22 things I have learnt in 22 years
Today is the eve of my 23rd birthday, and honestly- I don’t know how to feel about it. Last year I woke up on my birthday in my own little flat, ready for a week off work, with so much planned over the following weeks. This year, I went through a sudden, horrible break-up, moved back in with the parents for a few months and in 3 days’ time I will officially be redundant from my job. Lets not forget there’s a global pandemic going on, so all these lovely plans I had are on the back burner and I’m constantly stressing about finding a new job.
However, after allowing myself to wallow in how miserable my life is, I realised how ridiculous I was being. Everything that has happened in this past year has been really good for me. You might think I’m mad saying this but it’s true! The break-up? It’s a good thing, I am no longer spending all my energy loving someone who doesn’t love me back. Losing the flat? I have saved SO much money since not living there. Moving in with Mum and Dad? I’ve been living 250 miles away from them for 5 years now, it’s been good to finally spend some time with them! Losing my job? Given me the push I needed to start my business.
So when you look at it like that, things are okay. Obviously the human mind isn’t that simple and I still have days where I look back and I miss what I once had. But everything we go through teaches us a lesson, and after 22 years of ‘life lessons’ I’m feeling old and wise, and ready to impart some knowledge with you lovely readers. There is definitely more than 22 things I’ve learnt in 22 years, but here are my favourites. So here we go!
22 things I’ve learnt in 22 years
There is so much pressure on you in your 20’s
Some of your friends have full on careers, some are at university. You may know some people who have a house, yet others live at home. Some are married, others have never been in a relationship, and then there’s some people have children. Most of us are confused, lost in the world, wondering why our life isn’t completely perfect and how we dreamed, but we’re still so young! Stop putting the pressure on yourself. There is no correct ‘timeline’ to life. Just go and live it!
Make yourself a priority
Focus on you and what you want for a change. Make decisions to benefit yourself as you’re the only one who will! It isn’t selfish.
Change what you consume online
Social media is a highlight reel!! I cannot stress that enough. Nobody posts photos crying like “I’m in £50’000 of debt” instead you’ll see them with a brand new car and wonder why they have one and you don’t. You’ll see photos of happy couples and think their relationship is so perfect, but not know that every night they argue. You’ll follow people who are “attractive” in societal norms and wonder why you don’t look like that. All of this affects you! You don’t realise it each day, but over time it will affect you more and more. I barely use my personal Instagram these days and stick to my knitting Instagram– I follow things that make me happy and I don’t feel like shit after being on it. It’s a place that inspires me!
Spend more time outside
I spent the first 8 weeks of lock-down in a flat with no outdoor space, and I can’t even begin to tell you how much of an impact that had on me mentally. Spending time outside is so good for our mental and physical health.
Do the things you love
I wrote a whole blog on this for Valentine’s Day. Make time every day for something you enjoy because it is so important!
Life doesn’t always go to plan
You’ll think that your life is meant to be a certain way, and what you have is solid and forever. Unfortunately, life is just so unpredictable! Just try and learn from everything that does happen to you.
Support independent places
Stop giving your hard earned money to the big chains all the time! Find an independent coffee shop, restaurant, pub, art seller, clothes shop etc. It makes a real difference to people’s lives, and often things are far more special with more of a personal touch.
Whether that’s abroad or in your country, for day trips or a month, expand your horizons as much as you can! There is so much beauty in this world, go out and see it.
Stop limiting yourself by thinking you would never be able to achieve something. Think of your biggest dream and do something every day to help yourself achieve it.
Look after your mental and physical health
Get into some good habits that help you achieve this. Whether that’s spending less time looking at screens, practising ways of de-stressing, doing some yoga, going for a walk, eating more nutrient dense foods. Little changes go a long way!
Be as sustainable as you can
Buy reusable products, stop the single use plastics, recycle more, save the planet. Please. I’m begging you!
Stand up for yourself
Don’t settle and don’t let people treat you badly. If something upsets you, then say something about it! I am a push over, but vow to not let myself be walked over anymore. You have a right to speak up about things that don’t sit well with you.
Reconnect with people
Reach out to people you’ve drifted apart from. Normally you only drift apart because life gets in the way- I’m sure they would love to hear from you!
Family is everything
I know not everyone is on good terms with their family and I am so lucky that I am. This past year especially has shown me how important my little family is to me and I don’t know where I would be without them!
Stop caring about what other people think
I cannot stress this enough, but most people genuinely don’t care enough to judge you. Do whatever will make you happy and stop caring about other people’s opinions.
Get rid of things that don’t make you happy
If something or someone is making you unhappy, and you’ve tried to solve it and it hasn’t got any better, let it/ them go. You don’t have to keep anything in your life that brings you down. It is your life after all! Why should you have to be unhappy.
Your voice matters
Stop thinking that little things you do or changes you make won’t make a difference! Sign the petition, stand up for what you believe in, use your voice!
Don’t be scared to ask for help
Asking for help is never a bad thing, but often we’re shamed into thinking we’re not good enough when we have to ask for help. Often you save time and learn if you just ask for help.
Learn to apologise
Learn to apologise and actually mean it. Take on board what the other person is telling you, process what they’ve said and apologise with meaning.
Read up on your ignorance
It’s okay not to know about things, but once you’ve found out about it educate yourself.
You will get over the break-up
3 months ago I wouldn’t have said this. 3 months ago, not to be dramatic, but I felt like I was dying and my life was over. Now, I am so excited to see where life is taking me and I know I am so much better off without that person.
Communication is key
Of the 22 things i have learnt in 22 years this has become the most important. Learn to communicate properly. It helps you meet your needs and helps you connect with people properly. It is so important in relationships to keep you both on the same page
So there it is! 22 things I have learnt in 22 years. I hope you have enjoyed this slightly different style of blog today. I feel like I’ve done most of my growing up in the past year and I definitely am a very different person to who I was a year ago. I’m more sure of myself and my self-worth, I’m more confident than ever and I’ve been through a whole lot of different experiences this year.
Do you have any life lessons you’ve learnt in the last year? Let me know below!
As always, thanks for reading