I’m finding myself feeling really reflective as I approach 30. I have 23 beautiful (and nap filled) days left of being 29. I’ve adopted a nap a day policy for my summer break. Best policy ever.
As I approach another decade I’m seeing things differently. I’m looking back and understanding everything that happens in our lives is necessary (ok were the encounters with *27 emotionally unavailable fuckboys really necessary?! * Not at all exaggerating) to get us to where we need to be.
Every heartbreak, rejection, move, sleepless night, stress, loss, job, qualification, relationship, friendship, trip and experience has taught us, made us stronger and more resilient.
With each knock comes strength and you keep going.
The important things I’ve learnt
As I look back in this different light (ok this is totally perspective isn’t it) I don’t look back with regret, it’s with understanding, not needing to delve back into the archives and also with peace. I’m happy I am who I am now, I’ve manoeuvred my way through some absolute shit swamps and come out the other side better. I do recognise a few important lessons and wanted to share them.
You are enough, you are worthy
A large amount of my teens and twenties were riddled with self-doubt, a lack of self-worth and anxiety. Because of this I want to empower people to get through especially this time, know their worth and live their best lives.
I had big dreams and worked so hard but a lot of the time I put this before my own well-being. I learnt balance and the importance of self-care. Having ambition means nothing if you’re an overtired, malnourished and anxious being.
The way people treat you isn’t a reflection of YOU
This has taken me a long time to work out. When you’re a true and literal person who takes things as they are you take it on board and think it’s the truth.
Sure if you’re a right ‘see you next Tuesday’ people have the right to dislike you but let me make this very clear.
If someone is unkind to you, says horrible things to you, doesn’t like you (for no good reason), rejects you, breaks up with you IT DOES NOT MEAN THERE IS ANYTHING WRONG WITH YOU (read that again/ as many times as you need to) and it does not mean you aren’t worthy of love and all of the good things in life. Oh my goodness you have no idea how worthy you are. The way people treat you says more about themselves than it does about you.
Not everyone is going to like you
I’ve had a lot of situations where I’ve been so kind to someone and they just don’t like me. You might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they like Earl Grey (you don’t want to know them anyway) and you’re more a peppermint kinda gal.
My belief is that if you are nothing but kind to people, how can they fault you? “Oh that Bel is such a bitch she’s so kind.” Kill them with kindness sister.
This doesn’t mean going out of your way and being detrimental to yourself, you just have to be civil and the bigger person, You don’t need to give these people anymore of your precious energy.
Not every situation needs to be resolved. You don’t always need to be a peacekeeper. Make peace with the situation and move on. These people are not your people.
You don’t need to understand why everything is the way that it is
I’m an over thinker I get it. I’ve spent countless days and nights trying to work situations out in my head. Going over every single detail, word that was spoken, message that was sent and trying make sense of what happened and you know what, it just doesn’t matter. I stop myself from going there. There’s no need to over think, obsess over and understand every situation. It is what it is accept it and keep moving forward galfriend.
There are going to be a lot of changes in your twenties and you need to learn to go with it
We’re all studying, changing jobs, travelling, our hair (lol RIP goth black and full fringe days), moving cities or countries.
In our twenties we’re all working things out and everyone is going through a lot of growth, wanting to do new things and changes so paths may cross but they won’t always stay that way.
Relationships come and go at all points of life, but in our twenties it’s when you’ll experience the most comings and goings in the weird and wonderful world of dating and also break ups and heartbreak. Don’t let this put you off and make you think any less of your pretty self. It’s all part of life, you will learn and be so much stronger from it.
Good things happen, love is real, we will be okay.
You don’t need to feel like you have your life fully together
There’s no rule book that says ‘When you’re 29 you must be in your dream job earning a certain amount of money, own a house, mastered the art of meditation or be in a long term relationship’. It just doesn’t exist. I’ve touched on this in previous blogs, everyone’s timeline is different. I think there’s often a perception that people in relationships are better and have their shit together more than someone who is single. Don’t be fooled, people in relationships could be miserable. We only share the highlights of our carefully curated reality.
What’s most important is being happy, whether that’s in a relationship or by your sweet self. Don’t be afraid to leave situations that make you feel otherwise. Life’s too short to put up with shitty relationships (and a lot of other things).
Don’t rely on someone else to make you happy
This is a 10/10 tip and something we often need to learn the hard way. If you’re expecting someone else or something else to make you happy, you’re setting yourself up for big old disappointment, being royally let down and unhappiness. If that someone else has a shit year, you probably will too and if plans change or a relationship ends then you’ll feel like this ‘magic’ carpet has been ripped out from under you. Only YOU can make yourself truly, blissfully happy.
Destination happiness is a trap
You don’t want to get stuck in. Get out of the habit of thinking you’ll only be happy ‘When I move to that country or city’ or ‘When I have a boyfriend/ girlfriend’ etc. Sure a new place, job, relationship and holiday may make you happy, but again true happiness can only come from within aka your pretty self. You may move to another country (I did this myself) and you’re still the same you, you still have the same battles, issues, thoughts and feelings.
Until you deal with your shit it’ll keep torturing you and happening
Over and over a-freaking-gain. Deal with an issue or repeated behaviour, end that cycle galfriend and you will be free! Until you start standing up for yourself, some people will treat you like crap. Until you stop dating narcissists or people who are emotionally unavailable, they’ll keep showing up. See the warning signs, learn the lessons and deal with your ‘shit’ so you progress to a magical land where yeah sure it’s still real life but it won’t be as punishing and heartbreakingly hard.
Everything will work out
Maybe not as you had expected but as you get older you gain the belief that everything will work out for the best. Yeah it may not be in the job you thought, or in the city you thought, or with the partner, friends or family members you thought, but it will work out.
I have this underlying belief that I’m always going to be ok no matter what. I’ve made it through tough times and when a challenging situation arises sure I get upset and cry about it (let those emotions out, there is nothing wrong with feeling things) I just know I’m going to be ok.
It’s about how you pick yourself up, handle it and keep moving forward regardless of what shitty situations life throws at you.
I shared this on my @belcrawford Instagram. It really speaks to and how I’m feeling at the end of my 29th year. I feel like it may be relevant despite your age or stage in life.
"A gentle reminder that you did well this year. You met new people, learned new things and felt new feelings. You did so many things that made you scared. You picked yourself up off the floor after feeling completely defeated or heartbroken. There were some really tough nights but you survived them all. You made people happy just by existing. You accepted many goodbyes but the serendipitous meetings made up for them. It was your own hard work that paid off but you always downplay it or compare yourself to others. That’s not fair on yourself. You’ve come so far from the first day of this year. You have more wisdom and strength now. Yes other people seem more ‘successful’ but does that even matter? Please don’t think so lowly of yourself to only think about your failures. 2018 was your year of growth. I hope you take a moment to be kind to yourself and believe that 2019 will be even better.”