It’s been over a whole year since I last even looked at this site, let alone sat down to write! I thought a great way to come back is with a classic, something many of us have done over the years which is a birthday reflection post.
I remember doing one of these when I turned 21 on this very site and that feels like so long ago. I haven’t looked back on that post for a while, but I expect to find myself cringing, laughing and feel compassionate towards younger me because every year is a complete series of new lessons, let alone the six since that last post!
Anyways, I turned 27 on the 5th March (yes, she’s a Pisces. Anyone surprised?) and leading up to that date I was jotting down some lessons I’ve learnt over the time, being all self reflective as I like to be.
The following post is of course by no means an extensive list and I fully expect it to become out of date almost as soon as I publish it because that’s what being in your twenties is like – there’s a bonus lesson for you.
Without further ado, let’s get into it:
- You can be privileged and still have an opinion
- There is probably always a better way to have done something but you’ll know this through hindsight
- Following this, you’re almost never going to act perfect (or even right) in the moment, but you always do the best you can with what you have. When looking back, give yourself grace and remember that you can ask for forgiveness and express your regret to people you may have hurt at any point – including yourself
- Nothing is ever set in stone when it comes to who you are and what you believe. You will hopefully continue to learn and grow for as long as you live and things that once mattered will one day mean nothing and vice versa. This is one of the biggest joys of growing up, while also being one of the most exhausting parts of it all
- Regardless of what kind of an education you got, you still have to teach yourself so much. School, college, uni – none of it prepares you for real life (whatever that means for you) From practical stuff like applying for a job, doing laundry and money organisation to things like self development and everything in between you need to learn it on your own for it to really stick. And you will learn it over time, I promise
- Try to get your money together in some way. As someone who continues to struggle with this, trust me it is so important to have even a couple of quid in the bank for a rainy day, as well as enough to cover your monthly expenses before they come out. The smallest thing can make such a difference and it really is never to late to start, so do yourself a favour and put that spare fiver away in the bank right now
- Learning why you do something is vital to learning how to stop doing it or finding something better to replace it
- Your body is your business. Your health is your business. People will always have opinions, and heck sometimes these might be useful or legitimate, but at the end of the day you know yourself best and are the only one that can take care of yourself
- Do yourself a favour and put the phone down for a little while. I promise, you’ll miss nothing. You don’t need all that noise constantly
- You might never completely break the habit of comparing yourself to other people (and coming up short) but you will soon learn that this doesn’t have to go any further than just a thought. As a thought, it doesn’t have to ruin your day or effect the way you feel about yourself for long
- People can take care of your and it doesn’t have to mean anything more than a nice gesture; something they do out of love. Allowing people to look after you is not a sign of weakness even if you need the help
- Sex isn’t always sexy and doesn’t require a costume to have a good time, no matter what porn or Instagram models tell you
- If you’re feeling bad about yourself, take a shower and get clean. It always works
- Trends are an ongoing cycle and literally everything will have its day in the sun again. For me, this whole Y2K trend is incredibly nostalgic because this is what people wore and looked like when I was growing up and I understand how my mam feels when I discovered 80s music as a teenager!
- Your body will change over time, whether this is through lifestyle changes, diet changes or simply because you’re getting older. People will have opinions about this and you might find it difficult to care for your new body, but at the end of the day learn to focus on what feels good and what you need in the moment to get through
- What you want is going to require a sacrifice of some kind and this may not be widely accepted or even seen in your life, but that doesn’t mean its wrong
- Green juice and supplements are not the answer for everyone, no matter what someone who has thousands of followers says. The only thing we know that works is eating some vegetables and moving your body in some way that works for you.
- Allow yourself to experiment with all elements of your personality – from what you wear to the way your room looks; the things you do to the people you talk to. You’ll come round to who you’re meant to be at the end of it, but it never hurts to give something a try (unless it’s dangerous or illegal, obviously)
- Age doesn’t always translate to wisdom and you’ll soon learn that adults are kinda dumb
- You will never understand someone else’s relationship, no matter how much you’ve seen or heard
- It is nice to believe that everyone is doing their best in the moment, but this doesn’t have to apply to everything or be a reason for you to forgive the unforgiveable. It is a good way to help you move on and focus on something else, though
- Gaining weight or getting fat is not the worst thing that will happen to you
- If you have to say the thing, it’s usually not happening. It is easier to compare yourself to the people who are most loud on social media or in your real social circles, but time will show that these are the ones that have nothing going on and perhaps need more support than the rest of us
- Your true companions, friends and partners will show themselves over time (and usually time and time again). You will collect people over the years, as you experience new things and go new places, but this does not mean they will all be with you for life. Whether they are bad people, not there for you or simply don’t match what you want anymore they will fade away over time while the real ones stick around
- Gossiping doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad person, but like with anything in excess it could indicate there are other issues you need to deal with a be a sign that self reflection is needed
- You will always know yourself best, even if you don’t feel like it in the moment or your brain tells you otherwise. Developing intuition and trust in yourself is an ongoing process, so give yourself the time to figure it out and lean into what you want to do when you can
- Who you are right now is a person with so much innate value, simply for existing and being a human on this planet
I wonder what 27 is going to bring? Hopefully you’ll find out next year, but until then who knows what is going to happen.
The biggest thing I can take away from these past few years is you simply have to surrender to whatever is going to take place. At the end of the day, there’s not much you can do to stop what is going to happen – we’re all just here for the ride.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt since your last birthday? I’d love to know.
Photo by Geert Pieters on Unsplash