LIFESTYLE | 23 Questions Before 23 feat. GIN!

Hello lovelies and welcome back to another post! I hope you are all safe and well. If you follow me on my social medias (IG and Twitter) then you will know that tomorrow, the 7th, is my birthday! And if you haven’t guessed by the title it is my 23rd birthday this year. I feel like only five minutes ago I turned 20 and now here we are in the 3rd year of my 20’s. Time flies when you’re living in lock-down and your life is falling apart. I mean let’s be honest my life was falling apart before lock-down.

Anyway moving on, about a week or two ago I asked you guys to send me questions that I could answer before I turn 23, hence the name in the title. But thank you to you all who asked me questions and responded to my question polls etc. It was very much appreciated and I’ve had some great ones! So this is gonna be good. Also like the title suggests we are very much enjoying a gin whilst answering these. I’m answering these very off the cut as of course I’ve read the questions but I haven’t thought anything about them until now because I wanted my responses to be as real as possible without too much overthought. So grab yourself a drink, I’m personally having a gin to answer these, as some of them are a little deep, a little personal, and I think we’re also gonna have a laugh! So grab a drink and let’s go!

My uni experience was amazing. Honestly it was the best three years of my life and I have: A) gained a degree, B) learnt so many new things about my “career” subject, C) learnt many life skills, D) made some banging memories, but most importantly E) gained some incredible friends who I know are going to be with me for life. One of the most special things, if anyone of you have heard the saying: the best people are the ones you don’t see all the time or talk to every day but whenever you do it’s the exact same and feels like no time has passed. Those are the ones you need to keep close by; that’s what I have with my incredible friends from university. It is mad to think about, imagine if we all didn’t go to Chester uni, we never would’ve met and I honestly can’t imagine them not in my life. My uni experience would not have been what it was without all of them. Definitely who you are surround by at uni makes or breaks your experience in a big way I think. As those people become your second family as more than likely none of you have lived away from home, or been away from your parents for more than a week, so when you get thrown into uni it’s like such a brand new way of living and you’re all in the same boat. So there is no pressure as you’ve only just met all these people and none of you know anything about each other.

I’m aware everyone’s uni experiences are different but honestly I loved every second, even the hard times and all of the stresses, I would happily do it all over again for all of the best moments and the good times. And meet everyone all over again because looking back for me it was just so special. Plus it just went so fast, faster than any stage of my life. So if you’re at uni or thinking of going to uni, live and appreciate every single moment because I blinked and it was over just like that. In a heartbeat I would do it all again.

Such a classic question and honestly I feel like these are always hard to answer. I feel like dreams and goals are actually separate categories, only because dreams are what you think about whereas goals are something you’re working towards. But without that classic plan they’re all wasted. I feel like these change every single year for me, I think it’s no lie that as you get further into adulthood some things you once thought you really wanted you’re not so sure you wanted after all. For example, when I was younger one of my dreams and I’m talking BIG dreams. It was to win the XFactor and of course get famous and my winning montage song of the moment they’d told me I’d won would be Greatest Day by Take That. You could say I’ve thought about it. But as I’ve gotten older that “dream” is definitely not one of my dreams anymore.

As of my life now I would say my biggest dream would be to be a full time performer – on stage and on screen. I think when you do some kind of performance subject a lot of people like to assume if you don’t become some type performer after the course then you’ve failed. Which is wrong but the reason at the moment that’s more of a dream is because the way my life is right now I can’t yet imagine this being achievable. But that doesn’t mean one day it wont be. I’m never gonna say never.

But as of actual goals right now I would say my biggest one is to figure out what I want to do with my degree. I have a lot of interests but I really need to pin them down and really focus what to link with what and how to make whatever that is function. Honestly it’s hard, it’s really hard after university to figure things out but I do know some day soon it will all just fall into place and I’ll work it out.

Another big life goal of mine is to have children. I’ve always said since I was younger if I had to pick between getting married and having children, I would rather have children and if I do get married then that is just a lovely bonus. I’d love to be able to have three children, and I would adore to at least have one boy and one girl. However I do not want kids until I’m 30 or above ideally just because I want my twenties for me. When you have children that is a commitment for 21 years of your life at least and right now, I ain’t ready for that kind of commitment. I’m barely scraping by and looking after me right now.

Another not too distant goal (hopefully) is to figure out where Jake and I want to live together because until we discover that we cannot get any kind of mortgage or even look at places because what is the point. We both agree we don’t really want to rent anywhere because renting is a death trap, I’m sorry to any of you who are renting as some of my friends do too. Of course it’s lovely to be able to live with your partner or friends whoever you’re with, but you spend so much money on renting which in the long run means you can’t save anything or barely anything. And once you’re in the mindset of renting it’s so hard to get out of, and not to mention once you’re used to living with someone you get so used to it being your life together that you don’t want that to be disrupted by having to move back home as then you’re not living your life as you’re back in someone else’s space, not your space, you get me? So I totally get why people rent and no disrespect of course. Just for Jake and I personally it doesn’t seem worth it for us in the long run. I think we both know we don’t want to be too far from our families and I know Jake wants to live more in the countryside (kind of like the village I live in now) as he’s grown up in a city. Whereas me, I do love my home-home but I don’t want to be to be too far away from a town/ city. So we need to find somewhere in the middle and then not to mention we both need to find work near to or in wherever we decide to live eventually. *Sips big gulp of gin* god, being an adult is just chaos isn’t it.

Just realised I was 13 ten years ago, oh my god. *Sips bigger gulp of gin.*

God I’m shooketh by the above statement more than I thought. Am I really that old? Apparently so. Anyway, I got asked this question A LOT, so I figured it was wrong to not answer it. Hmm, what advice would I give to my 13 year old self? …

Right, over the next few years you’re going to go through a lot, like many teenagers, and you’re gonna have moments where you question your worth and your ability to achieve what you want. A lot of people who you thought were your friends are gonna treat you poorly and fuck you over and you don’t know why. But you’re gonna believe it’s your fault rather than some people are just dickheads. And there’s going to be a period where you feel so low and like nothing is gonna change but just persevere because it does get better. But despite all the chaos at school, you still know that you deserve better and eventually you’re gonna pick yourself up and from that moment on your life gets a little bit brighter. You’re gonna leave school and go to college where you discover who two of your true friends are and you’re gonna carry one another through life and help each other blossom and grow. Which is ultimately one of the most special friendships you’re ever going to experience.

There are hard moments in college within the course with people, but you get through and are ultimately one of the most positive individuals there. You’re going to learn a lot, grow a lot, and start to unfold all of your mental health problems from school and your mindset about yourself. Whilst discovering new hobbies and creating a platform where you share things you love and the things that you think. As well as influencing people along the way. College goes quickly and university is already here, which you can’t wait for and you’d be right because you’re going to have the best three years of your life. You’re about to discover what true friendship is and how much more there is to life than what was offered in your small hometown. You’re about to realise that you can do whatever you set your mind to and that you are important. People value you in their lives and you don’t have to constantly worry that people don’t like you because it’s shown from the people you meet and the memories you make. University is going to fly, so appreciate every minute. The good, the bad, the stress, the tears, the drama, the smiles, the people, and the memories. Now when you look back on your teenage years, as cliche as it is, you realise that you had to go through everything you do to make you stronger and to make you begin to blossom into who you are at 18/19. Ready to go into your new decade better, bolder, and brighter than you were in the past. Your teenage self would be so proud of who you’ve become and she’d be proud to see where you’re about to go and everything you’re set to achieve. Keep growing, keep going, keep shinning sis!

God, y’all just want all the advice don’t ya. Jesus as if I turned 21 two years ago, where is my life going? *Downs whole glass of gin*

Right advice for when you’re 21. Obviously it’s kind of dependent on whether you’re finishing uni or if you’re working – whatever you’re doing I think the most worrying thing for a 21 year old is ‘oh my god, what am I gonna do with my life, I’m technically an adult now and I have no idea.’ The main thing I would say is don’t worry about your life, focus on what you’re doing right now. I think school conditions us to think that we have to have an idea about our future career at 15/16 because of what you pick for your GCSEs which then affects what you decide to do at college and then dictates what you do at uni if you decide to go. Which I think is just wrong, at 15/16 you have no idea about the world outside your hometown and your family home because you’ve never experienced anything more than that. I feel like 21 and under should just be about experiencing life and trying new things whether that’s with subjects, jobs, sexuality, hobbies, lifestyle choices. Like at that age you should have freedom to explore and express whatever you feel like you want to. So if you are 21 and you feel like you’re stuck because you’ve reached the end of the safety net of education etc, I would mainly say to not stress about it. Figuring out your life is hard, heck I still haven’t figured it out either. Just go with the flow and if something comes your way that you feel like you need to follow or pursue just go with it. As somethings work out and somethings don’t, but it’s all a learning curve. So overall, don’t stress and just go with the flow.

God I love a ramble don’t I. Best get another gin before we carry on.

I find these questions so hard to imagine because I always just live for the moment right now but hopefully in five years Jake and I will have figured out where we want to live and either be moving into our house/ be in our house. Also hopefully we’ll both be in a happy place with a job that doesn’t feel like work. You know something where we feel genuinely passionate about what we do and actually enjoy going in to do. Hopefully we will have travelled a little and experienced new things together. I’d also like to be at a stage with our friends and families where Jake and I host big events and parties round our house. A bit like what Zoe and Alfie do in their amazing house.

Comparing that to ten years time hopefully we will still be doing the same as five years but on a more permanent level. Maybe we will be doing a few extra things career wise or hobby wise, whether that is together or separate. Maybe we will have gotten married by then and potentially have had a baby or I’ll be pregnant around this time. Who knows, who knows what way I’m gonna be taken.

I’m aware it seems most of my future stages seem to be with Jake, but of course when you’ve got a partner you’re ultimately working towards big life events together. If you’re not on the same page then what’s the point of being together. But just for me personally, in five years, ten years, twenty years whatever, I just hope whatever I am doing and wherever my life is at, I just hope I am happy and healthy and that I have no regrets when I look back on my life. Regardless of what you want in your life you should always be learning, and growing, and changing as life is all about experience at the end of the day. So I’m just gonna enjoy the ride whilst making memories and enjoying myself. And right now I’m enjoying my gin, *sips a lil more.*

As most of you know I’m the queen of positivity if I do say so myself. I’m a very optimistic person and I always find the good in life situations, I’ve always been like that ever since I was younger, even when I was going through some shit. Overall I was still very positive but don’t get me wrong, I’m still human and I have my moments of feeling low, but in terms of tips the only thing I can really think of is to be grateful for everything and everyone. Like so many things in our life are temporary without us even knowing and if we’re not grateful for what and who we have I truly believe you never experience happiness. I understand sometimes when you’re going through a tough time and that negative ball is consuming your head space it can feel like that’s all there is but you really have to work hard at shifting your focus. As the classic quote says, when you focus on the good the good gets better and honestly it does. I think the only “tips” I can really give you is to appreciate who and what you have, be grateful for the life you live, stop comparing yourself or your work to other peoples, and to always put yourself in full value; you a worth everything because ultimately everything you’re doing in your life is for you or if it’s not it should be. Remember there’s always brighter days to come, just keep going and focus and they will be here before you know it.

This one is actually quite a simple answer (for once), I started my blog in 2013 simply just because at the time I was using Instagram as a platform and my captions were so long as you know I love a ramble. So I figured it’s probably better to have an actual writing platform and that’s when the blog was born. Also because something I’ve always wanted to do has been to inspire people and I’ve been trying to do that for all this time through my blogging platform. Hopefully that does come across. if you’re a blogger, let me know why you started your platform in the comments.

This is a very interesting question so I had to include it. I’ve actually never been asked this so exclusive! I haven’t actually done any proper screen acting and I would love to experience it at some point in my life. But if you know me well and have seen me perform I would have to say stage. Like not to toot my own horn or anything but the way I perform and my personality and energy is made for the stage and the theatre. Plus performing on stage is so much fun and you get to know people in such a close-nit way that you become like another family. It’s just such a buzz and I really do miss it! Defo need to get back into stage stuff after all this corona business is done.

Treat yourself!

Having a rubbish day? Treat yourself. Having a great day? Treat yourself. Having a life crisis? Treat yourself. Having a big life moment? Treat yourself! It’s a universal phrase used for every kind of thing going on in yourself. Treat yourself responsibly though but do treat yourself when you feel you need it. Enjoy your life, treat yourself, it’s not all serious. Cheers, treat yourself! *sips more gin*

This quote to me feels very wholesome. As when I think of throwing confetti it reminds me of celebrating and happy times and good things with people who are important to you. Ultimately kindness is also one of the greatest things you can give/ show to other people and what you throw into the world it will throw it back at you. Maybe in this sense it’s confetti but the confetti is the kindness and the goodness you share and exude. I find that really lovely and special.

Oooo things are getting interesting! I really liked this question as it was so different to any of the others. I feel like this is so hard as I feel like you don’t know what kind of parent you’re gonna be until it happens. One thing I would never want is for them to feel like I’m telling them what to do with their life. I think sometimes parents add in their opinion when it’s not always needed. Especially when you’re a teenager, I think parents think telling their kids what they should be doing by a certain age is how it’s meant to go. I imagine for our generation when we have children it’ll be quite different to how our parents raised us. I would want them to just be whoever they wanted to be and do whatever they wanted to do. Of course within reason, like I don’t want them to turn out to be a murderer or anything. But I just wouldn’t want them to feel pressure or feel like they couldn’t talk to me if the needed to or if they genuinely wanted my advice etc. The only thing I would want them to be is kind to other people, respectable, caring, nice, and just not unnecessarily mean, or nasty, or horrible etc. It’s never a nice feeling to find out that your child isn’t being as good of a person towards other people that they can be. I imagine anyway as I am not a parent. *Sipping that gin.*

I’ve learnt a lot during these 23 years of life but I think the one thing that sticks out is to expect nothing from anyone. I think when you expect people to treat you exactly the way you treat them you’re probably going to be disappointed. Now of course this doesn’t go for everyone you meet or everyone in your life, but over my years I’ve had people who I’ve done so much for and that same level of energy isn’t reciprocated back to me. Move on from all those dead plants you’ve been watering. I have had to learn this the really hard way as when I was younger I used to do so much for people and gave so much effort towards other people because I thought that would get them to like me and to value me as a friend. If you’re in this boat, honey you gotta stop. I’m very attentive when it comes to people, the way people are around me, how their messages are with me etc, and whilst I still do a lot for the people I love and care about, I am much better now at knowing who is worth investing in and who is not. You can tell when an energy is off with a person or something has changed, you just feel it in your gut, and that’s the universe trying to tell you something. So these days I’m a lot better at telling the difference between people having an off day and people who aren’t really bothered about me. I’m at an age now where I’m over the drama of it and I just wait to see if they make effort and if they don’t it’s like cool, bye. I’ve got more people and things to invest my time in than a dying plant. So the hardest thing I’ve learnt has been to never have expectations on a person to be just like you are when it comes to them and vice versa.

God this is getting deep, time for another sip of gin and our next question is…

I feel like here a lot of you are expecting me to say getting engaged but I’m actually not going to say that. It’ll be a moment I remember forever but it’s never a moment I imagined happening as like I said above I’d rather be able to have kids than get married, but I think it’s partly because my mum and dad never got married and this year they’re celebrating their 30th anniversary. So you don’t have to get married to have a great relationship folks. Anyway back to the question, *sips gin*, I honestly think the best moment of my life so far has just been meeting all of the people that have changed my life. Like without all of my incredible family and friends and Jake life would be pretty dull and I know it’s such a cliche but I honestly do believe I am blessed with the best ones and I count my blessings for that everyday. You all know who you are, thank you always. Never change.

I feel like we’re all tempted to say yes aren’t we when we take a look back and look at all the shit we went through or the “bad” decisions we made but honestly I am gonna say no. Everything we do happens for a reason and if I hadn’t of done all of the things I have done I wouldn’t be the same person today. So no I wouldn’t thinking of it now.

This may sound like a shock to some of you but I’ve never like felt that major urge to travel. Of course there are some places I’d like to visit but I’ve never had that urgency of needing to travel. Anyone else have this or is it just me? *Sips gin* it’s blatantly just me isn’t, not in with the modern times of wanting to travel every 5 minutes *sips gin* I’m joking lovelies! No T, no shade, no pink lemonade! No but seriously I’ve got a few places I would like to see in my lifetime but I’m in no rush to see them. But my dream place to go is it to see the northern lights.

I don’t even remember at what point I decided I wanted to go here but it has been a dream for a very long while, I mean look how gorgeous that sky is. Then when I first met Jake he said he really wants to visit those as well. So that will be the trip of a lifetime for me. Hopefully we can have that happen in the next five to ten years.

Yes, it was when both my mum and dad got ill and they had to go into hospital. Of course they’re fine now and I am so thankful that they are. But before that sometimes I could be quite snappy with them and I was a little bit harsh sometimes. But when they did both have health scares it highlighted to me that one day they wont be here and I can’t even fathom how I am gonna be at that stage but honestly without my mum and dad I would be so lost ad I wouldn’t know what to do. When I was a teenager I think I really took them for granted, like most teenagers do, but really without them I don’t know what I would do or who I’d be. So I’m lucky that they’re still here and I’m thankful that they are.

Also a very interesting one this one. Um if I had all the money in the world I’d defo quit the job I have now, haha. So that I could put all of my time into content creating as well as doing my dream of being a theatre performer. As well as down the line creating my own theatre company/ performance kind of school or something. But also, potentially studying to be a university lecturer/ visiting lecturer. Which I still have as an option for a few years down the line in my life now but I’ve got a lot of figuring out I need to do before I begin thinking about that. Maybe even to own my own business of some kind or have a few different projects and things I’m involved in etc. I would like to help out people though, like do more for charities and donate more funding into our health care system as well as giving more money into our developments into global warming. Basically I’d just like to help other people and the world with the other money I have.

In terms of home I think it would be lovely to live somewhere that is close to everything. So you’re not too far from your main city, but you also have nice countryside close by whilst still being able to get to town in a short amount of time and not too far a drive from the beach. I think that would be the dream location I just don’t know specifically where that is in the UK. And in terms of my actual house I think I would want a detached house with a lovely big garden that I could plant lots of flowers and trees in. Also have a patio/ decking area to have a lovely outdoor table on and sofa area on etc. I think it’s important to have a decent sized garden when you have pets and children. A nice big kitchen and cosy living room with two bathrooms. One main bathroom and then a smaller one for like downstairs or something. As I’d like to have three kids we’d need at least four bedrooms and then a modern attic to store things. What I mean by modern is something that is made up like a room, I never go in my attic right now at home because it’s so open with bricks and many spiders have been found up there. Plus I’d want an easy way to get into the attic with either some fold down stairs when you open the hatch or just permanent stairs in the house. I like the idea of having a modern but rustic vibe house and I wouldn’t say no to an open plan kitchen and dinning room, but if the house didn’t have that it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Plus I’d love a house where I could have many many house plants. Isn’t that most young people’s houses these days? I think that’s mostly everything as of right now. You could say I’ve thought about it just a tiny bit… *finishes glass of gin*

I feel like one of the biggest that I am proud of is of course my degree. That piece of paper holds many memories and many hours of hard work as that is something I worked on purely for me. Plus it’s now in a frame on my wall after a whole year. We’re doing well, *pours another glass.* I actually can’t think of anything else I would say is the biggest achievement I am most proud of. There probably is more but getting a degree is definitely one of the biggest.

Hot chocolate. I was never particularly fond of hot drinks when I was younger, but mostly hot chocolate. I dunno why but I just couldn’t vibe with it. But now, now let me tell you! In the cold months she is a top beverage of choice for those cosy vibes on a winter day. God I do bloody love a hot chocolate, I could go for one now to be honest.

Hmm, this is a tough one as over my life I have overcome quite a lot. But the greatest one is probably comparing myself to people in every aspect of my life. When it came to performing, blogging, if I was likeable, if I was good enough. Just a ridiculous amount of things that I let consume my head space for so long. When I finally started to unravel that and just live and be me and show myself more self love, it gave me a lot more fulfilment and enjoyment with my life. When I was younger all I did was compare myself to people but I am not them and they are not me. I’m amazing just as much as they are, it’s much kinder for everyone to appreciate who we are as people without comparing ourselves to other people. Honestly feels so good to have finally let that go. Cheers to that lovelies *sips more gin.* If I’m not drunk by the end of this post I’ll be shook.

The best has definitely been 18 years and on-wards as so many great life things have happened ever since I left college. And the worst was definitely 14 years to 16 years, school life was just really tough and I went through a lot like you’ve discovered throughout this post and I was just really happy when those years of my life were over. I’m grateful for what those years taught me but that doesn’t mean it was enjoyable or easy, even during the good times I did have in those years. Cheers to now everyone, *cheers.*

I do think the person who has the most influence on your life is obviously yourself because only you can take yourself from A to B and only you can motivate yourself to get things done as it is your life at the end of the day. Like everything I’m doing now is for my future self and I don’t even know where she is gonna be and what she’s gonna be doing ten years from this moment now, but I hope she’s having a brilliant 33rd birthday, (god triggered again *definitely more than a sip now*) and I hope she is happy with her life.

But if I had to pick someone else that isn’t me it would probably be my mum. My mum is one of the greatest women in the world and of course I’m gonna say that because she’s my mum. But she honestly is amazing – she’s strong, she’s kind, she’s caring, she’s brave, she’s everything a mum should be. She has this way of suggesting things that I could do that I was already thinking of potentially doing and encourages me with everything I do in my life. We have a great relationship now despite having a rocky one when I was a young teenager and I wouldn’t change it. Cheers to you mum, thanks for everything you’ve done and are still doing.

Hmm, this is again a tough one but I really liked it so I had to include it. This may sound a bit materialistic slightly but I honestly think I’m gonna have to say money. Right, wait hear me out. Money does not buy happiness but how you use money for the purpose of memories like going on holiday, or going out with friends, buying gifts for other people for their birthdays or Christmas etc. Or the way you use it to bring happiness to yourself like grabbing a coffee, or donating to charity, or buying some nice new clothes if you’re feeling low. All of those things create memories which then attach to happiness. Money is a very subjective topic but the fact of the matter is without money I wouldn’t be able to do half of the things that I love and bring me joy. And I guarantee you all of you are the same as well when it comes to money. Now of course I’m not talking about a ridiculous amount. Just enough to live comfortably with a few treat yourself moments in each month. Growing up and being an adult is literally realising how much money dominates everything you would like to do and how much of a need we all have for it. But honestly without my own money I’d never be able to do half of the things I have done for the last few years.

My god here we are at the end! Honestly there was a point when I thought we weren’t going to make it. But cheers everyone, *downs gin.* Thank you all so much for joining me on my final day of being 22, I’m excited to see what 23 brings. Honestly can’t believe I’m already in the third year of my twenties. Thank you all for your questions I had so many great ones but I couldn’t pick them all, I really appreciate you all for helping me out. Hopefully you found out some things about me that you didn’t know or you’ve had some time over this post to think about these questions for yourself. But mostly I hope you treated yourself and enjoyed a beverage and had a bloody good time. If you know me well then you will know I say treat yourself all the time and I feel it’s very apt this year that my birthday is on a Thursday. Why you ask? Because it’s only bloody Treat Yourself Thursday ain’t it!

Wow this has been a ride hasn’t it. Again hope you enjoyed, if you wanna see what I get up to for my birthday tomorrow follow me on Instagram, @ katiej0hnson as I’ll be updating on my story throughout the day so you guys can see what I’m getting up to for my birthday in lockdown! Have an amazing evening you wonderful readers!

Published by katieloudoeslife

Hello lovelies, my name is Katie. I'm twenty two and currently trying to figure out my life. Some of you might know me from blogger, but it's a new year, new blog! I'm a university graduate with a degree in drama and theatre studies with a love and passion for all things performing as well as a keen interest in lifestyle, fashion, beauty, nails, home interiors, body positivity, and mindfulness. A lover of coffee, cats, space, mugs, planners, inspirational quotes, astrology, tarot readings, spirituality, reading, and using too many notebooks at once. I hope you find something here to make you feel inspired. Choose joy, be kind. With love & light, Katie β™‘

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