Without wanting to sound completely cliché, I can’t believe it’s my birthday already. Last year, I wrote a list of 25 life lessons to remember – simple, practical tips, like finding time for self-love and ignoring my negativity. At 26, I’m changing my lessons into life rules. I feel in a year, I’ve doused a bottle of wisdom.
I’ve never felt more alive and young
With age, comes more understanding and more appreciation. My 25th year started in Ibiza, where I purposely ‘let loose’, and tried to make up for all the times I stayed in at the weekend, contemplating if I’d enjoyed myself enough as a teenager.
Everyone always said – you need to do this and this now, because you won’t get the chance again. We get to live as twenty-somethings for an entire decade, and that’s long enough to spread out our ambitions. I’ve done more in the past year – for both me and my career, than I’ve done since leaving college. You can still change your work, have a wild holiday and travel the world, as you enter your last years before 30.
I take better care of myself and worry less about time. I’m not writing life rules dictating when I get married and when I buy my first home. I’m not giving in to pressure – materialistic or from society.
My birthday this year was simple
It’s one of those year’s where different friends want to celebrate on different days. When I turned 20, I had a lavish celebration, where I went for dinner and then headed to The Playboy Club where I drank free drinks in the VIP area. After an after-party, I got home at 6am. My 21st was again at a high-end club, but it never topped my 20th.
All my early twenties birthdays, I organised an extravaganza. A new outfit always bought and various people invited. Mostly, ‘tag-along’ friends turned up, who simply wanted a night of free drinking at a fancy place.
Looking back, those birthdays are great, but I never appreciated them at the time. I felt insecure and always upset that my ‘special day’ didn’t ever live up to my grand expectations. Especially my 21st, where people were posting photos in Vegas and New York.
As lovely as it is to make a point of celebrating your age and you as a person, I’m not fussed about trying to keep up with the Jones’s. My year as a whole, is more worthwhile and meaningful. It’s like; I don’t need to book a holiday at New Year’s – just give me one at some point from January to December.
It’s crazy today, thinking how worked-up I got. At 26, me and my sister went out for a lovely lunch; I saw one of my longest friends on Tuesday and I’m seeing another great one this Thursday. I’m watching The Parent Trap tonight (yes, talking about it on my last post has made me) and I’m eating a vegan pizza from Pizza Express. If that wasn’t enough, I get to do one of my favourite things in the whole world – write on my blog.
Don’t waste opportunity, but relax about your timing
My blog came to me at the precise moment. Yes, I had guilt and regret that I didn’t start earlier; now however, I wouldn’t change a thing. I can’t say enough how grateful I am every time someone takes the time to read what I’ve written. I also appreciate that I’ve slipped as a blogger, and need to work harder to catch up with what everyone is doing.
There’s numerous things I could have done earlier, and all the same, my mind is sharper now. I believe in terms of life lessons, realising how worthless regret is, is pretty crucial. It’s about the here and now. Take what you can while you can.
Life Lessons – Life happens
Watching Sex and the City re-runs, I started contemplating how aspirational the four women are. They have an amazing friendship group, fun dating lives and dream jobs. Only, look closer – they had horrendous dating lives (until the ending) and just 3 friends each to depend on.
Depending how you look at life, they had it all, or they navigated their thirties doing things women in their twenties do. Either way, there’s no such thing as perfect. They ran back to bad guys, got ghosted and stood up; they faced illness and tough decisions. And as I’ve got older, I’ve realised that’s life. There’s a beauty to tears, sadness, pain and anger. It makes up a kind of painting, one that makes sense.
What are your life lessons? Has this year taught you anything new, or made you see anything differently?