Dear TwentyEight - 28 things I've learned being 28

Dear Twenty Eight

You’ve been great. Challenging, but great.

I mean, you’ve nearly killed me twice, you’ve tested me to my very core, you’ve changed me in ways I didn’t even know were possible, and you’ve finally made me the woman I’ve always wanted to be.

To celebrate I want to share with you the 28 things you’ve taught me this year...

  1. No matter where you are in the world, your family are still your family. You could be in the next room or the other side of the world, but those people who have your back are the ones you can always come home to and love you unconditionally. Some days you may want to kill each other, and others you could just wish you were right back with them for a cuddle, a giggle and your mum’s cooking, but that love I have for my family is stronger than ever, and I know that will never go away no matter how far I fly. I’m grateful and blessed for my family, more than I ever have been before.

  2. You’re family isn’t always who you grew up with, sometimes your family is the one you create. Whether it’s your Welsh housemate who became your sister, the Swedish girl who is your rock, the American girl who’s your loving cousin or the english girl who is the crazy one; it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been friends or known each other, your family are the ones who have your back no matter what. If travelling gave me any gift, it’s the beautiful family I’ve created along the way. A family of every culture, gender, age and personality! A family we’ve made together while walking our own paths.

  3. Choose love. Whether it’s the kitten you helped save before she passed away, or the guy who stole your heart when you least expected it, love is love and I’ll choose it every single time.

  4. Give that love and spread it everywhere. You never know who needs a little love in their life, so be the source of it! Give as much love in everything you do. Love the food you eat, love the people around you - even the strangers, love the sunshine and the thunderstorms… but whatever you do, just fucking love and spread that shit everywhere.

  5. The same goes for kindness. It’s infectious and the world still needs so much more of it. Be kind always - you never know what battles someone is facing on the inside.

  6. It’s ok not to be ok. Some days you just need to cry, I mean really ugly face cry. Some days you just need to be grumpy and to get mad, so feel those feelings and let them pass. You don’t need to hide it or be ashamed of it, all these emotions are guiding you somewhere new. So feel them and let them be.

  7. We can choose our path. I no longer believe we have a path set out for us, I believe we choose it, we design it and so often we’re not even aware we’re doing it! We choose our life with our thoughts, our words and our actions, so choose wisely because what your saying now will be your life next week/month/year… so I ask you, think of the words you’re using right now...is that how you want your life to be?

  8. Having said that, we don’t always get to choose HOW things happen. Maybe we want to find the love of our lives and they show up in completely unexpected ways, maybe we want to create a successful business and we get a brand new idea that takes us away from the last one, the key is to be open to it. It’s not our job to know how, it’s just our job to decide what we want and go for it.

  9. People don’t give a shit about you. I mean, they do, but in this sense I’m talking about the idea that someone is thinking negatively about you, when really they’re not thinking about you at all. People are too busy worrying about their own lives to think about yours, so let that go right now!

  10. You can’t control how someone behaves, but you can control how you react to it. This was a huge lesson for me, everyone has their own issues going on, so if they get mad it’s their problem (unless you’ve actively been a prick), you can’t make anyone act a certain way so stay in your own lane and make sure you react in a way that keeps your own peace.

  11. You can’t make someone feel something they don’t want to feel. This is a tweak on the previous statement, but may be even more relevant. You CANNOT change someone else’s feelings, so you’ve got to stop trying to. A person will feel what they feel, and often feel what they want to feel whether you like it or not, so sometimes the best option is to let them be - even if it hurts you in that moment.

  12. Old wounds can be mended. I didn’t know this was true until less than a month ago, when the wounds I’ve carried since childhood were healed through my own determination to let them go. Miracles can happen when you allow yourself to reflect on the past and heal the moments that scarred us, and we can create more space, love and happiness by doing it - we can even heal relationships that have been toxic for 28 years, I know this because I did it.

  13. People change, people grow, and people make mistakes. It’s not our place to judge someone based on who they were in the past. We’re growing every single day and so are they! Are you the person you were 6 months ago? 6 years ago? 12 years ago? No! You’re not! So why keep judging people based on how you knew them once upon a time. I’m quite sure you don’t want to be judged that way, do you? Take each person as they are now, it will make for happier relationships and ultimately a happier life.

  14. Another double pointer - if someone is a dick, just let them be. Walk away, let them heal their own shit and just do you, because no amount of meditation is going to change that - they’ve got to do it themselves.

  15. The past is for reminiscing not for living in. All the previous points are relevant here. How we were treated in the past or our past experiences shape our thoughts right now… IF WE LET IT. We can look at our past in two ways: painful memories or happy lessons. Many unhappy people spend their time looking back at the past and blaming it for their life, when really all we have to do is heal it and live in the present. This is one of the hardest things there is to do, but master that and you’ve cracked it! What was it Rafiki said in The Lion King? “The past can hurt, but you can either run from it or learn from it”.

  16. Be Present. Now we’re talking! Look at this magnificent fucking day! Look at the clouds, the sunshine, the rain! Taste those ridiculously good food! Drink those juicy drinks! Laugh with your friends! Get off your phone! Dance at lunchtime! Just be present and appreciate each moment because before you know it they’re gone!

  17. Enjoy your twenties - take the gap year, take the tequila shot, take the shitty job, take the experiences and roll with it because I promise towards the end of your twenties you’ll be looking back at all the shit you’ve done and you want that to feel good!

  18. Learn the lessons and be graceful about it. I mean some of these lessons are a shitstorm! Some of them have you curled in a ball sobbing your heart out and it’s all part of the process. This universe has you growing and evolving every damn day, and you have some serious lessons to learn, becoming the best version of ourselves often takes going through the hardest lessons to learn who we are at the core, and when we’ve learnt them, well, I’d like to say we become the butterfly - and in many ways we do - but the truth is we keep learning, we keep growing and that’s how we leave our imprint on this world. Keep striving for greatness!

  19. Love your body. Those rolls of yours? Oh so juicy and fabulous! The curve of your spine, the length of your hair, the way you smile, the look in your eyes are all wonderful. Wasting time obsessing over our imperfections is pointless, we all have them! We all have insecurities, and life really begins when you fall in love with yourself and your body and embrace it for every wonderful part! Chances are everyone else is worrying about their bodies way too much to give a shit about yours… so rock it!

  20. Be grateful. I’m actually surprised it took me 20 points before I got to this one, but by this point the words are rolling out like thunder! I have a gratitude journal where I write 5 things I’m grateful for every day, I do this before I do anything else, and with each point I stop and make sure that I FEEL the love for it. Once you find one thing to be grateful for, your life will open up and deliver you more and more!

  21. Believe in you. If you don’t, who will?!

  22. Friends aren’t always what you think. Possibly one of the tougher lessons this year, that you can feel you’ve done so much for people but when you need them, are they even there? Some will be, some will be right by your side offering love and support, some will be a phone call away, and unfortunately some let you down. Now I know what I know, I can understand that people only come to you from a level of their own consciousness, but that knowledge doesn’t make it easier knowing you want someone and they’re not there. A partner, a family member or a best friend… this year I felt all three. I went through some tough moments the year, and I was astounded by the realisation of who I can genuinely rely on in my life and who I can’t, I guess maybe we just don’t fit together anymore. People who you have made a priority might not treat you the same way, it’s not their fault, it’s just the level they’re at and you don’t factor in their life right now. So don’t get mad, sure, you’ll feel hurt, but send them love and let them be… maybe the universe is making room for more things coming your way.

  23. People come into your life for a lesson or a blessing. Personally I think both are blessings, and both are lessons. But it’s important to remember that whether someone comes into your life for a short time or for the long haul, these people are gifts, they’re amazing and we are blessed to have them at all. So embrace them for all that they are, and if they leave your life send them on with love and gratitude that for whatever time you had with them, they impacted you in some way.

  24. Travel. Travel far, travel wide, just bloody travel. Go and see all that this incredible world has to offer. Spend time with cultures different to the one you grew up in, meet people from all different walks of life and learn about their journeys. There’s over 7 billion people in this world, that’s over 7 BILLION unique stories to tell. This world is a great big place, and we’re in a generation that can jump on a flight and go ANYWHERE! So go, be, do, learn and experience.

  25. Create a morning routine that works for you and do it every single day. This to me is now basic common sense! Your morning routine changes your day, your week, your month and yes, you guess it, your life! Give yourself a power hour to get your day up right and stay consistent with it...believe me, you’ll thank me later.

  26. Make your bed.

  27. Follow what lights you up. That means my life is mine to create, to design, to be responsible for. My words are my own, my actions, my beliefs. This is my life, and I’ll be damned if I don’t do all I can to make it the best it can be for me and for all of those around me. In this form right now, we get one chance. We have this one opportunity for this short time on Earth, so embrace it and fill it with all the amazing things you can. Do what you love, do what lights your soul on FIRE!! Create passion, love, lust, joy, excitement, laughter and happiness! Follow the things that make you feel AMAZING, that’s all you really need to do.

  28. No matter how hard I fall, I will always pick myself up. There will come a time in my life where I have grandchildren on my knee and I’ll say...

“When I was 28, the world tried to crush me. I had allergies that hospitalised me, I had more pain than I’ve ever experienced, and I landed face first on the concrete causing many injuries and changing me in a split second. When I was 28 I got hurt, a lot, but it showed me how to become the woman I’d always dreamed of being, and that’s the woman who stands after a fall, who loves after hurt and who gives after loss.

When I was 28 I realised I didn’t need to become the woman I always wanted to be, because I was always just gradually growing into her, with all the lessons, the mistakes and the accidents I was shaping up to be the best version of me.”

They say age is just a number, and when I wake up tomorrow at 29 I won’t feel much different, after all it’s just a few hours away, but the truth is 28 wasn’t just a number… 28 was the beginning. 28 was the foundation of which I rebuilt my life, reframed my mind and finally started living.

So Dear 28, Thank You, I Love You xx