Life lessons

So another year and another birthday is fast approaching.  I’m now closer to 30 than 20 now and as you get to the big three O, I think even the most rational of person starts to look at their life and all the things they wished they’d done differently when they were younger or learnt earlier.  So I thought i’d make a list of what I thought my major life lessons have been so far.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

It’s a phrase you hear often enough but it’s amazing how true this is!  I know from experience!  The thing that tested and proved this for me was the sudden death of my brother.  He had only just turned a teen and then suddenly he was gone.  I felt like my world had crumbled and for a while yes I was angry but you know what?  I came out the other end stronger.  Now I feel like if I can deal with that, NOTHING can phase me and believe me there have been enough tests of that resolve!

I think in my years on this earth, I’ve probably gone through more tragedy, traumas and general issues that would probably break some people but throughout it all i always remind myself that i’ve dealt with worst and lived to tell the tale so this is not so bad.  My life philosophy now is “Don’t sweat the small stuff, if you’re alive and well, then everything else can be worked on.”

Appreciate the things you have

A lot of people waste so much time envying the lives of others.  They spend so much time wishing they had what others did or wondering why they haven’t gotten everything they think they deserve yet, that they miss out on all the good things they do have.

I do the opposite, for the most part I look at my life and see all the things I do have!  I have a job I love and family and friends and for that i’m very thankful.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be ambitious and strive to be your best and do your best.  What i’m saying is don’t let it be the be all and end all.  Take time to enjoy the things that are already in your life.

Don’t waste time on people that don’t matter

When I was younger, I used to get so caught up in not saying or doing the wrong thing in case someone didn’t like me.  Some people took advantage of that.  I had “friends” who would only get in touch if they wanted something or i’d be the one chasing them.  You know the sort that organise nights out but you only hear about it when you see the pictures on facebook or when they do invite you to things you feel like the outsider crashing their party.  For years I thought that this was how friendships were.

However, as I got older, I began to realise who my real friends were.  These were the ones that did things for you just because.  The ones who you wouldn’t see for months because you were too busy but when you got together it was like you’d never been apart.  The ones that didn’t judge you or make fun of you.  So I decided that i’d stop wasting my time on people who abused my friendships and nurture the ones that do matter.

My way of thinking became, if it feels one-sided or like a chore, it’s time to cut your losses and move on.  Friendships shouldn’t be all bad time and shouldn’t feel like hard work.

Don’t change yourself for a boy

I had a boyfriend once that tried to change me.  I remember him sitting there once telling me all the things he thought i did wrong.  It was basically everything from the way I spoke to the way I walked!  Looking back I can’t believe I sat there and listened to him and stayed with him after that!  The me now would never do that!

I remember being so afraid to voice my opinions or be myself around him because I thought he’d hate it and leave me.   Again this is something I would not do now!

I guess I should thank the ex for the way I am now.  Because of him, I know what I positively will not stand in a relationship and I know what I want and won’t sell myself short again!

Believe in yourself

I’ve had a lot of people tell me that I would never amount to anything or that I couldn’t do something.  You know who’s laughing now? Meeeee!!

Don’t let people tell you you can’t do something or try to bring your confidence down.  The important thing is that you believe that you can do it.  Use their negativity to push you to do better and be better.

A good eduation is the best gift you can give yourself

Don’t waste the opportunities you get.  Work hard in school and if you decide to go to university, don’t see it as 3 years of dossing and getting drunk.  Work your bum off and make sure you do your best.  That education will give you the chance to have a good career.  Of course there are other factors that’ll help have a good career but a good education is definitely up there!

Don’t think your learning stops once you finish formal education either.  You should always strive to improve your knowledge and learn something new.  This is something i’m doing now.  At the moment i’m learning French and taught myself to knit.  My next goal will be to achieve my MSC.  I truly love learning!

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