Thursday 25 February 2016

Lifestyle | 25 Things I've Learnt by 25

The big Two-Five.

So today is my name day and as you've probably noted by now i've added another year and hit the big twenty five. If i'm honest, i'm not sure I feel comfortable with it. I sort of feel like i'm stuck in limbo, I don't want to grow up yet but I don't feel young and care free either. In the words of Britney "I'm not a girl, not yet a woman". My social media feed is filling up with engagements, babies and honeymoons and I'm just not there yet. I'm still sat at home with a colouring book and takeaway.

Is this feeling the beginning of a Quarter life crisis? This is the start of my late twenties and i'm on the express train straight to thirty. Will I wake up tomorrow with a whole head full of grey hairs? I'm not sure. To stop myself becoming a quivering wreck i've decided to focus on twenty five things i've learnt in my twenty five years:

#1 Things don't have to be perfect first time.
Taking up ballet has taught me this quite recently, i've come to realise that things won't always be perfect first time around and that's actually okay. It doesn't matter if something doesn't work out right away or I can't do something first time round. It's a learning curve and you just got to stick with it.

#2 At twenty five it's okay not to have achieved everything I planned.
Ten years ago I had my plan that by the big two-five I would have a career in full swing and my own place. In todays modern world, owning a house is getting harder and harder but fifteen year old me didn't know that.

#3 I don't always have to say yes!
I suffer chronically from the fear of missing out which often leads me to say yes to way too much and burning out. Learning to pick and choose the things I do based on my passions, schedule, finances and what is going to add some sparkle to my life has been a big step for me. I think the fear of missing out is actually worse than actually missing out.

#4 Positivity outranks negativity
Self deprecation and negativity can fester and do so much more harm than first thought. They sort of linger and I always find that people dwell on the negatives and disregard the positives because they are so hung up on the first. If only it was the other way round. A few years ago I decided I didn't need negative people in my life who were getting kicks and making themselves feel better by putting others down. I changed my job and refocussed on who were positive influences on my life and I feel so much more confident and content.

#5 Have courage and be kind
Oh Cinders, you so wise. This is a mantra I now try to live by and it all fits in with treat others how you would like to be treated. Kindness should be mandatory and learning when to have courage and put your pride away is a sign of maturity.

Image from TippyTapp

#6 Failure is inevitable
Sorry to burst anyone's bubble but nobody is going to live life without failing at least once. Don't regret it, move on and learn from it and use that knowledge to conquer. Take failure as a positive not a negative.

#7 Organisation is Key
Personally organisation helps me with so much. I swear by my pink Filofax that contains all my appointments, ideas and events. Having an organisation system helps to reduce my stress levels and be positive about what I have coming up in the future.

#8 Leave the past in the past
The past is in the past and it should really stay there. Keep the memories you want and learn from it. In the wise words of Rafiki...

#9 Learn to take a compliment
This one took me ages to learn. I kept being told that I was being impolite by refusing to accept compliments and that if someone wanted to compliment me I should love myself a little more and accept it. Even though I might not believe it - the person complimenting me does.

#10 The bad times help you appreciate the good
One of my favourite quotes/sayings is that "you need darkness to enable you to see the stars". If you didn't experience the bad things it wouldn't help you notice the good. Can you imagine a life with no bad? Nothing would be good or amazing it would all be a little bit mediocre and bland.

#11 Trust your intuition
Chances are if your gut instinct says something isn't probably isn't. If your gut says don't eat the extra slice of pizza, you probably shouldn't. It's a very clever part of the body.

#12 Never stop learning
I thought that I had missed the window of opportunity to go back into education as I had racked up some debt from my first stint in further education and got comfortable on a full time income. This really isn't the case. I'm proud to say this but I am currently walking the very thin tightrope that is balancing a full time job, part time study and life (along with taking up ballet) and I haven't fallen off yet. Going back to education has made me realise how much I love learning.

#13 Time flies
So make the most of it. I'm totally questioning where my life has gone already. I've made the realisation that life is too short and people are always telling me that it only speeds up and disappears faster as you get older. Is there not a pause button like sky on demand so I can live in the present longer?

#14 Karma works
I always used to act on impulse when I was upset and having come through bullying and domestic violence I've learnt that sometimes you just need to be patient and karma will work it's magic and the people who do you wrong will get their comeuppance without my participation.

#15 Debt is a bitch
My advice... avoid it at all costs. It's taken me actually racking up a considerable amount of debt (for me) to realise how crappy it really is. So I guess without naive eighteen year old me and a credit card I wouldn't have learnt this lesson. I'm glad i've started to sort this now though and not left my head buried in the sand into my thirties.

#16 It's okay not to be friends with everyone
Personalities will clash and people will fight; it's human nature. That's okay though and the pressures to be friends with everyone, which I 100% felt in secondary school, don't have to exist. Not everybody has to be friends, not everybody will be friends and not everybody will like you. That's fine as long as there isn't a direct negative impact from it. Not being friends doesn't mean you have to be nasty and vile.

#17 Being a teeny-weeny bit selfish is good for you
I've learnt that you need to be a little selfish and focus on what's best for yourself to grow and learn. Just make sure your selfishness is within reason.

#18 The benefits of travel are second to none
I've always loved travel. My gorgeous mother took me away at about 6 months old on my first foreign holiday and i've been lucky and privileged enough to go abroad every year since. I don't think I understood the true value of travel until I ventured to Malawi when I was 17. Experiencing other cultures and values can certainly put a lot of everyday life back home into perspective and bring a better outlook overall.

#19 Family are central to life
When I was a stroppy child & teenager I certainly didn't appreciate the family I had around me. I used to fight with my younger brother to the point we used to bite each other and the diva strops I pulled with my mother are now quite frankly embarrassing. As i've hit my twenties i'm lucky enough to say we've overcome this and my mum is one of my best friends and me and my brother get along swimmingly, with no biting involved. Family should never be underestimated and should always be at the core of life.

#20 Skincare should never be overlooked
I wish my thirteen year old self would have understood the importance of this. Shamefully I have picked my spots to the point my pores can probably be seen from outer space, I only started to remove my make up at the end of every day once i'd been wearing it for years and I only introduced daily moisturising into my routine about a year ago. Why was thirteen year old me so naive and silly?

#21 Staying in bed until midday is actually a hinderance 
Waking up early and making the most of the day brings me such an energy buzz where I feel like I accomplish more. It might just mean going to bed at a slightly more sensible time to achieve enough beauty sleep.

#22 Taylor Swift is a goddess
I think this speaks for itself. I'm going to try and follow in her gorgeously shoed footsteps and stride through twenty five like I own it.

#23 Less is not always more
Covering up a little more and not going straight for the barely there sequinned dress is a more comfortable, confident and classy choice.

#24 There's no such thing as a free dinner
Nothing in life comes for free and you need to work hard to get what you want. Even if someone is treating you to dinner they'll expect your company in return, you just need to work out which dinners are worth working for and which aren't.

#25 Staying in is just as much fun as going out
Just because you're not out in town every weekend doesn't mean you're not a social butterfly or missing out. Staying in with some cosy clothes, takeaway, wine and friends is just as much fun and chances are you'll actually remember it.

I'm actually quite proud of what i've learnt in my twenty five years on the planet. I think the last 5 years have been the ones where I have learnt and matured the most. Here's to the future, another twenty five years of learning and cheaper car insurance!

Love Rachel x

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