It’s my birthday today! I’m 28.
I love my life. I am so overwhelming grateful for everything I have. Every single part of it. The texture and feel of it. I love the life out of it.
Here are 28 things I have learnt about myself, my life, love, friendship, family, humanity and the universe, in 28 years on this beautiful planet.
1. 1 year = 365 opportunities. Take them.
2. The sh*t that makes your heart beat faster, and your eyes light up when you talk about it, think about it or do it, whether that’s hiking, yoga, art, reading, watching documentaries, listening to music, sex, cooking, helping others, leaving notes for strangers – do it. And do it as often as possible. That is what life is about. Don’t let anyone stop you from doing the things that make you feel alive. Not even yourself.
3. Stop waiting for this big elusive happiness to hit you like a storm. Happiness is in the tiny moments. A secret smile. A touch. Conversations until 4am. A kiss in the middle of the night. Laughing until tears stream down your face. Dancing after midnight. A favourite meal. The feeling of childhood nostalgia. It’s your moments lined up. You’re living it.
4. Spend time absorbing your family history. It’s in your bones.
5. The feeling when you find your first grey hair feels a bit like getting caught stealing something by your parents when you were younger. That freeze on the spot, stomach drops feeling, mixed with assessing how you can talk yourself out of this one. Except, oh. You can’t. It’s a grey hair. Really fun day.
6. Life plans will f*ck you over. So remember, if the door doesn’t open, it isn’t your door.
7. Hangovers definitely get worse. But that could be correlated to being able to drink more. Either way, recovery is a b*tch.
8. Getting bad skin in your late 20s really isn’t cool. I mean, grey hairs and acne? Give me a freaking break here. But it also actually doesn’t matter as much as it did in your teens.
9. You can’t make anyone like or love you. It isn’t personal. It can be hard remembering that, but it’s true. You only have control over your actions and reactions. So act with respect and react with dignity.
10. Only make time for authentic friends who light up your soul when you’re with them. Authenticity is everything.
11. Look after your body. Where else are you going to live?
12. There isn’t just one soul mate for everyone. You can have multiple. And sometimes, in fact most likely the majority of the time, they’re in the shape of your closest friends.
13. Stay close to your siblings. They’ve seen you grow in ways no-one else has. They know the shape of your character. And they’ll make sure you keep that sh*t real.
14. You can reinvent yourself and change your world whenever you want to.
15. Take nothing for granted. Love. Friendship. Security. Trust. Jobs. Health. Family. Appreciate everything.
16. Your friends don’t have to encompass all the qualities you need in a friend; you can have friends for different times and experiences in your life, and that’s absolutely fine.
17. Self love and self care are two concepts that should be embraced. Being the best version of yourself will only bring love, joy, happiness and fulfillment to you, and those around you.
18. Love is love. Love whoever the f*ck you want to love.
19. Live more fearlessly. Don’t wait for approval or do what is expected. People will surprise you.
20. Drink more water.
21. Knowing yourself is a really beautiful feeling. Feeling comfortable in your skin and in your own company is empowering, liberating and takes work. But it’s worth it. There is a lot of wonderful time to be spent discovering yourself without needing another person to make you whole. Fill yourself up. Live for yourself.
22. Put time into your relationships; you really do get out what you put in.
23. Be thankful for the people who have entered and left your life; those who have brought you pain. For you have grown from those experiences more than you realise. Let go of any anger you may hold and simply think ‘I’m glad you were a part of my life’. And move on.
24. You are personally responsible for improving the society you live in. You have the power to make changes through your choices; so make good choices.
25. Social media is a beautiful and toxic thing. Remember that balance.
26. Piercings in your late 20s are liberating. Don’t take your body so seriously.
27. Things become more scary as you get older. Phobias can come out of nowhere. I’m still learning how to deal with this one.
28. Forgive yourself. Sometimes you break your own heart and others along the way. But forgive yourself, speak gently to yourself, you’re learning too and you won’t always make the best decisions. And that’s ok.
Photo Credit: Hannah Hutchins // A Work In Style