At first I called this list “30 things I learned in 2015”, but although they are of course lessons “learned”, most of these things I just sort of woke up one morning and felt. I just sort of realised them.
Do you ever get that? When, for example, you are going through something difficult and someone close to you says: “one morning you will wake up and just feel ‘over it’. You will feel new and happy again. Without expecting it.” You will raise an eyebrow, and then months later it happens and you realise they were right.
So here are my 30 things I woke up and realised, during 2015:
1. The most interesting things in your whole year will happen totally out of the blue. Just when you were about to give up.
2. Treat the people who believe in you and your future like the precious unicorns they are. They are rare and wonderful creatures.
3. You WILL disappoint people if you follow your own path. You can’t be selfish without disappointing people. But what would you rather?
4. “If you can dream it, you can do it!” looks LOVELY on a T-shirt but in reality getting what you want is painful, often anti-climatic and hard-fucking-work.
5. #SquadGoals can piss off. We should be reminding ourselves that even if we have one or two best mates, we are extremely lucky.
6. Someone who feels negatively about you or your work has literally NO POWER over what you go on to achieve. *DANCES INTO THE NIGHT*
7. People will totally, completely, embarrassingly misunderstand you — all the time. You can huff and puff and try and correct them, or you can put your energy into other more important things.
8. Google is your friend. You really can teach yourself lots of things. Don’t expect other people to teach you stuff.
9. You cannot complain about not having a voice if you don’t send your work out into the world. You can complain about the fucked-up industry. And in the meantime you can build your own powerhouse by sharing your voice online. The global network of humans need you.
10. Self-promotion never feels natural. But it is necessary.
11. You will never have a good evening if you’re wearing clothes that don’t make you feel like You. For me, if in doubt, a big jumper and red lipstick.
12. You really really do get out what you put in. Put the hours in.
13. Those people who only get in touch when they want something? It’s not their fault. But equally, they aren’t your real friends.
14. Being productive isn’t the same as being busy.
15. Magical things only happen if you believe they will. You have to believe it a little bit.
16. Jealousy can come in the form of very malicious sentences. Learn to read between the lines.
17. The writing of your first book is not glamourous but it can be extremely enjoyable.
18. It’s not who you connect with, it’s who you build a relationship with.
19. One person’s opinion is a tiny little red ant. Yours and mine included.
20. Social media itself is not art — the work that is shared, is.
21. How you use your time is very important.
22. You don’t have a career. You have a life.
23. Most people will roll their eyes at anyone who wants to break away from the norm. It’s worth dealing with the eye-rolling for the end results.
24. Teenagers are wiser than the media makes them out to be.
25. Careful what “advice” you follow on the Internet.
26. Travelling abroad doesn’t fix things. Or fix you.
27. When you think someone has changed — it might be that actually you have.
28. Ultimately, no one can make up your mind for you.
29. Everyone has shit days. And everyone gets nervous sometimes. Even the people you look up to the most.
30. Doing something that hasn’t already been socially “validated” is the biggest most enjoyable creative risk of them all.