As July came to an end, I got to thinking (in the style of Carrie Bradshaw) …
Things have been a bit up and down this year for various reasons and not too long ago I honestly did feel a little like I was failing. Like I needed to have achieved more based on my age; I should have seen more of world, I should have a better salary, I should have my own house etc. The chances are you’ve possibly had the same thoughts at some stage.
I don’t exactly know what the turning point was, I don’t have a specific moment in my mind, but I realised I was being silly. I was putting way too much pressure on myself. Yes I have friends who are homeowners, who even have families too, but that doesn’t mean to say that’s where I need to be. There isn’t a set path for everyone and I needed to stop comparing myself to others as that’s where problems start and indeed spiral.And so I did just that. I focused on me, as hard as that was and as selfish as it seemed at first. But honestly the difference in how I feel now compared to mid-April is truly staggering. I’ve had friends comment on the difference they’ve noticed in me and how happy I’ve been. I found myself saying yes to opportunities, making last minute decisions and not worrying (as much) about the consequences.
Something shifted and I realised I’d rather take the opportunity than put myself off and wonder thoughts of ‘what if..?’ Adele once said ‘regrets and mistakes they are memories made’ and that rings true, don’t you think? Whilst I’m hesitant to use the word ‘regret’ as I believe the choices I make in the moment were right for me at the time, I have learned from the decisions and experiences whether positive or negative.
Now, I’d like to say there’s a ‘quick fix’ or one solution that works for everyone, but unfortunately I don’t think I’ve read enough books or am in a position to advise, nor do I think it’s the case as we are all different. I would recommend that you surround yourself with good people, positive people who will push you and reflect back those good vibes you need to grow.
Find the beauty in everyday things. Yes, I know, I’m typing this and thinking that’s a bit ‘out there’ even for me to be saying, but hold on a second. Whether it’s sitting and having a coffee, or discovering a new song on Spotify, appreciating the little things is so important. Even just a little ‘good morning/how’re you’ message can make the world of difference. So if you’re wondering how your friends are doing – check in with them, if you think you’ve spent too long scrolling through twitter – put your phone down/close your laptop and go take in some fresh air. For example; I recently sat on Richmond Green with an iced latte enjoying the sun, watching the planes flying overhead towards the airport trying to guess the destinations they were travelling from. Then last week I hiked up Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh and spent some time looking at the views of the city and beyond, putting things into perspective and taking some time to be in the moment.
Be thankful. When did you last say thank you? Can you honestly say you thanked that person who held the door for you? Or did you just hurry through rushing to get somewhere. Be thankful for what you have, whether that’s something material like the new shoes you bought or having a car to get you from one place to the next; or something you can’t see, but something you can feel like having a family and support network to back you up, good health, the experiences you’ve had that have shaped you as a person.
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Much easier said than done, but on a surface level we are all the same. We’re made of the same atoms. The problem lies, like I said earlier in this post, where we compare ourselves and what we have, to that of others. Who should dictate what we do and achieve by a certain age? Only you should decide what you want and set goals realistic to what you want and what you feel you can achieve. If you want to visit 30 countries before you’re 30, learn to scuba dive, bake a cake every weekend, meet new people and make new friends – it’s up to you to do that and yes, what you want to do might not suit others, but why should it? Don’t do things just to make other people happy, if you have a plan to work through that cook book, then you go for it Mary Berry style. If you want to learn to scuba dive then book a holiday somewhere exotic to put it into practice, then get that bikini on and go.
You just have to take the first step…
Photos: Lucy Steel