10 Lessons I Learnt From Being 25
I was quite fond of turning 25 – it had a nice ring to it, a very definite age. One quarter of a century. I’d managed to make it this far without too much drama, and was most certainly, undeniably at this stage an adult. So, as I find myself today sat at my home in Newquay turning 26, thinking about the uncertain future just ahead of me, it’s got me questioning what I really learnt this year.
For those of you who don’t know, I have recently sold my business (a little, yet curiously busy café in Falmouth) and am just days away from an unplanned chapter. It’s definitely a time of change; a stirring time full of adventurous plans and inevitable anticipation, but I’m ready to embrace it all with an open mind and open heart.
So without too much more rambling, here are the ten most memorable thoughts that I realized at the age of twenty-five.
1. SOMETIMES YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THE THING YOU LOVE FOREVER.
I love having my own café, being self-employed and running a business. However, it doesn’t mean that I want to do this forever and I strongly believe that change is good for the soul. There's enough room in your heart to love many, many more journeys. You don’t need to wait until you’re unhappy to change your life.
This has been an important transitional phase and ultimately eye-opening moment - when you suddenly realize that your morning coffee has become more valuable than an evening wine. I still don’t really understand if coffee is good or bad for me, but it helps… it really, really helps.
3. FAKE IT UNTIL YOU MAKE IT.
Understand that this is essentially a life motto rather than a temporary mind set. After three years of running the café, I am still not entirely sure what I’m doing when I wake up each morning and am shocked that people turn up to see us every day. However, if I think about it really, we are busy 90% of the time and I can probably count the complaints we’ve had in that time on one hand. Maintaining the fake it mind set enables you to remain grounded and open to the task at hand.
4. STOP SAYING YOU CAN SLEEP WHEN YOU’RE DEAD.
I love sleeping. I love getting up mega early and I am probably the first to avoid going to bed late if possible. There’s a reason the sun goes down and comes up when it does, take a leaf out of her book.
5. LIVE LIFE ON YOUR OWN TERMS.
Sometimes doing what you want to do is really, really hard, especially when it seems like someone else is doing a better job, but so what? Lose that ego, get up, try again, fail again, fail better. Be inspired by others, be happy for their success, but stop trying to live someone else’s life. Follow that heart, live on your own terms and take it one day at a time.
6. ‘WHAT TO DO IN YOUR 20’S ARTICLES’ BECOME BOTH YOUR ENEMY AND YOUR FRIEND.
Re-reflecting on point five – live life on your own terms. You might get married when you are 21 or when you are 54, or maybe never. And if you do get married young, you are still able to travel on your own, believe it or not. You might be able to travel often, or just once every five years. Maybe you don’t even want to travel. Maybe you’ll work 70 hours a week, or perhaps just 20 hours. Love yourself, love your life for all of the highs and lows, and embrace each day. Read those articles, but don’t forget to write your own.
7. YOUR BODY IS A TEMPLE.
This is important. I probably used to mockingly quote this when I was 21, armed with a bottle of gin and a packet of cigarettes and feeling totally invincible. However, becoming in tune with your well-being will make you feel a hell of a lot more invincible. Get off that butt, get that body moving and make your way outside. Learn that water is your friend and doesn't exist simply to ease a hangover. Drink as much of it as you can. Then even more.
8. TRAVEL, TRAVEL AND TRAVEL SOME MORE.
Go on a journey. Travel far, travel locally, meet new people, re-connect with people you’ve met before. Go on a plane, get on a train, ride a bike. Walk really, really far. Have unexpected adventures, have planned adventures. Stand in front of something so spectacularly, unbelievably beautiful that you want to either laugh or cry. Simple. It can be free, and you will never regret it.
9. LEARN THAT MONEY HAS NO REAL VALUE.
At the end of the day, you don’t want to be the richest person in the graveyard. Learn the balance between saving, and spending when necessary. You don’t want to be skimping and counting your pennies in the face of an incredible opportunity. Equally, you don’t want to be so busy working to make your millions that you forget to live your life. Life, experience and your soul have no monetary value.
10. THE PLAN VS. THE LIFE
No matter how much you plan to do the thing you love, stop doing the thing you love, drink more coffee, start drinking coffee, stop drinking coffee, fake it, make it, sleep, party, live on your own terms, do what you want, follow the tips in that article, treat your body as a temple, travel or not travel, or not spend money then spend it all, just remember to let go of what you thought should happen and live in what is happening. Embrace it, love it, hate it – just make sure you are living it; life.