26 years on this earth and I like to think that I have learnt a few things in my time.
I turned 26 a couple of weeks ago and with every year that passes, comes some reflection. So here I have summed up 26 lessons I have learnt in 26 years.
- Let go of things you cannot change or serves you
Sometimes you have to accept that some things can’t change or won’t, so let them go, whether that’s a relationship, friendship or a plan. If it doesn’t serve you well, then why continue? Your time is precious. Don’t be a prisoner to something you can’t change.
- Respect yourself and respect others
Throughout my teen years, I lost a lot of my best friends because they believed I didn’t respect myself enough to walk away from a very toxic situation in my life. Looking back now, I agree with them, and not having that self- respect to walk away back then made me have a huge amount of self-respect today. But I had to go through that to learn that lesson. Now I won’t ever let anyone treat me that way again. If you want others to respect you then you must respect yourself.
Another thing is to have respect for others, especially our elders, I feel like that is something I just don’t see much anymore and it makes me incredibly sad. I will forever be grateful to the people that showed me my way in life.
- Don’t let the little things get to you
I wouldn’t say this was a full lesson learnt yet. But it’s a working process. As an avid over-thinker, it’s one of my downfalls but I am learning. However, I have learnt. Things do happen, If it’s a tiny problem that will make no difference to you, then don’t let it get to you.
- Good Manners
Kindness doesn’t cost a thing, and neither does saying please, thank you, or holding a door open for someone. Good Karma and all.
- Travel is the BEST EDUCATION
Cliché I know, but it’s true. I took myself out in the world, I saw new cultures. I ate new cuisines. I have lived in new countries. Struggled with language barriers. Went out of my comfort zones and met some of the most incredible people. Some have stayed and some have left but I have learnt more about my self, the world and all its beautiful people in these past 4 years than any textbook ever taught me.
- It’s ok to be a little lost
The story of my life, I’ve pretty much been lost for the past 7 years and still continuing. But it’s ok because eventually everything works out, believe that. If this wasn’t the right path for you to be on in life then you would be on a different one. Just remember everyone’s a little lost and that’s ok. I’m 26 now, and I still don’t have a clue where I am going but it hasn’t stopped me before. All you have to do is start somewhere and that’s the hardest part done.
- You don’t need everyone to like you
As I was growing up, this one was a big one for me but as I grew older, I’ve learnt to accept it. People will have their opinions about you and they have made their minds up about you. There’s nothing you can do about it, so let it go over your head and continue living your best life. Give them more to talk about.
- Set goals, make lists and achieve them
Lists, they are the best. I make blog lists, business lists, travel lists, daily lists, monthly lists, yearly lists. It keeps me motivated. Set realistic goals and try and aim for them. Don’t give up, we all have dreams but nothing comes easy.
- Put 100% effort into anything you start
Once I start something I don’t stop until it’s complete to the best of my ability, especially when it comes to my work or any minor task in life. It’s a good work ethic to have. And I don’t like to give up.
- Follow your beliefs, no matter what
As I have grown up, I have come to learn a lot about the world and I have my beliefs and I will follow them through. One of them is that for the past 4 years I have tried my best to boycott all Nestle products because I don’t believe in their ethical ways. I can’t support a company that takes water from poor villages in India, that have had water pumps fitted especially for clean water. Then big companies like Nestle come in an take it from them. And who also preaches that water is a not a human right. WHATT??? Excuse me?? And don’t even get me started on the cocoa farming. This is my belief, I have given up some of my favourite chocolate (Aftereights, Mint Aero, KitKats, Rolos) but for this, I will do it. No matter how much my boyfriend tells me just to eat the chocolate, I won’t do it. I’m not going to make anyone else do it because this is my belief and I will follow through with it.
Now my new one is, plastic waste, I have become very passionate about this, and this is something that needs to be changed ASAP! Unfortunately, I am limited with what I can do at the moment with living in Spain, where the unnecessary plastic on food products is crazy. So all I can do is change my own ways but in 3 more months, I plan to do something about this issue. I don’t know what yet but I am thinking of organising a big beach clean-up along the Solway coast.
- Be a little stubborn
That last point ties nicely into this one. It’s ok to be stubborn to an extent sometimes especially when it comes to your beliefs. Stand your ground.
- Make time for yourself
All my life I have been independent. Still hasn’t changed. It’s always important to take some time out and do something for yourself, whether that’s going for a walk, having a bath, reading a book, watching a series on Netflix or even taking a nap. Do something for yourself.
- Treat yourself
I have become very specific on what I spend my money on as I have transitioned into working life. But sometimes it’s ok to treat yourself.
You want that new jacket- get that new jacket. That plane ticket – Definitely book that. That bottle of wine- Do it. Treat yourself!
- There will be times when it gets hard but just follow through
Times will get hard, it’s inevitable but follow through because when one door closes a better one opens. No matter how heavy you feel, you have people to love, places to see and an impact to make. Follow through because after all the heartbreak, and tears, and difficult decisions and obstacles. You will be exactly where you need to be with people that mean more to you than anything in your past ever did. Keep going.
- Follow your gut instinct. It’s your second brain.
I can’t express this enough. It’s the funniest thing. All it takes is a feeling in your gut and it’s probably right. It has never failed me. If something feels off, it probably is.
- If you’re not happy then change it
You’re in control of your own happiness. If you’re not happy then change it.
Travel always makes me happy but this one time, I had an onward flight to Australia to go on a working visa for a year, and my gut instinct was telling me not to go. The thought of it was making me anxious and emotional, so I cancelled the flight and booked a flight back to the UK instead. I have never physically felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders than what I did in that moment. I was no longer an emotional wreck and was happy again.
- Trust the process, be patient
Everything is just the way its supposed to be. Be patient with the process, it will all work out in the end. The longer you wait for something, the more you will appreciate it when it does happen. Nothing comes easy. Be patient.
- People leave
This as true it gets, people leave. Just believe that they’ve served their purpose for you and accept that. It’s hard to let go but once you do its liberating and allows room for better people, that will care for you so much.
- You learn a little more about yourself with every goodbye
I’ll let you interpret that one as it is, but it’s very true. With every goodbye, lessons are learnt.
No matter how badly I have been hurt, I always believe you should always forgive those who have done you wrong. Doesn’t necessarily mean I have room in my life but forgiveness is important. It’s good karma.
- It’s OK to literally run away from things
Among heartbreak and people letting me down, I have come to learn this very valuable lesson. IT IS OK to literally run away from your problems. Travelling heals, trust me. Nothing better than booking a one-way ticket to Thailand and giving a huge F*** you to those who didn’t serve you well, whilst sipping Mai Thais on a paradise island. Plus it really helps you as well which is always a plus.
- All people are equal
It annoys me that, we are in the 21st century and people are still judged for the colour of their skin, their sexuality, their nationality, their religion and whether or not they are a WOMAN!! I mean really? We are still dealing with these issues. All people are equal, we should all be treated equally and I have no time for anyone that thinks differently.
- Be responsible for your choices and mistakes
You will get more respect if you just hold your hands up and admit to your mistakes, you’re only human and everyone makes them. It’s just how you deal with them tells a whole different story.
- Say sorry
Admit when you’re wrong or done wrong to someone and apologise. It’s so important.
25. Feel everything
Wear your heart on your sleeves and don’t be afraid. Its ok to be sad, to be excited and passionate but don’t just do anything by half. Give it your all and feel it all. Do cross oceans for someone, climb the mountains. Life and love aren’t about what you gain, it’s about what you give.
On this crazy journey that we call life it doesn’t matter where you’re going, it’s who you have by your side. Over the years, I was one of those people that refused to admit any of my feelings. I remember my foster mum telling me as I was growing up that I should be more open. I don’t know why but I was very reserved but now as I get older and more comfortable in my own skin and my existent. I am learning that it’s ok to love. I am still and will always be independent, no one will ever take that from me but it’s ok to have someone there by your side to support you with your decisions and keep you grounded. Love someone who is both home and an adventure and I promise you it will be worth it!
You only get 10 years to be in your twenties. Live, love and learn. And please please book that plane ticket you’ve always wanted. I promise it will be the best decision you ever made