20 of the most important pieces of advice you should accept in your twenties

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A few nights ago, my best friend from school sent me a quote: “Nothing will ruin your 20’s more than thinking you should have your life together already.” Now if I were to ever get a tattoo, it might just be this quote (obviously in a much prettier language).

This piece of advice really resonated with me, and with my Instagram followers. (After posting, it quickly become one of my most liked posts of 2014). Us twenty-something females love hearing a good piece of advice, whether that be through a friend, parent, celebrity we love or through a Pinterest quote. And we love sharing them with each other even more.

So over the last few days I’ve collected a number of thoughts that I’ve actually been collecting for the last four years since turning 20, the most important advice I’ve heard and actually said to myself in perhaps the most turbulent, ever-changing and emotional decade we all live through, our twenties.

1. Keep your friendship circle tight.

2. Stop dieting. Accept and love who and what you are and never ever give up chocolate.

3. When worrying about the slightest thing just think: Will it matter in a year? If not, stop worrying. It’s a waste of time.

4. Learn, love and accept your bodyshape, and dress accordingly. Not everyone looks good in a body-con.

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My night at Red Magazine’s Book Club

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Over a year ago I was invited to an ‘Author Master-Class’ hosted by Cosmopolitan Magazine. Authors including Lindsey Kelk and Victoria Fox were on hand to answer questions from a keen audience made up of aspiring authors, avid Cosmo readers and wannabe bloggers. Being all three I found the event highly enjoyable and inspirational but throughout it I was also terrified. I spent the event cowering in the corner, avoiding the free champagne and canapés and feeling completely out of my depth. I didn’t feel like I belonged in a room of such incredible women. At the time I had a roughish idea for a first novel, I was temping in the city, tirelessly trying to find a job I actually enjoyed and living with my in-laws. During the Q&A I somehow plucked up the courage to ask an author a question. I can’t quite remember how I phrased it, or the answer (I was too nervous to really take it all in) but overall I found the evening a bit daunting.

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Life without wheat

Wheat Free

If you read my post, ’10 things I learnt on holiday’ you’ll know that I realised on my jollies that I’m 99.9% sure I’m wheat intolerant. Sob sob sob. I came back from Greece after eating 1000 tonnes of pitta bread and decided that I needed to regain control of my gut. Now I am one of these gals who makes ridiculous life changing promises at least once a month: At the beginning of the year I vowed to give up meat for a year, I found myself scoffing down a chicken pie in March, I also took part in Dry January until I met up with my friend on the 5th and enjoyed 2+ bottles of white wine. I’ve also given up carbs, sugar, fizzy drinks, chocolate, basically everything that is delicious. But, for over 5 weeks now I’m proud to say I’ve remained true to my wheat free promise. Okay, I’ve buckled once. I devoured a KFC family bucket with my boyfriend, but I had just landed a brand new super-duper job so I gave myself a treat. It resulted in an agonising stomach ache and a thirst that lasted 3 days and couldn’t be ridden despite drinking gallons of water. But it was worth it. Mainly because it reminded that chicken coated in breadcrumbs is a no no for my sensitive stomach.
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What are your dreams and goals in life?

Dreams

There are so many resources and companies like Kabbage who provide small business loans, that help people achieve their dreams and goals everyday. Kabbage prompted me to think about my own dreams and goals and what I want to gain from the future. Yet one week later and I was still no nearer in deciding what my ultimate dream for the future is. I know a few goals of course:

Have a successful career

Buy a house with my partner

Be a mommy

Be happy & healthy

Be a size 8 on my wedding day (realistically maybe a 10)

When I looked at back at this list, first scrawled on the back of a Stylist magazine on my commute home I realised how generic these were. Ask 9/10 twenty-something females their goals in life and I’m sure they would give you pretty similar responses.

Kabbage approached me with a task to write a post about my dreams and goals, my brief from kabbage.com was to be as creative and unique as possible.

Oh.

That’s probably why this post has taken over a week to write.

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Generation Y so tough?

It’s been a while since I last wrote a post for my blog. I’ve been penning ideas for a while and I’ve now got a long list of posts that I need to get down to writing. But with a 9-5 job, a 1 hour commute on either side of that 9-5 job, a second job working for the metro.co.uk, a flat to up-keep and lots of much needed exercise to keep up with I often find, unfortunately my own blog often comes at the end of my very long to do list. Did I mention I’m trying to write a book too?

I originally planned to pitch this post idea to my editor at metro.co.uk, as the readership of the this popular online newspaper is primarily of the Generation Y age bracket. But I decided to keep this one to myself. I wanted to unfurl my thoughts into a post without having to keep a word count in mind or watch my words. Therefore I probably won’t reach a wide audience and get many shares but it will have the Mary Olivia Hickey stamp I think it needs to do it justice.

I want to talk about the woes of Generation Y, if you’re reading this from my Facebook page you are probably a member of Generation Y whether you know it or not. Just in case you needed to know, The Oxford Dictionary defines Generation Y as:

“The generation born in the 1980s and 1990s, comprising primarily the children of the baby boomers and typically perceived as increasingly familiar with digital and electronic technology.”

Basically, you’re a twenty-something person who’s likely to be on Twitter.

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10 things I learnt on holiday

For many of us, holidays are a time for relaxation, reflection and a chance to re-charge the batteries. Whilst I do many of those, my overactive brain also ensures that I spend my days lounging in the sun forward planning, analysing and making many lists on how I can detox my life. I sound like a barrel of laughs don’t I? (Sign up for a holiday with me here…)

I have just returned from a week in Santorini, perhaps the most beautiful place on earth (apart from Sheffield of course). I spent 7 days with my boyfriend, good friends and was lucky enough to witness one of by best friends getting married to the love of her life. It was stunning, the whole week. But I would be lying if I told you I spent the week in blissful happiness, instead there were moments plagued with anxiety and a few tears shed. Why, I’m not sure. But what I did learn is 10 important things about myself.

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Entitlement

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Many of the posts I write for this blog focus on my unhappiness, bad luck, dislike for social media (at times) and general lack of self esteem. Pretty morbid I know. But as I’m not a diary writer, I use this as an outlet for all my thoughts and fears. I should really be more private, but since the birth of this blog I have received such wonderful feedback and advice, reading all your comments is my new ‘girl talk’ fix and it’s cheaper than Cosmopolitan.

I guess what I want to focus on in this post is a trait that I have recently recognised in myself. It’s up there with my hormonal mood swings, constant appetite and overbearing opinions, as one of my worse attributes. As many of you already know, I suffer from career jealously. I occasionally suffer from body jealously too when I stalk Kendall Jenner on Instagram, but in terms of family, friends and boyfriend I personally think I’m a winner. So really, it’s only other people’s career highs that cast an almighty shadow of jealously over me from time to time.

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Don’t believe everything you see online

Sunday nights are made for social media stalking. Right now I bet you’re spending ‘quality time’ with your friends, family, boyfriend/girlfriend (or your favourite TV box set) whilst secretly refreshing your Facebook, Twitter and Instagram over and over again.

You may tell yourself you’re catching up with friends and keeping up to date with everyone else’s life, but deep down you’re doing what we all do, comparing your life to everyone else’s.

Social media is a funny old bugger isn’t it. I myself have a pretty precarious relationship with it. I actually need it, I use it every day to better and further my career. In my ‘real’ job as a Communications Coordinator at a youth charity and in my fun job as a Lifestyle Blogger at metro.co.uk. Without social media I doubt anyone would actually read my writing or know anything about the wonderful charity I work for.

If I left social media at my desk, like my work phone, I predict my life would be a lot more boring, but perhaps a lot happier too. I spent approximately 50% of my day on social media, and that’s outside of work hours. That’s 50% of every day being jealous, comparing myself, being angry, frustrated and moreover letting ‘real’ life pass me by.

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Nostalgia

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Earlier this week something very strange happened. After finding my ancient 1 GB Ipod in an old bag at the weekend, I felt compelled to fill my commute with the likes of Ne-yo, Pussycat Dolls and Westlife. It took me back, way back to when I was care free teen fretting over what to wear to Embrace nightclub on a Saturday night and whether or not I would get in with my older sister’s ID.

I didn’t expect to experience an epiphany; moreover I didn’t expect the lyrics of Tulisa from N-Dubz to spark it. In the midst of Dappy’s ‘na-na-naiis’ Tulisa, sang something that really struck a cord with me. ‘Trust me it will only get better” now, trust me, I would never trust the female boss. Her extra curriculum activities caught on camera and fashion choices say it all. But her lyrics hit me at a time when I can’t get over how much I miss my past. I know what’s causing it. For the last three years I spent my summers at an American children’s camp. It was the very best time of my life, but last summer I made a conscious decision not to return and was very happy with this choice up until the social media swarm of friends returning hit me. I realise I’ve spent the last month dwelling on the past and how much better it was. This realisation, of how much time I spend stuck in the past and not looking forward to the future is mind blowing, and a huge waste of time.

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40 things that happen when you move in with your boyfriend

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I’ve lived with my boyfriend for over 8 months now. After saving and searching for the perfect home we’ve finally, moved out the comfort of his parents house, into our own little flat. It’s an equally exciting yet terrifying time as the realisation sinks in that ‘this is it’. I’ve been making a conscious log, of all those annoying things he does that make me love and hate him in equal measure. Many of which we aren’t pre-warned about when we first take the plunge. Here are just a few…

1) Perhaps the greatest myth of living with your boyfriend is: “You will have sex, all the time, everywhere.” This does not happen. Netflix, Gone Girl and Macadamia hair masks take priority in the evening.

2) You will scrimp and save to get that first months rent together: The first thing he will do when you move in is install Sky, with the Sky Sports package.

3) You will find him using your trusted Tangle Teaser to scratch his beard.

4) The top shelf of the fridge will always contain two crates of beers that he always “got on offer” at Sainsburys.

5) He will be come obsessed with unnecessary house gadgets; a multi-purpose Microwave and industrial strength super-turbo Vax vacuum cleaner have already turned up on my doorstep.

6) He will become equally obsessed with everything Groupon has to offer.

7) He will complain you always steal the duvet, yet he will always kick the duvet off his feet and in turn expose yours.

8) The second thing he will do after installing Sky is set up his Playstation, TV, DVD and Apple TV. He’s got his priorities sorted.

9) You will have evenings where everything about him annoys you, even his breathing, but you will miss him the minute he walks out the room.

10) He will do a ‘big shop’ yet fail to buy any fresh fruit or vegetables.

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