So at the beginning of every month, I write a list of things that I would like to achieve in the month. As a fairly ambitious human, I feel a constant need to achieve and grow. 2015 has taught me a lot and I have grown more in the past year than ever. As I enter adulthood I have learnt that it is okay to outgrow people, people I thought would be in my life for many years to come. I have also learnt that Social Media is the biggest lie. People base their value and self-worth on the amount of likes and followers they have; by numbers. Because for that photo you retook 100 times to get the perfect angle or perfect lighting, the photo you spent hours editing and adding filters to in a bid to make your skin look clearer and your face flawless, that same photo you upload onto Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat so that people can scroll past and like it out of boredom. Yes, the likes come rolling in and for a brief moment you feel worthy, valued. But the feeling soon fades and the process to creating the next perfect selfie continues. The third thing I have learnt is that before I can expect people to accept me, I need to wholeheartedly accept myself. I know this seems like such a cliché, but let me explain why I feel like people needed to be reminded of this. I have recently decided to somewhat change my lifestyle and eating habits, someone I work with asked me whether it was because I have picked up a little bit of weight or thought of myself as being “chubby”. No. We live in a society where how you look and what you eat is somewhat of an obsession. On a daily basis I am surrounded by people who are constantly trying a new diet or following a new exercise regime or raving about whatever the latest health and fitness trends are. And that’s great! For them. I agree it’s important to take care of your body and strive towards a healthier more active lifestyle, but, at some point we need to reevaluate WHY we are doing this. Is it to (a) achieve a healthier more active lifestyle or (b) to fit in with society’s distorted version of what “beauty” is. People buy expensive workout gear and join the gym and for the first 30 min sit on a yoga mat and take selfies in the mirror and spend a further 10 minutes “checking in at the gym” on Facebook and Instagramming #fitness. It is so easy to conform to the ways of the world. The last thing that I have learnt is that it is important to do things on your own. To spend time by yourself. Go shopping alone. Go to the beach alone. Take yourself on a date. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You will grow. You will find out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams and beliefs. Get to know what YOU like and what makes YOU happy. Spending time alone is so important to grow as a human being. And when you discover that someone who makes your heart happy, you will be sure of it because you will be sure of yourself.