Those that know me well will know that there is nothing I love more than my birthday and everything that comes with it. That, and Christmas and everything that comes with it too. The surprises, the bottles of golden brown magic, the lights and balloons, the beautiful people, the birthday love and all-things-good-and-positive you’re surrounded with.
There are butterflies until there’s a whole zoo inside of you. With a week to turning twenty-five, as always, the elation is trailed by contemplation. Looking back, it’s funny how the things we once took a gander at as terrifying and dispiriting are exactly what we needed. You never really know where life will take you, and chances are, it won’t always be where you hoped. While it’s important to acknowledge all that was for all that will be, not everything happens for a reason. There are lessons you can learn without experiencing pain.
As I turn a year older (and hopefully wiser), here are some of my quarter-life lessons.
01. Surround yourself with people who push you to better yourself, every single day. If your circle is full of people who you admire and respect, you will automatically want to better yourself, and the inspiration will be right there for you to soak up.
02. People can change, and often, they do. While first impressions speak volumes, never doubt the ability of someone to turn themselves around. If only you gave them a chance to show you.
03. No matter how hard you try, you cannot change people. It’s pointless to try. Spend your energy somewhere else.
04. Say “thank you” to your taxi driver, to your cashier, to your intern. Gratitude is the name of the game.
05. Reading is one of the best habits that you could ever have. If you have it, never let it go. If you don’t have it, start now. I am incredibly lucky that my father was a voracious reader, and that he was able to instil this passion in me, too. Last year, there was a six-month period where I didn’t read a single book. I remember feeling hollow, dull and uninspired. Luckily, that phase is over now.
06. Tell the truth, always. Sometimes, we lie to protect people. Sometimes, we lie to save face. Sometimes, we tell a white lie to make someone happy. Sometimes, we lie to prevent confrontation. It isn’t worth it. Put on your big-girl shoes and be honest. Trust, once broken, cannot be fixed.
07. As you grow older, you will meet and reconnect with people from your past. Your relationship with some of these people may have turned sour. With others, perhaps, it simply faded away. Regardless, when you do meet them, you will enjoy conversing and getting to know them again, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
08. Self-love and the romantic type of love are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they complement each other. I’ve come to realise that without being comfortable and confident in your own skin, you will never be able to open yourself up to love from someone else.
09. You could work really hard and still fail. Don’t let that make or break you. Put yourself together because there’s always tomorrow to get it right.
10. God will make a way where there seems to be no way.