Sometimes, ok, a lot of the time I don’t feel qualified to impart life advice. That I haven’t experienced enough to write down words of wisdom to pass on. I turned 39 in July.
One year from the big 4-0.
The last year of what has been a very challenging decade.
It’s battered me more than I have ever anticipated. I reached my 39th year, weary, more jaded than expected.
Sadder, but more grateful than ever for the hard-earned sense of peace.
I move towards a new decade with a renewed sense of self.
These are the life lessons that I can impart.
Take them or leave them, agree with it or not. Add your wisdom. It’s all that wonderfully tricky, endearing thing called Life.
39 Lessons Learnt
- Don’t aim for perfection. It’s boring, There so many other things in life you could be striving for, learning and enjoying while you’re worrying about getting something ‘right’.
- Life will inevitably provide you with a few hard knocks. Usually, all in a short space of time that leaves you reeling, bone and soul-weary. It’s normal to feel sorry for yourself, to feel lost and without direction, wondering who and what you stand for. When at this point in your life, find and surround yourself with good, decent people, who love and respect you for you, eat well and treat yourself kindly. It can be hard to believe during that time; most people are trying their best.
- In life, there will be people who you can never do right by, no matter how much running around to make amends for some arbitrary reason you will never figure out because it’s their stuff. And know, if they refuse to acknowledge that behaviour, prepare to stand your ground. Everyone has the right to live life on their terms. Not how others think you should and want you to.
- Worrying about what people think of you is your soul’s poison. If you’re stuck in a cycle of worrying, fear and anxiety about another person – seek professional help. It’s a situation that needs outside help to start disentanglement. It’s a hard road, but you’ll rest better knowing you did the best in an impossible situation.
- Life and its injustices can usually be solved with a good cup of tea, a biscuit and an objective ear, as long as both parties are willing to listen. The saddest part is that you’ll find there are times and people that this cannot happen with. If this is the case, then now is the time to focus on developing your own sense of self and worthiness. This part is imperative for your survival.
- Devastation and the fallout is a bitch. Breaking into a million pieces takes a million and one pieces and more to put yourself back together. It’s possible, but it’s probably a lifetime worth of work. Understanding this provides you with the space to grieve, be kind to yourself and come out stronger than you believed you could be.
- Take time to sit and daydream. Whether it’s about a holiday in the sun or are a dream, you wish to come true. Same for the day-to-day problems too.
- Switch your brain off regularly, watch a movie, dance around your room, take a trip to the beach. You and your problems will find answers much more quickly.
- Oh and don’t forget to get enough sleep. Sleep is the best cure and medicine to figure things out.
- Don’t waste your time on people who won’t give you the time of day or make the effort to understand you. You’re so much more worthy of giving your time and self to those who deserve and appreciate you for you.
- Realise it’s not you when people who continuously mistreat you, and overstep boundaries. It is up to you to remove or protect yourself from the situation. Baby steps if you must. Know you can step out of that shadow and live the life you wish for yourself.
- Truly listen to what another person is saying. It will become one of your main strengths and helps with developing the vital skill of discernment.
- Be wary of people who say that they are “nice people”, they usually prove more challenging than you expect.
- Not all bullies or abusers are brutes. Be wary of people who profess to have your best interests at heart while undermining you at the same time.
- You are not obligated to make people happy. Know that this will challenge a lot of people. Make sure you put steps in place to protect yourself.
- You are not obliged to be bound by geography.
- Home is not always a house. It’s who you are glad to come home to.
- Spread your wings, fly and know it’s true, that the first step is always the scariest, and the most exciting.
- That thing you keep wishing you could achieve, do that! That’s your soul calling.
- It is when you find your inner peace, when you are true to you, will your head sleep with ease on your pillow.
- Don’t live a life others wish for you. Aim for a life where you, yourself shine as brightly as the sun and the brightest star in the night sky. The world needs more of those people. I wish that for you.
- Mob mentality exists, recognise when it happens. Show strength. Remove yourself accordingly.
- There comes a point in life when you have to decide whether the guilt of staying true to yourself is more bearable than the pain of not living life on your own terms. Both are lonely places. You may lose those that you thought the most about. However, these troubling times will enable you’ll develop the strength that whispered to you in the winds and become an unshakable force once acknowledged and released. You’ll feel better too. Things have to break to be put back together anew and stronger than before. Resistance only prolongs the pain.
- Gratefulness and graciousness are learned and earned through life’s experiences – whether they are losses or gains. Contrary to what people tell you or expect of you, it’s not a given. Don’t beat yourself if it takes a while to get there. Those who point out your lack of gratitude fail to recognise that people need the space and experience to be able to appreciate and be grateful in the first place. Don’t beat yourself up when you realise when you haven’t been. Learn the lesson to move forward, pass on your hard-earned wisdom.
- Know that those that profess to be the hardest done to and by, are by and large, not. Look at their behaviour closely, and question their motives and story. Have they have done anything to truly make their situations better? Or are they revelling in their own misery?
- Read as much as you can. It opens worlds you never know existed.
- Get out of the house often. Four walls can become a prison far quicker than you realise.
- It’s ok to explore the world on your own terms. It’s better too and much more fun.
- Travel well and whenever the opportunity arises. It will broaden your horizons more than sitting in a classroom, staring at a computer screen or being stuck in a bedroom ever will.
- The level of education is not always indicative of the worth of a person, their ability for kindness or what they are capable of in life. Always look and treasure those that are truly kind. These can come from the most unlikely of places and can usually be found staring straight at you.
- A wise woman said – isolation is the dream killer and support is more powerful than attitude. This is the truth. You can be the most positive person in a room, though it’s of no use if you’re the only one there.
- However, resilience is the hardest lesson learnt, though the most rewarding skill acquired to take you through life’s ups and downs.
- Keeping a sense of humour in the face of adversity most certainly helps.
- Acknowledge pain and sadness, please don’t reside there too often. If you do, seek professional help, sooner rather than later. Realise pain, especially emotional, isn’t always something that is or can be resolved. Learning to live with it is where achievement lies.
- You do not have to face your fears all at once. One at a time preferably, but make sure you have a good support network in place when life hits the fan. If you don’t, go find them, but be discerning. Not everyone has your best interests at heart.
- Don’t waste your time worrying about what people think of you. Most have made their mind up a long time before they’ve even met you. People will come and go through your life. Wish them well however much they hurt or help you. Find and cherish friends and family that ‘get you’.
- Life is a lot easier when you realise, not everyone is for you, and you are not for everyone. Don’t try and please everyone or try and get everyone to like you. It’s exhausting, and that energy is better spent doing things you love to do and being with the people you love.
- A dear friend once said, your life experiences can make you prickly or kind. Choose to be kind. It’s a lot less taxing on the soul and the heart.
- Your voice matters.
Over to you
What wisdom would you share from however many years you’ve lived? Comment below.