A few weeks ago I waved a sweet cheerio to my 20s and stepped out into a brand new decade. I thought I’d be pretty sophisticated by now, the type of person who understood things like taxes and always remembered to take their reusable bags to the supermarket, but alas, I’m not quite there yet. Maybe by the time I turn 40? I have
managed to learn a few life lessons though, during my 30 trips around the sun, and I thought it might be fun to share them with you. In no particular order…
1. Pretending to be perfect doesn’t actually make you perfect. And it’s exhausting. We are all a jumble of good and bad, failures and successes, talents and flaws.
2. Don’t believe everything you think. We can make up a lot of lies about ourselves that are incredibly far from the truth.
3. No one cares about your flaws nearly as much as you think they do. They are too busy worrying about their own.
4. Your quirks make you the person that you are. A friend of mine always sneezes six times in a row. Another one has to wear lucky pants whenever she does anything important. I can’t stand touching dolls. Embrace the funny things that make up your unique personality.
5. Laughing at yourself gives you a lot of power.
6. Exercise in a way that you personally find fun. Care about your health whilst you still have it.
7. Time goes really, really slowly when you are doing the plank and astonishingly fast when you are trying to get to an appointment on time with two toddlers. Allow extra time!
8. Never let your Weetabix get dry in the bowl.
9. I really believe that everyone has something that they were put on this earth to do. Enjoy the journey of discovering what your unique purpose is.
10. Take the risk of being vulnerable and honest about yourself with trusted people.
11. Good friends bring out the best in you and are pleased to see you do well.
12. Have friends of all ages. School will have you thinking that you can only be friends with people who share the same birth year as you. I have friends that are decades older who I love to hang out with and learn from and friends who are younger who show me how to use snapchat.
13. It’s fine to say “let me think about that” when you’re asked to do something. It gives you time to assess your priorities and say no if it doesn’t fit in with them.
14. When you say “yes” to something, commit yourself fully.
15. You will get over heartbreak. Even if you can’t imagine how, you WILL get over heartbreak eventually.
16. Write things down. I’ve kept a journal for over half my life and it is interesting/hilarious/occasionally mortifying to look back and see how far I’ve come. I once wrote that I would never marry my now-husband unless he learned “some basic human decency”. Ouch. But he clearly learned some as we’ve been married now for over 7 years.
17. Take regular breaks from social media. Delete the apps that constantly lure you in. Only follow people who make you feel good about who you actually are, not who you unrealistically aspire to be eg. supermodels. I never follow supermodels.
18. You tend to get more accepting of yourself as you get older.
19. Epsom salts and a few drops of lavender oil will take a nice, hot bath to the next level.
20. Having kids is awesome but once you do, they will always come first, so make the most of the freedom you have beforehand.
21. Tell the truth even when it is hard to do so. It’s better than getting caught in a huge web of lies.
22. Make photo albums instead of letting your photos sit forever on your phone or computer. Memories are important.
23. My mum always encourages me to be ‘outward looking’. To see how I can help others, volunteer and give of myself. It is a great distraction from my own problems.
24. Get outside in the fresh air every day if you can.
25. I like familiarity and I have had to get comfortable with the fact that things change in life. A few years ago we had to move to a new town and I didn’t want to leave behind the home that I loved. It was sad but there were so many good things waiting for us. So I’m learning to go with the flow.
26. You don’t have to be good at everything.
27. If the world is getting on top of you, have an early night. Things may look different in the morning.
28. Write down your goals because you are more likely to achieve them if you do.
29. You might not enjoy the things that other people enjoy and that is okay.
30. Any trip around the sun requires suncream. Use it often. You, and your skin, can thank me later!
– Emma x