June 14: Gemini season is in full swing, and your girl is now legally an adult! For my eighteenth birthday I decided to compile a collection of some of the most important lessons I’ve learned during my time breathing, loving, travelling and dreaming.

  1. Have a hot shower, lie naked between your sheets, light a vanilla-scented candle and put on your favourite CD. You will feel better.
  2. Wear the clothes you want – the flared pants, the heeled boots, the bright red lipstick. You’ll feel like a rockstar and no one has the right or capability to take that away from you.
  3. Read books. As much and as broad and varied as you can. Every book you hold is another world in your hands.
  4. It’s okay not to wear any makeup in public. Your perspective will change once you’re comfortable in your own skin.
  5. Be your best friend first. Friends aren’t always reliable, but you will always be there to pick yourself back up.
  6. Visit other countries. Get on a plane by yourself and experience new cultures, languages, people. Truly immerse yourself in another way of life. Your perspective will change.
  7. A change in attitude has the ability to change everything.
  8. There is a time for going with the flow, and a time to stand your ground. You’ll know you are maturing when you start to find this balance.
  9. Don’t be afraid to say I love you. People need to hear it.
  10. Unashamed honesty leaves your heart open and your soul clear.
  11. Being an adult has less to do with age and more to do with experience.
  12. Spend your money on dates with your friends or lover, and hot chips when it’s freezing outside, and your favourite band’s newest/oldest CD, and those expensive shoes you’ve always wanted but know you’ll wear every day. They’re worth the cash.
  13. Appreciate your family while you’re still with them. You think you won’t miss them, but you will.
  14. Don’t limit yourself because you’re scared. This is when you’ll grow and learn the most.
  15. Grades are only important if you want them to be. Numbers can’t define your worth unless you let them.
  16. The best lessons can’t be learned in a classroom.
  17. The moments you remember most aren’t always the wild drunken nights, but those perfect quiet nights with someone you love.
  18. Accept yourself. Your flaws, your mistakes, your crooked lips, when you trip, when you fumble, when you stutter, yell out the wrong answer or fail a test. Laugh it off, pick yourself up, look into those familiar eyes in the mirror and tell yourself you are enough. Because you really are.