Tuesday, 23 September 2014

20 Things I've Learnt In 20 Years

Yesterday, the 20th September, was my twentieth birthday. It really had me thinking of all the lessons I have had to go through along the way to reach the point I'm at now and so thought that I'd share them with you.
Image from Bing


1) No matter what you do, there will always be someone who disapproves or criticises and so you may as well do it anyway.

This may not always be easy, especially when it can feel as though you have people breathing down your neck telling you that you're wrong or that you should be doing something else but at the end of the day it needs to be your decision and your decision alone- after all, you're the one who has to live with it.


2) Just because you're a grown-up doesn't mean that you have to have all of the answers.

This is something that I really believed in as a kid. When I would mess up or say something silly, I used to take comfort in the belief that when I was 'all grown up' I'd know everything that I would need to know, I would always be sure of what I was meant to be doing and everything would be easy. Boy, was I wrong- if anything being 'grown-up' means that you are more likely to make more with the opportunities and decisions that you are presented with.


3) Life very rarely goes the way that you expect it to.

It sounds like an awful cliché so please forgive me for this one but it is so very true. We change our minds, the paths that we thought we were on take a drastic turn in the road or we discover something new. More often then not we end up in a place in our lives that we never imagined.


4) Friends may come and go out of your life but the ones that are true will stay.

During our time various people come in and out of our lives with some staying longer than others. While we may gain and lose these people it is important to savour the good times we have with them and to always appreciate the friends that stay with us and put up with our idiosyncrasies.


5) Some of the best moments in life are the ones that you don't plan for.

They usually catch us unaware- it might be a case of finding a hidden treasure in the middle of the countryside or having a fantastic time when you were expecting to have an awful one.


6) Life is incredibly short.

This is a lesson that I learnt last year. It's something that we often take for granted when we're growing up and it isn't until we get older and life begins to pass us by that we realise how easily time can slip through our fingers.


7) Some of the best opportunities you have will come completely out of the blue.

These tend to be the things that we did on a whim or something that we may have mentioned to someone and forgotten completely about. An example of this was when I sent in a random piece of flash fiction to Shout Out UK and they got in touch with me to let me know that they liked it. I'd done it as a passing thought but it opened up a whole new experience.


8) Dreams are just dreams, it is when you act on them that they become a reality.

You can dream of being a rock star, or a supermodel or even an astronaut but if you don't tae any steps towards achieving that vision the fantasy will stay exactly that: a fantasy.


9) You will make mistakes or screw up...

This will happen and chances are that there will be times where it will be big and ugly, occasionally this will happen publically and in front of an audience...


10) But you will learn from them (at least if you have any sense)

You will be better prepared for that test. That big performance? Under control. The thing is when you do mess up you want to do everything in your power to avoid making that mistake again and so go that extra length to learn from it.


11) There's nothing as funny as folk!

People can surprise you (both in a good or a bad way) and, while you may never get the chance to speak to everyone in the world, when you do get the chance to speak to that person who passes you on the street or who's stood next to you at the bus stop, they may just turn out to be one of the most interesting people that you ever meet.


12) Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Have you ever been in that situation where everyone is laughing and there is that one person with that really loud, really unique laugh that makes you crack up more? There is no feeling in the world quite like that one and it is moments like that where you can truly savour the moment.


13) No one is perfect, no matter how much you may think they are

Yeah, you know that person who you think has everything they ever wanted and have a brilliant, easy life? Chances are that they don't. In fact, it's more likely they have the same kinds of insecurities that you have and that they are struggling with their own problems... something which we all need to remember when the green eyed monster comes along...


14) You are the only one that can hurt you.

Wait, what? That can't be true, can it? The truth is, when someone says something to you and it hurts you, it is because you are taking that comment personally- you are allowing yourself to take it to heart and giving those who are trying to do damage to you permission to hurt you.


15) There isn't always an answer to problems.

Sometimes you have to go out and find your own solutions, people won't always hand the answer.


16) The only limitations in life are the ones you set yourself.

If you want something badly enough and work hard for it, you will get there eventually.


17) Self-respect is invaluable and is something to take pride in.

Enough said. Words cannot express how important it is to respect yourself because if you don't respect yourself and demand that other people appreciate your boundaries, who's going to give you the respect you deserve?


18) Make sure that the people in your life know that they are loved.

The hard truth is that you don't know how long they will are going to be there so make sure to let them know how much they mean to you while you can.


19) Change is inevitable.

While some people are better at dealing with change than others, it is inevitable and although we may struggle we do eventually adapt- no matter how much we may think we can't.


20) Keep your eyes open and taking everything in.

Life is full of wonderful things, don't ever stop observing it and savouring every moment.