It’s my birthday in less than a week, and this means I will be closing the chapter on being 27. I thought this would be a nice way to reflect on the last year, and share with you some of the things I have learned over the year.
I would say this has been a year of self-discovery. I am realising good things take time, and that nobody has everything figured out.
“Some beautiful paths can’t be discovered without getting lost.” ― Erol Ozan
- Try new things. Over the last year I have tried to be more open-minded with trying new things. Some I have loved, and others have brought me out of my comfort zone. Some of these include: painting classes, pottery classes, public presentations, going for intense interviews, starting a blog, climbing a Munro, exploring a new genre of music events – other than house and r & b, completing online courses and meeting diverse people. Life is full of surprises, and by trying new things you are opening yourself up to opportunity.
- People are going to come and go. As you get in to your late 20’s some of your friendships will fade away, and relationships will change. Many factors can contribute to this, which may include: finding different interests in life, having different priorities or you are in different stages in life. You can move on gracefully, and still want the best for each other.
- Practice self-care as much as you can. Life may become more stressful in your late 20’s, with more responsibilities and expectations. Ensure you make time for yourself. Some of the things I like to do, include: making time to meet up with friends and family, reading more books, switching off from technology, relaxing in a bath, meditation, trying to be more organised, using the Calm app, getting more active and retail therapy. Self-care is vital for your mind, soul and physical health.
- Make more friendships. When you get into your late 20’s, some of your friends may be settling down, moving away or have different working hours. Your friendship can still remain strong, but you may not get to see each other as often. To help make more friends, put yourself out there. Attend new fitness classes, try a new activity, start blogging or join a friend app. I have made several new friends this year, and I can’t describe how much this has improved my year. We have had several drunken nights out, brunch dates, walks in the park, hikes, catching up over dinner, attended various art classes and had endless chats.
- Not everyone is going to like you, and that is OK. Follow and discover your passions in life, and be kind to others. Not everyone will understand you on this journey, and that is okay. This allows you to be true to yourself. “I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ― Frederick Douglass
- Judge others less. A recent study published that it can take a tenth of a second for us to form an impression on a stranger. I think it can be argued that we live in a very judgmental society at times, predominately through social media. Try and judge others less, listen to others, be mindful, try and explore a shared interest. You really don’t know what somebody is going through in life, be kind always.
- Don’t feel pressured to conform to societies expectations. Society can put an abundance of pressure on women, this may be to be married by a particular age, or the expectation to have children and to always be “put together”. Live the life you want to live, and choose to be happy. Some women are focused on self-discovery, some women want to be in a relationship, other woman are content being single, some women want children, other woman may not or may not have the opportunity to, some women like to wear make-up, others may not. We are all unique individuals, and some people need to respect that more in society. Follow your own path in life.
- We learn from our mistakes. Life is not to be lived perfectly, and we make mistakes throughout the journey. Ensure to learn from your mistakes, and don’t allow your self-importance to get in the way.
- Explore nature. Nature has immeasurable benefits for our physical and mental well-being, which helps improve our health and happiness. Some of these benefits, include: reduced blood-pressure, reduced heart rate, a decrease in muscle tension and less of the production of stress hormones. Make time to disconnect from technology, and explore the outdoors. Scotland has lots of beautiful scenery, all waiting to be discovered. A few ideas I like to do, include: walking my dog in country parks, going hiking, organising a weekend break away, outdoor yoga and going for lunch outside in the summer.
- Spend quality time with your family. Over the last year I have reconnected with my cousins, and this has led to wonderful friendships and great times together. I also became an auntie last year to my beautiful niece, and I love spending time with her. Make your family your friends in life. “No one is busy in this world. It’s all about priorities.”
- Chase your dreams, and don’t give up. Life is not a straight path; it has its ups and its downs and can feel like a maze at times. You might be discovering that it may take longer to make your dreams your reality. Persevere, do what you have to do and don’t give up on the first, fifth or tenth hurdle. Better things are on the horizon, if you are working towards them.
- Hangovers in your late 20’s. The saying is unfortunately true, the older we get the worst hangovers become. Apparently, there is a scientific reason for this, that we lose some of the enzymes required to break down alcohol from acetaldehyde to nontoxic acetate. If you know your science, you will understand this better than me. Your next hangover may make you consider giving up alcohol for life, or until your next night out. Happy ageing!
- It is okay for you to dislike someone, and for them to never know. As you get into your late 20’s you will have experienced a lot of people. Not everyone needs to like you, and you also don’t need to like everyone. Practice being mindful, and polite when this occurs – it will get you further in life.
- Don’t believe everything you see or read on social media. Pictures are edited, filtered, often well thought out and staged. Celebrities such as the Kardashian’s, Mariah Carey and Ariana Grande have all been accused of editing pictures posted on Instagram. Reminder, be mindful of what you absorb on social media – it’s not a representation of reality.
- Make your happiness your responsibility. If you expect others to make you happy, you will always be disappointed. Create your own happiness, explore your interests and hobbies, make friendships, appreciate the small things and find something good in each day.
- Have fun and enjoy life. Don’t get so caught up in life, that you forget to enjoy yourself. Create memories, have nights out, go to the after party, dance, laugh, watch the sunset, look at the stars, explore new places and talk about your passions.
- Stand up for yourself. Have the courage to stand up for yourself, and not let anyone make you feel inferior. You can do this maturely and politely, by letting the other person know how you are feeling about a situation.
- Occasionally switch off from the celebrity culture. I think everything is good in moderation, and it is important to find the balance. I feel that we can live in a society, which at times can be captivated by the celebrity culture – especially for the younger generation. I have never really been interested in following celebrities, and as most of my friends know – you will probably have to explain who you are talking about in the celeb world. I have never seen a full episode of Love Island or Keeping up with the Kardashians. I have absolutely no judgement for people who do, we all need something to watch to help us switch off and relax. I think it’s helpful to be mindful not to compare ourselves negatively to celebrities, that we may watch. They are in business, and often representing their brand and image.
- Appreciate the good people in your life. Life can get busy, and sometimes we may need a gentle reminded to appreciate those in our life. Send flowers for no reason, call someone – rather than messaging them, remember birthdays, encourage your friends, send postcards and most importantly spend time with them.
- Believe in yourself every day. Don’t allow self-doubt to get the better off you, believe in your dreams your potential and your talents. “Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.” ― Roy T. Bennet
- Care about your planet. We only have one earth, and it is vital everyone contributes to looking after this amazing planet. This may be to reduce energy, reduce our plastic consumption, recycle as much as we can, limit our food waste and eat sustainably. “We are at a unique stage in our history. Never before have we had such an awareness of what we are doing to the planet, and never before have we had the power to do something about that. Surely, we all have a responsibility to care for our Blue Planet. The future of humanity and indeed, all life on earth, now depends on us.” – David Attenborough
- Keep your mobile data and Wi-Fi off more. Over the last year I have turned my Wi-Fi off at night, and most of the time I won’t turn it on till later on the next day. I have found several benefits from doing this, which include: reading more books, improved sleep, feeling more relaxed and being more productive. I think we can sometimes feel very attached to our phones, and it is good to be mindful of this. Ofcom reported in 2018 that the average British adult checked their screen every 12 minutes of the waking day. I like to use an app called StayFree, which shows you how much time you have spent on your phone, and on your favourite apps. The app also gives you the ability to set usage limits for apps, and receive alerts when exceeding your usage limit.
- Be true to yourself. A palliative nurse revealed that one of the top regrets of the dying, was that they wish they had the courage to live a life true to themselves, and not the life others expected of them. Pursue what you want from life.
- Trust your intuition. If something or someone doesn’t feel right, then trust your feelings. Trusting your intuition is the ultimate act of trusting yourself.
- Accumulate Wisdom. Read more books, read more newspapers, watch documentaries, listen to others – everyone can teach you something, be open-minded, try new things, be humble, step out of your comfort zone and learn from your mistakes. “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” ― Aristotle
- Treat yourself. Treat yourself every so often, and don’t wait for someone else to get you what you want. Book yourself a trip away, buy yourself those new boots you have been wanting, take yourself out for lunch or book yourself in for a massage. – We all need to indulge once in a while.
- Make a to do list to accomplish for next year. Download a to do list app on your phone, and note down the things you would like to achieve in the next year. This will give you the aspiration to work towards them, and accomplish them.