In December this year I’ll turn 26.
Which means I’ll officially be closer to 30 then 20 (slightly depressing). I saw a post the other day titled “17 things I’ve learnt at 17”, so I thought I’d steal the concept and do my own “25 things I’ve learnt at 25”
- Social Media Is Bullshit : I guess we’ve all had those days where you’re having a bad day and you log on to Facebook/ Instagram/ Twitter. Everyone’s lives look so much better, Everyone else seems to be achieving things, or be happier, or having more fun. But it’s bullshit. Everyone on social media puts on a front, they only show their “best life”. Don’t let your idea of what other peoples lives look like make you feel bad about yours. Not everything you see on social media is a true reflection of what’s going on behind closed doors.
- You are not superhuman : A very important lesson I’ve learnt recently. We put ourselves under so much pressure and sometimes we can’t do everything people expect of us. In my case it took something serious happening for me to realise that. You can only do what you can do. It’s not worth putting yourself under so much stress to meet the expectations of other people, as it’s only you who will suffer for it. Always try your best, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t do something. Ask for help and try again.
- It’s ok to change your mind about your career : I left 6th form at 18, and thought since I’d enjoyed textiles and art at school I’d do a fashion design course at university since I didn’t really know what I wanted to do with my life. Three years later and after a brief stint in London looking for internships, I realised it wasn’t for me. But I still felt like I should be doing something related to my degree. Then I got a job as a Social Care Support Worker for adults with autism and realised I loved care. I just accidently fell into it and isn’t the slightest bit related to fashion. But that’s more then ok with me! Changing your mind about your career doesn’t mean you’ve failed at one thing!
- Find a job that makes you happy: Easier said then done I know especially since we’re living in a world where everything is getting more and more expensive. But we spend so much of our time at work, why settle for a job that you don’t enjoy? I know in some circumstances this is easier said then done and big changes don’t happen over night, but baby steps is the way to go. If you’re not enjoying your job, set up profiles on job seeking sites and apply for a few a day, or even just save the ones your interested in. Small progress is still progress.
- Don’t invest time in relationships that don’t make you happy : Here’s something I wish I’d know a long time ago. Whether it’s romantic relationships or friendships. If something is making you sad, anxious, angry etc more than its making you happy then it’s really not worth it. Get rid of toxic partners and friendships.
- Although you should invest time in people that make you happy and are there for you : The friend that will drive two hours to see you because you’re in the middle of a bad break up and you’re an emotional wreck. The partner who helps you to shower and wash you’re hair because you can’t stand up and are so drugged up with painkillers from a broken toe (true story, thanks Dan!) Or even the workmate who will swap shifts with you because you’re knackered and need a break. These people are like gold dust. Always appreciate them and repay their kindness.
- It’s ok to be alone : I love being alone, and I’m totally comfortable with my own company. Sometimes it’s good to have some time out for you, you don’t have to constantly be sociable with people.
- Never underestimate the power of kindness: A little bit of kindness goes a long way. Even if it’s just helping somebody with their shopping, buying somebody less fortunate a cup of tea or having a chat with somebody.
- Taking chances is an romanticised idea: It’s so easy for people to say “take a chance” and I’m not saying never take a chance. Taking chances and opportunities is a good thing, but make an informed choice before you do. Really look at the pro’s and con’s and what it’s going to mean to your life if you take that chance.
- You are not defined by your appearance : In a world where photo-shopping and “perfect bodies” are everywhere, it’s hard not to feel down about yourself sometimes, but these things aren’t real. Try and learn to love your body, and if you don’t why don’t you.? If you want to change the way you look through make up or losing/ gaining weight, surgery etc, then that’s fine. But make sure you do it for you and nobody else.
- Don’t be unhappy for the sake of being proud : I stayed in an unhappy relationship for years because I was scared of what people would say if we broke up, and whether or not they’d be talking about me or laughing at me and I didn’t want to give them the satisfaction of “winning”. But in all honestly it really wasn’t worth it. Turns out years later these people’s opinions don’t really mean anything to me. Ask yourself why are these people’s opinions so important, do they matter really? Chances are they don’t.
- You meet friends in the strangest of circumstances: I made one of my closest friends through a guy trying to play us off against each other. It was the oddest thing, but when we got chatting it actually turned out we have a lot in common. Including a love of make up and beauty, and we chat quite a lot. She also gives the best beauty advice ever.
- Other people’s opinions of you are their problem not yours : This is some life advice from my best friend (I asked her what she’s learnt at 25. Her actual words were “Don’t let the bitches get you down”) Don’t bother trying to change peoples opinion of you. If they’ve formed an opinion without bothering to get to know you, they’re probably not worth it anyway.
- It’s ok to chill out: I struggle with this sometimes. On my day’s off I feel like I have to be super productive. But you know what it’s fine to chill sometimes. Have a nap, watch a TV series, have a glass of wine (or the bottle)
- You might not talk to or see your friends for ages and that’s ok : We’re all adults with jobs and busy lives. Real friends wont mind if you don’t reply to their WhatsApp straight away. The best kind of friends are the ones you can go ages without talking to and when you do it’s like nothings changed
- Don’t hide the way you feel : You don’t always have to keep up appearances. If you’re feeling sad, down or even angry tell somebody. There’s nothing worse then bottling things up until it all gets too much and you end up breaking down.
- Don’t apologise for your choices : Your life is your own and nobody should make you feel bad about your choices, (obviously not condoning any law breaking here by the way!). My friend gave a good example here “It’s ok if you want to go out and have casual sex, nobody should shame you for that”. And I agree with her, as long as you are safe and your choices don’t hurt anybody then go for it
- Mistakes are a part of life : And we will all make them. It’s how you learn from those mistakes that define you as a person. Not the mistake itself.
- People are strange creatures : I don’t mean that insultingly, but there’s often a lot more going on with a person then you actually see. Sometimes people behave a certain way for the strangest of reasons. Years ago I used to lash out and be confrontational with people, who in retrospect didn’t really do anything to me. It was my own insecurities and anxieties that made me blow things way out of proportion. Thankfully I’ve changed a lot since then. Try and look deeper.
- Give your best to everything : Working hard is important. You get out of life what you put it. Motivation and dedication is important.
- Don’t be afraid to dream : And don’t be afraid to try and make those dreams achievable. Make lists, plan things, do research. Don’t convince yourself your dream is impossible or too big.
- Be true to yourself : This sounds cheesy as hell, but it’s important. Don’t try and change yourself for relationships( whether they are friends or partners). Don’t let other peoples ideas and goals push you into something you don’t want.
- Try to have an open mind : Although alternatively to the point above it can be good to listen to people’s opinions, be open to constructive criticism. I was honestly the most stubborn person ever when I was younger, but as I’ve got older (in my 25 years of wisdom ha!) I’ve realised that there’s value to other peoples opinion, and sometimes being stubborn really isn’t the best way to go.
- It’s really important to organise your life : Especially those important things like tax returns, updating your address on everything when you move. Adulthood seems to be a constant updating of forms for me at the minute, but its super important.
- And finally, there is so much to be thankful for: Sometimes life can seem cruel, from current world events to fighting your own battles. But there is always something to keep you going. Sometimes it gets hard, and it can feel too much, but its worth it in the end. I think back to things I used to worry about and it all seems so small now. But if you ever do need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
This was a very long post and it took me a few days to write, but I really enjoyed it and I hope you did too! Let me know in the comments what your life lessons are.