Today is my 28th birthday – twenty bloody eight. A whole decade of adulthood. How the hell did that happen?!
When thinking about what posts I could write to mark the occasion, my first idea was to tell you all about the things I’ve learnt in the past ten years. But then I realised that actually, I could quite easily put together a list of 28 things I’ve learnt this year alone.
I feel like this year has been a period of real change and growth for me. I spent my birthday last year feeling sad, weak and exhausted – I was still dealing with a lot of intense grief and my anxiety was more out of control than ever. But this year I feel different – I feel strong, and happy, and more than anything, content.
So today I wanted to share with you 28 things I’ve learnt this year. Some are deep, life changing realisations, and others are a bit more frivolous, but all of them are lessons I’ve been glad to learn…
1) Time spent at home is very important to my mental health. I’ve learnt the hard way that a diary jam packed with social commitments might seem exciting but just ends up leaving me burnt out and uninspired.
2) ASOS Ridley skinny jeans are the best jeans ever. They actually fit my bum and hips in them, and are super comfy too. Shout out to Beverley for bringing them to my attention!
3) My mum and sister are the two best friends I will ever have. They’re the first people I want to call with any good news, and they’re always the ones cheering me on when I need it.
4) Having a pet can work wonders for your general happiness. Deciding to adopt our little cat, Lola, was one of the best decisions Sam and I made this year and she makes me smile everyday.
5) Nothing helps me to destress more than a long walk in the fresh air. Not even a glass of wine – who’d have thought it?
6) I will never be able to stick to a diet so I should probably just call it quits and stop trying. I like food and booze too much to ever be drawn in by the lure of size 10 jeans.
7) Whenever you start feeling envious of someone else’s life, it’s usually time to start making a change in your own. Focus on working on yourself rather than wasting time worrying about what everyone else is up to.
8) Getting married really is as amazing as everyone says it will be, and it is worth all of the stress and blown budgets in the build up.
9) Knowing your own self worth gets so much easier as you get older and become more confident. I could kick myself for the stuff I put up with in my early twenties.
10) New York really is my favourite place in the world and never fails to make me feel like my most sparkly version of myself. Our trip this year definitely cemented that fact.
11) Making friends on the Internet is the best thing ever. If you’d told me this time last year that I’d have an ace holiday with someone I hadn’t even met yet, I wouldn’t have believed you.
12) A drastic haircut can make you feel like a brand new person. Having 8 inches of hair chopped off made me feel more confident and sassy than I have done in forever.
13) I’m bit of a workaholic. If I’m not hammering away at my day job, I’m scheming up blog posts or pitching to brands. Relaxing just isn’t in my nature, and that’s okay.
14) The more positivity and gratitude you put out into the universe, the more you’ll get back. It might sound a little bit woo woo but my god it’s true.
15) Travelling with cabin baggage only is an impossible task for me. I really should save myself the stress and just book hold luggage too.
16) If you put yourself out there and work really, really hard, life will reward you with some pretty great opportunities. I’m learning to always grab them with both hands, even if the thought terrifies me.
17) When it starts to feel like life is just a bit too overwhelming, you probably just need a good night’s sleep. Cancel your plans, have a bath and climb into bed nice and early.
18) Other women are not the competition. I’ve learnt this year that there’s more than enough success to go around, so stop worrying and start supporting your fellow ladies.
19) City breaks are my favourite way to travel, but exploring the countryside works wonders for my soul too. Prioritising both is important.
20) It’s true what everyone says – the hangovers just keep getting worse and worse. Try and remember to drink water, and if all else fails, stockpile the carbs.
21) Needing to take a break every now and then is nothing to be ashamed of. I’m learning (slowly!) that I don’t need to feel guilty about switching off.
22) Being yourself is the best asset you will ever have, so don’t let anybody try and convince you otherwise.
23) Knowing that a whole tribe of friends have got your back is the best thing in the world. After a rough 18 months I definitely know who mine are, and I will always be grateful that they were able to hold me up.
24) I am way more productive in the mornings. This year I’ve realised that rather than trying to slog my way through the do list at 10pm, I should just go to bed and set my alarm a little bit earlier.
25) There isn’t a problem in the world that can’t be made at least a little bit better with a giggly smile and cuddle from my nephew. Becoming his auntie is definitely one of the best things that has happened to me this year!
26) Reading is the only way to properly turn my brain off. I’m always happiest and less stressed when I get lost in a good book for half an hour before bed.
27) It’s never too late to change the course of your own path. Figure out what you want and stop listening to the people who are holding you back.
28) Getting older is something to embrace rather than fear. Bring on 29 and 30 and everything that lies beyond.