I am now officially 28 years and a month. Happy late birthday to me. It seems like everyone kind of freaks out when they begin approaching 30 so I thought I’d attempt to get ahead a little bit and do a some self reflection and set myself some challenges for the year ahead.
I treated myself to a week off work for my birthday. Best thing I could have ever done. It seems so cliche these days to point out how important ‘me’ time is, but it really is. I’ve been at my current job for four years now and this is the first time I have taken time off with no plans at all. I definitely recommend everyone doing this at least once a year.
28 things I’ve learnt in the past 28 years
1 – You can never work on your mental health enough – I thought I was completely coping with certain family life situations but after getting quite upset by a missed ‘happy birthday’ I realised I’m not as okay as the ‘I’m doing just fine’ front I’ve become pretty expert (in my opinion) at putting on. While it’s perfectly okay not to be okay, I’d quite like to get to the point where I’m actually okay and not just pretending.
2 – Only you can make you happy. Other people are great (well most of them) but at the end of the day you are responsible for yourself and you sometimes need to be a little bit selfish and put yourself first.
3 – There is such a thing as too many shoes. I’m there right now.
4 – Face masks are always a great idea. Once you hit 28 the wrinkles start appearing, any soggy thing on your face that might help is worth a try in my opinion.
5 – A good haircut can completely change your life. I’ve definitely mentioned it before but when I got my hair cut and dyed (for my 27th) I have never felt as confident.
6 – Being selfish is necessary. Kind of a reiteration of the happiness point but sometimes you do need to put yourself first. I was brought up to feel guilty about nearly everything. Putting everyone before yourself doesn’t get you anywhere and doesn’t make you feel good either.
7 – Being kind is so important. Kind of counter balancing the last point, there is absolutely no need to be mean to people. You have no idea what other people are going through and frankly being anything other than a top notch human being (aiming for that at least) is a waste of time, energy and breath.
8 – Books are great. I go through reading sprees every now and again and always love every moment. Escaping into a different world for a bit is just the best.
9 – Vinyl music is amazing. All the usual it sounds better with a bit of character, but also if you have inherit a collection from everyone who has ever bought a record from both sides of the family you’ve got a talking piece for any new parental figures that come to visit.
10 – Physical photographs are important. Taking a million pictures every night is so easy now but there are so many memories from being younger I wish I had reminders of. Hopefully they are still somewhere.
11 – Jealously is the worst and (for me) easiest emotion. It always comes from a bad place inside yourself and you need to deal with the root cause instead of taking it out on other people.
12 – Find someone you want to be with, not need to be with. Wise words from Karen there and I don’t think there’s any better advise.
13 – School is important. Learning new things in general is important, there’s no such thing as having too much knowledge.
14 – Having a voice is so, so, so important. I love everything at the moment with social media and women supporting women and despite feeling so much more confident in myself, I still find myself not standing up when I know I should.
15 – Cutting ties with people isn’t a bad thing. You don’t need people in your life who don’t add anything positive. A little bonus point to this point, never take the most important people in your life for granted. Let them know they’re important whenever you can.
16 – Trouser are better than skirts. No chub rub and if there are pockets who can complain?
17 – Drain unblocker is the thing of miracles. When there’s more than one girl living in a house, your pipes are gonna get gross and blocked.
18 – Never buy bedding from Groupon. Worst idea ever, you’ll get excited and be instantly disappointed.
19 – Having an outside space is great for thinking time. I used to have a wall I’d lie on and look at the stars, now I have a camping chair on a bit of decking. Being outside (and sometimes getting a bit cold) can really help give you a bit of head space.
20 – Don’t let people get under your skin. While some people can be great, there’s a lot of irritating people out there. I’m not even talking people you know. Strangers kind of in your personal space can either annoy the crap out of you or you can choose to to turn those situations into funny stories about crazy people.
21 – I’m a lot more resilient than I ever thought. As Elle Woods would say, clicks for Hannah
22 – B&Q vouchers aren’t the worst birthday present. That’s actually a pretty cool place to shop. Yes, I am getting old.
23 – Get rid of stuff you don’t need earlier. I have boxes I’ve moved at least three times and never unpacked or used the contents. What is the point?
24 – Pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is the best thing you can ever do. So many times I’ve been scared to do something but have managed to talk myself out of overthinking it and have had the best time.
25 – Never wash new red clothes with anything. Everything will end up pink.
26 – Don’t waste you’re time wondering what if or what could have been, make a decision and stick with it. This isn’t always the easiest but it’s so much better than driving yourself crazy with the ifs.
27 – Deodorant is always a good shout. Although it doesn’t matter what other people think, it’s not great to be known as the smelly one.
28 – Follow your gut instinct. If you think something is right, do it. If feel like you need to question yourself, you pretty much know you’re doing the wrong thing. Trust yourself.
29 things to do this next year
1 – Get a tattoo
2 – Not have blue hair anymore
3 – Go on more big walks
4 – See more shows
5 – Visit more places
6 – Resist the urge to buy a dog
7 – Finish my bedroom
8 – Go to Edinburgh fringe
9 – Use all my current jewellery making supplies
10 – Learn a new skill
11 – Read more
12 – Create a signature cocktail
13 – Rework at least five items out of my wardrobe
14 – Go kayaking
15 – Make Halloween plans
16 – Make something using my new jigsaw
17 – Get a composter set up
18 – Grow some tomatoes
19 – Learn some basic guitar
20 – Attempt new media
21 – Get into and stick to a routine
22 – Stop being late
23 – Watch more documentaries
24 – Go to Alton Towers
25 – Earn more money
26 – Make a complete outfit from scratch
27 – Buy a wig
28 – Create the perfect workshop space
29 – Stick to my challenges
I’ve never done anything like this, in fact I’ve never really been someone who is big into new years resolutions or anything similar, but it kind of seems like setting myself some challenges could help avoid any pre 30 fear ruts in the next couple of years. I could be completely wrong and subconsciously give up after a month, but I’m hoping this is something I will stick to.
Has anyone else every set themselves new challenges for the next chapter in their lives? How did it go for you?