21 Things, 21 Years

Written by Channon Gray

I turned 21 on April 27th of this year, and I’ve spent a while thinking about all the life lessons that I have been blessed with learning during my short time on earth so far.

Experience is key to learning all sorts about oneself, others and the world in which we occupy. I’ve compiled a list of just a few life lessons that I deem worth sharing, celebrating and encouraging others to focus upon for the future. Let me know in the comments what you think or if you have anything to add – sharing is caring!

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I've put together a list of the 21 Things that I've Learnt in 21 Years on Earth. I've experienced university, break-ups, friendships, family loss and everything in between. Hopefully this will inspire you to reflect more on your life - // heythereChannon #LifeLessons

21 Life Lessons


Always believe in yourself. This is incredibly important; as if you do not believe in yourself, then others will struggle too. This has taken me a long time to learn but I am slowly getting there. Be confident each and every day.


Make your own decisions. It is easy to allow others to simply decide for you but speak up, make your voice known and only do that which makes you feel at ease (well, most of the time)!


Look after yourself. It is common to put others before yourself; especially family and friends. However, sometimes you’ve got to be selfish to create the best life possible for you, not others. If you can bring happiness upon yourself, then others will feed off the positivity!


Forgive but only when you feel absolutely ready too. Forgiveness is a hard process and sometimes, it takes time. There have been times in my life where I have felt pressured to forgive, forget and move on; if only it was that simple.


Eat what you want; don’t feel guilty or pressured by other peoples opinions. Yes, I scoff my face on chocolate ice-cream from time-to-time (*cough, cough* my current snack of choice whilst writing this post…) and I am more than willingly to eat cold Chinese Takeaway for breakfast; but who cares? Oh, wait, no one!

21 Life Lessons - Ice Cream Padstow // heythereChannon


You should never feel the need to have to explain yourself; not to family, friends or anyone.


Despite what people say, it is okay to compare yourself to others. Although I will say, comparison to others can be valuable for self-improvement or mere curiosity. But, do not let it bog you down or dampen your self-esteem. We are all individuals, and that is priceless in itself. Our journey’s vary and that is perfectly acceptable.


Don’t believe all that you read in the papers; they have a job and that is to sell stories, no matter what the factual content. Investigate yourself and form an opinion that way. Remain aware of what is happening in the world; big or small.


Try not to be swayed too much by other peoples gossip; it isn’t worth the drama. If it doesn’t affect you directly, then do not get involved. Trust me, I’ve often been caught up in other people’s gossip (often by accident) and it is more hassle than its worth.


Your opinion is not always right nor the ‘only one’ that matters. All opinions matter: yours, Barry’s next door and the dear elderly lady at the supermarket checkout. I’ve done a lot of arguing in my time from politics to ‘what’s for dinner’; however, I am never afraid to admit that I am in the wrong nor shout down others for the sake of my own viewpoint. You do not have to win every argument.

21 Life Lessons - Perranporth Beach, Cornwall // heythereChannon


Sometimes you’ve just got to walk away. This is one of the hardest life lessons I have negotiated myself around. It is difficult to just up and leave something, may it be a task, project, job, educational course or relationship etc, behind. This requires guts, bravery, and determination; but occasionally it has just got to be done.


When you find the right person, friend or otherwise, they will appreciate every part of you, good or bad. If you can’t make it work after several attempts, then maybe it just is not meant to be. The person who is right for you is the one who refrains from nitpicking at every opportunity.


Never stop learning. In particular, it is never too late to learn a life lesson. Always ask questions; and remember, no question is a ‘stupid’ one. Keep on wondering and figuring things out. If you don’t know, ask; as those who don’t ask, don’t get.


You can always rely on a child and their opinion if you are in need of a reality check. They are brutally honest, trust me. This past week, I’ve had a six-year-old staying with me, when I asked her what my hair looked like the other day, the response I received was, “Well, you look like you’ve been electrocuted, but to be honest, you always look like that…” – brilliant.


Don’t be afraid to admit your music taste. I like One Direction, and in all honestly, I don’t really care what others think. If you like it, listen to it. Sing your favourite sounds loud and proud from the rooftops.


Live in the now as life is short. Today is special so burn the luxurious scented candles, wear your best socks and sing (loud and proud) in the shower.


Life isn’t fair, but it is great. I am reminded of this on a daily basis; life is rough, tough and always willing to trip you up without feeling any guilt. The road is never straight and there is no ‘guidebook’, unfortunately. Make mistakes and learn from them. As with the above, our time on earth is short so make it worthwhile. I’ve seen it with my own eyes, that there is always someone worse off than you. Chin up chum! 


It is okay to cry; sometimes you’ve just got to let it all out. Being emotional is not a sign of weakness nor a symbol of merely ‘giving in’. It is, however, a signifier of being human.


Garlic mayo is great with EVERYTHING; even if it makes your breath stink! Also, Nutella straight out the jar with a spoon is the beez-kneez.


There is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It might seem dim, distant and hard to reach but it remains flickering. Everything happens for a reason.


Be you, always. Don’t be afraid to simply be yourself.



Life lessons take time, real-world experience and a positive attitude to master and learn. You’ll be surprised how much you’ve learnt during your time on this planet, please do let me know in the comments below any words of wisdom you may have or by contacting me here.

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About the author

Channon Gray

I'm Channon and yes, it's spelt wrong, but that is interesting right? I'm 23 years young. I like to write, create art and travel. Cornish bumpkin who studied in London then Cambridge. I'm now a Postgraduate Student, Stationery Addict and all-round Life Enthusiast.

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Maya Maceka
August 21, 2017 17:18

Channon I’m 25 and feel like I haven’t learned or mastered all of these life lessons yet! This was beautifully written and FULL of great advice for women of all ages!

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