A Definitive List Of Things I Wish I Knew 5 Years Ago

1. The more you try to please others without first pleasing yourself, or questioning if it aligns with your truth, the more you will lose.

2. You will be confronted by people sure of themselves in ways that you aren’t from wildly different backgrounds. You will feel uncomfortable. Look in a mirror—this is telling you something about yourself. They cut right through your core.

3. You have a strength in you, a light that burns so bright that it will carry you through the darkest days.

4. Life is in the unexpected. The good and the bad. The mundane. Relish the everyday and allow yourself to feel everything.

5. You will lose people at a moment’s notice—it is better not to dwell so much on what could have been and rather to remember what was.

6. Your anxiety is a product of an exhausting performance. You will only begin to let it go when you stop, drop the mask, and start living as yourself.

7. Life is not about what other people want for you, it’s about what you want for yourself. Surround yourself with people who hold that sacred.

8. You do not need to emulate someone else.

9. You are brave.

10. You have all the answers you need within if you only listen closely and allow them to come to the fore.

11. Some people are not willing or able to change.

12. People move through life in different directions and at different paces. There is nowhere else you should be other than where you already are.

13. You will find peace within by turning yourself inside out and wearing your truth.

14. You are enough as you are, always.

15. Being alone does not mean being lonely.

16. It is okay to ask for help.

17. Femininity is not a set thing. The version of femininity prescribed by our patriarchal, capitalist society is narrow. Seek out your own version.

18. Therapy is the best gift you will give yourself, and the most necessary at times.

19. Medication is not a sign of failure.

20. Success looks different for everyone. Find out what it means to you.

21. The path laid out for you by others—society, your parents—never felt right because it wasn’t yours. Keep testing.

22. Love is not keeping someone else happy at all costs.

23. Being liked should never be an end goal.

24. You will move house countless times and struggle with feeling like a nomad. Home is not a place; it’s a feeling. You will find home within.

25. Don’t let fear get in your way. Listen to your gut.

26. Everything is sharper, more obvious, in hindsight. You do not need to feel guilty and ashamed for what you could not see at the time.

27. Don’t restrain yourself by others’ limiting beliefs. You are a dreamer. Dream big.

28. People project a lot – if you can learn to separate what is theirs from what is yours you will save yourself a lot of worry.

29. You will discover that for you, being true and feeling seen are the most important things.

30. You will have the courage to end relationships when you know they are no longer right for you. It may feel like an impossible task, but you will come out the other side and you will thrive.

31. You will feel so far away from yourself at one point that you will feel numb and forget everything you once loved. It will come back. You will relearn the intricacies of your heart, what you like and dislike, how you love and want to be loved. Here are just a few things you like: books, ‘70s music, singing in the shower, vegetarian food, poetry, writing, drawing, dancing terribly, long conversations with friends, learning, Sims, good horror movies, movies that make you cry, Laura Marling, art, marmite.

32. Coming back to yourself after getting lost will involve a long and arduous process of questioning everything you ever learned about being a woman, love, bodies, how to live your life. It never truly ends, but the journey is beautiful.

33. You like women. And you will tell people. And you will love yourself more for it.

34. You are a fucking star.

35. There is no feeling like being whole.

Queer poet / sculptor / writer based in London @meganprestonelliott

Keep up with Megan on Instagram and Website