Feel-Good, Lists

Things I learned in 2015

In  this little nugget of time between Christmas and New Years, I always end up reflecting on the year, flicking through my diary from the last twelve months and reminding myself of things I’ve done and experienced. So I thought, once again, I’d share with you the things I’ve learned this year. Here we go:

  • If you are in an unhappy relationship and flirt with the idea of rescue when you have absolutely no intention of being saved it is heart-breaking, selfish and emotionally catastrophic. Don’t do it.
  • Duvet days should be written into the employment law.
  • It is equal parts joyful and terrifying when kids look up to you.

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  • The best mascara is L’oreal Double Extension (the black and white one.)
  • Everyone feels like they don’t know what they’re doing. IT’S FINE! WE ALL FEEL LIKE FRAUDS!
  • Sometimes, you have to wait years to be with the love of your life. But when you do, those years are golden, blessed, earned and perfect. Dance to ‘At Last’ by Etta James at your wedding and feel so happy.

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  • Glitter is always a good thing.

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  • Ask for stuff. You might get it, and the worst anyone can say is ‘no’. GO ON BE CHEEKY!
  • Scottish men make for great lovers.
  • A red dress always looks great. A black dress, though safer, always looks banging too.
  • Find the neckline you love and stick to it. WHERE YOU AT WRAP-ROUND DRESSES? WHERE MY V-NECKS AT?!

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  • Magic is real. Honestly. That tingly feeling you feel when he smiles at you? MAGIC. That ‘christmas-in-your-tummy feeling’ you get when you make someone laugh? MAGIC. That smile that actually hurts your cheeks when you’re so proud of someone you feel like you can’t breathe? MAGIC. It’s real.
  • You don’t have to go clubbing anymore. It’s absolutely fine if you don’t like it. We’re not 18 any more. And that’s fine. I’d rather have a pint of craft beer and a comfortable seat than a shot of apple sourz and a slut drop.
  • Holidays need to match what you need. If you need excitement, neon colours to pick up and highlight your soul, then go to New York. You need to feel sun on your eyelids, breathe in heat and taste coconut and feel the rub of towel against your skin, hit that beach up asap. You need to move, to feel music in your veins and thuds in your eardrums, get thee to Ibiza. If you need stillness, quiet, comfort and headspace, find somewhere you can sleep, sit, eat and be cute to yourself.

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  • It’s really annoying when other people try to spend your money for you. Especially if you don’t earn that much of it.
  • Therefore, sometimes it’s okay to say no to expensive birthday nights out/hen parties/joint gifts/rounds. Just be honest. There’s no shame in not earning as much as your mates, just be brave and say, HI HUN LISTEN I need to save my pennies to spend on my Sainsburys shop, and you know, to do things that I want to do.
  • The good friends will understand that.
  • TREAT YOSELF. Candles, massages, a Dominos all to yourself, a big coffee and a good book, a luxury wank, a beautiful bunch of blooms, a bitching new notebooks- you deserve a little treat every week. REWARD YOURSELF for being such a brilliant human and getting through every day.

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  • If you are dating someone and aren’t feeling the vibe is right, be brave and pick up the phone and tell them. HONESTLY. It hurts so much less to hear it like that and saves hours of energy wasted analysing every ignored text message.
  • If your best mate moves abroad, you will miss her so much. Like, you’ll be supportive and understand all reasons why it’s incredible and exciting and wonderful, but you’ll still miss her like a fucking limb every. single. day.
  • A cuddle with a snuffly little pug in bed is the recipe for instant happiness.

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  • Heaven looks like this: being sat in my knickers, on a chaise lounge, with a soft blanket, watching a box set, two fabulous gay men feeding me Kettle Chips and ice-cold gin and tonics with a pug and a white cat curled up together on my lap.

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  • New York City is wonderful, but it’s not nearly as good as London.

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  • I will never not cry when I see my friends performing onstage. SO PROUD THO.

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  • Headspace is probably the best app I downloaded this year. Do it. MEDITATION IS COOL YO. CALM DAT MIND. (Close second is Neko Atsume, an app where you take care of little cartoon cats. Like tamagotchis for the modern day. Yes I am still single. I’m a virtual crazy cat lady.)
  • The most fun you will ever have is watching a kids theatre show. I love Shakespeare and Sondheim and everything but the most excited I got in the theatre this year was watching the CBeebies Live Arena Tour at Wembley.
  • n.b – it helps if your friend is actually in the show. or if you have a kid to take. otherwise you look a bit weird.
  • Friends who are patient, don’t judge and put up with you trying to make sense of the same men and romantic situations over and over again, the ones that always leave you both broken of heart and, well, just generally broken? They’re the best friends.
  • Cancer is the fucking worst. Cruel and unfair and ugly. Those living with and battling and surviving cancer are beautiful, brilliant and inspirational. Give them a fat old hug and tell them your best joke (my current fave: What do ghosts do on dates? They WOOOOOO) and let them talk about what they need to. GO HOME CANCER NO-ONE INVITED YOU TO THE PARTY.
  • I will never be quite comfortable with the fact that my friends are actually FOR REAL getting married and having actual babies, and it’s not all just a big drunken mistake. I can’t look after my own iphone let alone a baby.

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  • Six years into being a professional actor, I still find getting new headshots done the hardest thing of all. FACE, WHY U NO LOOK LIKE I WANT U 2
  • Snail mail is always appreciated and makes a days positivity shoot up by about a billion percent.

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  • You can 100%, without a shadow of doubt and skepticism, make friends on the internet. And they can be utterly excellent. Party on Bangerang babes.

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  • In times of panic and blue, go back to the music from your teens and childhood. It’s like velvet on your soul and camomile on your eardrums. Even if it’s Cleopatra (comin’ atcha).
  • Don’t get precious about what you do. Bitch gotta make pennies. Yes I want to be a successful actor, singer, writer, but I also make ends meet by doing flyering, writing copy for an online sex shop (yes really), taking any teaching gig I can get and doing IT programme training voiceovers. There’s no shame in a patchwork of jobs that all pay, there’s only shame in being too proud to accept them.
  • Never forget how good silly feels.
  • Never leave your phone unattended. Mainly because when you open your camera roll you might be greeted with shit like this:

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  • If you’re single, Valentines day doesn’t have to be bitter. My last few have been incredible, spent in the company of my dearest friends. Spread love and attract love. Cynicism is ugly.
  • I will never feel stress like the stress of trying not to swear on live radio.

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  • Life gets taken away sometimes so cruelly and suddenly. It makes no sense, it is uncaring, ruthless and shocking. We mourn, we cry, we rage. We eventually come out of the other side, still bruised but no longer bleeding. In moments of utter stress, panic and black cloud, I find the quickest way to peace and appreciation is by remembering those taken too soon, and their families that miss them. They are the strongest. They live, laugh and love with deep cracks in their hearts and gaps in their souls. Things are never as bad as they seem. We breathe. It’s a gift.
  • If someone you know and love experiences a bereavement, do not ignore it. No matter how awkward you might feel about saying the wrong thing, or not knowing what to say, JUST SAY SOMETHING. They’re going through the most difficult thing in their life. Acknowledging it, saying you are so sorry, giving them a hug and pouring them a big strong drink. Be what they need, not what makes you comfortable.
  • Gininatins differ greatly in taste. See here for more information.

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  • I still get giggly whenever I see a naked man onstage. Even in a posh play. HAHAHAHAHAH WILLY.
  • You’re braver than you think, and than you could possibly know.
  • Nile Rodgers from Chic is the world’s coolest man.

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  • The happiest I have ever spent my birthday is hungover, dressed in huge heels, a dressing gown and giraffe ears, hosting a Eurovision party complete with breakfast Pimms, gin and tonic ice lollies and a full English breakfast.
  • Going on a date with my first ever boyfriend for a feature in Cosmo magazine was so much fun and also the weirdest thing I’ve ever done. Thank you Toby for being a legend.

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  • Don’t fall asleep on the last train home. You might end up having to sleep in the bar of the Guildford Travelodge.
  • People that make comments about how you might want to have a back-up career, why you haven’t got a boyfriend and say things like ‘tick-tock’ in reference to your ovaries have no idea how much damage, anxiety and hurt they cause. SHUSH.
  • Do the things that terrify you. You might just pull it off.

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  • If you feel brave, give your number to that person you think is beautiful. You never know, they might use it. Even if they’re not the love of your life, it might well give you a confidence boost when you need it most.  (this act of bravery is massively helped by having a group of gobby, encouraging pals around you.
  • Keep your to-do list manageable.

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  • Going back to places that hold a thousand memories is just not the same unless the people that helped you create those memories are there with you. Remember- a place is only as good as the people in it.
  • Looking at the sea will always calm you down.

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  • Needing to spend time on your own is as important as scheduling time for your friends and family. If you struggle with a busy diary, actually write in time for yourself and STICK TO IT. Time where you don’t have to be on form and can just turn the world off for a night makes you such a better friend for those that need you.
  • Be proud of the things you achieve, and try to stop them cowering in the shadow of the things you think you should have done by now. YOU ARE DA BOMB!

I hope 2015 was kind to you, you wonderful lot. Here’s to owning the SHIT out of 2016. See you on top of the world. I’ll be the one wearing a unicorn onesie and drinking a gin.

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6 Comments

  1. Katy

    December 29, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Fave blog post this year. YOU BEAUT <3

  2. Charlie

    December 29, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    Bloody gorgeous post, just like the author. *praise hands emoji* xxx

  3. Frankie Winter

    December 29, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    I don’t know what a slut drop is. I’ve never been cool. You’ve also just inspired a rather long winded conversation between myself and my husband about what constitutes a “luxury” wank and the pecking order of wanks in general.

    Also, I did once swear on live radio. I got into a lot of trouble. It almost ruined a friendship. To be fair, that friendship was fated to go south anyway.

  4. Charlotte

    December 29, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    This is bloody wonderful! Bloody love you Miss Brennan! x

  5. Francesca

    December 30, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    This made me so smile so much! Here’s to another great year!

    http://francescaandrews.com – My Travel Blog

  6. Claire

    January 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm

    Happy New Year Katie, you beautiful thing. Meeting you is for sure one of the highlights of my 2015. The Bangarang girls bring me such joy!

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