ITS MY BIRTHDAY! I AM NOW 26 YEARS OLD. How has that happened?! I can’t believe I am now closer to 30 than I am to 20. Time goes far too fast. I am now living in a tier 3 area which means that my plans to go to the pub where they serve the best Sunday dinners has been cancelled, so now I will be ordering Indian food and lounging about doing nothing.
I thought to get my 26th year started I would reflect on all the life lessons that I have learned thus far.
P.S I definitely do not have this thing called life figured out so take these lessons with a grain of salt 😂
1. You are not failing, you are right were you are supposed to be.
It is so easy to compare our own achievements to everyone else’s and end up feeling like an underachiever. The reality is you are right were you are supposed to be. Everybody paths/journeys look different.
2. High school doesn’t last forever
Those people that you feel so anxious around will not matter in a few years time. You’ll live your life, they’ll live theres and you probably won’t ever see them again.
3. You are so much stronger than you think
I am able to handle my mental health issues on a daily basis and have recovered from eating disorders that I had previously been struggling with for most of my life.
4. Other peoples opinion of you shouldn’t matter
You know who you are. Do what makes you happy! (as long as you’re not hurting anyone). Life is too short to let other peoples opinions of you stop you from doing what you want to do/being who you want to be.
5. Don’t push yourself to get into a relationship
For me personally I never did this, if anything I pushed people away all the time to stop them from getting close to me. However I have seen people get into unhealthy relationships due to the need to be in a relationship and I just think people put too much pressure on themselves to get into a relationship thinking it will make them happy. The right person will walk into you life at the right time. Focus on making yourself happy.
Talk about your feelings, cry if you need to. It is so important to let your emotions out and to not bottle them away. If I would have talked sooner I would’ve got help sooner. Asking for help show strength not weakness.
7. Don’t say you’ll be happy when this/that happens
It doesn’t matter if this is in reference to getting into a relationship, a new job or weight loss. Don’t place your happiness in something that hasn’t happened yet. Find happiness in your current situation. Trust me. I made myself very ill trying to lose weight after telling myself I would be happy when I hit a certain weight and guess what every time I hit that weight it wasn’t good enough so the weight would get less and less. It made me fucking miserable! Don’t do it.
8. Don’t ever walk past a Tango Ice Blast machine without buying one
They’re the best. Enough said.
9. Its okay to cut people out of your life
If people show you who they are, believe them. Don’t wait around hoping that they will change. If they make one indirect tweet about you its one too many 🙄 😂
10. Show gratitude
Feeling grateful for what you have in life can have a really positive impact on your life. It can improve relationships, get you into a positive mindset. I actually have a gratitude journal that I started doing in therapy and have continued it on and it has really helped me.
11. Stand up for what you believe in!
Don’t let others dull your voice. If you are passionate about something express it. If you see someone being treated unfairly, stand up for them.
12. Be the woman you needed as a girl
Im not going to explain this one too much because I am going to be doing a full blog post about it soon. But this is one of my favourite quotes.
13. Don’t compare your life to what you see online
People like to share their highlights online and it isn’t always a true reflection of what is actually going on. Don’t think that their life is perfect or any better than yours.
14. Don’t judge a book by it cover
You never know what someone is going through behind closed doors. Somebody can appear outwardly happy but be struggling when nobody is watching.
15. Admit when you are in the wrong
Now, as someone who is very stubborn I do sometimes find this quite difficult but it is important to acknowledge when you are in the wrong and to apologise for it.
16. Drink lots of water
I don’t even need to explain this one. Just drink the water.
17. Wear whatever you want to wear!
This is one I am still learning. I am used to wearing dark, baggy clothing but I want to push myself out of my comfort zone and wear clothes that I actually like and not just clothes to hide behind. When I am old, I don’t want to look back at my life and photos and see that I wasted time hiding when I could have been enjoying myself.
18. Take your makeup off before bed.
Yes, even when you have had a few too many drinks.
19. It is ok to say no
Sometimes its better than ok, sometimes its great! If you’re not feeling up to going to that event, don’t go. If you need some time to yourself but you’ve been asked to work on your day off, you can say no. You should not have to be in a situation or event that you don’t feel comfortable in.
20. Invest in yourself
This could be to educate yourself, maybe its to invest in things that will help you achieve your goals or investing in something to help you for the future. It could even be investing some time in self care. Whatever it looks like to you do it.
21. Friendships aren’t always about who has been there the longest
Friendship is about who stays and who is there to support you through the difficult times. Time doesn’t matter when it comes to friendships (Unless your names Joanne and I have been friends with you for 24 (ish) years, shout out to you 😂 ❤️)
22. When you make a mistake learn from it
We will all make them. I have made many. It is important to acknowledge them and to learn from them so that you don’t make the same mistakes twice.
23. Forgive yourself
This one is quite a personal one to me. I feel a lot of guilt for what I put my family, friends and myself through when it comes to my eating disorder and my recovery. I know there have been times when they have been in pain watching me self destruct, I know I was a horrible person at times and didn’t treat them or myself correctly, I cut people out of my life without thinking about it properly. So I do feel a lot of guilt. It is important to forgive yourself (Another thing I am still working on) so that you don’t keep holding yourself back.
24. Socialising is important
I am a very introverted person. Due to my anxiety I often get uncomfortable in social situations so I tend to avoid them (This was slightly different at uni but only because I was drunk most of the time, which is another life lesson I will just add in here, don’t use drink just to make yourself feel comfortable in situations!). 2020 proved to me how much I actually do need to socialise because when the option to socialise was taken away from me I found myself actually wanting to go out and visit people.
25. Take lots of photos
I love looking back at photos and having all these memories to look back on. Now I am not saying to keep your phone out at all times because I do think its more important to be present in special moments but when you can take a photo do it. I have so many photos and videos from my time at uni and my friends to see them all the time. I love being able to look back and remember what was going on that day/night.
26. Don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big
I have a lot of dreams and goals that many people would probably laugh at but if you believe in yourself that is all that matters. Don’t let other peoples negativity stop you from dreaming.
I hope that some of you will find some of my life lessons helpful.
Wear what you want, love who you want, do what you want and look after yourself!
Heres to 26!