EY UP, I’m 25! How did that one happen? I almost choked on my stack of pancakes last week when I realised it had been 7 years since I turned 18. 7 years since I was sick over the boat at my boat party. 7 years since I thought it was a good idea to have a spray tan the day before my party. Fact, it’s never a good idea.
Something that I have learned in the last 25 years is that nobody’s journey is linear, no one follows the same path, life is not meant to continue in a straight line. It can’t. Lifes hardships are there to teach us, to be thankful and to always remember that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I’ve learnt through mistakes, experiences and people. I’m grateful for each and every life lesson learnt because it’s shaped who I am and kept me going, even when I don’t think there is a way forward from situations. I’ve never understood why people moan about turning another year older, it’s another year to help reach your dreams, make a difference and do yourself proud. Here’s what I’ve learnt so far…
1. Everything will be okay, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. The one quote that will always stay with me, even in the darkest times when there has been a situation I never think will end or improve, there is importance in remembering it will end, and if it doesn’t it will still be okay. Another similar perspective is thinking, will this all matter in a week, a month, 1 years time? Because the answer will probably always be no.
2. Not everyone will like you. But that’s okay. When I was younger I just wanted to be liked, I wanted everyone to be my friend and I couldn’t understand why some people didn’t like me. It probably took me until sixth form to realise this, and it’s okay. Its impossible to be everyone’s friend, even for the sake of it, realising this and cutting certain people from my life at the time made me a much happier person.
3. Listen to your body. I never listened to my body. I used to go the gym every single night whilst I was in sixth form, go out every weekend, and work all weekend. I’d do it all even when I was ill. I continued to drink alcohol sometimes 4 times a week (at uni) when I knew what it was doing to me. One of the hardest and worst lessons to learn, I had to stop and realise what I was doing. My body was trying to tell me to stop, slow down and be good to myself. I now recognise the signs that I need to rest, eat well and just be good to myself.
4. Alcohol ruined my life. Continuing from above, and something I discussed in my why it’s okay to be a teetotal 23 year old post, it took 2 bouts of pancreatitis, 100s of nights out that ended in black outs and 4 years of binge drinking to make me stop. It took me 2 years to get my life back on track and feel well again. It robbed me of happiness and health for a couple of years and if I could take it all back I would. But I stopped at a young enough age to hopefully reverse the damage made, I’m happier and healthier than ever before, so for that I am thankful.
5. 2 wrongs don’t make a right. This is something I still call back to now, when I want to get even or want to act on how I feel, I take a step back and remember to not play the person/situation at their own game. Rising to other peoples petty games is a bad reflection on you, don’t do it.
6. Paper trail everything. Whether it’s a work situation, housing, school or anything else, make sure everything is paper trailed. You never know when you might have to prove something or show the work that you have done, having something in writing will always win.
7. Doing nothing doesn’t make you boring. The well known Monday morning conversation at work when you’re asked what you did at the weekend. Oh, you know I slobbed on the couch all weekend, got dominos and slept, WBU? Having no plans and doing nothing on the weekend does not make you boring. Those quiet weekends are what we need to recuperate and girl boss the working week ahead.
8. Make plans. Having something to look forward promotes happiness and a healthy mind. It doesn’t have to be groundbreaking like a holiday or a weekend away, even a catch up with a friend or a coffee date is often just enough.
9. Don’t make effort with those who don’t make an effort with you. I’m still learning this. I’ve had so many friendships in the past that I still run into now, where it’s mostly me making the effort, falling at their every word and turning up to plans that are frequently cancelled. It makes me angry, upset and makes me feel down. I’ve tried so hard with people in the past and maintaining friendships, and knowing when to cut ties or be more conscious about the effort you put in will help you cut that stress and upset off in a second.
10. Make the most of the little things. When I’ve had a particularly rough week or feel a bit down I have to strip it back to the basics and revel in the little things in life. Those precious things that can give us so much happiness if we remember. Croissants with jam, hot chocolates on a cold day, fairy lights and candles. It’s sometimes all we need.
11. Say YES more. We’re all guilty of jumping to say no when we’d already imagined that night in on the sofa watching Corrie on catch up. But those spontaneous evenings out or day trips are often the best. Those cosy nights in will still be there another day.
12. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. How true is this? Last year I did my first open water swim, I was petrified at the idea of it, I was too well accustomed to swimming in a pool and the thought of the sea petrified me. I bit the bullet and forced myself into a situation that damn right scared me. I did it, I raised a lot of money in the process of it and I liked it. It was something I never thought I would do, and that’s why you should never get too comfortable. Always seek to push yourself out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself and better yourself.
13. Make time for yourself. YOU are the most important thing, and time for self care and self love should come above all else. Taking the time to enjoy your own company is a wonderful thing, and loving yourself is the first step to letting other people into your life.
14. Don’t compare. Jealousy is an ugly thing, and anyone who says they don’t get jealous is lying. We all do. But comparison is both the route to evil and unhappiness. We have Instagram to thank for this, right? Everyone is on a different path, journey in their life, and if you fail to remember that, I always look for inspiration to this quote. A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.
15. Don’t wish for every weekend to come around. I’m soooo guilty of this, but since I’ve moved out my mindset has definitely started to change. Having things to look forward/keep busy with during the week really helps with this. Of course, being in a job that you really love and are happy in will make you want for the weekdays to never end.
16. Don’t rely on other people. Minus family, bf etc OBV. There’s been so many situations and occasions when I have relied on other people and it has gone wrong. Its like the only being able to trust yourself old age adage, and it’s true. Do your own thing, work for yourself, by yourself and you’ll always end up better off.
17. Don’t believe everything you see online. Oh, how true this is. Nothing you ever see online is real these days, there is always a very different picture behind the scenes, it’s usually a reflection on whoever has posted it. Not on yourself. Social media is a silly old thing, with people seeking instant gratification. A make believe perfect lifestyle is almost certainly nothing to be jealous of.
18. Money is there for spending. Being able to and learning to save and budget is invaluable, but money is also there for spending, YOLO and stuff. We can save and save and save, but we have to be able to live and enjoy our lives too. This was something I really learnt when I was squirrelling money away each month to buy my apartment. You buy that lush bath bomb and dominos pizza.
19. Everyone has an opinion. UGH. Like why doesn’t everyone just agree with me? My blood will boil at least once a day if I hear something muttered in the office or see something on twitter I don’t agree with/think is wrong, But everyone does have a different opinion and again, that’s okay. We aren’t all meant to be the same and the best thing to do is ignore it and move on.
20. Admit when you’re wrong. No one likes doing it, but it takes a certain person to hold their hands up and say, YEP, I screwed up. We all make mistakes and admitting you’re wrong is the first step to learning and being accepted. No one likes a liar.
21. Work hard on yourself. I work for 8 hours every day, I come home and still work. I wouldn’t be where I am today without being motivated and strive to better myself all the time. It’s exhausting, it’s hard, but dreams aren’t made into a reality overnight and I truly believe that if you work hard for something you will reap the benefits, however long it takes.
22. Don’t let people walk all over you. It still happens to me now. When you’re a nice person it’s sometimes hard to think NO, this isn’t right and stand up for yourself. But sometimes things need to be said, and it doesn’t make you a nasty person. A situation where I have learned this recently has really made me realise the importance of speaking up and not backing down.
23. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. You have a choice, and don’t do something just because everyone else is or people think it’s cool. You always have a choice and not doing something doesn’t make you any less of a person.
24. Eat what you want. There’s too many scaremongering stories about food these days and advice on what we should be eating. FACT: we are all different, and any piece of food or diet it not one size fits all. I eat a healthy, very basic diet that might be lacking in a few fruit or vegetables, but that works for me. I’ll never be someone that can eat 5 portions of fruit a day, but that doesn’t make me an unhealthy, unfit person.
25. It’s not over until it’s over. I am all over the positivity train, but I never get my hopes up because I know what can happen in certain situations, and when you think it’s over, it almost certainly isn’t. There is always something else around the corner, so prepare for it and it never seems to bad.
Okay, GUYS, I won’t be doing this when I turn 30. Much time was spent compiling this list. I’m sure a lot of you will be able to relate to this little list, it shows me how far I’ve come and how much I have left to learn.
Shirt – Topshop
Skirt – Zara
Bag* – Boohoo
Shoes – Office
What are the life lessons that you live by?
*Products marked with an asterix (*) have been sent to me for review. However, all opinions in this post are 100% my own