Today’s my birthday, and I’ve turned 24. TWENTY. FOUR. When did this happen?! I started making videos when I was 14 years old, which is literally a decade ago. I don’t — I’m so confused. Actually, my earliest memory is from my birthday- – it’s me sitting in the back of my mum’s Nissan Micra and hearing my Winnie the Pooh birthday cake rattling around in the back. And now, two decades and two years later, I’m 24, and I pay taxes, and I live in the U.S.A, and I work for my friend and 20th Century Fox and I decide whether or not to shave my legs sometimes. Life is weird and amazing and beautiful and I am so confused! And there’s over 41,000 of you, that’s an astonishing number of people! Karlie Kloss, who has started YouTubing turned 23 recently, and she made a video about 23 things she’s learnt So for my 24th birthday, I’m gonna do the same thing. Here’s 24 things I learnt by my 24th birthday. #1: Trust your instincts We’re taught, especially those of us who are women, to doubt ourselves and use the language of apologies. But chances are your instincts are there, and pretty damn solid. #2: Listen to other people. This might seem like opposing advice to trusting your instincts, And in fact, there are a lot of items on this list that are going to sound like contradictions, but other people have lived different lives, different experiences, different perspectives for better, for worse. And it is amazing that we have the capacity to share those experiences. So we should make the most of it and know when to stop talking and listen. #3: If you’re feeling creatively stuck, emotionally stuck, or generally just stuck, watch something someone has made on YouTube, read an article in Rookie, listen to an album you adore, dig out all of your makeup and try to turn it into face paint and make yourself look as fierce and terrifying as possible. (or at least someone you can laugh at because they have lipstick on their forehead). #4: If someone is really and truly negatively affecting your life, and affecting your ability to function as a human being, create boundaries that protect yourself. Know when you have to leave a situation. Ask your friends for advice and make it clear that this person isn’t helpful to you. And even if they don’t understand, make firm decisions about the role this person will or will not play in your life. And stick to them. #5: There are those people, and then there are the people we write off quickly. From secondhand stories casually told of people who are so problematic. You can find reasons to write everyone off, and yes, your fave is problematic. But so are you! Give people time and space to grow and change, under the condition that they are not people who have been shut out for a good enough reason, or repeated offense. I have made so many new friends in the past six months just by trusting my gut and being open to people, and realizing that more often than not, the way they present themselves is a show, or I didn’t understand it, or that we solved it all by talking it out. #6: Selfies. Selfies help me come into myself. They help me feel happy with all of this, and I take them for myself. #7: Know your value. You are worthwhile, and what you create is worthwhile. Always negotiate from a place of what you make being important and your time being important. #8: Never be afraid to love things. Loving things is what motivates me and excites me, and what makes me want to reach out of myself and into the world to hear about what you adore. 9: Clean up as you go. This counts as much for kitchens as the many fuckups that scatter our days on this little blue planet. Tidy flat, tidy mind. But you also create time for yourself later when you clean up as you go. #10: Avocado toast. I can’t expand on this, but avocado toast. Also, avocado with salt, pepper, and lime. #11: Think of things in terms of time rather than money or effort or validation and approval. What is my time worth? There is not a value I can possibly place on it. 12: Live with less. I hung onto things because they reminded me of lasts: some lasts more tragic than others, some just former shells I was trying to force myself back into. #13: When you like someone, ask them out. Don’t be afraid to be too keen or overbearing, just go for it! If it doesn’t work out, whatever, it’s not about “They didn’t deserve you”, it’s about “I went for it and it was fucking awesome, whatever the result, because I really went for it.” #14: This goes for friends, too. Just invite them up for lunch, or for a casual trip to the supermarket. You might very well fall in electric friendship love. #15: The ocean teaches you how to breathe again, when you’re sad or anxious. If you’re in that state, and you have the opportunity to find one, go for it. #16: New Romantics by Taylor Swift is a great anthem to snap and to sing to your nearest avocado, Because baby, I could build a castle out of all the bricks they threw at me! #17: Gin and tonics should always be made with a lime or cucumber or both. I don’t understand people who put lemon in their G&Ts. I’m sorry, I just don’t think you’re living. (but I’m not that sorry.) #18: X never, EVER marks the spot, unless you’re searching for the cup of Christ. You’ll get somewhere and your goalposts will change. That’s fine! That’s amazing, that’s how we keep moving forward. Don’t feel disheartened by this; your ambition is a lioness and I can hear her roar from here. #19: Say ‘thank you’. Help clear up. Be of subject to one another. How can I be of subject to you? Always quote The West Wing. 20: Writing isn’t the easy pastime you once thought it was — of sitting down and pouring stories out for hours and being done. But editing is rewarding, redrafting is like a puzzle, and you’ll get there. Keep going. #21: Anywhere you live needs some plants; get that oxygen flowing. #22: Keep a diary if you can. Looking back will be painful at times, but this record of the weird words floating around in your head is more valuable than you know when you’re scribbling them down. 23: If you can’t sleep or you’ve had a bad day or everything’s falling apart, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home. #24: You are enough. You’re a fucking miracle of evolution and champagne supernovas, and fire and drive and ambition and joy. You’re amazing. Thank you. Thanks for watching, everyone, whether you’ve been watching since I was 14 years old or since I turned 24 and this is your first video. I am trying to get better at supporting my own work, so if you forgot to get me a birthday present, feel free to click the subscribe button if you want. If you don’t want, that’s absolutely fine too, but I’m just saying. Other than that, I will see you very, very soon. Goodbye. *brief yet joyful house music*