As the days start to feel like hours and the weeks begin to blur, I find myself acutely aware that I am now mere months away from my 28th birthday. The fleeting time serving as a stark reminder that I am well and truly neck-deep into adulthood, having long said goodbye to the days free of insurance, mortgage repayments, and full-time employment. And I am finding this stark reality increasingly difficult to ignore, despite my sportsmanlike attempts. But, as I move towards begrudging acceptance, I have found myself reflecting on my journey thus far, to who I am today and the many life lessons I have collected along the way. So for today’s post, I thought I would share my top 3 learnings from my almost-30-year career of existence and whilst doing so, share a suite of highly treasured, but completely unrelated photos from my year so far.
1. It’s On You to Create Your Own Opportunities.
Which seems painfully obvious, but for me, grasping this basic concept actually took a lot longer than I’d care to admit. Because for a very long while, I didn’t really feel the need to make things happen for myself, being somewhat content with the traditional life trajectory I had chosen of university and full-time employment. And so, all throughout my early twenties I can’t say that I pushed the envelope in the way of achieving much else other than the completion of my degree and securing employment.
But I have come a long way since the days of blind conformity to the status quo. And now, with 3-years of full-time employment, 2 career changes and a mortgage under my belt, I guess you could say that I have become considerably more pragmatic with my approach to life and have come to appreciate the astronomical amount of hard-work and dedication that, more often than not, will sit behind a person’s good fortune. So to sum up my long-winded rambling, time and experience has shown me that if I feel entitled to a pay rise, I need to fight for it, if the life I am leading is not the one I expected, I’m the one that has to change it, and if I dream of ever blogging full-time, I damn well better get started. Because nothing in life comes for free and nobody, no matter how much they love, or care, or support me, should be expected to save me from my own circumstances.
“Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don’t recognise them.” – Ann Landers
2. Comparing Yourself To Others Is The Killer Of Dreams.
Amen. Comparison is the number one thief of joy. Well, my joy anyway. And too often do I find myself sinking hours and hours into weighing my achievements and creative content against that of other Bloggers, and Instagrammers, and established Influencers. Just the thought of the insurmountable time I have wasted, allowing myself to dwell in negativity and feelings of inadequacy, is nothing short of shameful. A useless waste of time. And time that could have been better spent offline, or invested in me, or better yet, working on actually improving my projects.
But alas, to actively follow the latter, more sensible path is definitively easier said than done. And to expect anybody to be able to simply switch off self-criticism and doubt whilst being brows-deep in a society governed by falsities and flooded with talented storytellers is, in my opinion, pretty unrealistic.
So I guess, for me, as somebody that is still trying to work it out for herself and build enough courage and confidence up unto a point that the above no longer matters, I have found myself interim solutions. And what might these be? Well, nothing ground-breaking I assure you. But by simply reducing my social media consumption, and talking nonsense with a few friends, and generally taking a step away (or fifteen) to immerse myself in all that I should be grateful for, has helped me considerably to maintain my cool, and almost always, keep my goals on course.
“Other people’s lives seem better than yours because you’re comparing their director’s cuts with your behind the scenes.” ― Evan Rauch
3. Negatively Commenting on Others Reflects Poorly on Your Character.
This one pretty much goes without saying. When I talk smack about another person, it more often than not, will reflect my own insecurities, or jealousies, or simply, my lack of understanding. Which sucks, because as a teenager, I had done my fair share of bitching, and backstabbing, and judging of others. An admittance that I am neither proud of or wish to delve into any further. But as I’ve aged, and I would like to think, have grown considerably wiser and more empathetic, I’ve largely said goodbye to my days of unsolicited commentary and highschool-like pettiness, having since come to understand the painful and unnecessary hurt that comes with being the subject of unwarranted bullying and ridicule. And so these days, should I find that I have nothing nice to say, I try my level-best not to go polluting the universe with my negativity, or more probably, foul mood by simply choosing not to say anything at all.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” ― Leo F. Buscaglia
Once again, my little wombats, that’s it from me today and as always, I hope you enjoyed reading and getting to know me that little bit better. And if you guys have anything to add or build-upon on today’s thoughts, I would love to hear your point of view, and your stories, and any teachings that you may have to offer.
Love Linda, xo