On 7th July, I turned 23, and after an amazing week of enjoying my birthday, I’m feeling somewhat reflective.
I’m planning, I’m thinking, I’m sorting through my thoughts.
And whilst I process these thoughts, for today, here’s a list of some of the 23 ‘life lessons’ I feel I’ve learned over the last 23 years.
1. Real friendships take work, and effort to maintain.
2. Don’t be afraid to drift away from friendships that leave you feeling drained, or tired, or not valued.
3. You won’t always understand every decision those around you make… But if you care about them, support them.
4. Some people will have very different views to you on a whole range of things, and that’s ok.
5. The path that’s right for one person isn’t necessarily right for you.
6. It’s ok not to have absolutely everything figured out. Most people don’t.
7. Work hard. It will pay off in the end.
8. Making mistakes is fine, as long as you learn from them.
9. Alone time is important. Don’t feel bad for taking a little time to just be ‘you’.
10. Eat right most of the time, and exercise at least a bit. You know you feel better for it.
11. Don’t kick yourself when things don’t happen exactly the way you planned them. Things are allowed to shift and change.
12. Even if the goal stays the same, there can be many alternative routes to get there.
13. Jealousy is rubbish, but we all feel it, especially in this social media world. Channel it into feeling pleased for people, then let it fuel your actions towards reaching your own goals.
14. Try not to compare yourself to everyone else too often. It can be absolutely exhausting.
15. Read. Novels, non-fiction, blogs, articles, newspapers. It’s one of the best ways to learn, open your eyes, and expand your horizons.
16. Say no. Sometimes. Know when you’re over-stretching yourself.
17. Say yes. Sometimes. Take chances and explore opportunities.
18. Anxiety is horrible, but you can get on top of it. I feel like a completely different person to the ‘Sophie’ of a year ago.
19. Be honest with yourself. How do you really feel? What do you really want?
20. Experiences are much more valuable than random objects. My favourite birthday moments this year were of doing things, not receiving things.
21. If you have an amazing family, or even just a pretty great one, recognise it and feel grateful. So many people aren’t lucky enough to have that.
22. Be excited. Look forward to things. Enjoy the moments when things feel ‘just right’. Those memories and plans keep you going when you wake up having a bit of a sad day.
23. Never underestimate the power of a text, or a phone call. Remembering someone had something coming up, or just checking in, can brighten their day.
Do you have any to add to my list?