Reflecting on what I’ve learned as I celebrate my 20th birthday

I am now officially no longer a teenager…. what a scary thought! I spent most of my teenage years worrying about what others thought of me, and desperately trying to “fit in”. But, I also learnt a lot about myself. I cannot wait to see what this next phase of life will bring. For now, here are 20 things I’ve learned….

Family is EVERYTHING

Never take your family for granted. They will be there to support you through your toughest times and to celebrate your greatest achievements. I cherish every moment that I spend with my family, they are everything to me. 

Quality over quantity

When it comes to making friends, it is ALWAYS the case of quality over quantity. I might not have the greatest number of friends, but the ones I do have mean more to me than words can describe. 

Self-Love is JUST as important as finding true love

This is one of the hardest lessons that I’ve had to learn. The majority of my teenage years were spent hating my body, and the person I was on the inside. I’ve now realised that Ru Paul was right… “If you can’t love yourself how the HELL you gonna love somebody else!”

‘Perfection’ doesn’t exist  

I am a terrible perfectionist, forever worried about making mistakes. My grandma always used to say to me, “all you can do is try your best” and that is ENOUGH. Only now am I starting to realise what wonderful approach to life that is. 

Be kind to others

Being kind is something I always strive to be, and I’ve learnt that from my parents. You never know what people might be going through behind closed doors, so it’s important to always be kind. 

Don’t dwell on the negatives 

There have definitely been some moments in my life that I wish I could forget. But, there is no point dwelling on the negatives. Life goes on, you can either run from it, or learn from it.

Don’t waste time worrying about money

I have been so lucky to have the financial support of my parents, but for a long time that came with a lot of personal guilt. It’s true what they say though, the best things in life are free, and you should’nt waste time worrying about money. 

Make time for the little things 

Whether it’s reading a book, listening to music or watching your favourite TV show, it’s important to make time for life’s simple pleasures. 

Laughter IS the best medicine 

When I’m feeling down, I find it impossible to take pleasure in anything. But, it’s true that laughter is sometimes the best medicine. It can completely change your mood, and shed a little light on a bad situation. 

Every little helps

When it comes to making a change in the world, every little helps! You don’t have to go to the extremes to make a difference, so long as you are passionate about it. 

Practice mindfulness 

Mindfulness is seriously underrated. But, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t happen overnight. Taking time each day to focus on yourself will help brighten your mind, body and soul. 

Work hard

Working hard seems like an obvious lesson. But, it’s more about how you work that matters. Don’t punish yourself for your mistakes and let your passions drive you to do your best. 

Strive towards equality

In a world where there are so many divisions, it is important to celebrate our differences. Always strive towards equality because at the end of the day we are all human.

EAT

This might seem like a simple lesson, but it is one I have struggled to learn. Food is NOT the enemy. It can bring so much joy and happiness to people. Now, I eat what makes me feel good, and today that included a large slice of birthday cake!

Exercise for YOU 

As many of you know, my relationship with exercise has been a difficult one. But, I think I’ve finally found a healthy balance. Now, I don’t exercise for others, or to fit into an XS dress, I exercise for ME.

Respect animals 

Just like humans, animals have emotions too. So, respect them and respect their rights. 

Feminism is for EVERYONE 

It doesn’t matter who you are, if you believe that women deserve the same rights as men you ARE a feminist. And that is NOTHING to be ashamed of. 

Appreciate your partner

Two years ago, I met someone that changed my life completely. It’s so important to appreciate your partner, and I will never stop appreciating you my love. 

Prioritise your mental health

Mental health is so important! Whenever you feel stressed or overwhelmed, ALWAYS prioritise your mental health. Nothing is worth sacrificing that for. 

Dare to DREAM

If I have learnt one thing in my 20 short years on this planet, it is that no dream is too far out of reach. If you work hard enough, and are passionate enough, NOTHING is impossible.

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