32 Things I've Learned In 32 Years

This week I turned 32 and do you know what? It felt really good. Matt and I took ourselves away for an overnight stay in a little cabin on the Isle of Sheppy, turned our phones off, and had 24 hours of quiet bliss.

I realised that I'm enjoying getting older. As each year passes I become a little wiser, a little more comfortable in my own skin, and a lot more aware of who I am, what I need and what I'm willing to put up with. I feel more like me than ever and I can't wait to see what adventures the rest of my thirties bring.

Feeling so content and self-aware, I decided now was the perfect time to write a list of 32 things I have learned in my 32 years. So here goes...

1. Alcohol should be enjoyed moderately and not binged (it took me years of terrible hangovers to finally learn this lesson).
2. Always do the things you're afraid to. They usually end up being the most worthwhile.
3. A good cry is good for the soul. And Beaches is the ultimate tearjerker when you need to just get it out.
4. Self care is very important - you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anyone else. Carve out regular time for reconnecting with you.
5. Running will never be fun, but it's good for your body and your mind so suck it up and get on with it.
6. For whatever reason some people just won't like you. And that's okay, don't waste your time or energy on them.
7. Relationships take a lot of work and effort, but they should never be hard work. Loving someone should come easily.
8. Organising your finances, knowing how to budget, remembering to save and planning ahead are a must. But you'll have to teach yourself these skills because school was too busy teaching pythagoras theorem!
9. Sometimes you need to just say no. Skip the party, ignore the guilt and stay home, snuggled under the duvet instead.
10. That said, sometimes you also need to just get ready and get out the house. Sitting around in your pjs all weekend will only make you feel worse.
11. A bit of fresh air and a quiet stroll in nature can instantly lift your spirits and will often cure a bout of anxiety.
12. The future is vegan. It really is.
13. Don't compare yourself to others - or your relationship, or your career, or your lifestyle. Easier said than done but just do you and try not to let others' achievements make you feel like you're doing something wrong.
14. In fact, cheering others on and feeling happy for them will in turn make you feel far happier than your envy ever will.
15. Traveling is the best. Travel as far and as often as you can.
16. Read everything you can too.
17. Ain't nobody got time for frenemies - people who pose as friends but subtly suck the life from you like a Dementor. It's okay to walk away from those people.
18. Heartbreak isn't the end of the world and grief does become bearable. You will get through the pain.
19. Consumerism is the enemy of our wallets, our planet and our mental health. We really don't need so much stuff! Memories will always be more valuable than possessions.
20. Hobbies are good for you. Find what you love, get good at it and nurture your creative side.
21. Age isn't something to fear. With each year that passes I feel more comfortable and more confident with who I am.
22. Friends are the family we choose. Make sure you choose people who will support and encourage you always. And always support and encourage them right back.
23. Learning is fun. I wish I knew this back at school because now I just want to know everything about everything.
24. It's okay to not have it all figured out yet. Give yourself permission to change your mind, your opinion, your career and your dreams, whenever and as often as you like.
25. Olives are delicious. Even if it did take force-feeding myself five packs in a row to come to this conclusion.
26. The internet can be a really cool place, but also a really toxic one. Find a way to consume it that works for you and curate a feed that truly makes you feel good.
27. It's cool to care. Find the causes you're passionate about and vow to always stand up and speak out.
28. We all have to wear sun cream. Always. Even in winter.
29. Makeup is fun but it doesn't work miracles. It will never make me look like the women on magazine covers and that's okay because that isn't real life.
30. Change is a good thing. A new job, a move to a new town - embrace the change.
31. Always be kind to others. We really never know what people are going through in their own lives.
32. A good mattress is essential. And an early bedtime. Your future self will thank you for these two things.

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