Hello guys! October is a special month for me for many reasons: 1/ we’re supposed to feel autumn coming in October (I know still not happening in Casablanca..), 2/ The Spanish Classico is ALWAYS scheduled in October (D-7 yeaaay!!) and 3/I was born in October!
This year, I’m officially turning 27, and by the way I’ll be waiting for your checks for the next 7 days, I take cash too ;). So to celebrate, I thought why not make a list of the 27 things I’ve learnt in the process of growing up, either the easy or the hard way. Here is the first part (I didn’t mean to split it into 2 parts but even I wouldn’t want to read a 3 pages blog post!) so let’s get it started!
1- Perfection doesn’t exist. Stop looking for it. Whether it’s a job, a place to live, a life partner, or something else, there are always trade-offs.
2- Choose to spend your time with people who lift you up. It might seem easier to hold stronger relationships with those with whom you share a history, or who have been part of your group for longer, but a lot of these relationships can be emotionally draining, so just make sure you’re spending your time with people who make you smile, laugh, and feel good about yourself. Of course I’m not saying that you should cut the other ones off from your life! (Even though I’m incredibly good at removing people that don’t matter from my life and that scares the hell out of me…)
3- No matter how good you think you are in relationships, it’s never easy to identify one on its way to being abusive. We always define abusive relationships in their most stereotypical form: a man hitting or insulting a woman (or vice versa!). It’s a lot more difficult to see that a partner is slowly isolating you from your friends, or manipulating you emotionally, or making you feel shameful or guilty. And the feminist in me would say that movies like Twilight that glorify abusive relationships (No that’s not love I’m sorry) to a vulnerable teen audience aren’t doing the world any favors. Just saying.
4- Only you are the person who can change your life. If you’re happy, that’s great. But if you’re not and want to make a change, nothing is going to happen until you make it happen. Don’t wait for the perfect career opportunity to fall into your lap or the travel project to become real just by day dreaming about it. Go after your own dreams. I’ll have to recognize that I still need to work on this when it comes to feelings, but I’m pretty sure I’ll get that covered by 40!
5- It’s not a competition. Really, it’s not. Okay this one is extremely important, especially in our society where everyone is checking what others are doing instead of chasing their own dreams. It’s so easy to drive yourself into negativity while trying to figure out how to tear down the person next to you. Never compare yourself to other people. Everyone has their struggles (and successes!) but the ones that matter most are your own. Let it go, smile and say: “That’s great. I’m happy for you!” Feels good I promise 🙂
6- Experiences are more valuable than possessions. One day you may not remember a handbag or pair of shoes that you got for your 23rd birthday (I don’t even remember what I got for my 26th birthday…or was it nothing? I don’t know…), but you’ll definitely remember the day you spent on the top of a mountain, or that trip to that place you’ve never been to.
7- Having stuff can actually be nice too. I’m not saying that having stuff is bad or shallow (as many people tend to think), I’m just saying that we should try not to get overly attached to things… But truth is that having stuff can be nice. Not endless piles of things you don’t need, but a few standouts that make you remember the experiences
8- Forgive yourself. As many attempts as you make to turn yourself into a better person, you will make lots of little and huge mistakes along the way. Live with it, recognize it, be prepared for it, but above all forgive yourself for it.
9- The most precious time of all is the time you spend for yourself, by yourself. This is actually self-explanatory, no need to elaborate 🙂
10- Sometimes things don’t go according to plan. You can try to make as many plans for your life as you can, in the end life is going to look much different than you had imagined it will, and that’s OK, in fact it’s more than OK! And as the famous philosopher Mick Jagger said: “you can’t always get what you want”, just bear in mind that you might get more, and sometimes when you get what you want, you realize how limited your goals were in the first place.
11- Get out of your comfort zone. This might be the scariest thing you may ever do, but the learning you get from it is worth the fear and the excitement.
12- Learn to say “No” when you need to. This can be really tough and might seem selfish, but it’s necessary for your own balance. No one is going to say it for you if you don’t.
13- Learn to say “yes” too. Say yes to the things that light your soul on fire, make your heart want to get out of your chest and give you star filled eyes. Even if it scares the crap out of you.
Twenty-seven years is a long time, although not unscathed, we’ve learned many lessons along the way already; and don’t worry, every day provides an opportunity to learn something new so We’ll never be short of life lessons.
Cheers to the places we yet have to go to!