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My predictions and wishes for the new Scream film

My predictions and wishes for the new Scream film




If you’re new to this place, allow me to introduce myself: I’m Mòrag and I’m a Scream fanatic. I am too young to remember Scream 1, 2 and 3 being released but during the 00s - when I began to explore my taste in films as a teenager - Scream 2 was the first slasher I ever watched and I’ve remained hooked on the genre ever since. And even though I watched the first three Scream films in entirely the wrong order, they’ve remained my favourite because 1) they’re incredible and 2) it was this franchise that introduced me to the genre I’d develop a lifelong love for.

To say I’m excited about Scream 5 in an understatement. I love Scream to the point that I’d still enjoy Scream 5 even if it's a massive hot mess (I like Scream 3, for an example of my loyalty). Obviously, however, I still have predictions and hopes for the new film - and here they are!


Sam replaces Sidney as the final girl


I absolutely love Sidney Prescott, no word of a lie - however, it may be time to hand over the baton to a fresh face. The original film is 25 years old and Neve Campbell is now in her forties. It’s not unreasonable at this point to consider a restructuring to the cast.


Even in the trailer we see Sidney and Dewey providing advice and counsel to the new group of teenagers. While a bittersweet change, I think it will be a necessary one if we want to see more Scream films in the future. I just hope they do the transition smoothly.


Dewey will die


Fans were angry that Randy was killed off in Scream 2. However, with a new generation of teenagers in town I think the writers might be safe to shock us by killing one of the main three. And my money’s on Dewey. He’s been almost killed twice, so I think this time they might just end him.


Stu and Kirby don’t turn up alive


There’s a fan theory that Stu and Kirby are still alive because we don’t see their deaths 100% confirmed (despite all the blood and a massive electrocution). I’m actively against the idea of Stu turning up, even if his farm mansion is being used in the new film. I just think it would be cheesy. He disappears into the night for 25 years only to show up and finish the job in middle age? Aye, okay.

Edit: I support Stu making a cameo and providing guidance to new killers. If done right that could be awesome. But I still think him being the killer it too far fetched given his age and that he'll be in pretty bad shape after the first film.   

As for Kirby, Wes Craven himself said that he considered letting her live. If Scream 5 was coming straight after Scream 4, it would have been a good decision to have her become the sole survivor. But Scream 4 was over a decade ago…and I think that ship has sailed.


Tara is the person in the wheelchair.


The internet has been fighting about this, and I’m team #TaraInWheelchair

The commentary will be on the media

Scream has always been known for being meta, but I have a feeling Scream 5 might try and move away from this. Scream started the meta trend, that eventually went on to become a bit overdone. But what I think they might do is add commentary on the state of the media, rather than horror films specifically. And remember: the original Scream was made under Weinstein, which makes the comments Milton made in Scream 3 even more horrific. 


All the new cast are related to characters in the first film


This is pretty much said in the trailer but not all the new characters share surnames with the characters in the first film. It's been confirmed that Mindy and Chad are related to Randy Meeks. Obviously family members don’t always have the same surname and I’m hoping that Sam does have a blood connection to Stu, since she appears to live in his old house.


Stu’s house is the final scene


Even as a teenager watching Scream, I was in awe at how beautiful Stu’s farm mansion is. And it's got several hiding spots - remember how long it took to notice that Tatum was dead in the first film? And Sidney’s dad was stuffed in a cupboard, undetected? Plus, it’s a great homage to the original.


We know who Ghostface definitely isn’t


The trailer maybe gave a bit too much away. In it we see multiple cast members being attacked or running away: Tara, Vince, Chad, Richie (maybe?), Dewey, Sam, Mindy, Amber, and Sidney.

However, I think that the shots of Amber and Vince are there to confuse us. In the shots, there’s some wiggle room to believe that they are the second ghostface. Vince simply has Ghostface standing behind him and Amber is seen clutching herself (think about how the two ghostfaces always stab each other to create their cover story). They are attacked in some way, but not in the conclusive way that the other characters are.


I don’t confidently know who Ghostface is, but I have a favourite suspect


And it’s Wes. My only reasoning for this is because in the trailer you see him neither being attacked or looking particularly shifty. In all the Scream films certain characters are written to look shifty, and they rarely end up being Ghostface. They’re designed to throw off the audience. I’m suspicious by the way in which Wes just gets to hide in the background. And Dylan Minnette has already proven himself as a good actor and he’s one of the more recognisable members of the younger cast.


I’m not the only one: YouTuber Zack Cherry thinks Wes and Judy become a mum and son murdering duo. I’m not against it, though I’m not dedicated to it either.


But there will be two killers


I love that Scream has two ghostfaces; it makes it much harder to guess who it might be. The only solo killer we’ve seen is Roman in Scream 3 and we all know that was a low-point for the franchise. And in the TV series I correctly guessed the solo killer in the second season while it was only halfway through.


And the killer isn’t Gail


I will rage if Gail is the killer. We know it can’t be Sidney or Dewey because they get attacked in the trailer, but what (non-cheesy) motivation could the writers come up with for Gail to suddenly become the killer after years of surviving these killings? I will RAGE I tell you!
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2021 round-up / my third post of the year

2021 round-up / my third post of the year



Whatever 2021 was, it certainly wasn’t the year of blogging. Blogs, as we all know, are on the decline and mine is no exception. As much as I have loved this space over the past eleven years, time does move on and so I have. I’m not planning to walk away officially and still appreciate this space as an occasional dumping ground for thoughts and reviews - but by and large, I’ve turned my attention elsewhere.

So, what have I turned my attention to? Well, not much really if I’m honest. At the start of the year I wrote my usual probably-too-personal-for-my-own-good goals post where I shared with you all that I wasn’t going to make any goals. I had a few small, personal goals tucked away, but nothing particularly lofty and I could count all of them on one hand. 2021 was very much the year of under-achievement, and I’m okay with that. I passed my Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing with a Credit, which obviously is an impressive achievement worth sharing. I continued learning Scottish Gaelic and can now construct my own sentences for Twitter without the help of a dictionary - though I’m still short of the ability to hold a full conversation. 

I also took up Highland Dancing (for the third time in my life) in early autumn, which was not something I planned. I also didn’t know whether I’d re-run for the Glasgow Green Party Committee at the start of the year. I decided not to re-run, and instead put myself forward for the Membership Committee, which I not only got in to but also hoovered up most of the votes (thanks lads!). 

On a very personal level I decided to work on my anxious attachment and move towards secure attachment. This is partly the reason why I scampered off the internet slightly in a bid to live in the moment and accept myself as I am rather than chasing new ideas and skills every year. 

Still quite personal: 2021 was the year that I would seek out professional therapy. I want to make it clear: I’m absolutely fine and not in crisis. I wasn’t even actively looking for a therapist when I accidentally stumbled upon one on Instagram who was straight-talking but compassionate on issues I struggled with. She’s a psychotherapist who runs a group therapy course focused on women who have had a rough ride with relationships: toxic or even abusive relationships, attachment issues, always attracted to bad boys or Peter Pans, etc etc. It’s been eye-opening so far, and it's nice to be in an environment with other people who share my issues and similar thought patterns (while still being held accountable).  

One of the things that we’ve been working on is oversharing, and why we do it. Tbh, my constant online posting hasn’t always come from the best place. I also know how contradictory it might be to write a blog about oversharing, especially since I only recently reigned myself in. That’s why I’m not going to share where my desire to overshare comes from, just that I’m choosing to put better boundaries down online. If you've been hanging about with me for a while you’ll know that after I came out as bisexual I became a chronic oversharer (there’s a bit of a hint as to one reason why I overshare). I have no regrets writing about my coming out story in depth or how I feel as a long term single woman, because that kind of personal oversharing helps people. But I’ve reigned in sharing a 24/7 commentary of my day. If you follow me on Instagram, when was the last time you saw me posting about mundane life admin tasks? I’m willing to bet you probably didn’t notice that I stopped, which a year ago would have been an upsetting thing for my anxious wee heart to accept but I’m ready now.

So how do I feel? Actually quite good. While working through issues definitely opens up wounds and forces you outside your comfort zone, it feels gratifying. Posting less on social media has freed up my time for personal relationships, projects and just general life admin. It's also freed up my brain capacity as I’m not constantly in content mode, and it's allowed me to live in the moment. It still feels a bit uncomfortable and I still have a fear that people will think I’m boring because I’m not sharing every moment online but reminding myself that if people are analysing my online content that intently they should probably consider therapy themselves. 

So what do I want to do with 2022? More of the same I reckon. Carry on with learning Gaelic, perfect my Highland Fling, be calm(er) and work on my photography skills which is the new(ish) skill I’m currently working on. I would invite you along for the ride, but alas I’ll only be sharing occasional updates, which I think is going to be a good thing. 

Love, peace and privacy,

Mòrag x


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Vegan eating and things to do in Fort William and Lochaber

Vegan eating and things to do in Fort William and Lochaber


If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram (or even TikTok since I did recently make my debut) you'll know that me and my parents took a wee trip to the West Highlands in September. We decided to stay in Inchree, which is about 10 minutes south of Fort William (via car) and used that as a base to explore the wider Lochaber area. 

If you've never explored this area of Scotland then let me post a spoiler and say that it is absolutely stunning, even after summer has passed. There's also a lot to do and the three days we spent there still weren't enough to cover everything. It's also very touristy, with Fort William known as The Outdoor Capital of the UK, so you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to attractions, accommodation and dining options. My dad has been to Fort William many times in his life and even he was finding new spots to visit. 

Eating vegan food in Fort William

Whenever I come back from holiday the first question I get asked is: how was it for vegans?! Fort William was amazing and while the wider Lochabar area isn't great it's not undoable. We had a cool box with us so we packed sandwiches and snacks for road trips and I'd recommend you do the same. However, I did manage to find a few gems. 

The Wildcat

Fort William's dedicated vegan café was just as good as I had heard it was. It's very popular though and even though me and my mum arrived only an hour after opening we were told to leave our numbers and we'd be called when a table became available. Thankfully we got a call ten minutes later and hadn't went too far.

I had the avocano which is fake avocado made from (if I remember correctly) mashed up edamame beans, peas and seasoning. It was very believable and a lot more sustainable. I also had a beetroot latte and a handful of raw cakes. Their Facebook page however makes it look like they switch up their menu regularly so check before you visit as what I had might not be available. 

Ben Nevis Inn

If you had told me a month ago that I'd eat one of my best vegan meals at a small inn on a rainy day at the base of Ben Nevis I wouldn't have believed you. This cozy cottage has a separate vegan menu (remember to ask for it) and I opted for the wild mushroom and asparagus gnocchi which was glorious. My mum, who is not vegan, opted for the veggie burger and thoroughly enjoyed her meal too. My dad had the regular beef burger and was also pleased with his choice. This place isn't the cheapest but was well worth the extra pennies. They also have a generous selection of local alcoholic beverages on tap. 

Ben Nevis Bar

The Ben Nevis Bar in Fort William, according to my dad, is one of those quintessential Highland pubs that has been there for decades. Apparently he's had many drams and pints there over the years. They also have a vegan option in the form of a curry (they were only offering their reduced menu that day but on the website there's also a veggie chili bean burger). It was marked as vegetarian on the menu but I was assured it was vegan and when eating it I couldn't taste and dairy. 

On the whole, the Ben Nevis Bar is lovely and I can understand why my dad has popped in numerous times over the years. Even if you're not hungry, it's still well worth stopping by for a look at the whisky bar. 

Aroma

Sorry but it's time for a bit of a meh review. Aroma is a Chinese takeaway in Fort William which we popped by one night to grab something to take back to our chalet. It wasn't horrible and was definitely edible and did the job for a takeaway but I have had a lot better. Sorry. 

Sound Bites

Okay, so a bit of an honorary mention here. I didn't actually stop in by Sound Bites while in Arisiag since we had food in our car and our priority was getting out to Mallaig - but the menu looked lovely and I kind of wish I had delayed Mallaig for it! If I'm ever in that area again I'll make it a priority to stop by for some vegan haggis bon bons. 

Things to do

Fort William and Lochaber have no shortage of things to do, even if you're not particularly outdoorsy. Believe me, I had no intention of walking up Ben Nevis (my parents have both attempted it in the past but had to turn back due to bad weather and safety concerns). Here's what you can do on a slightly more chilled holiday in the West Highlands. 

Glenfinnan

Glenfinnan is a lovely hamlet a few miles west of Fort William and is home to the Glenfinnan Monument, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the Glenfinnan Museum and some lovely walking trails with beautiful views. Yes, this is also the location that is used for the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films but the viaduct and Jacobite Train have a much longer and very important history in Scotland. 

Remember to look up the time of the Jacobite Train so you can watch it glide across the viaduct (and you can even book a seat on it to boot!).  As for the walks, I was wearing gym leggings on this day, but still had on my Converse and my handbag and got on okay along the Viaduct Walk. And remember to stop by the Glenfinnan Museum at the operating Glenfinnan Railway Station. It's small but talks you through the history of the viaduct and railways in general. The entry fee is a donation of your choice. 

Loch Morar

The whole reason we were in the west Highlands to begin with was so I could visited Loch Morar, aka the home of Nessie's lesser-known cousin Morag! Loch Morar is a much calmer spot that Loch Ness and in fact, the road doesn't go very far round it; if you want to see it all you'll have to get your walking boots on or bring a canoe! I also popped on my swimming costume on for a bit of wild swimming! 

Silver Sands of Morar

More wild swimming! The Silver Sands of Morar were much chillier than Loch Morar (though lacking its own monster!) but the incredibly soft sand made up for it. Like Loch Morar just a few minutes away, I consider the Silver Sands to be a must visit. And similarly to Loch Morar, wasn't overrun with people. 

Glen Nevis

There was no way I was climbing Ben Nevis having only ever completed one other Munro back when I was sixteen (it was Lochnagar). But I'm glad my mum mentioned Glen Nevis to me which is an easier walk (a mix between uphill and downhill) into a beautiful glen that isn't reachable any other way. I was wearing my gym trainers, gym leggings, waterproof jacket and a small rucksack with water and snacks. It isn't the hardest of walks but you definitely need a reasonable level of fitness and weather-appropriate clothing that you can move in. I also wouldn't recommended if you have young children. 

Nevis Range Gondola

So, uh, we made the decision to go up the cable car on a cloudy day praying that the clouds would split before the top. They didn't so my review is lacking. Though there were vegan options in the mountain top restaurant.

West Highlands Museum

I adored this pint-sized museum in the middle of Fort William. It focuses primarily on the Jacobites but it also hosts a few extra pieces of local history. I loved the fashion room where I learned more about tartan and the various outfits of Queen Victoria. Entry is donation only and I picked up two new books in the gift shop.

Where we stayed


Whenever I go on holiday I avoid staying in accommodation that should be someone's house, especially when I'm visiting somewhere where there is a housing shortage. The West Highlands has suffered because people are buying holiday homes and AirBnBs making it harder for locals to stay in the area, and I point blanked told my parents I wouldn't come if they booked a holiday home. 

We settled on the Inchree Chalets, which were just lovely. They are self-catering and the kitchen came with everything we needed to create simple meals (okay, my dad moaned that there were no whisky glasses). The chalet we stayed in (Glen Crenan) was home to three bedrooms: a master double downstairs and two bedrooms upstairs with two single beds each. The living room was also home to a couch, tv and dining table. There's also a separate building with laundry facilities if you're staying longer. I was with my mum and dad, but this would have also been a lovely chalet for a group of friends, especially if there was a couple who could take the downstairs bedroom. Me and parents all agreed we would consider staying here again. 

What to pack

The West Highlands is one of the wettest areas of Scotland, so take waterproofs and sensible shoes even if you're travelling in summer. As for evening outfits, no one was particularly dressed up while dining in Fort William and a lot of people were still wearing their walking gear at the pub. If you really want to look more put together for dinner, jeans and a nice top is probably your best bet (anything more than that and you'll be overdressed). 

Etc. 

Fort William is very popular and can get extremely busy in the high season. We visited just outside of high season on purpose so we could avoid the crowds. It was still busy and we got stuck in a few traffic jams. We also managed to book our accommodation with only two months notice but my parents know, from personal experience, that you sometimes have to book summer accommodation a year in advance. I wouldn't recommend just turning up and hoping to find something.

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Esty Wishlist: Gàidhlig Goodies

Esty Wishlist: Gàidhlig Goodies


If you follow me on Twitter then you'll have noticed that my, uh, brand has changed slightly this year. Apparently, the ups and downs of learning Gàidhlig are now the delightful mini-thoughts I treat my followers to. 

It was only in March, after witnessing a few people I follow using Gàidhlig as their default language, that I began to realise how silly it was that I couldn't speak the other official language of the country I live in (especially a language that hovers close to extinction). I was only ever planning to teach myself tourist-centric phrases, but eight months on I'm full steam ahead and aiming to become fluent. Anyone who says learning Gàidhlig is pointless will love the day when I start refusing to speak English (I've also been brushing up on my Doric, just to really piss off the Beurla speakers). 

Naturally, I've found myself searching Etsy for cute Gàidhlig trinkets to bring the language into my home. Here's just a small selection of my favourites!

Colzie Mug


Cute mugs are a must-have for winter in my opinion and this colzie mug looks would be a great addition to any mug collection. I might personally skip it because it makes direct reference to highland life and I'm, uh, not from the Highlands (or should I say Gàidhealtachd?) but it's a cute gift for your Highland friend! 


Pure Dead Brilliant Badges


The lovely Càra is a friend of mine and was also a recent guest on my podcast, The B Agenda. Like me, Càra is learning Gàidhlig and, unlike me, she has been turning some of Duolingo's best phrases into cute badges! Tha Niseag ag òl uisge-beatha is my favourite.


Mamaidh Tree Decoration


This is a super cute decoration to buy for the family tree but it's also subtle enough to have up in the house all year round. Bookmark it for Mother's Day. 


Christmas Tree Decorations


On the theme of tree decorations, here is a set of five white and gold tree decorations with Gàidhlig words on them. Definitely very Christmassy. 


Taigh ùr card




Moving away from the Christmas theme here's a cute card for someone who is moving into a new home. 


Gaol Card



Another cute card, but this time one that is perfect for a new arrival! 

Alba mo ghràidh sticker


Finally, I have the Gàidhlig stickers from KenspeckleArt. There are several to choose from (and they are all fabulous!) but this Alba mo ghràidh stick is my favourite. 


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30 Things I've Learned in 30 Years

30 Things I've Learned in 30 Years




Today, I’m saying hello to my thirties. 

I can’t say I feel particularly different today or woke up with a new mature outlook on life, but I’m not going to pretend that I didn’t spend yesterday sitting wide-eyed and muttering “holy fuck I’m 30 tomorrow”.

Turning 30 never scared me, or, more accurately, it hasn’t scared me in recent years. My 20-year-old self was certainly aghast at the idea that I’d ever turn 30. I remember having a conversation with someone when I was 19 where I said: “I can’t imagine my life beyond 30, what do you do with your life when you know you don’t want children?”.

I don’t know exactly what I’m planning to do with the next decade of my life, but I’m no longer looking towards my 30s as if it’s a big black hole. I still feel relatively young in the grand scheme of things, even if I still don’t really understand TikTok.

Back when I was 21, I wrote a blog post called 21 Things I’ve Learned in 21 Years and then another similar one when I was 25. I stand by most of the advice in both of these posts (even if my writing skills have improved since then). Both of these posts were inspired by the ever-incredible Sarah Von Bargen, who penned her own 31 Things I’ve Learned in 31 Years post over a decade ago. She’s one of my favourite bloggers of all time and I’m now almost the same age as she was when I started reading her blog (seriously, read her blog, it’s life-changing stuff and a lot of her advice-column style posts have helped shape the person I am today).

So, naturally, I’m writing another one to mark my 30th birthday because that’s how I roll.

1. Sometimes, things just aren’t meant to be.

That person wasn’t right for you. Friends grow in different and incompatible directions. You failed that course because your brain isn’t naturally inclined towards that topic. You didn’t get the job because they felt someone else just had the right (not more!) experience. You fell madly in love and then three years later discover that it wasn’t forever.

Maybe you did do everything you could: completed all the recommended reading, carried out your fair share of the cleaning, wore the perfect interview outfit and it still didn’t work out. This happens and it’s not a reflection of your own talents, personality, merit, or qualifications.

2. But always give things your best shot

While it’s true that some things are just not meant to be, it’s also true that sometimes you didn’t give things your best shot. Always work hard enough that you can walk away knowing that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Most of the regrets that follow me around to this day are situations where I know I could have tried harder, but didn’t. In contrast, I have always made my peace with failed projects, bad grades, and break-ups where I knew there was nothing else I could have done.

3. Skinny isn’t always healthy

At 20-years-old I was the skinniest I’ve ever been and was approached romantically and sexually on the regular. At 20-years-old I was also very stressed, in a bad place, and didn’t eat very much. I also fell ill with a big case of tonsillitis which left me bed-bound for two weeks. Healthwise, I was actually at my lowest.

Fast forward to today, and I’m probably the biggest I’ve ever been (even though I’m still relatively skinny in the grand scheme of things) but I’m also at my healthiest. I eat when I’m hungry and swim regularly - and haven’t had tonsillitis in years.

4. My longest-running friendships were the ones I never saw coming

Have you ever met someone and immediately thought “I want to be this person’s friend!?”. I have! Alas, these friendships very rarely worked out long term. All my closest friendships are with people who were pretty unassuming at first glance and the connection deepened naturally and gradually over time.

5. There’s a difference between giving up and walking away from something you’ve outgrown

“Finish what you started” is actually pretty shit advice. Yes, you should always work hard and keep going even through the tough bits if it will help you reach a larger goal. But don’t confuse this with staying in a relationship/finishing a degree/maintaining a blog that is weighing you down and doesn’t contribute to a longer-term dream.

6. A degree is a lot of time and money if you don’t need it

Since graduating from university over 8 years ago, about 10% of my degree has been useful. I work in a field where rising to the top without a degree is not unheard of. I could still be in the same place today without my degree (and minus the debt). So much of what I know about marketing and communications has been learned from on-the-job training, mentorship, online courses, books, and industry magazines.

The government will pay your tuition fees in Scotland (we still have loans for living costs, which is where my debt lies) but the universities are still private institutions that exist to make money. Therefore they’ll run courses that they know fine well won’t make someone more employable in the real world.

If you need a degree to pursue your chosen career path then I wish you all the luck in the world. I’d however advise any school leavers who don’t know what they want to do long term to stay away from further education and only return if you require a specific qualification. You also never know: you might end up finding something vocational that you love and never have to pay back a single penny of student debt.

(For any wannabe marketers: the most straightforward route to a job is a marketing degree from a respected university but it’s not the only way).

7. If you’re at university, do more than just get your degree

While I might not use my degree all that much, the extracurriculars I took part in while at university have contributed towards my success in the real world. When I started attending graduate interviews for marketing roles with an International Management degree, they didn’t ask much about my degree because, well, it wasn’t very relevant. But they did always want to know more about the Cupcake & Baking Society, which I founded. I also blagged myself a fairly professional part-time job in my university’s Careers Centre, which was also relevant and a great talking point in interviews.

Everyone I went to university with who became successful in the real world did a lot more at university than just getting stuck into academia. If you are going to university I would 100% recommend getting involved in some way: whether it’s a sports team, class representative, working part-time in the university, or running for the Student Executive.

8. Treat yourself the way you would if you were dating someone

I first came across the concept of dating yourself in my early 20s and it’s one of the best self-care principles I’ve ever engaged in. I keep my room tidy even if no one else will be inside my bedroom. I shave my body often and always wear nice underwear (except when on my period). I also have one tattoo that no one is ever going to see unless they see me near naked. And I make myself beautiful dinners that are usually associated with entertaining. I deserve to feel good, even when I’m by myself.

9. Opportunities to have sex while single can be, uh, rather spontaneous

I’ve heard people mutter that when you’re single you don’t need to shave your legs or keep your bedroom tidy. In my experience this is bullshit. When you’re in a monogamous relationship you sort of know when you might be getting laid (partner away on a work trip? No sex for you! Partner ill? Probably not.).

When you’re single (and open to casual sex), however, you don’t always know when the next opportunity for sex will occur. I’ve certainly woken up not expecting to get laid that day but somehow did (sometimes without much effort on my part).

If you’re single, open to casual sex and that sex will likely involve penetration, keep a condom on you at all times.

10. Stay on good terms, unless they were an asshole

When I was young and petty, I would fully remove people from my life just because we hadn’t spoken in a while. This led to some regret and awkward moments when I visited my hometown. I then sheepishly re-added some people on Facebook. These days, I only go no-contact with people who have caused harm to myself or others.

My childhood best friend has taken a very different life path from myself, but we still tag each other in fun 90s memes. Someone who I had a fling with at uni is still my friend to this day, even if we didn’t speak for a few years while we let the dust settle. It’s lovely to still have these connections years into the future even if the relationship itself had to shift a little bit to allow it. I’m grateful I never ended things with these two people.

11. The scariest self-development is the most worthwhile

Decorating your room, drinking enough water, engaging in meaningful movement, developing your personal style, signing up for a night class, and going or a walk in the morning are all great things to do in pursuit of mental, physical and emotional health.

However, I owe most of my modern-day happiness to the scary self-care: confronting myself about times where I’d been the screw-up, coming out as bisexual, and telling some people to get the fuck out of my life. The little things helped me get closer to the day where I’d have the courage to tackle the big stuff, for sure, but for me to really feel myself shift into place I’d have to take a deep breath and do the shit that was scaring me. That’s where happiness was waiting for me.

12. Platonic relationships can be just as fulfilling as romantic and familial relationships

As someone who lives far away from their birth family and hasn’t been in an official romantic relationship for a decade, my friends have become my main source of social and emotional support. And they’ve done a bloody good job of it.

When you really think about it, a lot of the roles we assign to family members or romantic partners can be fulfilled by platonic friendships: living together, financial support, a plus one to a wedding, baring your soul, daily communication, an emergency contact, visiting you in hospital, and a travel buddy. None of these roles inherently require the relationship to be romantic, but we are socialised to think that they should be.

13. People aren’t mindreaders

Is your partner not quite hitting the spot in bed? Is your bestie overstepping your boundaries? Is your flatmate’s music a bit too loud? Was your interns work not quite up to scratch? You can frown about these things and bitch to your friends, but if you want to solve the problem you need to speak to the person.

If you speak to them and they still don’t sexually satisfy you/respect your boundaries/turn the music down then you are free to begin questioning whether this person is right for you (or your business).

14. There is an art to giving constructive criticism

Giving feedback (especially negative) is fucking hard and I wouldn’t claim to be great at it. However, I have improved over the years and have a few tips:
  • feedback should be given with the aim of improving the situation
  • use a friendly (potentially firm) tone
  • give specifics
  • do it to their face
  • if it’s feedback on a professional piece of work, back in up with experience, data, and previous campaigns (“I don’t like it” is not feedback)
15. Don’t ever beg for the bare minimum

You may occasionally need to have difficult conversations with people in your life about their behaviour. This is normal, don’t panic about it. But if you have to ask somebody for something extremely bare minimum, you might need to think whether you want this person in your life. If they can’t get the bare minimum right sweetie then they aren’t going to get the big stuff right.

Bare minimum behaviour includes basic kindness and respect, not invading your privacy, not cheating on your spouse, not lying outside of white lies, letting you know where you stand, not gossiping, respecting your time, saying please and thank you, not mocking your hobbies, allowing you to be your honest self, not controlling you, respecting personal boundaries, and physical safety. You should never have to ask for these things.

I used to think I was being unreasonable when I would get angry at people for small things. Now I realise that if someone can’t reach a bar that’s lying on the floor I have even more of a right to be annoyed. If you’re not asking for a lot then it’s even more of a joke.

16. You can’t be an expert on everything

No fully grown adult has enough hours in the week to become an expert on 10 different topics (even on furlough I didn’t have that kind of time). At most, there will be three topics you can become proficient in, one of them being your profession.

From a career standpoint, I’ve learnt that it’s best to have a specialism within your field, but have two other areas that you can fall back on. My specialism is copywriting and website maintenance, but I’m also skilled enough in social media and SEO that I can bring the skills to the table if need be. I have little Google Ads, graphic design and PR experience - and I don’t apologise for it.

17. Know when it’s better to ask for help or pay someone else to do something

I used to be stubbornly independent and would attempt to do everything myself. I was an independent and capable woman who didn’t need no help! As a result, I ended up with some disjointed blog layouts, dodgy haircuts, and once mildly electrocuted myself!

This is also applicable to your professional life. If you’re a freelancer, know when to outsource different tasks and don’t attempt to be a Jack of All Trades. If you work in an office, know the different strengths and weaknesses in your team and recognise when someone else should take on a particular project.

18. Know your weaknesses

Everyone has weaknesses and there’s no shame in admitting them. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned that people will respect you more if you just say that you’re not that good at driving/cooking/talking to strangers/maths rather than faking it.

In my professional life, I have sat in on interviews where the candidate’s response to “what are your weaknesses?” is “I just work a bit too hard, you know?”. Just be honest that you’re not good at presentations or excel calculations. You’re actually more likely to get the job because maybe your weaknesses aren’t that big a deal to them or something they can put you on a training programme for.

19. Older men who date much younger women are usually immature af (or really shallow)

When I was in my mid-twenties I dated two guys who were older than me by a decade. Obviously, at the time I thought it was because I was super mature and a boy my own age couldn’t offer me what I needed.

Lol.

Now that I’ve just turned the same age that one of them was when he met me, I can confidently say that both of them were emotionally immature. Neither would get anywhere near me now and I now understand why they were hanging about with people who were much younger (older people wouldn't tolerate them).  

20. Embrace the boring

I’ve always been an introvert, but for years I tried to convince myself and people around me that I was a fun and outgoing person. I’m not, and I’m now okay with that. I like to spend my days reading non-fiction books, fucking about online, and baking - and nobody can stop me!

I’ve learned over the years that healthy relationships should be calm, and sometimes a little boring. It’s not normal to have drama every second day. I had some pretty dramatic platonic and romantic relationships in my late teens and early 20s, which feel nauseating in hindsight.

21. The secret to finding real friends is being yourself

I have a relatively high number of ex-friends. Some of that has been caused by moving to a new city (twice!) and biphobia/queerphobia - but a lot of it was caused by my very weak self-identity and hiding who I really was.

When I began to really embrace the real me, for the first time in my life I felt popular and loved. The wrong people dropped off my radar pretty easily, but the right people began flocking to me in a way that they hadn’t before.

Turns out, some really great people love the real me.

22. Finding yourself can take a long time

I spent years trying to discover who I really was and learning who you are is not that simple. Cultural conditioning, expectations from your parents, oppression, and toxic friendships/relationships can really hamper with your ability to know exactly who you are and what you want.

I was 20 when I first really realised that I didn’t have a clue who I really was or what I wanted. Then I went on a massive journey of self-discovery. There was no strategy really: I began reading self-development blogs, experimented with hobbies, switched up the way I looked, and put myself out there socially. Then piece by piece things began to fall into place. In hindsight, the process might have been quicker if I had paid a therapist or life coach for guidance - either way though, I got there.

23. There’s nothing wrong with not coming out

I might be an out and proud bisexual now, but I only came out three years ago (despite having known when I was 13). Coming out is my proudest achievement and massively improved my mental health.

It would have been great if I could have come out sooner, but I don’t regret waiting until I did. It wasn’t entirely safe for me to come out until I was almost 27. Just before I came out I ended some friendships. Within those friendships were people who had negative opinions of bisexuals and/or fetishised us. The friendships in question ended for other reasons but the night I refused to go to a birthday party was the same night I changed my dating apps to reflect who I was really interested in.

24. Don’t make excuses for creepy men

[content warning for sexual assault]

If you’ve read a lot of what I’ve published in the last few years, you might have gathered that three years ago I ended a longterm friendship because that person was convicted of sexual assault (and still denied it). I also had to end friendships with people who stood by that person.

When people ask if this news was shocking, the answer is logically no. Yes, it took me a few days to pull myself together after finding out (I hadn’t even known there was a court case), but the red flags had been there all along. The person in question had crossed the lines of personal boundaries many times before, one of his friends had personally harassed me, and just weeks before the conviction I witnessed them grab someone’s face and force a kiss on them.

It’s weird to write this on the internet as a proud feminist: but I let small creepy behaviours slide over the years. Then it turned out a lot worse was going on behind closed doors. These days I give very little chance to people who engage in creepy behaviours, regardless of how big and small they are.

25. Start saving money


I hate that we live within a capitalist system where not everyone earns enough to even create savings (sound on Universal Basic Income!). But if you’re capable of creating savings, then do so. It’s an amazing comfort to know that you can handle periods of unemployment, a flatmate moving out or even own a house one day.

26. It’s more important how your life is IRL than how it looks on social media

I love to share my life on social media, but I like to think that I share a mix of the good and bad, and I definitely don’t portray my life as more amazing than it actually is.

I used to though. The root cause of doing this was, uh, wishing my life was better than it was. Instead of dealing with the parts of my life that I was unhappy with I’d just make it look like I was happy on social media. As I became genuinely more content with life my social media began to present a realistic snapshot of my life.

My younger self isn’t alone in this. I’ve seen couples splitting up when they were gushing about each other two days earlier on Instagram and I’ve weirdly had people digitally present themselves as a good friend but when cameras were turned off they very rarely showed up in a meaningful way. In contrast, I have friends who rarely talk about me on their social media, but behind the scenes they are pulling their weight in ways that are just spectacular.

27. If you can’t adapt and grow then you’re going to get left behind

I’m someone who has been committed to growing since I was 20, and I vow to never stop growing. I’ve proven myself to not be a static person. Some people never change and in my experience, people who are resistant to change get left behind. Whether that’s in friendships, academia, the workplace, or in romantic relationships.

All my longest-running friendships are with people who know how to adapt and grow in ways that we maybe weren’t expecting when we first met. This is a crucial part of why these friendships worked out while others didn’t.

28. The best revenge is genuinely moving on

Your ex-partner can tell if you’re throwing yourself over a new person to make them jealous. That ex-boss has probably forgotten that you exist. The teacher who was mean to you in primary school might not even be alive by now.

People can be horrible. We’ve all been hurt by callous people. But whenever you do something in life to “show them” or post something petty on social media in hopes that they’ll see it, you’re only admitting that you’ve not really moved on (and that might please the person who hurt you). Just focus on your own healing and journey.

29. Life doesn’t end at 25

I remember having a conversation at uni where me and my then friends were thinking about going to a festival because apparently if we didn’t do it while we were at university then we would be too old.

Now that I’m 30 this just seems laughable. While I still haven’t been to a festival ever it’s because of ticket prices and the fact that I don’t like camping, rather than feeling too old.

You have plenty of time to tick everything off of your list. Turns out that my major achievements in my 20s would be figuring out a lot of emotional shit and building myself a solid foundation to jump from. Hopefully, my 30s will be the decade where I start ticking boxes and moving up in the world - and I’m not embarrassed that I’m running behind society’s schedule.

30. It can* get better, but only when you choose it

I spent most of my teenage years unhappy with a side helping of low self-esteem. Just before I turned 20 I would have both a romantic relationship and friendship break down on very bad terms, with two people who came with a bunch of red flags that I should have seen. This was my wake-up call, and I made a conscious decision to improve my life.

My motivation was the belief that things could get better. And they did get better, in a big way. For three years now I’ve been happy in a way that I would never have predicted. Things aren’t perfect, but I feel a calmness in me that I never felt when I was younger. This didn’t magically happen and no white knight came along to save me. It was my own doing and I’m really proud of myself.

For any young babes who are struggling to find their feet in this world, stick in there. You got this.

Love to everyone, whether you've passed the 30 mark or not x 

*I want to acknowledge that things don’t always get better, as there are people facing tougher circumstances than I was.
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