Well this past weekend in addition to celebrating my bestie's wedding I also celebrated my 27th birthday. It's funny because I think back 10 years ago to where I thought I'd be at 27 and my life looks nothing like I thought it would and that's totally okay. I've learned a lot in my short time, especially lots this past year so today I thought I'd share a few of the lessons I've learned. There's nothing super original here, we all know these things but just in case you need a little refresher...
1. Quality over Quantity goes - for pretty much everything
When it comes to clothes, friends, food and pretty much everything in between quality is way more important than quantity. When I was younger I wanted lots of everything. Lots of Facebook friends, lots of IRL friends, lots of clothes lots of shoes.......and so on and so on. Now I'm trying to pare down and keep it simple. Quality trumps quantity every time.
2. Staying in on Friday is awesome
Gone are the days of freaking out if I don't have plans on a Friday. In fact, I usually avoid making plans on Fridays because I'm so tired from the week! #oldlady I don't feel embarrassed or "lame" now if on a friday someone asks me what I'm doing, I now happily respond with "nothing, and I'm so excited about it".
3. Stepping out of your comfort zone is a good thing
Oh man you guys, the past few years have put me in situation after situation where I felt uneasy and unprepared and you know what - I survived. Sometimes it was tough, sometimes I had anxiety but most of the time, by trying something new, putting myself out there and being a little uncomfortable for a short while I ended up having an amazing experience and meeting incredible people.
4. Adulting is hard- you don't need all the answers
Does this one even need an explanation? Paying bills, doing your taxes, figuring out what you want to do with your life, cleaning your house, making meals....all of this adulting can be hard and exhausting but if we remember we're all going through this and we're all struggling together it's not so bad. We don't need to have all of the answers and get everything right all the time. So cut yourself some slack, okay?
5. Just because you don't see your friends all the time anymore, doesn't mean your friendship is any less important or strong.
As my life gets busier something I continue to struggle with is feeling like I never get to see my friends (and family) as much as I'd like. As we all grow into our careers, get married, have families, travel and move away staying connected becomes harder. Sometimes I have to schedule a dinner a month in advance with friends because that's the first date that we can find that works for us. What I've realised over the past year especially is that your quality friends are your quality friends for a reason. You don't need to see or speak to them weekly to remain close. We all get busy and making time to see one another might get harder but that doesn't mean your friendship isn't just as strong or important.
6. Making new friends as an adult is incredible.
On the note of friendships, something else I've experienced especially over the past year is how awesome it is to make friends as an adult. Until the past few years most of my friends were friends I went to school with or worked with or knew through other friends and had known for several years. Thanks to this blog and our amazing #yeg community I've made some incredible friendships this past year. Growing up you usually find your friends via proximity - ex: through school, daycare or activities but as an adult you choose your friends based on your mutual values or shared interests which can lead to strong bonds without knowing each other for very long. Shout out to all the ladies I've had the pleasure of building friendships with over this past year, your love and kindness means more to me than I can tell you! XO
7. Drink lots of water and eat your vegetables
When I was younger my body was much more resilient. I didn't need to take care of myself the way I do now in order to feel good. Now, if I don't get a good nights sleep, drink lots of water and eat well I definitely start to feel it. My body is far more sensitive and as a result, I'm living a happier and healthier lifestyle. Taking care of #1 (aka YOU!) is SO important.
8. Saying no is hard, but sometimes necessary. Get comfortable saying it for the sake of your sanity.
I touched on this here and the responses - the emails, tweets, DMs and messages were overwhelming. This past year this has been a hard lesson but one of the most important ones. Take time to take care of yourself and if that means saying no to plans or opportunities there's no shame in that. Our society over glorifies being busy which can be really unhealthy both physically and mentally. Here's to taking YOU time and learning to say no for the right reasons.
9. Before you judge, put yourself in others shoes and think of how you'd feel.
Something I've noticed over the past few years and especially this last year is how much I hate when I hear others being mean or cruel, or judging others so harshly. Especially in this online world it's so easy for us to hide behind our keyboards and be mean anonymously. A rule I try to follow especially if I find myself reacting in a judging way, is to stop and think of what that person must be going through and how you might react before spreading hate or being mean.
10. Be kind to yourself
I thought I'd save the most important lesson for last. Being kind to others is incredibly important but many of us aren't kind to ourselves. We compare ourselves to others, we don't celebrate our successes, we don't recognise our strengths and in doing so, we're doing an injustice to ourselves. Take time every day to be kind to yourself. Compliment yourself, take a minute to be proud of an achievement or take time to read, or take a bath or do something that makes you happy. Your mind, body and soul will thank you.
So there you go, my super cheesy birthday post! What are some of the lessons you've learned this last year?