32 lessons I’ve learned before 32

Next week I’m turning 32. Part of me can’t believe it’s already going to be 32. It sounds ancient, while in my head I still feel the same as I did ten years ago. Then again, age is a relative, and you’re only as old as you feel.

Traditionally my birthday is a time for me to reflect and look back on the years that have passed and the lessons I’ve learned.

Today I want to share those lessons with you because wisdom has to be shared.

1. Never believe anything anyone says, including yourself, about you, unless it agrees to you with your core truth.

2. Know your core truth. This might be one of the hardest lessons to learn and the hardest truth to uncover for some. But knowing what is right for you is something that can save you a lot of stress and anxiety. Know what you believe in, who you are, what your morals are and act upon those every single day. It’s the only path to a happy and balanced life.

3. Don’t ever stop dreaming. 25 is not too old to start something new. Neither is 32 or 80 for that matter. Follow your heart wherever it might lead you. And no, your heart, dreams and ambitions might not always be logical or make sense. Trust and follow them anyway.

4. ‘What if’ is worse then ‘oh well’. Trust me, been there, done that. My ‘what ifs’ way harder on my heart than the ‘oh wells’. And in a way I’m thankful for every decision I’ve made in my life, good or bad. They have shaped me for better or for worse.

5. You don’t have to finish every book you start reading. It’s okay to stop reading bad books and put them away. Life is too short to read bad books. Only read good books. from now on.

6. … actually, life is too short to do anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Sure, there will always be things you have to do. Like taxes. But other than that, if it doesn’t make you happy: don’t do it. Let go, walk away.

7. Getting a burnout, visiting a shrink or any other form of mental health issue doesn’t make you weak. Asking for help, taking a step back to focus on self-care is never a sign of weakness. And yes, this is a lesson I have to keep relearning myself. Every damn day.

8. Getting older isn’t the hard part of life. It comes naturally, and there’s no point in worrying. But it will be hard to watch your parents grow older and realise they won’t be around forever. Never take them for granted.

9. Your journal is your best friend. Always remember that and make sure you keep one close. In times of stress, or heartache it will be the one thing that can help you through and help you figure things out. It’s a safe place to work through emotions.

10. A quarter-life crisis is a real thing. Take it seriously.

11. Good friends are everything. Even if you don’t see them every day, they are the cornerstones on which your life is built.

12. Being an adult doesn’t mean you stop playing. In fact being an adult means you can play any way you want to. Yes, that means colouring books and trampolines are not just for kids. Neither are food fights or splashing someone with cold water never.

13. Life your life the way you want to live it. Don’t worry about doing what other people think you should be doing. Follow your hopes, dreams and your heart. At the end of the day, that’s the only thing that can make you happy.

14. Always make sure you have a snack and some water in your bag. Trust me, you will thank me. No one likes a hangry person.

15. Sorting out socks and folding thongs is overrated. Dropping them in a basket will do just fine.

16. You are never going to like coffee or red wine. And that’s okay, you can stop trying now. You don’t have to drink coffee or red wine to be an adult.

17. There’s nothing wrong with binge watching if you don’t do it every day.

18. Working out and training is fun.

19. You will run a marathon someday. If you work at it every day, you will get there. Every little step forward is still a step.

20. Don’t believe everything you see on social media. It’s a highlight reel, not real life. Don’t compare your life with the highlights of someone’s life.

21. Nothing beats that smell of freshly baked cookies. Well, except eating them perhaps. Never stop baking cookies.

22. Moving abroad to Wales and the UK was the best thing you could have done for yourself. Going back home was too. It was what you needed at the time. No regrets, only great memories.

23. Hiding how you feel never serves anyone. Least of all yourself. Always be honest about how you feel. If you can’t say it out loud then at least be honest with yourself in your journal or find someone where you can say how you feel without judgement. In fact, surround yourself with people that make you feel safe enough to always be yourself. Those people are special, rare and just plain golden.

24. Being multipassionate is a real thing. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Embrace it.

25. Being a book sniffer doesn’t make you a weird one. There’s a whole club of them out there.

26. Your heart belongs to the forests, mountains and on the trails. Set yourself free every once in a while and just run, walk or dance up and down the hills. You’ll need it, and it relieves all the stress and anxiety in just a few breaths.

27. Sometimes dogs are better than people, especially when it comes to cuddles. #sorrynotsorry

28. Your people may not be the people you grew up with. Sometimes you find ‘your people’ online, at work or in other unexpected places. Some of my closests friendship are forged over passions, interests and obsessions that I thought I was alone in. You know those friendships are for life when someone says ‘what you too? I thought I was the only one.’ You are never the only one.

29. You know that little sister that used to pull your hair and bite you? She will become your best friend.

30. Being vegan feels so much better. Goodbye bloat!

31. You are more capable than you imagine you are. Really.

32. You are enough. There will be times where you might not feel it, but you are enough. You always have been, you always will be. And if ever someone makes you feel like you are not good enough. Walk away. You are good enough. I repeat: you are enough.

Disclaimer: Some of these lessons I am still learning myself. So it’s as much of a reminder for me as it is for you.

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