It’s officially my 25th birthday, so I thought what better way to mark the occasion than to put together a blog post in celebration. A sort of bookmark to myself – something to look back on, and hopefully something to inspire others too! Today also marks the anniversary of my blog (yup, I started on my birthday, one whole year ago to this day), never in my wildest dreams did I think I would achieve so much in 12 months, let alone for it to become my full time job. It’s been such an exciting, life changing, and often overwhelming, year – getting used to being a one man band, a new routine, a whole new way of life…
I thought I’d curate 25 things that I’ve learnt this year in general – things to do with everything I’ve experienced (both personally and professionally), I hope you enjoy it and find it interesting! For now, I’m off to stuff myself with birthday cake and gin cocktails…
1) Getting older doesn’t scare me anymore – in fact, it really excites me! People who say school/uni are the ‘best days of your life’ must live pretty dull lives in my opinion. Some of the best times of my life have happened this year and it’s taken until 25 to start truly feeling more confident in my own skin. Age definitely increases your level of self acceptance…
2) You can’t please everyone – so don’t waste time trying! Not everyone will appreciate you or what you do – that’s part of life. The people worth considering are those that do!
3) It’s never too late to start something new – try not to let the fear of failing prevent you from even starting. I really mean it when I say that I thought my blog would fall flat, I had a secret blog for years that I never promoted for fear of people judging me or finding it just plain boring.
4) Comparison is the thief of joy! I have always agreed with this – each and every one of us has something unique to offer, so there’s literally no point trying to be anything other than our authentic selves.
5) Don’t sell yourself short – good things will come to you. Whether it’s in a relationship or workplace setting, don’t settle for less than you deserve. You never know what might be around the corner…
6) Don’t waste time on people that don’t make you happy. It just causes unnecessary drama, and often, their bad behaviour is due to them being insecure or unhappy. Hold your head up high and walk away, you got this!
7) Speak up for yourself and others – if you witness something you feel that’s wrong, say so. This cost me my job this year, but I soon realised what a toxic environment I was working in and now I couldn’t be more fulfilled work wise.
8) Staying in is the new going out – I’ve come to accept my ways! I love socialising, but I’m just as content at home on the sofa with a good book or my laptop. It’s my little haven, and the place I get to create memories with my best friend.
9) Long term relationships are hard but SO worth it. Me and Sam have been together for around seven years now (we met on bonfire night in first year of uni). I had just accidentally won two gold fish at a carnival and had them in my coat pocket – he was the typical ‘cool guy’, full of confidence and difficult to ignore, and I was a shy teenager with an awkward bob. Our relationship has taught me the real meaning of love – not just lust and ‘being in love’, but really loving someone’s soul and all that it entails. Loving them because they offer you true companionship and encourage you to grow selflessly. He checks my blog posts when I’m too sick to, he makes me laugh when nobody else can, he gives me space when I’m anxious and doesn’t expect anything from me in return. He makes everyday life a little bit better, just by being himself.
10) Learn to appreciate your body, your skin, your health. Seriously, you only get one shot! This year has been the year of all things skincare for me, I discovered so many new products that I now use religiously, and my skin looks way better than it did a few years ago. Lotions and potions are great – but this doesn’t mean you get to neglect the inside. Eat well, move more, find balance.
11) Patience is a virtue (it’s true what they say) – good things come to those who wait, but also to those who stay focused and work hard!
12) Not everyone you meet will understand you or click with you – whether it’s ignorance towards mental illness, or a part of your personality, this is not a negative reflection on you. If someone is mean to you in real life (or on social media), walk away, unfollow them, block them. Don’t engage with negativity, it’s not worth your time, and usually bad behaviour towards others is a reflection of insecurity. Be the good guy and keep your cool.
13) Learn to trust your intuition and what your heart tells you – in my experience, it’s usually leading you in the right direction.
14) Don’t let what others are doing dictate your own path – for so long I convinced myself I needed to do something academic, that blogging wasn’t a ‘real job’ and that the people close to me wouldn’t take me seriously. Guess what? It’s way more challenging that anything I ever did for my degree – you get to don multiple hats, and are essentially running your own business. There will always be people who try to belittle what you do, those people are just ignorant, channel your energy into your work and personal life, not pointless battles.
15) Only agree to a job if you’re genuinely excited about it – trust me, it’s likely to fall flat or not work out otherwise. I remind myself daily of the content I want to create, the kind of content that eventually pushed me to walk out of the job I hated…
16) Be smart with money – something I’m still learning! Just because it’s sitting in my bank account doesn’t mean I need to spend it, saving is the best thing you can do for your future. You never know what might happen and it’s wise to have something to fall back on – save a little bit every month (no matter how small) and it will build up.
17) Make mistakes and repeat then until something clicks – sometimes we need to learn the hard way, even if it’s painful for a little while.
18) Travel and see the world – book trips with your friends, take part in that marathon, organise spontaneous weekends away. These are the things worth spending your money on, and the memories you’ll treasure forever.
19) If you’re angry about something – teach yourself the one day rule. Try not to react straight away, give yourself 24 hours before responding – nothing productive happens when you’re hot-headed.
20) When you feel like the world is collapsing around you – run a hot bath, watch 90’s films, make numerous cups of tea. It will help your soul, even if only for the night…
21) Don’t rely on others for happiness – not even if you’re in a healthy relationship. It’s so important to have your own goals, your own friends, your own voice, your own life. Another person should only improve it. You are always enough by yourself.
22) Don’t let the fear of confrontation keep you from sticking up for yourself – I’ve found myself guilty of this too many times! Sometimes you just need to politely remind people that you don’t appreciate being walked all over, that your kindness doesn’t exist to be taken granted of. It’s okay to look out for yourself, be your own best friend!
23) Don’t concern yourself with thigh gaps and perfection – I wish I could tell my teenage self this. I love having small boobs and imperfections, I try to make the best of myself each day, and have found my happy medium. Being a bit squishy, having stretch marks, scars, bruises, it’s all normal! Don’t let the media brainwash you into thinking it isn’t. If you aren’t happy with your body – take positive steps to change it, or better yet, to change your mindset.
24) Heartache sucks and there ain’t a thing anyone can say to you to make it go away, but it does, your heart will heal and your head will torture you a little less. Until the next time of course – but love is worth it every time. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, don’t let others make you cold.
25) Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your teens/early 20’s are the best times of your life. I see so many people moaning about getting older – I’m 25 and I feel really fucking proud it. 25 whole years on earth, 25 years that’s I’ve spent becoming myself – own your age, so many people get less time. I can honestly say that the older I get, the happier I get. I’m excited for the years ahead, whatever they may bring…
Thank you to each and every one of you who has taken the time to read my blog and support me this year – it means more than you will ever know!
Photography by Adriana
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