Many of you might think that the title of this blog post gives away my age. I won’t comment. Instead I’ll continue to tell people I’m 25 and leave it at that.
Birthdays are funny old things. I tend to get a bit more reflective around my birthday as I get older and certainly more than I would at say New Year. Anybody else do this, or are you normal?
I’ve said it before but I’ve been on a very steep learning curve, particularly for the past year or two, and I’ve really tried to take lessons on board or grow on the back of any negatives that have reared their ugly heads. Sometimes I feel like it doesn’t look like I’ve got anywhere until I take a step back and look retrospectively and realise I’ve done alright.
So what nuggets of wisdom have I learnt over the past little while?
1. It won’t always look like you imagined it would
Don’t expect your life to look exactly as you imagine it should, you’ll drive yourself mental. Half the time, I think we only want things cause we think we should, it’s like the societal norm. If you’d asked me ten years ago what I thought things would look like for me at *cough* 33, my answer would have been very different to (a) how it is and (b) what I actually now want compared to then.
What you want evolves as you get older. I’d no doubt have given the stereotypical answer that I’d now be married with babies etc ten years ago. If that’s your goal, great, there’s no judgment here, I think it’s great, but it’s just not mine. I decided a few years back that in all likelihood marriage wasn’t really for me. I don’t get it if I’m really honest. I’m not knocking it, but I can’t really get on board with the idea personally. Kids have been on and off the table for various reasons too. They’re back off again and y’know what that’s ok. It doesn’t matter the circumstances why, life is full of curveballs and surprises. Plus it’s my life. Let’s not act like there’s something wrong with it.
2. SAVE YOUR MONEY
My 20s were spent spending like a maniac. Holidays galore, designer shoes and bags, the lot. Whilst I don’t regret the holidays, I wish I had been a bit more mindful of my money. It was only in my late twenties that I started to wise up a bit and put money away and some things wouldn’t have been such an uphill struggle had I started earlier.
Always try to have a little something to fall back on should you need it. And never ever rely on ANYBODY financially. I haven’t (save for my Dad when I was younger) and I never ever will. I pay my own way and I won’t and haven’t ever relied on somebody handing me wads of cash. Pride is underrated.
3. You can’t expect people to treat you the same way that you would treat them
It’s a good thing to always try to see the good in people, don’t ever change that, but don’t be surprised if some people turn out to simply be assholes. Try not to take it personally. It’s on them.
It’s only very recently that I’ve learnt to stop making excuses for some people that simply don’t deserve it. I have the patience of a saint but if you take the piss too many times, I give up on you. Always continue to treat people with kindness but don’t let people take the piss and then feel shocked when they do it. You’ll learn to be able to spot the good people in your life, and that’s the people that deserve your focus and energy. If you think somebody doesn’t care, chances are they don’t and that’s ok. Don’t waste all your goodness on lost causes.
4. Don’t bottle up how you’re feeling
This is a bit hypocritical of me because even though I’ve got so much better an opening up, I’m still very much an iceberg when it comes to how I feel. My mum and sister even had a stern conversation with me about it very recently as they seen me at breaking point again. I’m personally a work in progress on that front but I’m trying.
I’ve spoken about this kind of thing before here and the general message is please reach out if you’re struggling, talk about it, don’t try to do it on your own. I’ve done it before and I can tell you completely honestly that it gets on top of you quicker than you realise. I was terrified of my own thoughts when I was bottling everything up and if I’m totally honest, I’m very lucky that I made it through that period.
5. Focus on the good
We all get awful times and it’s easy to let them consume you. But it ALWAYS gets better and sometimes it’s a case of training your mind to look at the positives in your life to get some perspective. I’m beyond thankful to have an really amazing family who support every decision I make, my friends are absolute diamonds that I can genuinely rely on, I’ve a good and promising career and a lot to look forward to. Even simple things like having a roof over your head and food on the table. You don’t always realise how lucky you are.
Some other notable mentions:
- Prioritise your friendships. Put the work into them;
- Tequila can ruin your life;
- Buying a house will age you tenfold;
- Counter said ageing with a good eye cream and retinol;
- Don’t compare your life to others;
- Don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t achieve something;
- Get a dog. They will be more loyal than 98% of humans; and
- Don’t play games with people unless it’s on the Wii;
What gems have you learnt along the way? Tell me in the comments!