June 15, 2020
30 things I’ve learned in my 30 years.
I turn 30 this week and thought it would be fun to share ‘what I’ve learned’ so far in life, both personally and professionally. I certainly don’t profess to know everything, but there are a couple things I’ve learned along the way, that I hope might be helpful for others to read.
I’m so excited to be going into my thirties and seeing where this decade takes me.
- Everything happens for a reason. Really. From not getting the job to a breakup. Personally, both those situations are things that have propelled me into learning more about myself and aligning myself to be living the life I want to live.
- Trust your gut. You know that feeling you get when you first meet someone? When you’re in a situation that may not be right for you? Yeah, that’s your gut. Situations in which I ignored my physical feeling because I could logically explain with my brain why it was ‘right’ for me have never worked out well. If your body and energy says ‘no’ or even ‘not sure’, tap out.
- Wear SPF everyday.
- Fake it till you make it. If you want to do something, don’t worry about not having the ‘official’ qualifications for something. It’s 2020. I became a photographer by telling everyone I was a photographer. Tadaah. Not only did this help me believe I was / could be, but it meant others heard me and helped me, which leads to my next point…
- Say things out loud. To yourself, and to others. The energy of saying something out loud is so powerful. It lets the universe know what you would – or wouldn’t – like. It’s so easy to get caught up in thought but saying things out loud helps make more sense of them. And just like trusting your gut – listen to what you say out loud to others, it’s likely this is closer to how you truly see things or feel.
- The best way to do something is to do it. There are so many reasons to delay doing something and wait for the ‘perfect’ moment. But trust me, the perfect moment doesn’t exist, but the present moment does.
- Take probiotics.
- Being able to love anyone else always starts with loving yourself. So cheesy – yikes – but so true. In the words of Ru Paul: If you can’t love yourself how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?
- Accept yourself as you are. There’s always room for improvement, sure, but there’s nothing wrong with the current version either. Trying to be somebody else or copy someone else won’t make you any better. Your most authentic form is the one chosen for you.
- Learning is what life is about. I think maybe 5 years ago I decided that life was a riddle I was here to solve, and honestly I love seeing it that way. I am here to be in situations I don’t understand so I can learn and grow from them. Be presented with things I want to understand more, and learn more about them. I feel so happy when I’m learning something new. A difficult situation is just a difficult riddle. It can be solved, but it may just take time and energy – and honestly – that’s all there is.
- A bath, a face mask and a cup of tea solves almost everything.
- Energy is everything. I’ve spoken about my love for Human Design before and for me energy really relates to this. Understanding the energetics of myself and others has changed my life, my actions and how I understand what happens so much. Crucially, it’s helped me be more successful in many endeavours by knowing how my energy is received, too.
- Estate agents are never on time.
- Write things down. With a pen and paper. Is there anything so cathartic?
- Don’t be afraid to be wrong. The only thing worse than being wrong is being told you’re wrong and still not understanding. It’s okay, learn and move on. Opening yourself up to see another point of view is always good.
- You don’t need lots of friends. Yup, I must be old now. I moved around a lot when I was younger – 2 countries and over 10 schools – and always craved having a giant friendship group that were all friends, too, in comparison to my here-and-there good friends I’d picked up along the way. Now I realise that for me it’s so much more special and nourishing to have the ones in my life I can rely on and trust. I don’t need 20 people in a room to flit around from and to, I just need my dearest to get through this life. Less is indeed more.
- You can break up with friends, too. I first did this a few years ago and it was strangely freeing. I realised someone who had been so amazing and close to me at a certain point in my life was now draining me and abusing my kindness. I felt like I ‘had’ to do these things for her because we had been friends so long. It was really hard but making the decision to remove her from my life let me move on. It’s not that the friendship wasn’t special, it was great! Just like a romantic relationships, sometimes you need to move on – and I can still appreciate the friendship and good times we had rather than resenting the person and giving away so much of my energy to something that isn’t serving me.
- Rest when you need it.
- Know your worth. Which means sometimes turning things down that don’t align with your worth. That can be both professionally and personally. It doesn’t mean being snooty and on a high horse about how great you are, but rather realising just because something is a ‘good opportunity’ doesn’t mean you are obliged to do it. If you keep working for less than your worth, then that becomes your worth.
- Confidence is not cockiness. Knowing your worth is part of this, and having confidence in your work and talent is another. In fact, confidence is often what leads to success.
- Say no. You’re allowed to.
- Say yes. When it feels right.
- Don’t compare yourself to others. Honestly, the biggest waste of time. But also: so so easy to do. In the end it does take time to stop yourself doing it, it’s about accepting yourself and knowing that the path your on is right for you. If we all looked the same and did the same thing at the same time life would be gloriously boring.
- Understand what you like. And what you don’t. I’ve often written lists of things like, what calms me? what do I like? What do I strive for? Why I am stressed right now? Knowing these things clearly allows me to identify what situations may trigger me and what activities can help me recover from a trigger. So then when I next experience a trigger I can be more level headed and have an idea of how to help myself.
- Buy yourself flowers.
- Being creative doesn’t mean you have to be poor. I thought about whether adding this one in but I think it’s important to highlight this. What I mean by this is the idea of the ‘starving artist’ is an ancient one. I think there was an idea when I was younger that if you followed your dreams – and if those were artistically based – that you wouldn’t make much money. I am really proud of myself for turning what was, admittedly, a hobby into a successful business. And I still relish every-time a middle aged man rudely asks me what I make and when I tell him he either 1) smiles and nods in a way that suggests he thinks I’m lying 2) repeats it to me and questions it. ‘Really? For taking photos?’ It’s as if a creative talent shouldn’t be well reimbursed but sitting in an office not liking your life should be. Eh?
- What you think about yourself is far more important than what others may think.
- Look after your feet. Putting oil around your toenails and on the soles of your feet every night before sleeping is one of the best habits ever.
- Be present. When I used to suffer from panic attacks one of the best things I learned to ask myself was – what’s the matter right now? Not maybe later or tomorrow or… but in this very second? And the answer is always: nothing. It can be so easy to forget living in the present with so many screens and distractions around, but I know it’s always those moments I am truly here that I am the happiest.