So I guess it’s official now, I am in my late twenties! My 28th birthday just came and went (Virgos unite!), and I don’t know about you but birthdays are always a time of reflection for me. A moment to stop and look back on the year gone by. To evaluate how it went, what I learned and how I want to move forward. My 27th year took an unexpected turn due to COVID19, but I am grateful for the lessons it has taught me.
Remove The Limits You Place On Yourself
For years I have passionately hated running. I have turned down amazing opportunities, events and jobs because they included runs; something I thought I just wasn’t “built to do”. Well, it turns out I was wrong.
Not being a runner was a story I was telling myself, a story I could change.
In lockdown, I picked up running as a new way to exercise outdoors and soon became hooked. I ended up running 100km a month in May, June, July and August; including a half marathon in June! Running is a new passion of mine and I think it’s safe to say, I’m a runner now.
Most Of Your Obligations Are Actually Choices
Lockdown stripped life right back to the basics, and now as the world is starting to slowly return to normal I am realising that a lot of the obligations I filled my time with pre-lockdown are actually things I chose to do. And guess what? Outside of key work tasks, I can choose to not bring them all back into my life. Lockdown gave me a sweet taste of a slower pace of life and while I know that my schedule will inevitably speed up (I thrive off being busy!), I do hope that I continue to value my time and think wisely about what I want to give it to.
Emotions Aren’t A Weakness, They’re A Guide
It is a good thing to feel emotion. Emotions help us to connect with how we truly feel on the inside and provide guidance for our actions. So please don’t hold back when you’re excited and don’t be embarrassed when you cry. Instead embrace your emotions, listen to them and use them as fuel for action.
Nobody Can Fulfil Every Role In Your Life
We often look to key people in our lives such as our partners or friends and expect them to be everything to us. The reality is that no single human can “tick all the boxes” and placing this expectation on someone will only make you disappointed. Instead, each person can have a different role in your life. Some friends may be there to make you laugh while others are amazing emotional supports. Your partner may not be able to provide the best work advice, but your colleague could be a font of knowledge. This year I have embraced having a diverse range of people in my life who I connect with in different ways.
You Were Not Put On This Earth To Please Others
It is a pointless pursuit, as you will ultimately never be able to make everyone happy. This is particularly poignant on the internet, where no matter what you do someone will disagree with your choices and pick flaws in your actions. I have had to build a thick skin over the past few years online, especially during COVID times when online hate went through the roof for many creators, and just focus on doing what is right for me. In doing so I have to accept that many people may not approve of my choices and want to voice their opinions to me, but that comes with the territory. As long as I am comfortable with my actions and confident that I am being a good human, that is what matters.
I Belong To The Outdoors
In my 27th year I realised how much I value the outdoors. During lockdown I went on daily walks in my local park and I took so much joy from watching the leaves turn green, the spring flowers come into bloom and the swans raise their young. Over the past 12 months, hiking has gone from an occasional hobby to my biggest passion. I have spent almost every weekend exploring new trails and as soon as travel corridors opened up I went straight to the Alps.
Nothing feeds my soul quite as much as the mountains.
Luckily Ant has been on the same journey and we have both fallen equally in love with the outdoors, which influenced our decision to move to the Surrey countryside instead of staying in London. It feels like a bold choice, something we would usually do a bit later in life, but we both just wanted to get out of the city and be more connected with nature. I am so excited to have the outdoors on my backdoor.
You Will Never Be This Young Again
Embrace every single second. Life is flying by at a rapid speed and as I age I am becoming more aware of how precious each moment is. Slow down, look up and take it all in.
This is your one life, live it.