16 years // 16 life lessons.

  Most of you would know that I've just had my birthday! Sweet sixteenth, as they call it. I know it's an age milestone likened to obnoxious celebration. A fitting description as my friends/family certainly spoilt me rotten, on the actual day and the school day before. Lauren and Yuxian baked me cakes which I think radically changed the course of the day, accompanied by wicked candles. I'm so thankful for these two, and everyone else who showered me with celebratory love. 

  In commemoration, I wrote up a list of life lessons I've acquired in my existence thus far. Keep in mind, positivity is the ideal way to go. (Leah wrote a similar post, do check hers out too!) If ever you should find yourself in need of a fresh 16-year-old's wisdom, then I sure hope you can take a thing or two into account. 
1. Not everything is like the movies. The media is an absorbing, instilling part of people's lives. I grew up with heartwarming happy endings in almost every visual projection ever viewed. Take it from someone who's been let down a fair few times, thanks to heightened societal expectations. Life is not always picture perfect.

2. You don't have time for unworthy people/situations. If you think about it, trying to please people who don't like you is stupid. So why bother? Save your time and take your attention elsewhere. The right people will listen, respect, admire and help you. Trust me; they're out there waiting for you. And you're going to love them.
3. Be yourself, and do the things you love. Cheesy but it's what will get you the most closure. Stick to your humane morals, keep at your passions and hold your head high. You don't have to pretend - and if you are, don't put on a facade any longer.

4. Don't be afraid to try something new. Different doesn't necessarily mean bad. Whether it be food or actual endeavours, saying 'yes' to new things not typically of your norm could be rewarding. A simple judgement could even define the aftermath of your life on a different scale.
5. Appreciate the little things. You know what I'm talking about. We should be thankful; for the stars we gaze at longingly, the full moon we gape at, the sun rising and setting every day. Think rustic cafés, scented candles, a morning breeze, good music, quirky socks, a mug of piping hot tea, evening walks, knitted sweaters, paisley print, art galleries, swingy dresses, your favourite TV shows. The list goes on and on. They're there for a reason. Note down the foolproof lot of them that make you happy. Add and refer to often, for best results.

6. Things may not be what they seem on the surface. Very often we can misjudge a situation upon first glance. As for people - they're always full of surprises, I'll tell you that. There's more than meets the eye. You'll eventually realise that some people aren't as shallow/deep as they might seem.
7. Treat others how you'd want to be treated. It'll come full circle. That being said, treat yourself too from time to time. You deserve it.

8. Never underestimate girl power, ever. It's lethal stuff, I can guarantee you. Don't even thinking about messing with girls. We're a merged, strong-willed and capable force to be reckoned with.

9. Certain things are better left unsaid. If it's merciless words or mere clothing critique, others may not need to hear it.
10. Expose yourself and simply explore. To the right people, to new experiences and most importantly, to gain awareness. Life is a recurring cycle of nature/surroundings/people influencing and inspiring each other. You can get inspired, or inspire. It's up to you.

11. Feeling aimless is absolutely fine. The future may remain unknown to you, but that just adds to the mystery of the pleasant surprises in store for you. After all, no one really has it figured out. If you're restless about something, take action. Stand up for what you want, for what's right. You can make a difference in your life and in the world - no matter how minor your efforts might seem.
12. Do not let your past define you. Instead, learn from it. Mistakes are an inevitable learning process, so don't beat yourself up about it. I know the past may be hard to let go of - at least, that's how it is for me - but time will heal and rebuild you slowly. Remember where you came from, and how far you've progressed since then. You may find that some things from your past are worth reviving, whilst others are not.

13. Cherish what you currently have. It's important to have a sense of gratitude, especially before it's too late. Good things never usually last unless you nourish them with work/love. Make the most of them. Go on, tell your parents you love them and give your besties an overly-affectionate hug. Also, schedule that long-forsaken lunch date with your girlfriends.
14. Lose yourself in the moment. The present is impossible to retrieve, so what are you waiting for?

15. Stay as level-headed as possible. Detox to rid yourself of calamities. Don't overexert yourself. Take time out for yourself. Assess the problem. It could even be as easy as extracting the problem. Ask yourself, what are you truly after? How can you achieve it? That lucidity will equip you with a cleansing frame of mind. Keep yourself on track.

16. Remember, a dose of spontaneity can be healthy. Throwing caution to the wind can provide some of the most thrilling encounters. Though folks, still be (somewhat) responsible. Consider the things you may devastatingly regret.
    Even though I had a terrible migraine waking up as 16, I really can't complain. My brother took me to the riverside to have a breather, which certainly cleared my head. (What would I do without him?) I celebrated at dinner on the actual night, with a couple of my favourite girls! (Head over to my best friend, Yuxian's blog, to read all about the good food (and her newfound dislike of kale.) The atmosphere and vegan food was much too tasteful, and these girls granted me another memorable night. I wouldn't have had it any other way.

  I've just had such a fantastic day; it's been way more heartwarming than imagined. It's 1.33am and my head is throbbing - with both elation and appreciation. Birthday songs were sung in person, over calls and even Skype. My brother took me to the riverside to have a breather, which certainly cleared my head. I've had innumerable people send me lovely wishes, all kinds of people I used to be close with, too - even if it was just a festive occasion, I loved the nostalgic affection. I've gotten in touch with friends, both new and old. I'm so blessed, so thank you world for a beautiful birthday. (And all of those who care!) I am honestly so grateful for everything in my life.



  1. Happy birthday, Rachel! Wishing you many happy returns of the day <3

  2. Ah these are some very wise points and it's really great how you have discovered them at the age of sixteen!

    P.s Happy now-belated birthday my lovely! x I hope you had a wonderful dream and I really do hope all your wishes and dreams come true.

  3. Thank you Jes, you're too kind x

  4. You're adorable Rachel! This post is such a good idea and I really agree with all your points. So glad you had a wonderful birhday and let's hope next year brings about more wisedom, love, and cake ;)

  5. Happy Birthday again love!
    Number 8 made me smile so much.
    You are so lucky, no not lucky because you are deserving, but I'm glad that you have such amazing friends who recognise how great you are and make a big deal of your birthday. Because if not on your birthday, then when? haha

  6. Also, please remind me to do one of these when I turn 21 :D

  7. You're honestly one of the coolest persons I met through the blogosphere, and I wish I was as sane, down to earth, awesome as you are at 16. You and your friends look gorgeous and it sounds like you had a really, really epic time. I hope this year has the best things in store for you! :D

  8. Hahah thanks Seryna, glad to have some agreement on my side! I felt a little pessimistic writing this but overall I'm quite happy with the result. Let's sure hope so too, for all of our birthdays to come x

  9. It's the truth! ;) And yes I do deem myself lucky, and so should you. I think having friends by your side is one of the most underrated things.
    I'll surely have to remind you, I did derive the idea from Leah after all!

  10. Aww Louise you're going to make me blush. I hope I improve on myself as the years go by. Thanks for the wish and likewise, dear :)

  11. Happy belated Birthday Rachel!! As per usual I am amazed at your wisdom, I swear I only realised most of this stuff this year :) But then I still think that some of these things you just have to learn for yourself, and as you say, learn from your mistakes. I hope that your seventeenth year is a good one!
    ps. I love how genuine you are, you're my kinda gal :)

  12. I'm very very extremely late but happy belated birthday!!! These are great pointers, some I definitely need to stick to. Glad you had a good day Rachel! xxx

  13. Thank you Emma, you're a saint <3

  14. Better late than never, thanks Amy! xo

  15. Loved this! Glad you gave this post a try too! :)

    x leah symonne x



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