Wednesday, 13 April 2016

What I’ve learned being 23



As you’re reading this, it’s the day before my 24th birthday so I thought it was a pretty good time to reflect on what I feel the last year has taught me. It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster year with some definite highs but some pretty steep lows as well. But as someone famous once said, for the nine times you fall, get up ten times. Or words to that affect.

1. Friendships are investments. In life you should only be putting your time and efforts into things you want to succeed and believe in and this goes for friendships too. I feel that I have some brilliant, strong and worthwhile friendships that have a balance of mutual effort right now and that’s a place I’m happy to be in.

2. Having strong mentors at work changes your career entirely. I’m lucky enough to be nearly two years into my first ‘career job’ but in the last year I’ve transitioned from graduate scheme to an established position. Working with a team who are quite frankly shit hot at their jobs has left me in possibly the strongest working position I could be in right now.

3. Sometimes work takes over but that’s OK. Did I ever mention the time I was snowed under at work and simultaneously dating a guy who mentioned ‘leaving work at work’ and ‘not letting work take over your life’? It didn’t last. This is the age where you can give your career your all.

4. There are reasons to exercise other than trying to lose weight. Who knew? It’s taken me until this year to realise that focusing on achieving rather than burning calories leaves you in one hell of a more positive mindset.

5. Getting on a plane by yourself isn’t quite as scary as you’d expect. Yes, it was a 45 minute flight without any turbulence, but soaring across the high seas and from Manchester to Dublin gave me a confidence I never would have expected to have had.

6. Blogging for the right reasons brings all good times. It creates common ground with likeminded people and it’s reflected in the opportunities I’ve been lucky enough to have. I feel like in the last year, my blog has grown so much and has taken a whole new direction which I’m really happy with.

7. Sometimes, people are just mean. Whether it’s a guy who promises the world and mugs you off or an internet troll, there are some people out there who just aren’t that nice. But whilst retaliating might be on the tip of my tongue, appreciating that they must be in a pretty bad place to be treating someone in a way you can’t even imagine doing yourself now sees me find a lot of pity. It’s a shame, for them.

8. It’s OK to not feel 100% together, 100% of the time. Sometimes, there’s that cloud you can’t shake, but taking baby steps forward to getting back in control helps it lift. Whether it’s getting organised for the week ahead, planning things in advance or identifying what needs to change, it all helps you feel more together.

9. Accepting you can’t always be in control is a good thing. Each year, I feel myself become less and less of a control freak and whilst I won’t ever be the spontaneous type (LOL, anyone who knows me IRL will agree), not being a total psychopath about planning is starting to lift.

10. A little goes a long way when it comes to helping someone. Whether it’s buying a homeless person some food or sponsoring someone on Facebook who you might not be in that great contact with, I’m all about random acts of kindness. I love the little things that go a long way. It makes me happy, it makes other people happy and it spreads the love.

11. Down time is essential. I have a post on this coming quite soon, but having headspace, no matter how you achieve it or how often you need it, is important.

12. Speaking out about things that matter really means something to me. I used to tread carefully in the blogger world with the fear of ruffling feathers or receiving backlash but losing inhibitions and discussing taboo subjects and having an opinion has opened up so many conversations. I find that people comment on those posts the most, readers tweet me, they share posts, they send me messages. People both agree and disagree but I’m lucky enough to have readers who always want to debate and discuss, rather than abuse or troll. That’s what makes having a blog worthwhile.


So, that’s what I’ve learned in the last year. Here’s to 24 and making it a good one! 
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3 comments

  1. Happy birthday for tomorrow. God, I love your mindset! I really wish I was as "switched on" as you and I'm even older (so that really counts for nothing!) I hope the next year (and many more!) fill you with great happiness too.
    Bee xxx

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  2. You've had a great 23rd year by the sounds of things! I love reading your blog, and this post is no exception. Very wise advice! Happy Birthday for tomorrow! I hope you have lots of lovely things planned, you deserve it.

    Hannah XXX

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  3. Hope you've had a great birthday. :)
    Love his post.. I think sometimes it's just great to think about things like this, as it really makes you appreciate all you are and have achieved.
    Although we've only met a few times, I find you very easy to talk to and for 23, now 24, I feel you have your head screwed on and your shit together a lot more than I did at that age! :) (it took me to 25 to do a solo trip - to New York!)

    Caroline.x
    www.notesfromcaroline.com

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