10 Lessons I Learnt From Being 27
The last year has changed me, there is no doubt about that, and looking back over the last twelve months, I would say that it has been defined by some big choices in pretty much every aspect of my life: love, friendship, career, location, education.
But oh wow. What a year it has been.
I started writing these annual reflections and life observations two years ago, when one big chapter of my life was closing and a new, uncertain path was unravelling before me. Even just last year, I found myself living in a different part of the country, unaware of the big move back to Cornwall that would happen only three months later.
I wouldn't say that the path has become any clearer, but how I handle my own life certainly has, and as I approach my 28th birthday, I can't help but look around at my life and feel abundant. That doesn't mean that it's perfect, or without problems, or that I'm happy every single day. What it does mean is that I know in my heart that I have everything, internally and externally, to live my life with intention.
I can't wait to see what lessons and adventures the next year might have in store, but in the meantime, here's to the year of being twenty seven and following my heart - you were better than I could have ever anticipated.
1. Healing takes time.
Some stuff is never going to be okay, no matter how much you think you're 'over' it.
Experience is one of the most, if not the most, vital ingredients in making up who we are, and some experiences that we would perhaps rather forget will return to the surface again and again.
You can't change what has been or the actions of others, but you can learn to sit with those feelings and let them mindfully inform what you offer out to the world and to the people around you.
2. Be authentic.
We live in a culture that is massively over saturated with images, words, adverts, stuff, people. It's so darn busy it makes my brain hurt sometimes.
Do remember that we have a choice of where we place ourselves within this chaotic little slice of life though. We all know what it feels like to 'Compare + Despair', and this is only ever made worse by social media. However, I am a strong believer that social media, when used authentically, can encourage people instead to 'Enquire + Inspire'.
Don't pretend to be someone that you are not by creating an alter-ego that lives only in the virtual world. Ask yourself honestly if you put as much energy into your daily interactions as you do into your social following.
Wake up every day and be unapologetically, authentically you.
3. Be as nice to yourself as you are to others.
I always see the best in people, even when they probably don't deserve it. I'm the one to give the benefit of the doubt to the person that has screwed me over, and the one to stick up for the person that's acting out of line.
That's not necessarily a bad trait. What is bad is that I'm nowhere near as nice as that to myself. I'm working on that.
4. Live life on your own terms.
This has made the list for the third year running, because it is just so darn important.
"You don’t have to be anything or be anyone other than who you are. Base success on your own standards – you know in your heart what really drives you. Accept that sometimes doing what you want to do is really hard, but be inspired – by others or by yourself. Follow that heart, live on your own terms and take it one day at a time."
What do you want to do today?
5. Spend money and time on your own education.
This year, I started my Yoga Teacher Training and it's the first time I've ever dedicated a bit of the money I earn from work to my own education.
It is also the first time since I finished University that I've returned to studying and I think I'm a bit addicted! I'm half way through the course and can't wait to share more with you about this experience - so watch this space.
6. Your desk job is not good for you.
This year has seen my longest stint in a desk job. This is by no means a dig at my job, as I'm very lucky to work for an inspiring company in an idyllic location with some pretty epic sea views BUT the desk slump is very real and very bad for you.
I am desperate for any suggestions on how to combat this, so do get in touch if you've got some solutions.
7. There is nothing more important in life than people.
Seriously. Whether they are good or bad to you, they will be the making of you. They will be there to push you over, but also be there to catch you.
Surround yourself with the good catchers.
8. Stop feeling so guilty about everything.
Guilt seems to seep its way in on a daily basis. I shouldn't eat this, I shouldn't do that, I shouldn't feel like this, I should be doing that; the list could go on forever.
And then you end up feeling guilty about feeling guilty!
Make time for yourself today. Whether that's 5 minutes in the morning before everyone else has woken up, or taking yourself somewhere peaceful for 10 minutes during your lunch break.
You deserve this.
9. Stop Googling the answers.
Google doesn't know everything, and the answers you find will probably contradict one another anyway. Call a friend, ask your partner, grab a book, follow your intuition.
A recent revelation I had came with the purchase of a reference book to help me with my anatomy homework on my course. It feels like such a treat to be able to find the answers in print rather than scrolling through the internet.
When did everything suddenly become so Googley?
10. If you've had a broken heart, you can find love again.
This might feel like a million miles away for you right now, but I promise that it is possible.
Treat yourself with kindness first, but keep that heart cracked right open and don't lose faith.
The good things are coming.
I'm fascinated with watching how The Life vs. The Plan works out and, as I find my way creeping into the age of twenty eight, I'm reminding myself to hold the vision and trust the process.