The Things I wish I knew in my 20’s

I am now 30. Which means I’m kind of a grown up now. The last ten years have been filled with learning and growing. I always wondered how I would feel about turning 30, a lot of people I know are slightly scared of it. (I think for a bit I was too) as it got closer to my 30th birthday, I like to think I embraced it.

It’s really hard to explain but I just feel a bit more at ease with everything in general. I’m in a really good mindset at the moment, which I feel has only come with age, wisdom and that beautiful thing called hindsight.

It’s great know what I know now, I just wish for my own sanity I learnt it a lot sooner.

Be Happy in Your Own Skin

In my twenties I found it really hard to accept myself and be happy in my own skin, I was extremely body conscious, there was always something I was unhappy about. I hated being tall (5ft 7ins) and I hated my legs (they were really long and thin – I thought they had no shape to them). I remember always wanting a washboard stomach.

I wanted to be anyone but me. It also didn’t help that I had a boyfriend that was really superficial and would always put me down on my appearance, and I hate to admit it but I tried to change for him – (which I now know was so wrong, on so many levels.)

After looking at some old photos, I really don’t know why I was so unhappy with my appearance, (hello hindsight) I looked alright.

I’m not that 22 year old with the size 6 waist anymore, and I don’t want to be, I’ve become more secure in my own skin. I stopped beating myself up over the things I can’t change and just accepted who I am. I’m even happy with my legs! (I have no idea why I hated them in the first place).

Don’t Worry…You’ve Got This!

Around the time I left university I felt the pressure to find my way in life, find that dream job and get settled in a career (ahhhhh) and find where I fitted in the ‘real world’. It’s tough.

I landed what I thought was my dream job when I was about 23, and I worked really hard, put in really long hours and stayed really late trying to impress my boss, I had the work/life balance all wrong. You work to fund your lifestyle, your hobbies and the cool stuff you want to do, Not to run yourself into the ground for a promotion.

I was so unhappy. I suddenly realised what was important, friends, family and life experiences. I now feel that I have got the work/life balance right and enjoy going to work, but I also enjoy leaving at the end of the day. Career isn’t everything, it’s your friends who will be there when you need them, not your job.

Be Happy with what you’re doing

I have learnt that it’s important not to judge your progress on other people’s achievements. Some of your friends may be married or have bought a house. So what if your not? Are you happy with your current situation? Yes? great, no? Then do something to change it.

If you compare yourself against others, it makes your own great achievements seem like they don’t matter, when they do. I think people see life as a bit of a race, who is the first to get married or get the dream job or the dream house? Everyone has different dreams and goals. I’ve learnt to chill out and be proud of my own achievements, and not measure my success or happiness against others.

It’s the Little Things That Matter

Now that pretty much everything is on social media, it easy to compare your relationships against others around you (#relationshipgoals) and feel that yours isn’t good enough for some reason. People are posting how amazing their boyfriend or girlfriend is for taking them on a massive expensive trip or doing another big gesture.

I learnt to appreciate the little everyday gestures my boyfriend does, as they are more often than the big ones. It’s anything from making me a cup of tea in the mornings (I love a good cuppa) to making me dinner or a bacon sandwich after a night out, or just telling me I look nice, I think the little things are much more important and they mean a lot more.

It’s Not Too Late to Get Your Shit Together

Every six months or so I like to put together a list of goals, long term goals and short term goals and plan out what I need to do to achieve them, I always have been quite a goal oriented person. I like to have things to aim for. Before I turned 30 I ticked off quite a lot of goals. Going to New York, trying wakeboarding, and White Water Rafting.

I also wanted to get more financially stable, I sorted out all my direct debits and opened up a help to buy ISA (so grown up of me) and I’m currently saving for a mortgage, which is a very long term goal that I’m currently working towards. It’s never too late to start setting some goals and getting your shit together, whatever that may be.

Experiment with Style

In my early 20’s I experimented a lot with my style. At one time I was a baggy jeans, converse and t-shirt girl, (the art student look) and then the boob tube with white belt look with a ripped denim skirt (the clubbing staple of the early 00’s).

I have been a fashion victim a fair few times, but now I know what I like and I know what suits me. I am also a bit reluctant to follow too many trends as I feel I will end up looking the same as everyone else. At the minute I am smarting up my wardrobe with skirts and shirts for work and smart tops and jeans, sometimes the old converse trainers make an appearance. (can I call them vintage yet)

Live, Love, Learn

Remember the saying it’s better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all. It’s a good saying to remember. I have loved and lost, and been through happiness and pain.

I had a few relationships in my 20 and each one taught me something new about myself.  You learn lessons about yourself and how to do better in the next relationship. You also learn that you can deal with heartbreak in your own way. I did put off finding someone again for a long time because I was scared, but  it’s important to always put yourself out there as Love is one of the feelings we should all experience.

Be True to Yourself

When I was younger I was quite shy and felt I had to hide ‘real me’ from people or pretend I was someone different because I was scared about what people would think of me and I was scared of not being liked. But I have realised it’s tiring to pretend to be someone you’re not, and also why bother. People should like you for the person you are, not the person you pretend to be.

I am now at a place where I am happy with the person I have become and I want people to see the real me. You will always come across people who might not like you, but that’s life, and their opinion about you shouldn’t bother or affect you. I have learnt you should never change yourself for anyone. Be proud to show the real you.

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Remember… it’s always good to be different, it would be boring if we were all the same. I hope this blog wasn’t too waffly (soz if it was!) … I had a lot to say on this one.

What are the lessons you have learnt as you have got older x

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