12 things I have learnt since turning 26

12 things I have learnt since turning 26

After returning from a trip to Berlin recently, the guy at passport control I needed to renew my passport, it expired this year. I remembered then how I felt when I got my passport at the tender age of 16. I was excited at where I would be in my life when the time would come for a new passport. I imagined I’d probably have a house, a husband and kids who’s passports I’d have to look after too.

Fast forward 10 years and my life is nothing like that. I’m not married, I don’t have a house and I certainly don’t have kids. It made me realise how much my perspective, mindset and goals have changed since then. I’ve realised how much I’ve learnt since turning 26:

– I really didn’t need to complain at 18 that I was fat/had slow metabolism/bad skin/bad hair – back then it was probably the best it was ever going to be.

– Life really wasn’t that hard at University – I worked for a maximum of 3 hours a day and slept more than a sloth probably does in it’s entire life.

– It’s also probably not the hardest it’s going to be now. If I think it’s bad enough just trying to look after numero uno, I dread to think what it would be like to look after kids too.

– Even though all I dreamt of as a kid was having kids at 26 I’m so glad I don’t have them right now. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a hangover with a screaming child to wake me up at 6am (although granted I know I probably wouldn’t be hungover if I had kids). I couldn’t date, I couldn’t spontaneously go on holiday, I couldn’t work really long hours, spend days lazing in bed watching movies. I’m quite happy to spend the next year or so being selfish before the time comes for me to be completely sefless.

– Living in London, I have absolutely no idea how I am ever going to afford to buy a house unless I sell a kidney or move back to the boring northern village I came from. Plus I kind of like pretending that I can afford to live in the £1.5m house I am currently renting.

– Everything that happens in your life, happens for a reason, even if you can’t see it at the time. The shitty jobs, the bad boyfriends, the poor salary, they have all taught you something and helped you become the person you are today.

– Continuous learning is SO important. When I finished University I was so happy to be out of education after 15 years of non stop learning, I told myself I was done with education for ever. Fast forward a few years and I strive to learn something new everyday, be it a language, a physical skill, a new word, a self help book. The only way to grow and succeed as a person is to never stop learning.

– There will always be a prettier, skinnier, taller, curvier, more successful, more fashionable person than you. ALWAYS. The key (which is something I am still trying to practice) is to focus on YOU and being the best possible version of you and not compare yourself to unrealistic, ideal women from around the world. Don’t compete with anyone but yourself, just focus every day on improving yourself.

– Good things don’t come to those who wait-  unless you are working hard whilst you are waiting. I spent years twiddling my thumbs expecting companies, jobs, boyfriends to come to me all whilst I did absolutely nothing. I’ve started to understand the true meaning of hard work, but until I accomplish my goals I don’t think I have even started to comprehend how much effort and commitment is involved in order to chase my dreams.

-shitty men and relationships are not a reflection of you. In this day and age where online dating is more common than real life dating, people have become lazier, greedier and ruder. As long as you are keeping your standards high and giving the relationships your best shot, then the rest is down to a series of external factors that you will never be able to control. Keep your head up and move onto the next one.

– you can NEVER give up on your dreams. I always thought I would be an author,  a TV presenter, a director, an actor, the list went on. But as soon as I received the tiniest form of rejection, I stopped chasing my dreams and thought that I should pursue something more mainstream. After speaking to and researching successful people, I’ve realised that the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is NEVER GIVING UP.

– I don’t have to have everything figured out by now. Unlike my 16 year old self thought. I’m still young, the youngest I will ever be in fact, and as long as I’m actively walking down the right path of where I want to be in life, the rest doesn’t matter.



  1. Coyote from Orion
    March 15, 2017 / 7:12 pm

    Best wishes just for today. No hurry. No indecision. The day is eternal. Blessed be and blessings to the eternity in you.. just for today

  2. March 15, 2017 / 7:28 pm

    I really like your post…
    You hopeless romantic and brave person!
    Working hard is 1 thing… more important is to never give up. A lazy day in bed watching movies is a gift to yourself. Just one addition: try to be as honnest as you can. As long as you look in the mirror and like what you see, you’re good 😊…
    Since I am open and honnest to my loved ones, my life feels so much better. On December 18, 2016 I was diagnosed with cancer. On the same day I lost my job and found out my girlfriend was seeing another man…
    I cried for 43 minutes and 37 seconds and decided to survive.
    And I will. I look in the mirror each morning. Smile. Sing a song in the shower and refuse to give up or to blame other people.
    That’s maybe hard work. But it’s quite easy because I like myself now. Much more than I ever did before.
    So: stay true to the beautiful you!

    • Giulia
      March 16, 2017 / 3:25 pm

      thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    • July 31, 2017 / 2:16 pm

      @boegie wow ! I’m happy you had a moment but didn’t live in it forever .. positive thinking positive outcome.. I hope all is still well with your health and keep singing and reminding your self you have to go through it to get thesis if

      • August 3, 2017 / 7:28 pm

        It is a long and bumpy road. But like I said: I will survive! Thanks for asking… very nice of you!

  3. March 15, 2017 / 9:32 pm

    I really enjoyed this! It’s so weird because I was only thinking the other day about what’s happened in the last 10 years and what my 16 year old self had hoped for – I agree with everything you say! It’s OK not to have it all figured out & to still be learning..oh & I’m with you on the kids front, I always wanted them by 26 but honestly I still feel like a kid myself so God knows! Great post, really enjoyed it! 🙂 xx

    • Giulia
      March 16, 2017 / 3:26 pm

      Thank you Katie 🙂 I’m glad you agree with my view points!! xx

  4. March 15, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    I can relate to many of these things. Except for the kid part. I’m kind of disappointed I’m not a mom yet.

    • Giulia
      March 16, 2017 / 3:26 pm

      I’m sure in time you will be 🙂

  5. March 16, 2017 / 7:52 am

    What a great list! The older I get, the more I realise that I don’t have anything figured out. So many things in life are out of our control, so it’s best just to make the best of what you’ve got.

    • Giulia
      March 16, 2017 / 3:26 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I’m glad you can relate to it too!

  6. March 16, 2017 / 8:27 am

    All authors receive rejection, but you cannot please all the people all the time. Write to please yourself; some people will like it and others will not. Also, since turning 59 I have realised that life is very short and that you must live each day to the full and go after what you want!

    • Giulia
      March 16, 2017 / 3:27 pm

      That is true, I do write to please myself but it can still feel disheartening when publish reject your hardwork! Life definitely is short.. I feel as though people don’t realise until it’s too last half the time!

  7. March 16, 2017 / 8:58 am

    While I don’t have everything figured out I know it is more important to live in the moment make the best of each moment and do the best you can with the things you can control and the things you can’t control ask for the patience and the wisdom to deal with those that you can’t control.

    • Giulia
      March 16, 2017 / 3:28 pm

      I’m glad you feel that way 🙂 it’s the best attitude to have!

  8. March 16, 2017 / 10:47 am

    Dear Giulia,
    At least the photo on your new passport will likely be more good-looking than that in your teenage passport ( even if you were lucky enough to have good skin then). I can’t say the same about me, as I’m a bit over forty and definitely not getting prettier.I admire your wisdom at twenty-six: I have only just know realised and accepted that I cannot be 100% in control of my life ( I’d be happy with a 5%). And as my kids move into teenage-hood, that percentage is going down ( more or less at the rate of my bank’s savings)…

    • Giulia
      March 16, 2017 / 3:29 pm

      That is very true! I had dark hair, too short a fringe and near on invisible eyebrows – not to mention my face looked like I was having my mugshot taken! It’s interesting to hear from a different perspective and how you may feel this way at different times in your life.
      Whereabouts in Sicily are you from? I was born in Palermo 🙂

  9. March 16, 2017 / 1:26 pm

    The younger me thought I would have kids by 26 too! What is it with that age? I’m turning 25 in 10 days (woo!) and I can’t even imagine having a kid right now. No thank you! This was a great thought out list. Thanks for sharing!

    • Giulia
      March 16, 2017 / 3:31 pm

      Happy birthday for 10 days time! I feel as though we have a small window of time to be selfish and have our time dictated only by what we want to do so we should take advantage of it!

      • March 16, 2017 / 3:36 pm

        Amen! And thanks! 🙂

    • Giulia
      March 16, 2017 / 3:29 pm

      thank you very much 🙂

      • March 16, 2017 / 3:31 pm

        You’re very welcome Giulia, my thoughts on this are very parallel, I’m just one step further down the road in that I’m married now lol. Best of luck with your journey; I look forward to reading more of your blogs. 🙂

  10. March 17, 2017 / 2:21 am

    Oh girl! I loved this post! I for sure thought at 16 I would have everything figured out by now and well I am 27 have already been married and divorced and well still finding my way in this world!

    It is a great thing to learn at even in our 20s that it is best to focus on ourselves and I thought that was something I was never going to learn! It is an amazing feeling once you do though, right!?

    • Giulia
      March 18, 2017 / 8:56 am

      Thank you for sharing this Lindsey!! It definitely is an amazing feeling 🙂 glad you are at that point too!!

  11. March 20, 2017 / 1:30 am

    I just turned 21 this past Friday. I had a similar revelation myself. Life never goes as planned, but sometimes that’s okay. Thanks for sharing!

    • Giulia
      March 22, 2017 / 10:50 am

      You are so young still! I know it feels silly to say at 26, but I would love to go back to being 21!

  12. March 21, 2017 / 5:01 pm

    Nice post. It’s obvious you are a positive, happy person, enjoying life to the max!

    • Giulia
      March 22, 2017 / 10:52 am

      Thank you very much 🙂 I’m trying to!

  13. March 21, 2017 / 9:17 pm

    Amazing insight for sure.
    I think it is so important to pull lessons from experiences in our lives.

    Thank you for following my blog and I am looking forward to reading yours!

    • Giulia
      March 22, 2017 / 10:53 am

      Thank you 🙂 I’m hoping I’ll keep gaining insights! I look forward to reading more of yours too

  14. March 22, 2017 / 11:10 pm

    So many great tips! I’ll be turning 27 this year ,so thanks! My favorite,

    Continuous learning is SO important. 

    Growth is essential!

    • Giulia
      March 23, 2017 / 2:29 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I’m glad you liked the post! Yeah I think in order to stay current you need to continuously grow and improve yourself as a person!

  15. March 24, 2017 / 7:49 am

    Amazing read!!! Today is my 26th birthday and I decided to google inspirational articles on turning 26 to put a spark in my day. I am so blessed to have stumbled across this. Your words …everything …so realistic and so well written. I thought to myself “Finally someone understands!” Thank you so much for the encouragement. New journeys await!

    • Giulia
      March 24, 2017 / 9:49 am

      Thank you so much Brittany!! You’re very kind, I’m glad you liked the article and you were able to relate to it 🙂 happy birthday… I assure you the best is yet to come !! Have a brilliant day x

      • March 29, 2017 / 2:52 am

        Thank you soo much Giulia! I really appreciate your kind words!! Keep up the inspirational writing. Have a wonderful day!! 🙂

        • Giulia
          March 29, 2017 / 9:29 am

          Thank you 🙂 hope you have a brilliant day too!!

  16. September 16, 2017 / 12:31 pm

    Great post, you’ve learnt a lot of really positive things!! And love the fact we never stop learning (although I am ready to be out of education soon, hah!)

    • justanothersinglegirlinlondon
      September 18, 2017 / 4:21 pm

      Thank you 🙂 I felt the same when I finished university but give it some time and I’m sure you’ll be itching to learn again!

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