As I turned 23 on Wednesday, and besides drinking far too much bubbles and devouring birthday cake, I reflected on everything I had learnt and how much I continue to learn on this crazy roller coaster called life. I discovered Fanta zero tastes just as good (if not better, controversial?) as regular Fanta, I have far too many embarrassing drunken stories and hangovers do get worse the older you get. I have gained and lost friends in the same year, trusted the wrong people and stayed in relationships I really didn’t want to be in; and I’ve come to realise that it’s not selfish to make time for yourself. So, here are some of the 23 things I have learnt in my 23 years.
“Do one thing every day that scares you”.
We all have our comfort zones, for some they extend wider than others and for some they are smaller, but we all have that psychological state of familiarity, where we feel in control and even a small shift outside the familiarity may cause low levels of stress or anxiety. There is nothing wrong with familiarity, it is safe and we take comfort in knowing; knowing that we have security and stability in our lives. There are many people who seek more, who spend their lives excelling out of their comfort zone on a day-to-day basis. Most of us fear change, whether we like to admit it or not, change makes us feel uneasy; it’s a shake up in our routine. Attempting to step out of your comfort zone will involve changes in habits and routine, and getting used to it will not happen overnight. A lot of people believe that if they have been doing something for a long time, then it obviously is working, so why change it?
Recently, I have found myself sitting and thinking about my teenage years, specifically that time between 15 to 17-years-old. I was thinking about how much has changed since then, how much I have changed since then. I feel as though if my 16-year-old self could see myself now, at 21, she wouldn’t even believe what she was seeing. Last year, I watched a video from TeenVogue where Emilia Clarke is giving advice to her younger self, and I recently rediscovered the video/letter and it inspired me to write a letter of my own. I have also seen other posts similar that I have also taken inspiration from, so credit goes to those people as well for the idea.
At the beginning of this year, I set myself a challenge to read 20 books – I know that doesn’t seem a lot but with uni, work and social life, it’s sometimes difficult to find the extra time – before the end of 2018. I also did this last year and ended up failing miserably due to events in my personal life, but this year I am more determined than ever to meet this goal.
Every month, I create a reading list of books I wish to complete within that month, and below are the books I have chosen for March – if anyone has read, or is currently reading any of these books, let me know in the comments and I would love to discuss your thoughts and opinions on them.
“A bad day is like a bad hair day. Tomorrow, it will be better.”
Life takes its toll on all of us, the pressures found at every corner can have a major impact on us from time-to-time, and having to keep up with the day-to-day can be difficult. Reminder: it’s okay to have a bad day once in a while. When you have been working hard day-after-day, soon your energy will decrease and you find yourself burning a candle at both ends – we have all been there.
So, after what feels like a long absence, I am finally managing to post again, and I’m going straight in with a deep subject. I had some unpleasant experiences at the end of last year and I felt that it was time to stop giving a shit about the small things and focus on myself, focus on my future and aspirations, but most importantly, focus on the now, my happiness now, and living in the moment. It’s genuinely so important to stop caring about the little things, that in the long run don’t matter. It’s important to focus on what truly brings happiness and positivity into your life.
Pressure is projected onto us all our lives, no matter the circumstances, in one way or another, we all feel a sense of pressure. Whether this is a pressure from work, university, school, to look a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way – we all feel it in some form. People are pressured to hide who they are, hide any sign of vulnerability with the fear of coming across as weak or dependent on others. This is simply not the case, there is really nothing wrong with showing vulnerability. If someone shows their vulnerable side, it shows they have courage, it shows they are strong – not weak.
Taking people for granted – we are all guilty of it. Whether it be loved ones, work colleagues, or even strangers, we are all guilty of taking people for granted in some way or another.
We go about our daily lives, in our own bubbles and own thoughts, thinking about work, school, what we are going to make for tea? There are so many things that race through our minds while we are going about our day. It is rare for us to stop and think about what we are doing or what is going on around us – I guess, as human beings, we are all selfish, even the most selfless of people have their moments – whether conscientiously or sub-conscientiously.
What’s the most important thing in a relationship for you? Is it the sex, the romance, the flowers he/she brings you when they come home from work? The cute good morning/good night texts? Talking? Do you ever feel like anything is missing? Do you ever feel like sometimes you don’t talk enough or you don’t actually let each other in? Well, that’s when your relationship is lacking one of the main factors for it to work, and that’s communication. Don’t get me wrong, sex, romance, etc are important, of course they are but it’s communication that makes your bond intimate and different from any other friendship you have.
It is important to share your emotions, stress and worry with your other half. I feel like the intimacy is never fully there unless you are sharing those important emotions and thoughts – you know, the ones that keep you awake at 3 a.m. Most relationships end due to the lack of romance and forgetting to communicate. Communicating is what keeps the romance alive too, it makes your partner feel wanted and important, they know you are going to them because they are the person you trust most.
“To escape fear, you have to go through it, not around.” – Richie Norton
We live in a society where we fear vulnerability, we fear opening up and being true to ourselves because we are scared of judgement and mistreatment from others. We are afraid of portraying who we truly are to those around us, for fear of being wounded and disappointed. It is a funny old world we live in. A world where we tell people to be themselves and be true to who they are, and when they are, we judge them for it, we say horrible things and put them down. This is not how we should live, this is not how life should be. Nobody is better than anybody else, we are all born and we all die.
Our fear is what is causing an increase in mental illnesses, we have become more anxious and stressed, currently worrying about others and what others think of us. We shouldn’t have to live in a society where we fear looking a certain way, dressing a certain way, doing our make-up a certain way; we’re all different, we all like different things and not everybody suits everything that’s “on trend”.
I wasn’t going to post today but considering it is A Level results day, I thought I would write some words of encouragement.
Holding that dreaded envelop, I remember the day clearly. Two years ago, I walked into college and picked up the big brown envelop that would define my future. The letters on the paper inside would determine whether I was going to my first choice university. Before I arrived, I received an email from my first choice university to say that I wasn’t going to be able to study with them. I was in the car with my parents, sister and boyfriend (at the time), and my heart sunk. Devastated was an understatement, it felt as though my future had been taken away from my right before my eyes. After initial shock, I began to panic, but my parents said wait and see what the results are first, there might be something I can do. I had heard that some people negotiate with the university if their grades aren’t far from what they were asking for.