Playing the Victim, Being Vulnerable & Learning to Love the Chaotic, Messy & Wonderful Person I Am | 24 More Things I've Learned This Year

Back in February I published a post called Breaking Hearts, Facing Fears & Ditching Vanilla Sex | 24 Things I've Learned in 24 Years and it's been my most popular post to date. I just want to say thank you so much for reading, sharing, and showing so much love towards that post. I honestly never thought it would get anywhere near the attention it received and I'm so fucking grateful. 

I've been asked on more than one occasion for a follow up to that post. Now, I'm not some philosopher with a never ending list of advice and life changing quotes, (if I was though I'd totally call myself Confucius on Cocaine), but I am constantly learning through the situations and bullshit life throws at me and I'm continuously growing as a person. 

Which means, lucky for you, I've got some more wise words to share.  

Playing the Victim, Being Vulnerable & Learning to Love the Chaotic, Messy & Wonderful Person I Am | 24 More Things I've Learned This Year

1. Perception is everything. The stars are beautiful but they look nothing like the pretty flowers you walk by on your way to work. The sun is as equally beautiful as the moon, but they're opposites. Often times, we beat ourselves up over not looking like the people we perceive as beautiful, when we all have beauty in our own way. 

2. Fate is real, and trust me, you'll know it when you feel it. 

3. Prioritize your time. We really do all have the same 24 hours in a day. Focus on what's important to you and your goals and stop wasting time stalking old classmates and ex lovers. 

4. Take care of your skin! This includes eating well, drinking plenty of water, removing your makeup after a late night out, and applying moisturizer every single night! Remember, you'll wear your skin every day of your life.

5. Stop settling. Nothing hurts more then seeing or hearing about people settling for something other than what they really, truly want. Don't force yourself to go to college to get a degree in something you could care less about just because you think that's what you're supposed to do. Don't rush to get married to someone you're not really sure is "the one" just because you think you need to be married by a certain age. Don't have kids just because that's what society tells you you have to do. A happy life isn't about whether you've succeeded in accomplishing what society expects from you, it's about doing what you love, even if that means leaving the country to start your own spider circus or something.

6. Buy the concert tickets. Even if they're $300. Memories are better than possessions. Plus you might never get the chance to meet your favorite person and see them live again. (I'm cominn for you in January Brendon Urie!)

7. You're always going to be the toughest person on yourself, you are your own biggest critic so to speak. We have this unfortunate habit of expecting the best from ourselves, that can either be damaging or inspiring. Let it inspire you, let it motivate you. Take the negative thoughts you have about yourself and turn them into something more positive. (This can be very hard at first, but the more you practice it, the easier it will become).

8. Vulnerability is scary, but it's also beautiful. Don't be afraid to let your walls down. Don't be so reluctant to let people in. The world is full of people who can hurt you, but it's also full of people who can help, love, and support you. 

9. Work out. Whether it's a short walk every night or you're doing weight training sessions in the gym 5 nights a week, exercise is good for your mind and your body. You'll look amazing, you'll feel even better, and the coolest part about working out is seeing what your body is capable of doing. 

10.  Don't ever be afraid to express the way you feel. I've found that we as people, myself included, tend to not want to reveal how we really feel because we're afraid of being hurt. We're afraid that what we feel won't be reciprocated. The fear of rejection and the fear of failure holds us back from so much of what we want in life. Those fears are the reason we miss out on so many amazing things. Tell people how you feel, tell them what you want, and remember, rejection can't possibly hurt as much as never knowing does. 

11. If you're lucky enough to stumble upon something that you love doing, do the shit out of it, and do the shit out of it unapologetically. Finding a passion, a hobby, or just simply something you love doing can be hard, if you find yours just do it, without fear of judgment from others. 

12. Someone else's beauty will never diminish your own. Somebody else's success doesn't mean yours will never come. Withholding your support of someone out of jealousy won't make you or your situation any better. The world needs a little bit more love, spread it. 

13. The two best attributes to have when it comes to success in literally anything; versatility and the ability to adapt. You can set goals, buy a pretty planner, and plan and plan and plan and shit will still find a way to not go as expected, and at that point it'll feel like everything you've done was for nothing. Be able to, and willing to, change things around if you have to. 

14. You can't fix people. You cannot save them, you cannot change them. Unless they want to be fixed, saved, or changed. It's hard to accept. It can be scary, and confusing, and painful, but you've got to accept it, you have to. You can't constantly put yourself in danger trying to help everybody else. You can't risk your own health, mental or physical, trying to save somebody, you'll just end up having to be saved yourself.

15. Despite all the bullshit, life can be beautiful. It can be radiant and inspiring. Wake up with a grateful heart and find the beauty in all the wonderful simple things around us.

16. If you believe in something, stand up for it. If someone says something you disagree with, don't be afraid to speak your mind on it. If there's a cause or a problem you're passionate about, start raising awareness. Change doesn't happen overnight and although it may seem like your voice won't make a major change in anything pivotal, it absolutely can.  

17.  Stop comparing yourself to others. Life is not a competition in any form. There's enough room for everyone to succeed and all of our paths are different, meaning we'll all get to where we need to be in our own way, at our own time. 

18. Let it go. Anger, pain, loss, love or lack thereof, and all that guilt or regret. Let go of the could-be's and should-have's. Allow what's meant to be, to just simply be. The universe will give you every single thing that's meant for you, in due time. Trust it and let go.

19. Healing won't happen on it's own. Time does not heal everything. Sometimes you have to actively work towards healing. It won't ever be an overnight process, and there will be set backs, and there's a huge chance that you'll never be the same person you were before all the bad stuff happened. But if you work hard towards your healing, develop healthy coping mechanisms, go to therapy, etc, you'll be able to live a happier life and that's something that gives me hope. 

20. We all make mistakes. And sometimes we make the same mistake more than once, and that's okay. We're not perfect, not a single one of us. Try not to beat yourself up so much over the mistakes you're making, instead focus on changing your ways to prevent making the same mistakes again. 

21. Make sure you leave time in your day to do the things you enjoy doing or the things that will help you reach your own personal goals. Don't work 40+ hours a week and then go home and do nothing for yourself, all you'll do is create a life you don't enjoy. 

22. Take care of yourself. Allow yourself breaks. Give yourself a chance to relax. Eat when your body is hungry and sleep when your body is tired. Stop playing the victim and hold yourself responsible for the bad things you do, and always show yourself love. Self care isn't just taking care of your appearance, it's taking care of yourself mentally and emotionally too. 

23. Don't be afraid to give out second chances. People are capable of so many amazing things. This includes growing, learning, and changing. If someone is actively working towards changing the way they are, or if they're taking time to grow as a person, allow them the opportunity to. Cancelled culture is toxic and people are allowed to learn from their mistakes.

24. Despite your flaws, the mistakes you've made, the hurt you've caused, the hearts you've broken, and regardless of what anyone could ever say or possibly make you feel, you deserve love. And the most important love you can have is self love. Learn to love yourself. Love the chaotic, messy, clumsy, freaky, happy, sad, inspiring, and wonderful fucking person you are. 

Instagram: @alii.grigonis
Twitter: @heyitsaliquinn


  1. Great list. It's seems like your perception of people changed this year. Atowle|

    1. Thank you so much!
      It certainly has, but as with most things in life. I think if your views, thoughts, and you as a whole, aren't changing, you aren't truly living.

  2. I honestly loved reading this and I found it so relatable. I agree with every single thing you've said and I think you've written a very powerful piece. I hope this gets the attention and praise it deserves x

  3. I love this! It's so inspirational and I agree with everything you've listed.
    Exercising, loving the time around other people, memories than possessions.

    I'm so glad I got to read this.
    Thank you xx

  4. I found your website from the follow thread on twitter. I am glad I came across your post it's inspiring advice kudos for such a fantastic website too. I look forward to new blog post from you. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Perception is definitely everything. We see things but may not realize that there's more beyond appearance. YESSS on drinking more water! Even though we might have some critics in our lives (ok let's call them haters lol), we'll be the biggest one @__@. Though, we always push ourselves to be better so it makes sense. I totally agree with you about 16. Goes with Colin's quote, believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. Thanks for sharing these lessons learned!

    Nancy ♥

    1. Yes, yes, yes, and yes!
      Thanks so much for reading!
      xo a

  6. This is like the 3rd post I’ve read that has basically told me I need to get a skin care routine and I need to get in the gym. Noted. Great post girl! Loved your list

    1. Ugh yes girl, get a skincare routine! You'll thank yourself in 30 years!
      Thanks so much

      xo a