Sunday, 12 March 2017

From 22 To 23.

from 22 to 23 lifestyle advice

So, I turn twenty-three years old on March 14th. It's only a handful of days away now, as I sit melting into my sofa, typing these words, and all I can think about is how much I hope everybody will still like me - despite what Blink-182 might say.

I'm kidding... sort of.

I don't know how or when it happened (because trust me, I freakin' love celebrating my birthday) but all of a sudden I feel so strange about growing yet another year older. I mean, I anticipated this feeling... eventually. It's inevitable to feel suddenly alarmed at the prospect of growing older in your twenties, right? It's like, holy sh*t, I'm actually ageing, this is a real thing that is really happening. But I didn't anticipate to hit me all at once on the verge of just twenty-three.

Alas, when you really take a second to let it all sink in, no matter what point you're at in life, growing another year older isn't so bad. Age is but a number, and each year you get to live and breathe on this planet alongside the people and the things that you love is nothing short of a blessing. Not to mention the fact that each year that so inevitably passes by teaches you a plethora of life lessons that you get to carry into the next chapter of your life totally free of charge. As I move on from chapter 22 and let go of my right to sing that Taylor Swift song from the top of my lungs on an almost daily basis, here are some of the most important lessons I've since learned that I'm ready to carry into chapter 23.

Call your parents when you think of them.

To quote one of my favourite songs, "I should call my parents when I think of them, should tell my friends when I love them." Our twenties are busy, confusing, exhilarating, complicated and often blurry as hell - it's probably the time in your life when it's easiest to get so caught up in living that you don't even realise how quickly time passes. All of a sudden, you haven't called your mum in a week. Or it's somehow been a whole 6 months since you last hung out with that friend. During this hella busy period in our life, it's easy to unintentionally neglect taking the vital time to nurture the relationships that we hold dearest. The last thing I ever want is to regret not picking up the phone and calling my mum, even if it is just for five minutes to hear her voice and ask her how her day is going.

Friendship is about quality over quantity.

Chapter 22 in the book that is my life was nothing short of a turbulent one in terms of friendships. I lost some, I gained some, I rekindled some - it taught me a lot about people, but also a few valuable things about myself that I'd never taken the time to learn before. Above all, it reaffirmed the importance that is quality over quantity when it comes to friendships. As often as I can, I like to reiterate the words that my mother told me when I was young, "People will come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime." This past year has reinforced to me that it's less about surrounding yourself with as many friends as possible, and more about maintaining, nurturing and growing the friendships with those 'lifetime' people. These are the friendships that survive our toughest, most vulnerable twenty-something years and will likely be the ones with whom we will grow and that will sustain us for many years to come.

No one has any idea what they're doing.

There's this idea that by the time you reach a certain age (and I trust that we've all heard something slightly different) you should have life figured out. You should know what you want, when you want it and exactly how to get it. But as I move through life, meeting people both younger and older than myself, it's easy to see that no one has any real idea what they're doing. No one has any idea what lies around the corner. One event in your life could change everything, and so it's essentially impossible to have life totally figured out. Stop freaking out about your age or the "stage of life" that you should or shouldn't be at. Relax. You will find a career. Things take time. Just enjoy where you are now.

Being kind is easy.

It's no secret that 2016 was a turbulent year for everyone involved. Through all of the hate and fear, it reaffirmed the fact that being kind is so easy and should never be overlooked. The state of the world is destructive enough as it is, the last thing it needs is for any of us to add to it by being unkind. It's easier, and better for the soul, to be kind. It takes much more emotionally draining energy to spread negativity and hate. Keeping that in mind, be conscious in your respect for others, but perhaps more importantly, be conscious in your respect for those you don't know.

from 22 to 23 lifestyle advice 1

Katy Belle.
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