Happy Birthday to my blog! It’s officially 2 years old (at least it will be in a couple of weeks) How weird is that? 2 years ago when I was on me holidays in Italy and one of my favourite people in the world convinced to put my musings out in the world and 2 years later here we are. If I am not mistaken I do believe some of you enjoy them too.
Although my blog is still very much in its infancy – the terrible twos start now – I am, shall we say, no longer in my infancy. Be kind of weird if I was, wouldn’t it. A two year old having these kinds of thoughts, tres strange. I am, gulp, now a couple weeks away from being classed as in my late twenties. It’s a long road to acceptance but my therapist assures me that I’ll get there, I just need to stay drunk and I’ll be fine. There is a theme in my writing, very soul search-y (search-y is a real word, promise) because I’m always tryna figure life out, and I like to share my lessons learnt with y’all in the hopes you learn from me and maybe just feel a little bit better about yourselves and any decisions you may have made.
So off the back of that, here are my 26 lessons for 26.
- Disney really is the happiest place on earth
No surprises here. I’ve been twice in one year. I’d move in tomorrow if they’d let me. I fell in love with the guy who played Peter Pan on my first trip. If only for the reason that, after asking me about my necklace and me saying I stole it (it was my name necklace, and no I don’t know why I said it and yes my friends still rip me for it now) he didn’t bat an eyelid and asked if I stole from Skull Rock – he encouraged the crazy. What a guy. You cannot go to Disney and not get swept up in the fairytale. Life is rosy for your stay. Even if it’s only one day.
- Love is rarely the fairytale you think it will be, it’s time to take off the Disney tinted glasses
This is something someone said to me a couple of months ago and it’s really stuck with me. I think it’s because I’d never imagined that this particular person, who knows me pretty well, would ever get me confused with someone who thinks like this. I know love isn’t perfect; nothing is, but love especially. For as long as I can remember I have never been the type of girl to dream about dressing in white. I admire those that get married and fall in love with no inhibitions – I think they are brave above everything. They are brave enough to take a chance on something that isn’t guaranteed; because we all know that happily ever after isn’t a thing. They are brave enough to leap, and chose someone else above everyone else, knowing how messy it could end up. Despite it being legally binding be it through marriage or living together and buying a property together. There is no get out of jail free card with either of those. I guess they just figure they’d rather argue with their SO than be making love with anyone else. I don’t feel that’s Disney tinted glasses – I feel that’s real life.
- The right people will encourage your crazy and not make you feel like you have to hide it
The older I get the more comfortable I get in my own skin. I am told I’m odd at least once a day, if not more. You know what, I’m ok with that. I am a bit odd (aren’t we all?) and I’m learning to surround myself with the people I can be 100% around at all times, rather than being that awkward quiet girl in the corner who doesn’t really speak. The right people, the forever people, will encourage the crazy, not make you feel like you have to hide it. My best friends know that I will randomly burst into song and dance in the middle of the street, they know that I talk to myself more than the average person, they know that I will randomly switch up my accent in the middle of a conversation but rather than pull a face and tell me to stop, they join in.
- Trust your gut, it knows more than you think
Let me just put this out there. YOUR GUT INSTINCT IS A REAL THING. Sure, sometimes it’s wrong but 95% of the time my gut instinct has steered me right. On the occasions I haven’t followed my gut and it’s then been right I spend a ridiculous amount of time saying to myself and other people and even random strangers on the train “I knew it, I knew it, why didn’t I listen to myself? WHY GOD, WHY” Follow your gut, it knows more than you think.
- Don’t waste people’s times or emotions.
Period. Don’t lead people on. Don’t waste their time. Don’t let them get in so deep that it hurts to say goodbye – that it hurts to pull away. Don’t tell people your thoughts about ‘could be’ unless you are sure, or you’re willing to take a risk and change your life. If you like your life as it is, then just don’t say anything. Keep schtum. It’s kinder to everyone.
- I can be a bit of an askhole.
Hands up if you’re an askhole… don’t lie there are more than that. An askhole is someone who asks for your advice and then does the opposite anyway. I can be that person. For that I am sorry. I’ll try harder.
- You can’t plan everything – life will throw forks in your road. It’s up to you which road you take
The best-laid plans rarely go without bumps and forks in the road. Life changes too quickly for you to be able to plan every small detail (no matter how much we’d like to). Life can flip 180 in a matter of hours, let alone days. All you can do is have an end game and try and be flexible in how you achieve it. If you really want it, you’ll get there. It just might not be in the way you’d originally thought you’d get there.
- It’s ok to postpone plans for yourself. It’s not ok to postpone plans for other people, especially boys.
Something my life coach said to me this year. Just thought I’d share because I think it’s great advice. You can’t wait around for people to get their shit together.
- Sometimes you have to take life by the horns, stand up and say ‘this is what I want’
No one got what he or she wanted by sitting there quietly and praying for it. You gotta stand up and be counted. You need to put the work in; you need to put yourself out there. Of course there is every chance you might not get what you want, but at least you tried. There’ll be no regret and no what if’s. Just an ‘I was bold and honest and did what I could to make it happen’. Definitely better than a ‘what if’
- If someone wants to be with you, they will. End of story.
At this point half my friends are happily in relationships, they other half are single. The one thing the partnered up people always say to us singletons – if someone wants to be with you, they will be. It’s really that simple. Don’t read into the messages, don’t ask how high when he says jump – it’s a two-way street. The effort can’t be one sided, it can’t be one person calling and texting all the time; it can’t be one person always going to see the other. It needs to be a balance. If it’s not, they just aren’t interested. Simples.
- How people treat you says more about them than it does you
If someone treats you like shit and you feel you’ve done nothing to deserve it (most of us have been there) please believe me when I say it has more to do with them than you. It’s not a hidden fact that people tread on those that they are jealous of or feel threatened by. Try not to let their insecurity in themself get to you. Just smile and walk away. Then call them a twat under your breath because, hey, we’re not perfect and sometimes it just pisses you off.
- People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
Once you’ve figured out which they are, you’ll know what to do.
“When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realise is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life”
They worded it better than I ever could.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself – everyone else is winging it too
Big ting for me, I judge myself very harshly. Social media makes it so easy to be hard on yourself but don’t judge your hustle against someone else’s highlight reel. Everyone else is making it up too. No one is perfect, we all fuck up from time to time, and we all get things wrong. We are all human. Just because they look like they got their shit together, doesn’t mean they do. We all edit our lives and ourselves. Remember that.
- Honesty isn’t always the best policy
Sometimes a little white lie to protect feelings is a good thing. Trust me.
- Going out on a Saturday night is rarely as fun as it seems.
I enjoy a good night out as much as the next person but being honest, most nights I’d rather go for dinner and drinks and then go home. There is no shame in being in bed by midnight on a Saturday. My bed is one of my favourite places to be.
- Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.
Just because your life expectancy should be 85 doesn’t mean it will be. It’s the average for a reason. I recently lost someone who I thought of as family and when I got that phone call to tell me he had died, the thing that kept running through my head was “he had so much life left to live, how is this possible. He was only 28”. I know it’s easy to say but don’t take your life for granted, don’t just exist. Live.
- The outdoors is a great place to be.
I’ve been told that I live in the country – now I don’t believe I do (there are no tractors for a start) but I do know there are some banging parks and gardens to visit in close proximity to where I live. Being outdoors is one of my simplest pleasures. I enjoy a good walk around the park, or the fields at the back of my house. By myself or with others. I’m not fussy. Earth is pretty stunning when you actually take time to look at it and appreciate it.
- Becoming friends with my parents and sisters is one of the best things I have ever done.
Hand on heart this is the truth. Maybe I am one of the lucky ones who actually enjoy spending time with their immediate family? All I know is that when I was younger it could sometimes be a bit of a chore spending time with them, it was a case of having to spend time with them, not wanting to. Now, I will happily choose to spend the day with them because I actually like them for the people they are. Some people that I speak to seem to view their families in a different way to their friends – they almost expect their mums, dads and siblings to never make mistakes and think the same way they do and never challenge them and then when they fall short of their high expectations they seem surprised. My parents and siblings are only human and sure they still do me crust in from time to time but I know that, even if they weren’t family, I’d still choose them. Aren’t they lucky?
- Just because I’m not considered a girly-girl or particularly feminine doesn’t make me any less of a lady.
Beauty standards are bullshit. You don’t need to conform to the stereotype that all women have to wear dresses and high heels 24-7, you don’t have to have perfect make up. I am more of a jean and t-shirt kinda girl and it’s a miracle if I manage to leave the house having brushed my hair most days. If you’re into the highly made up look, go for it. If you’d rather sleep an extra 20 minutes and go out the house bare faced, rock it. The only beauty standards we conform to are the ones we put on ourselves. I have a vagina and that is enough to make me a lady.
- I’m too lazy to be crazy
Just what it says. I’m too lazy to be crazy. I don’t have time for the bullshit drama that so many people get caught up in. Thanks to the LadyGang for bringing this phrase into my life.
- The world doesn’t owe you a thing
I’m sure I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again. The world owes you nada. It was here first. If you want something, if you want a change only you can make it happen. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
- It’s ok to spoil yourself.
Sometimes the world is shit and you just need an extra glass of vino at dinner. Some days are draining and you need to eat the chocolate bar. Sometimes you get your heart broken and need to splash out on that girls holiday or that stupidly expensive pair of shoes. It’s ok to spoil yourself once in a while, you work hard for it and sometimes we all need that instant gratification to turn a crappy day into a not so crappy one.
- Take a lot of pictures.
One day you’ll be glad you did.
- First impressions are not always right
I can’t tell you the amount of times that I have met someone and not been sure on them or not been fussed by them. Second impressions are a much better I think. A lot of people are shy or awkward the first time they meet people – the second everything is a bit more comfortable.
The best example I have of this is when I first met one of my best friends. I was actually interviewing her for a job and my first impression was too shy, too quiet to work where we are. My boss at the time told me to give her a chance, which I did, and she turned out to be one of the best workers I ever hired. We have both since moved on from the place we worked together but have become best pals. She’s a genuine little flower and I love her. Also, she’s definitely not quiet or shy. In fact most days I can’t get her to shut up!
- Don’t wash your hair everyday.
It’s not good for your hair. Your hair will look and feel better if you leave it a little longer. It’s also easier to style when it’s not so clean.
- Do nice things for strangers
The last one on the list but possibly the most important; it costs nothing to be nice. Give that pregnant lady your seat on the train, help that old dude cross the street, ask that person in the coffee shop that is crying if they are ok. Talk someone through his or her panic attack; distract someone who hates flying on your flight. What do you have to lose? Nothing. The person on the receiving end leaves with a smile and their faith in humanity restored and you feel all the tingles from bringing someone a small drop of happiness. Win-win, bro. Win – win.
So there we have it.
26 lessons for 26.