Today, I turn 24 years old. I want to share with you some of the life lessons I have learnt along the way. So here are my 24 things I’ve learnt at 24.
It seems like it’s just in our DNA. Why do people care so much about what you do with your life? And it always seems to be when you are trying to better yourself that you notice these people judging you. People judge because nothing good or interesting ever happens in their lives. They will find some reason to reflect their insecurities, their negativity, and their fears onto you and your life. It is hurtful. You are left to deal with it. But you do. Be the bigger person, even if it is hard sometimes, and just ignore them. In fact, use their criticism to encourage you.
Some boys suck
I’m not one of those girls that says “All boys are horrible blah blah blah” but some aren’t that nice. I learnt this the hard way. There is nothing wrong with you or me. They just aren’t the right guy. He is still out there. Be patient. (I am still learning this one. I can see myself having to read this comment nearly every week!!!) What do they say about the Princess? She kisses many frogs before she finds her Prince Charming. Also, get off Tinder and stay off it!
Time is flying by
This one is quite a scary realization. 2017 has flown by far to quick for my liking. Before I know it, I’ll be 70 and sitting in my rocking chair knitting. When we were younger, we would wish to be older. Now, we wish to be younger or for life to at least slow down. Live everyday to your best ability. Do what you can today because you might not get tomorrow (I know that is a Pitbull lyric or something but it sounds good!). Try new things and get out of your comfort zone. I read somewhere that the reason we feel like our lives are going by so fast is because we are stuck in a rut and not experiencing new things. Set your goals and achieve them. Do what makes you happy. Always make sure you are constantly learning.
You are smarter than you think
From a very young age, I have always doubted my intelligence. I always felt I was stupid. It was always one of the comments thrown at me when I was being bullied. I had some learning difficulties and sometimes still do. I remember when I got extra help in Primary school, I got so upset that I had to leave and do extra spellings or reading or writing when everyone else got to do normal stuff. But my SNA said to me “It’s not because you are not smart enough. You are smart, in fact, you are smarter than majority in your room. You just need help to show how smart you actually are.” I struggle with the thought of me and my intelligence almost every day. I’d always say “i’m not smart enough” when it came to a challenging assignment (God knows Sarah heard me say this one too many times!!!) It just takes me a little longer to get my ideas straight or to put a sentence together right. I know that but having anxiety and being so hard on yourself sometime doesn’t help in that situation. Okay I have my blonde moments, more than most but that don’t make me dumb.
I was once at a table quiz a few years ago and someone on my team called me nothing but a dumb blonde. I still wrote down my answer and guess who was right? Me.
Always believe in yourself and your intelligence.
Also, this insecurity of mine was completely shut down this year when I got an A on my fecking THESIS!!!
It’s okay to be sad sometimes
This is a hard one for me. I hate dwelling on my mental health and feeling down. But sometimes we need to. Our bodies can’t be happy all the time. It’s exhausting. If you need to cry, cry. Do whatever you need to do to get back into a good frame of mind.
Spend time on your own
Whether it’s 10 minutes quiet outside on a break or an hour reading a book by yourself, always make time for some “Me time”. Life is hectic and when you don’t focus on you sometimes, that is when things start to go wrong.
The little things count
People nowadays tend to forget about the little things. It’s all about money and materialistic things. People think that lavish gifts win me over and make me happy but not always. Well okay, I won’t say no to them but you know what I mean. Having my Dad say “Good morning Mouse” everyday is one of my favourite things. Having cuddles from Hope and Elizabeth every Sunday is so special to me. Watching the Kardashians or Criminal Minds with Mam while having a cup of tea is something I will always look forward to. Basically, someone remembering some minor detail about me such as my favourite singer or favourite colour would mean a lot more to me than some expensive thing just because it was easier to buy rather than to think about who I am and what I would like. For example, last year Sarah got me for Kris Kringle. She got me Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travel List Book and I had to hold back the tears. It wasn’t because I had badly wanted the book but it was because she associated travelling and adventures with me and anytime I look at the book, I think of her and an adventure I’d love to go on!! So you done good girl!
Remembering the little details about someone is one of my best traits if I do say so myself.
Talk about your mental health
This kind of coincides with the “It’s okay to be sad sometimes” point but honestly, opening up about my mental health was the best thing I done. Okay, I received some backlash (point number one!!!) but that is irrelevant. A lot more people began opening up about their own struggles because I said it and it just felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I have been struggling a lot since I opened up over a year ago and I will do a blog post about it soon when I am ready. I’m still learning to say “I’m not having a good day” and I know it’s hard. My Mam can vouch for this. I recently bottled up my feelings and ended up just bursting one day recently. Don’t do that. It’s not fair on the people who are trying to help and support you.
Be unapologetically you
STOP comparing yourself to others. everyone is unique in their own way! I’m always saying “Sorry” to people for me being me. Why? I guess it’s an anxiety thing again. I am funny. I am sometimes loud. I am a party person. I am fun. I am a very caring person. I have a kind heart. You get the idea. I once apologised to someone for having a kind heart. I know, it sounds stupid now but that’s what my insecurities done to me.
Embrace who you are and everything about you.
When you are confident, you are a force to be reckoned with
Beyonce would want to watch out! When I feel confident, I am unstoppable. When I believe in something, I BELIEVE.
Don’t change who you are for anyone
They ain’t worth it. If you change to make someone like you, you are not being true to who you are.
Do things for others because it makes you happy
I love doing things for other people because it genuinely makes me happy. It is as simply as making tea for someone you care about but remembering exactly how they like it. Kind of similar to my point about the Little Things that count!
Wear suncream everyday
Listen, if you learn one thing from this blog post, it is this. Wearing sun cream everyday prevents wrinkles and keeps your skin looking younger. I can vouch for this. Over the past year, when I’m in hospital, they laughed when I said I was 23 because I looked like I was 16. It’s because of the sun cream!
Tequila is not your friend
I learnt this the hard way. Never again. You hear that Valerie? NO MORE TEQUILA FOR ME PLEASE
You can dance girl
I wish I believed this one a lot earlier in life. For years, when people told me I was a good dancer, I would shy away or laugh. In reality, I was nervous about it. It would mean people would be looking at me and with my anxiety and body dysmorphia, that is something terrifying to me. But recently, I began to not think about the people looking at me or my body and just enjoy dancing. I feel incredible when I am well enough to dance. Nothing beats a night out dancing with your gal pals! I also love how whenever I am out dancing, Sarah has so much confidence in my dancing, she’d have me in any dance battle going – and I’d do her proud!
You are BEAUTIFUL
I struggle with my self confidence almost every day. I have suffered from Body Dysmorphia a long time so what you see and what I see, are two completely different things at times. But deep down, I know I am an alright looking girl. Most importantly, I have a beautiful heart. I know that for sure. Other people’s needs will always be first to me. Being beautiful on the inside counts for a lot more than on the outside right?
Some people in your life are there to support you. Others are there to test you.
There is a lot of people in my life that are incredible. They always push me to my best ability. They support me. They believe in me. They pick me up when I am down. They encourage me. They are my biggest fans (and also critics!!!). They love me. Some are family and some are friends.
I’m not going to expand on the later too much as it is just feeding into negativity. Very similar to point one!
Take it easy sometimes
Sometimes, you need to take time out and listen to your body. I don’t do this enough and then, bam, I’m ill because I’m doing 100 things at once or stressing about 100 things at once. Schedule those Netflix days and do nothing but chill. Grab a book and a cup of tea. Or even catch up on some sleep.
Smile at strangers and give random compliments
You never know what anyone is going through. Smiling at a stranger on the street might just make their day. Paying a randomer a compliment is such a nice thing to do too! One day I was in Dublin on my own and this girl was wearing an incredible outfit. I went up to her and told her how much I loved it and you should have seen her face light up! She was so happy and that in turn made me happy.
Read and read lots
Reading is great. It helps the mind grow. It helps you escape reality and into a whole new world, even if it is only for a short while. It also helps you learn new things with every book you read.
Appreciate everyone you love
If you remember my post ” You Never Know…“, I spoke about about how important it is to appreciate everyone you love because you NEVER know what is around the corner. If you love someone, and haven’t said it to them in a while, go do it now.
Back in 2014 – 2015, in the space of 18 months, I lost 4 people in my life. One of my biggest fears and causes of my panic attacks/anxiety. When my Dad had his heart attack, it almost killed me.
I hope everyone in my life knows how important they are to me and if you are questioning it, let me tell you now – YOU MEAN SO MUCH TO ME. You give me strength when I have very little. You make me smile when all I have is tears. You are important to me. I love you x
Dress for you and no one else
I wear what I want because I want to. I don’t dress to get that guy’s attention. I don’t dress for loads of gals to be like “Oooh that is fab on you” (although that helps 😉 )
I believe in my sense of style and since I have, more and more people appreciate it.
If you feel good in it – WEAR IT
If you like it – WEAR IT
If you feel sexy in it – WEAR IT
If it’s your favourite thing – WEAR IT
Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about your style. After all, it is YOUR style. Not their’s.
Listen to the news and read the newspaper
Have you ever been in a taxi and they ask you a question about something they’ve read on the news or heard on the radio but you didn’t know anything about it? That rarely happens to me. Be aware of what is going on it the world. Sometimes, very bad stuff happens and it’s okay to shut that out. But you should have some comment to make about what happens in your country or what is happening world wide. Even if it isn’t a popular opinion, you have one and that’s what matters.
Also, being knowledgeable in regards to the news makes for great conversations some day. You’ll thank me yet.
I should say I don’t claim to read every paper and watch the new 24/7. I am just aware of the world I live in.
Travel and Travel often
If only I had the funds, I would travel the world in the morning. Travelling is so good for your soul. Seeing new places and experiencing new things is so very exciting and I just hope I get to go everywhere I want in the world. Travel while you can.
Sarah Jane x