Life has a way of teaching you lessons, and lessons sometimes you wish you didn't have to learn. With the success of my blog and my ever growing social following I have sort of become a 'role model', an inspiration if you wish. Many people feel that being a 'role model' or a social influencer means that you have a responsibility to be squeaky clean, to be approachable and to be positive & happy all the time. Other people think being a 'role model' means you shouldn't swear, you shouldn't drink alcohol and you certainly shouldn't tweet 'I f***ing hate avocado' (I don't hate it, I love it but thats besides the point) because someone, somewhere will take offence.
However, being a role model to me is making mistakes, admitting failures, jumping in with your eyes closed and most importantly, being yourself. I swear, I sometimes say things without thinking & I eat my body weight in Cadbury's chocolate when I'm sad but thats who I am and I'm okay with that. Im only human and if I didn't make mistakes then I simply wouldn't grow & being me has got me pretty far. I didn't wake up one day and tell myself 'Grace, its time to be a role model', I told my story & I've continued to be open and honest with things that I've experience and I guess a lot of people can relate to that.
I've learned a lot about who I am, especially in the last year or so and I wanted to just be upfront about certain situations and lessons life has taught me. I am my own worst enemy and although I'm pretty confident, I struggle with acceptance and shame (I hate feeling exposed). Hindsight is a wonderful thing and upon reflection over the last few months, here are my 10 Important Life Lessons.
1. People Will Believe Anything
School, work, the internet - everyone loves a drama & people will believe all the negatives about you, yet question the positives. Throughout my life I've had people make up stories about me, I'm talking literally pulling something out of thin air and claiming I said it, I did or I am it.. I'm not gonna lie, it hurts but you have to move on. People will honestly believe anything & its a waste of time trying to prove yourself.
2. Procrastination Is Very Real
Its also the bloody devil too. I cannot tell you how many days I've lost days because I've chosen to watch Netflix, go for a pamper day when I should be working OR simply make countless amounts of Spotify playlists for a road trip I probably won't go on for months. Being productive is a huge priority to me and procrastination completely ruins that. Sometimes you've just gotta block social media, turn off your phone and get s**t done!
3. You Can't Run From Your Past Forever
Theres certain aspects of my past that haunt me, just thinking about them makes me feel slightly sick. Im in a good place with who I am now but I still hate thinking about my past. It became apparent a few months ago that I needed to deal with stuff head on and thats what I'm in the process of doing now. You can't run from the past forever, no matter how hard you try. You are not Usain Bolt haha.
4. Confidence Will Change Your Life
If I could tell my younger self one thing it would be 'find your confidence and you can conquer anything'. Confidence with who you are, your morals, your flaws, your body & your mind will literally catapult you into a world full of happiness & appreciation. I wasted years and years and years hating who I was, hiding who I wanted to be to only just become her later on. If I accepted who I was earlier in my life I would have experienced a lot less pain.
5. You Must Enjoy The Little Things
Last week, in the middle of winter I was boob deep in the Mediterranean Sea (after much persuasion obvs) and it felt so good. The sand between my toes, the brisk sea air & the laughter of people around me. Spending time with people who I love dearly and who love me equal amounts is something I often take for granted. The smallest things can make us smile and on that particular day, well I hadn't smiled like that in a long time. I was stuck in a hole of self pity and worry and letting down my guard and just enjoying what was around me made all the difference. The little things that make you happy, yeah - do more of that.
6. Mums Know Best (most of the time)
It pains me to say this but I guess this means I'm officially a grown up now lol? Mums really do know best (most of the time). If they think a friend isn't good for you, months, maybe years later, you'll realise the same. If your Mum says 'put on a jacket or you'll get a cold', best believe in a weeks time you'll be curled up on your sofa wishing for her homemade chicken soup. Listen to your mama more - she's not stupid ;)
7. Life Is Unfair
The older I get the more this resonates with me. When my auntie passed away with cancer I cried and I cried, I wished and I wished that it had been someone else, someone who deserved it. When I couldn't sleep at night I would look to the sky and ask whoever was up there 'Why didn't you take a rapist, or a murderer? Why did you have to take her'. Life is unfair & things won't always go the way you hoped but with every negative, its up to you to find the positive.
8. You're Always Stronger Than You Think
Humans are incredible beings. We graze our knee, the skin can repair itself. Someone breaks our heart, we learn to love again. We are stronger than we think. I've gone through days where I've sat on my bed with my head in my hands and said 'I don't know how I'm gonna do this. I can't do this, I just don't want to be here anymore. I'm sick of fighting'... the list continues. Yet every single time I think I can't go on, I seem to find strength. I seem to always pick myself up again and I guess thats because as humans, we are always stronger than we think.
9. Thoughts Become Things
Good or bad, whatever you think about you bring about. Have you thought about an ex and then suddenly he texts you? Thats because you've thought about it so much its happened. The universe works in weird yet wonderful ways and if you want something bad enough, it just might come to you. During 2015 I told myself that I would be successful & people will start to know who I am and that happened. It happens all the time and it still surprises me. Self believe is everything!
10. You Can't Please Everyone
Some people won't agree with your life choices, some people won't believe in your dreams & some people will talk bad about you. You'll be too fat for some, too thin for others, your personality too loud & your thoughts too controversial but hey - you can't please everyone. I was the type of person who wanted to be liked by everyone, who wanted to have a large group of friends and have respect from people I barely even knew. I realised quite recently that just not real life, its just no feasible. You won't be liked by everyone and thats okay. You cannot go through life worried about what other peoples opinions are of you because quite frankly, it doesn't matter. Love those who love you and more importantly, love yourself. 'You can't please everyone. You are not a jar of Nutella'.
Gracie Francesca is one of the most successful fashion and beauty Vloggers in the UK, and part of the StyleHaul network, which is the leading global style network where brands, creators and the style-obsessed unite.