Gemma Styles Shares the 25 Most Important Life Lessons She's Ever Learned | Teen Vogue
Harry's big sister is full of wisdom.
By Kathryn Amey

It’s no secret that Harry Styles and his big sister Gemma are super close. During One Direction’s many world tours, Gemma would often fly out to visit Harry and his bandmates — talk about a serious sibling perk! — and Harry has long been known to play the role of protective little brother. (Especially when it comes to Gemma’s dating life — aw!)

But there’s so much more to Gemma than just her uber-famous fam. Style icon, accomplished writer and all-around coolest chick ever are just a few of the words we’d use to describe the newly-turned 25-year-old. And not all of us are lucky enough to have a big sister as awesome as Harry’s sis. So, in honor of her monumental birthday, we’ve picked her brain and convinced her to share all of the best life hacks she’s discovered along the way. (You’re welcome.)

1. Good friends aren’t determined on the length of time you’ve known them but the experiences you’ve shared.

2. Never make decisions on an empty stomach. You’ll probably come across as meaner than you mean to be.

3. Phone insurance is worth the money.

4. People will always say mean things. When you feel like you can’t win, remember they’re the losers.

5. Don’t leave the tap running while you brush your teeth.

6. Take your makeup off, then cleanse your skin…otherwise it’s like showering with your clothes on.

7. You can cook potato waffles in the toaster. (This is an incredible latke-like breakfast food and one of Britain’s greatest inventions.)

8. If your mum doesn’t like your boyfriend or girlfriend, she’s probably right about them. Sorry.

9. Travel as much as you can.

10. Get measured for your bras. Supporting the girls and wearing the right size will make your clothes hang better!

11.  Switch your phone off at night (or use Do Not Disturb). Your sleep is more important than Twitter notifications.

12. Be happy when your friends become friends. Rather than worrying that you’re going to be left out, embrace the way things unfold and you’ll end up with an amazing group of people around you.

13. Revision is always better with colorful pens. (Revision = studying for exams in Brit speak.)

14. The book is always better than the film. Especially when it’s Harry Potter.

15. Try not to get angry about things you can’t do anything about. It’s a waste of energy and the only person who’ll be upset is you.

16. If you’ve never been taught it, then you won’t know it. Don’t feel bad about knowledge you’re lacking and don’t judge others for things they’re not strong at either. Oh, and if you want to learn? Ask.

17. Buy decent jeans. They take longer to save up for but also last ten times longer and don’t go saggy at the knees after two washes. Worth it.

18. Alternate which shoulder you carry your bag on or you’ll end up lopsided. It’s weird, but once you notice, it will drive you crazy.

19. Make playlists as well as photo albums. Collections of songs bring back memories in a whole different way.

20. Salt and vinegar chips are the cure for just about anything.

21. Don’t save up your good candles. They look pretty on shelves but they smell even prettier.

22. In cases of a dress code panic, lean casual on clothes and dressier on makeup to cover most situations with ease. Black jeans plus a black t-shirt is my failsafe.

23. Own the basics to independent womanhood: a first aid kit, screwdrivers, and a hammer. (The first aid kid isn’t necessarily intended for hammer related injuries…but two birds, one stone.)

24. Get dark-colored towels. They will withstand years of hair dye and fake tanning incidents.

25. Never, ever over-pluck your eyebrows. Get them done by a pro once every so often and keep up that shape at home.

…Harry, are you taking notes?

“I waited a year,” he said, “a year for her to love me. But she always found just a little more spark in his eyes than in mine. Maybe he could touch her the way I couldn’t or maybe she just didn’t want me like she wanted the others,” he stopped, I think he needed a second to breathe, “but I waited a year; a year for someone who couldn’t, who wouldn’t see my worth. I stuck around for a year to realize that I could find better if I just walked away.”

You could tell from the sound of his voice that he was hurt, but it didn’t justify the fact that he left me just like she left him, and so I confronted him, “but you see that better was me - and you wouldn’t wait for me, you wouldn’t wait for the one who wanted to give you everything.”

—  c.f. // “his 2pm confession”
She was embarrassed, of course. But not for the obvious reason. It was for the other one, the little lesson that life sometimes rams home with a stick: you are not the only one watching the world, other people are also people, while you watch them they watch you, and they think about you while you think about them. The world isn’t just about you.
—  Terry Pratchett, from Monstrous Regiment

“Toward the end of my run in the Broadway company, you know, it got a little scary outside the theater. I was negotiating secret exits the last month of the run. It was unsafe for me to do the stage door. It wasn’t that good fans turned bad or anything like that. It’s just that when people feel like time is finite to see someone, the urgency is what makes it scary. You know, ‘We have to get that selfie now.’ 'We have to get this autograph right now,’ as opposed to life being long.”


“Listen, here are my lessons, my takeaways from the show’s success. One, I had my idea for it during my first vacation from 'In the Heights,’ so vacation’s important. Two, 'Hamilton’ was an idea that everyone said was crazy and yet here we are. So it gave me a confidence in my instincts.”

Confidence in instincts? Well, sure, I say. But this is not an ordinary level of success. “Hamilton” is something else entirely.

“You know what? My answer to you on all of this is actually embedded in the show. I cannot worry about how the world perceives the show. I can worry about the quality of the production, the words being spoken and sung. But I have written a show where everybody is grappling with their legacy. Look at (Alexander) Hamilton’s legacy. A guy who did an enormous amount in his short lifetime. But you also saw it get buried. His enemies all succeeded him. There was a period when he was the bastard of American history. He falls in and out of favor. Jefferson falls in and out of favor. All I can control is the work itself. There will be times when 'Hamilton’ is hailed. There will be times when 'Hamilton’ is pilloried.”

Those will have to be different, unfamiliar times.

“The wind will do with it as it does. All you can do is throw the kite in the air.”


“I just wanted you to be a kid…Just for a little while longer.”

Dean Winchester sacrificed his own happiness to dedicate his life saving others and he’s good at it, he’s saved hundreds of thousands and helped save the World and never expects thanks, which is good because he never gets to feel good about any of it.

Dean Winchester has got the “lesson” writers so move on to telling a different story, how about one where he develops a sense of self worth because he’s reminded of the lives he’s saved, his sacrifices, the good he’s done, that the World would be a lot worse off without him, that it might not even exist anymore if he hadn’t made the sacrifices he’s made and that Sam would be dead to.

Also enough with the mean Dean attitude some fans have regarding Sam not having the normal life he wants. That’s NOT on Dean. Sam is the ‘chosen’ one. The Winchester were born to have their lives screwed over by forces and influences bigger than either of them and Sam HAS walked away many times without Dean dragging him back and Sam chose to come back anyway so I’m done with the show and Sam fans demoizing Dean WInchester so they can do the hurt/comfort thing with Sam.

Disney Themes for Demigods

PERCY: Son of Man from Tarzan

ANNABETH: Lesson Number One from Mulan II

NICO: Dig a Little Deeper from Princess and the Frog

WILL: Healing Incantation from Tangled

JASON: Strangers Like Me from Tarzan

PIPER: Just Around the Riverbend from Pocahontas

HAZEL: Belle from Beauty and the Beast

FRANK: On My Way from Brother Bear

LEO: I’m Still Here from Treasure Planet

CALYPSO: When Will my Life Begin from Tangled

REYNA: Learn me Right from Brave

THALIA: Streets of Gold from Oliver and Company

“You aren’t going nowhere just because you haven’t reached your final destination yet” is my favourite thing that Taylor has ever said. It reminds me that all good things take time. It reassures me that the little accomplishments that you make throughout your journey are just as important as the end goal that you hope to eventually achieve. It also shows me that each part of our journey through life has a purpose. Each obstacle, challenge, achievement, is there to teach us a lesson before we reach our final destination. That one sentence shows me that it doesn’t matter how long it takes for you to attain your dream, your goal, or your intended plan. It doesn’t matter if you never reach that place. It does, however matter that you strive to be the best you can be. That you do your best to make yourself happy with every single step that you take, every decision that you make. In the end, our journey will be made up of all of our little achievements, the many lessons that we learned along the way as well as the strength and the drive that helped us get to where we wanted to be. With all that our journeys will end up being, it won’t matter if we arrived at that intended destination. All that will matter is that we were able to find happiness in the little things that life had to offer, instead of always focusing on the end goal, or rather our final destinations.

Himym life lessons (Part 2)

- You can never be too old to play laser tag because let’s face it, laser tag is just awesome.

- Say goodbye to the bad things and everything you really want to do for the last time.

- “Hold out for someone who doesn’t just tolerate your little quirks but actually kind of likes them.” Don’t settle for less than that.

- Making long time bets about your friends’ future is only acceptable if they never find out.

- Maybe there is no such thing as “the one”. You can get more than one chance at love, if you are lucky you can win the lottery twice.

- Don’t cling to the past just because the future is scary. You won’t make any progress if you do so. Just know when it is time to let go of the past, even if it hurts.

- As important it is to have chemistry in a relationship, you also need timing. Meeting the right person at the wrong time therefore might not work out, even if there is chemistry.

- Don’t give up on people too quickly, you could miss out on something great. Maybe the person you didn’t like at first, turns out to be amazing.

- Sometimes you get to like things that you haven’t liked in the past and that’s totally okay. This can go from an ugly shirt in the back of your closet to a person you have given up too quickly.

- Never date someone you already see on a regular basis, it often doesn’t end well.

- When choosing your friends, imagine sitting on your front porch 50 years from now. If they are the people you can imagine sitting on the porch with, they are really worth your time.

- You have to make certain mistakes to know that it was a mistake. Knowing that it was a mistake is better than regetting that you haven’t done it.

- Don’t give up on your dreams. When you take action you are likely to achieve what you want one day.

- Bad things happen in life but you have to learn to accept them and keep going, although this is one of the most difficult things in life. You will lose people you love one day. Just know that moving on doesn’t mean you don’t love them anymore, they’ll always be a part of you.

- You can only get support and loyalty from your friends, if you are being a friend yourself. Friendship is not just taking but also giving and supporting your friends in tough times.

- You can’t plan or design your life, you have to take things as they come. It is possible to just “find things”, you couldn’t have planned that way.

- Every moment that you’re living turns into a memory, therefore make it a good one. Who knows, maybe you’ll end up telling your kids that story one day.

- Don’t forget that your story is never really over.

For anyone that needs to hear it:

I hope you have a good day today. Don’t dwell on that one thing bugging you. Forget about that for a little while. You deserve a break. Don’t be hard on yourself either. We are all figuring out this magical world of life in our own ways. I don’t have my shit together so it’s okay that you don’t either. My life lessons don’t match up to everyone else’s and that’s alright because I needed to learn my own. Just like you are doing now, learning your own lessons for your life. You are writing your own handbook to prepare you for the next wonderful stage in life. And lastly don’t dismiss yourself. Be aware of yourself and just be there. Do. Not. Dismiss. Yourself.

The Fly

  • Moon sign
  • Under The Windy card

The Fly is a card that gives the user the ability to fly. It is the first card Sakura captures other than Windy, and it is probably the card she uses the most. There is some difference between the show and the manga. In the show, Sakura uses Windy to catch Fly. In the manga, however, Windy doesn’t work, and Sakura uses Jump to reach Fly and hugs it until it calms down. It was only aggressive because it was hurt and just needed a little TLC. What a good life lesson.

In divination, The Fly card usually represents movement of some kind. It may represent a literal movement from one place to another, transferring schools or jobs, or getting out of the situation you are in now. It can also be more figurative, like moving on from an idea that isn’t working, or moving toward something you want. Given that it is a Moon sign, it is a more passive card and will depend on the cards around it to clarify what that movement may be.

I just realized a very good lesson from Inuyasha. I can’t believe I’m realizing this now.

I haven’t seen the first and second seasons of Inuyasha in a long time but I’m 90% sure that Kagome had little interaction with Hojo (on screen). Obviously enough time hypothetically was spent between the two for him to grow to have feelings for her. However, it’s clear that Kagome doesn’t have feelings for him when Inuyasha comes along because of the whole you know falling in love saving her life sort of thing happened but I think it was possible that Kagome never had feelings for him at all because
1.) He’s like a piece glass. You can see right through his intentions. Everyone knows he likes her and if she really likes him they probably would have gone out before hand (which is not to say they haven’t. They may have and maybe she felt no connection and never went out again)
2.) She’s as dense as concrete and never noticed, which is highly unlikely because we see Kagome is very perceptive throughout series.

We also know that Hojo is a very sweet boy. He’s kind, smart, and cares very much for Kagome’s well being. (From what we see)

But Kagome still doesn’t have feelings for him. He may have had more of a chance without Inuyasha ever coming into the picture but its highly likely that things wouldn’t have worked out between the two of them.

My point is that the show actually shows how some boys, no matter how nice, sweet, and gentlemen like they are it doesn’t matter. Sometimes things just don’t work out and the girl doesn’t feel the same. Hojou deserved better honestly. He was like a little angel but that doesn’t change anything, unfortunately for him. Kagome’s feelings didn’t change.

Lesson: just because your kind and a good person doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get the guy or girl

Thanks Rumiko


gif credit to the wonderful rosbridge

This is one of those little things that I really just love about AotC and Padme’s romantic arc in general. In almost all media where the romantic female lead is a driven career woman, the lesson she has to learn is how to relax and have fun. How to not take life so seriously. 

And that’s just not Padme. Yes, she enjoys Anakin’s company. In fact, I think she literally only laughs in his company throughout all three movies (Jar Jar may get a laugh; MAYBE). But the whole point is that she never compromises on her duties and responsibilities – never SHOULD – and that Anakin is even more enamored because of that. It’s the standard he should live up to.

She was embarrassed, of course. But not for the obvious reason. It was for the other one, the little lesson that life sometimes rams home with a stick: you are not the only one watching the world, other people are also people, while you watch them they watch you, and they think about you while you think about them. The world isn’t just about you.

Monstrous Regiment

Terry Pratchett

Maybe we were never supposed to make it. Maybe, we were brought to one another as a lesson, not a blessing. But instead of being just a lesson we learned that maybe the one we truly love, we don’t always get to be with… Maybe this was the beginning of the end. And maybe one day we’ll look back, a thousand miles from one another, and say “what if”. What if we had made it? What if we fought a little harder? Maybe things would be different. But they might also be worse. Maybe we don’t always get to be with the ones we love. But then again, I’ll fight until my last breath to prove that theory wrong.
—  Myself

So I took Mini-me to see Zootopia and I wasn’t enthusiastic about it but she really wanted to see it. Well, damn if that movie wasn’t an allegory for the effects of racism, sexism, xenophobia and police and political corruption on society. It was deep and the white people around us were hella quiet. Meanwhile I was explaining how Judy the bunny was bravely taking on deeply entrenched systemic prejudice within a system designed for her to fail. Ha! Thumbs up.

If you have a kid in your life, go see it. It’s such an important lesson for the little ones. And the fact it comes from Disney, whose founder was a Nazi sympathizer just made it that much better.

February 19th: Happy 1 Year Manniversary to me and you ;)

One year ago today, I was Florida in a hospital, waiting to have a double bilateral mastectomy.

Today this is me.

(Photo credit: Allison Specketer)

Today, I am breast-less.
Today, I am slightly hairy.
Today, my voice is much deeper.

I am masculine.
I am feminine.

I am a man….and still a little bit of a woman.

Today, I am just me.
And I am happy.

This past year I have learned one important lesson: A transition does not affect only me. A transition affects everyone around me.

As I transition, my family and friends transition with me. My neighbors, my coworkers, even the people I see at the gym are transitioning with me. Everyone in my immediate life has had to learn to adjust to a new gender, a new name, and new pronouns. Meanwhile, I have had to learn to extreme patience. I have had to open my own mind these adjustments. Not everyone will remember my pronouns right away, but they will try, and I must be patient. Not everyone will understand at first, but they are willing to learn and I must be a patient teacher. It’s very easy to become frustrated when, after many months, friends and family make mistakes, however, I can turn these mistakes into lessons and open discussions.

I believe the word transition is not applicable to the person undergoing physical changes. I have always known the person I am. For 25 years, my facade hid my person. Surgery and T has aligned my appearance to that person on the inside. But only I have known that person. I hated that person, rejected that person, then came to learn that person once again. Last year…. My family and friends met that person for the first time. They too are learning to love that person. Today my manniversary was certainly a celebration of a surgery that has given me the body I always imagined I was supposed to have. Today was a celebration of the life I can now live comfortably. Today was also a celebration of my family and friends and their transition. Without them, without their love and support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

Happy 1 year Manniversary.

Check this post again tomorrow. More transition photos will be added.

" It wasn't about finding 'The One'. It was about finding 'The Two' or whatever the life brings to you'

Craig Thomas about Himym.


This full moon was by far one of the weirdest I’ve had in a while. It went super unexpectedly, very scattered to. Filled with deep lessons and triggers for me and The people I was with, Christina and Jaison. I got triggered big time with aspects of myself I need to give love/healing to, little life lessons for what I truly wish to do and preparing me for what’s to come, definitely a slap in the face. It was really great though. I feel just really good about things, even though these lessons were hard. I feel like I’m on the right path with the right people. Can’t even putt it all into words but I needed to blog about this for sure, to look back on.

1/24/2016 Full moon in Leo.