10 things I'd tell my 20-year-old self

I read the other day that you should write online how you would talk in person, I thought ‘Yeah! That’s fine for you with your Oxbridge education, try writing in a Yorkshire accent!’. My head has an assertive Joanna Lumley kind of voice but unfortunately it filters through my mouth into some kind of cross between Sean Bean and Vicky Pollard. – If this blog ever reads like a mix between correct English and Yorkshire grunts, you know why.

I’ve been thinking lately; wouldn’t it be amazing if we could talk to our previous selves (Assuming we’d listen) and give ourselves a little head start to adult life? I’ve chosen 20 because I’d like to let my 18-year-old self enjoy her ignorance. For me 20 was when I threw in the towel at Uni and decided to navigate life without a degree. 20 was when I needed a little direction and self-confidence.

Degree or not you never stop learning about yourself, well I don’t anyway. I never really knew and probably still don’t know exactly who I am. My 32-year-old self will have a much better understanding but at present this is all I’ve got…

Here’s what I’d have told the 20-year-old Brooke…

  1. Get off a diet – Seriously, accept you’ll never have washboard abs or a thigh gap and just enjoy some cake. You’ll only end up failing anyway and guilt eating more than you should. Aim for healthy but if you want a KFC eat a sodding KFC. The quicker you come to terms with this the happier you’ll be. 

  2. Enjoy your half day hangovers – It feels like you’ll be able carry on drinking and working the next day forever but seriously you’ve probably only got another year.

  3. Accept what you look like – Your nose will never be symmetrical and you’ll always have a gummy smile, stop googling rhinoplasty and concentrate on what’s good about yourself. You don’t know it now but there’s plenty!

  4. Accept your strengths and weaknesses – You’ll never be top academically, nor will you ever make a great sports person, it’s just not what you’re good at. You’re also not good at committing. Instead concentrate on what you are good at, which is having enthusiasm for life and trying new things, if you want to be a chocolatier in your spare time for a year and then move on to pottery, or horse riding then that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up for not committing and then do nothing because you know you can’t commit. Being flighty has its upsides!

  5. Take up gardening – You’ll love it, and your 26-year-old self would really appreciate the extra experience.

  6. You’ll move to Bridlington – You might as well start the preparation now for life an hour from a motorway. A life full of seagulls, 70mph winds and a terrible fight for peak summer parking. You’d better start weening yourself of Sainsbury’s, H&M, or any other high street retailer for that matter. Get PayPal, all clothes shopping will need to be done online. You’ve got a future of pleasant dog walks and pretty skies though, it’ll sound boring now but trust me, you’ll love it.

  7. Enrol on an upholstery course – Furniture is your calling. It’s not horses or countryside management, you won’t work for the national trust one day. You’ll only have to self-teach on YouTube 6 years later without the disposable income or the time. You’ll wish you’d have committed to it sooner.

  8. You’ll never feel grown up – Even in the second half of your twenties you’ll still feel like a complete fraud trying to act like an adult. It might change when you’re 32, I don’t know. 

  9. Be a little more reckless – In two years you’ll find some baby raccoons on Preloved – ignore your parents, buy one! You’ll regret it for the rest of your days if you don’t and you probably won’t be this silly and impulsive until your midlife crisis.

  10. Start a blog – You can blog about all the things you can’t commit too. – You’ll enjoy it!

If you’re a 20-year-old reading, and if you’re as insecure as I was then I can’t stress numbers 1, 3 and 4 enough. If you’re over 20 which version of you would you speak too and what would you say?

Written with love.

Old Mother Hubbard