25 Things I’ve Realised in 25 Years

25 Things I’ve Realised in 25 Years

Today is my 25th birthday. As you’re reading this, I’m having a great time in Brighton with my love. We’re doing all the typical touristy stuff: chilling on the beach, browsing the lanes, playing at the arcade and so on. I’m also trying every bit of vegan food I can find.

However, it was a very different matter in the run up to this day. It’s no secret I’ve been struggling for a while now. A lot has happened in the past two years and I’ve personally had to overcome an awful lot. I’ve been battling with my mental health for years now and I’m only just getting help for it. You may have noticed I’ve been quieter on Twitter, it’s because I’m focusing on trying to get better. I’m going through a weird transitional period in my  life and I want to feel like me again. Since being diagnosed, it feels like I’ve been getting the clarity I’ve been seeking my entire life. I’m going through some things and I thought I’d share with you all important lessons I’ve learnt in 25 years.

“Reality will break your heart, survival will not be the hardest part.” – Paramore

Life events really change a person

These past two years have been some of the hardest of my life. I feel like I’ve spent 2017 putting my life back together. The most significant live events I’m referring to are unfortunately loss. I lost three grandparents in just under a year, two within five months of each other. I had never experienced death or grief before, ultimately it changes a person. There are things I see in different lights, situations I’ll handle differently and things I just expect now.

Self expression is really neat

24 has been a pretty wild year; I’ve met a ton of people who have inspired me in good and bad ways. There’s been people who have introduced me to new things and there’s been people who haven’t brought out the best in me. I’m forever evolving and that’s always the way I want it to be. Earlier this year, I made a decision to stop giving a fuck about what other people think and start doing things I’ve wanted to for ages. Expressing myself through hair, makeup, fashion and ink has done wonders for me this year.

People come and go, and that’s okay

In 2016, I said goodbye to a lot of people. Some were intentional, some weren’t, the majority were out of my control and hurt a lot. Death isn’t something you can control and as cliche as it sounds, it has shown me that life is too short. When a few people exited my life pretty soon after each other, I spend months feeling miserable and bad about myself. I was made to feel like things were entirely my fault. It wasn’t nice and I acted out in ways I shouldn’t have. Things don’t always work out; some people aren’t compatible and that’s life. I don’t feel bad about leaving exes behind, so why am I wasting time feeling about about past friends? These things happen, learn from them and move on. People come and go all the time.

Getting diagnosed is terrifying

I’ve been seeking a diagnosis for years, so why did it terrify me? I don’t know, I guess it suddenly seemed more real. I knew I probably had anxiety, but they threw depression into the mix as well. It’s scary to think this is just my life now.

Building a life with somebody is wonderful

I used to think love was lame, but boy was I wrong.

Grief is hard and never really goes away

There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about the people I miss. There’s so much I want to share with them. It’s just gotten to a point where I’ve adjusted my life to work around these feelings.

You’re always stronger than you think

Before I got help last month, I had a huge breakdown. Although it was very draining, it felt necessary in a way? It served as a reminder and felt like the next step. I thought about everything that has happened in the past year or so, and how I’m still here. I think a lot of us need to remind ourselves we’re stronger than we realise. Women are incredibly resilient, we have to be.

Falling in love with yourself is exciting, revolutionary and essential

Learning to love myself is probably going to be something I’ll have to work on for life. It’s hard work sometimes, but definitely worth it.

Beauty standards are literally bullshit

Make your own.

Always follow your gut

I’ve lost count of how many times I didn’t do this and things went tits up. I don’t care what anyone tells you, answer to you and you only.

Minding your business is free

You’ll be happy too. Meddling is messy; focus on yourself and watch your life transform.

Calling yourself out, or being called out, is essential for growth

It’s not always fun, but I promise you’ll learn something. You’ve got to really listen though.

Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness

Recognising you need help is half the battle. It shows strength to know you need help and even more to ask for it.

It’s important to separate online + IRL

There’s people online who do not give a fuck about your wellbeing. You’re somebody who chooses to put your life online and it’s all a game to them. People will happily watch you fall and pass the popcorn whilst doing so. I’m getting to a point in my life where I’m realising that there is always going to be somebody trying to put you down. It’s exhausting and 100% not worth my energy. Just the other day somebody tried to bring drama to my notifications by tagging me in some shitty negative tweet. It’s important to remind yourself that you don’t need to give an opinion on everything and time offline is good too.

Your only competition is you

The years I wasted comparing myself to other women upsets me when I think about it. It’s taken me a long time to get there but the only person I want to be better than is myself. Like I said, forever evolving is the goal.

Music is actually important to me

All this thinking about times where I struggled has reminded me of all the great albums that helped me get through hard times. It’s amazing what these things can do for you.

Growing up is tough, but cool

My life is so different now. It’s tough and scary at times, but also really fulfilling in some ways too. Growing up is this terrifying reminder that you can get through things and I think that’s kind of cool. I have some birthday related anxiety, but I’m also excited to see what 25 brings.

There are things I can’t change about myself, it’s about time I embrace them

I recently spoke about this in more detail in a previous post. Adopting this attitude has been hard, but life changing!

There’s more important things than image

Following on from above, there is no point wasting time hating myself or the way I look. There are so many other things to celebrate!

Don’t fuck with anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself

Family, friends, colleagues, strangers, I ain’t got time for it.

People will do the strangest things when they’re threatened

It’ll blow your mind. You’re not above it and you’ll probably disgust yourself at some point too.

You don’t owe anyone shit

You do what you gotta do in this world, you don’t need to justify yourself to anyone.

Some things don’t need to be said

Pick. your. battles!

You are enough ♥


Photography by Kaye Ford



  1. July 13, 2017 / 6:39 pm

    Love this! So helpful and inspiring ♥

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 18, 2017 / 11:40 am

      Thank you 🙂

  2. July 14, 2017 / 12:14 am

    Tara, I love your blog and each time I come here I’m challenged, learning new things and reminded of the reasons why we should be celebrating ourselves. You’re incredibly inspiring to me as someone who’s been diagnosed in the past and has struggled, and often still struggles, with depression and anxiety so though I don’t know your exact experiences with it, as I know it’s different for everyone, I can definitely sympathise and I hope you’re doing OK and that the help you’re being offered brings some comfort to you. It can be scary, but know there’s lots of support out there and that you’re not alone. Also, a very happy birthday to you lovely, I’m glad you had such a good day and enjoyed it, even if the lead up has been tough. I hope 25 brings with it lots of adventures for you lovely! Loved this post too, so many amazing examples and points here that had me smiling the whole way through. <3 – Tasha

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 18, 2017 / 11:40 am

      You are always such a big supporter of mine and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thank you SO much!

      • August 3, 2017 / 1:18 am

        You are more than welcome my lovely!

  3. July 14, 2017 / 12:09 pm

    I honestly love your posts so much, I always look forward to coming here and having a good old read. I’m sorry you’ve had to go through what you have, but I’m so happy that you’re overcoming it and getting the help that you need. I can totally relate as it took me years to finally grab the balls and get an actual diagnosis and the help I needed for my anxiety. You’re totally right too, FUCK beauty standards. On that note, you look absolutely incredible and I really can’t get enough of your hair at the mo, I love it.

    Jen, Velvet Spring x

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 18, 2017 / 11:39 am

      That is SO lovely of you to say, thank you!

  4. July 14, 2017 / 4:21 pm

    Love love love this! I can relate to everything you’ve said in some way or another, and it’s nice to be able to do that sometimes. Although I am genuinely sorry to hear about the hard times you’ve had in the last year. I know all too well what grief feels like, as death seems to follow my family too closely. And I also know how hard it can be living with anxiety and depression, but it helps to deal with it.

    Anyway, Happy Birthday! I hope you had a great time and wishing you the best.

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 18, 2017 / 11:37 am

      I’m glad you’re able to relate 🙂

  5. July 16, 2017 / 2:48 am

    I agree with everything here. The separating online and IRL really resonates with me as last year I had ‘online friends’ who happily stabbed me in the back and enjoyed watching me fall to pieces. I’ve since learned that there are things I keep for me bcos some people will happily bring you down.

    Happy Birthday xx

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 18, 2017 / 11:36 am

      That’s horrible, I think many of us have unfortunately experienced that.

  6. July 19, 2017 / 12:13 am

    This was an awesome, uplighting post to read! You shared some really great life lessons and tips 🙂 It’s really is amazing how much music can help us through tough times; I know that it has been so important for me! Over the last few years I’ve been working hard to not put up with toxic people in my life… I used to let people walk all over me because I was scared about loosing people and being alone. I was too anxious to stand up for myself, but I’m getting better at not enduring people’s bullshit and it has definitely had a positive impact on my mental health. I need to keep telling myself that I ‘don’t owe anyone shit’! Something that I’m trying super hard to improve is embracing my ‘flaws’, my quirks, the things I can’t change and the things that I used to hate about myself. Thankyou for sharing this post; I loved it! Also, the photos are fantastic too, you look great! Happy (belated) Birthday! x


    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 19, 2017 / 9:51 am

      Thank you so much, Sarah!

  7. July 19, 2017 / 4:55 pm

    Happy belated birthday – hope you had a lovely day! These are all true and important lessons to learn in life, some I could do with taking on board for sure.

    • Tara | C&CO.
      July 19, 2017 / 7:34 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  8. August 2, 2017 / 1:36 am

    Absolutely love this post!! This is what I’ve really needed to read, so inspiring and heartwarming, thank you xxx

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