normal and digital world. Don’t go on Instagram for the day, leave your phone at home when you go out for lunch or on a walk, write down your thoughts in a journal instead of a Snapchat story. Just take a break. Trust me, it makes a difference – and your phone bill will thank me later.

We Were On A Break GIF by NETFLIX

5. This one is a cliche, but believe me when I say – your quality of friends is always more important than the quantity.

I didn’t want to throw a big 21st party because, honestly, I didn’t think many people would come. But that’s 100% okay. I would have been devastated by that thought a few years ago, but it surprisingly didn’t bother me in the slightest. I know that the friends I do have mean more to me than ever, and as long as my few close friends were there to celebrate, then that’s all that matters. When you’re in school, people give anything to be in the “click” and to be popular – but once you leave school life behind, it all means nothing. What does mean something, is when you are a genuine and kind human being, and I’m extremely grateful that my friends are.

From 12 to 21


If you made it this far, you’re a true friend – and I thank you. Thank you for sticking around all these years if you’ve been here for the long haul. It’s people like you that allow me to keep doing what I love.

Here’s to turning 21 and spending another decade in the blog-o-sphere!

Until next time,

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