I recently celebrated my 27th birthday and thought I’d do a fun post called “27 Things I’ve Learned in 27 Years”. Thanks for reading xo
1. Time really does heal all wounds
Whether you’re going through major heartache, suffering from a loss, or just generally feeling like the pain you’re experiencing won’t end, know that it will. I remember a time when I felt hopeless, and my heartache was so intense that I could feel it in every part of my body. My dad sat on my bed each day and reassured me. He said the awful pain would not last forever, and that one day I would wake up and feel much better without even realizing the time had passed. He was right, of course!
2. People spend more time thinking about themselves than they do thinking about you, so stop worrying about what other people think
I tell this to all of my friends who tend to worry about what others think of them, and sometimes I need a reminder too! Before bed if I find myself replaying a situation over again in my head from earlier in the day, I remind myself that the other person has probably already forgotten, and they really don’t care if I stuttered over my words or tried a joke that didn’t land. They’re probably ruminating on something they said or did during their own mundane day. So quit worrying about what other people think, because chances are they’re not thinking about you at all!
3. Pain is inevitable but suffering is optional
Unfortunately we all experience tough times, but the way we handle these trials will determine how well we get through them. You can choose to be the type of person who revels in negativity and says “Why me? Why does this always happen to me? What did I do to deserve this?” But I’ve found that I feel much happier if I think proactively and ask “Where can I go from here? This sucks, but what can I do to change this situation for the better?”
4. Being stuck in a bad job is NOT worth it
Oh my god, it has taken me WAY, WAY too long to learn this lesson. I’ve had a few bad jobs in my life, and only recently did I apply what I should have learned earlier on, which is that sometimes quitting is the best decision! The first few times I felt “stuck” in bad jobs, I ended up staying because I was fearful that I would not find another job…or that it would look bad on my CV if I left before a year was up…or that I’d be burning bridges and losing references. Half the people I was afraid of letting down are people I’ll probably never talk to again (and will never need a reference from). The last time I had a job that turned out to be much different from what I was expecting, I was faced with two options – I could either stick it out and feel miserable, or quit and take a chance on another opportunity. I quit, and to this day I feel a little burst of liberation whenever I think about it!
5. Two gorgeous words: compound interest. Start putting money into a savings account ASAP!!!
This is self-explanatory. Ok kids, just start now. Do it. Log in to your bank account immediately and transfer $10 or even $5 into your investment account. Thank me when you retire and it’s turned into half a million 🙂
6. Tiger balm is a miracle soother for headaches and a hot toddy will fix any malaise
I suffer from migraines, and although herbal remedies will not take away the pain, tiger balm does soothe my aching temples. I recommend it to anyone who gets headaches. Also, if you feel a cold coming on, just fix yourself a hot toddy before you go to sleep and you’ll kill those germs right off.
7. Don’t be penny-wise and pound-foolish
My dad’s FAVOURITE lesson to teach. I often apply it to traveling – yes the 36 hour flight with two stopovers is $200 cheaper, but flying direct with less chance of your luggage going missing, and more chance of your sanity being intact upon landing is worth it.
8. Prioritize your relationships first
Instagram, Facebook, and binging on Game of Thrones can wait. Message your friends back. They matter, they love you, and they will make you feel like the best and most complete version of yourself the way filters and HBO never can. Make sure they know you care.
9. But also learn the subtle art of not giving a fuck
Don’t overcommit and say yes to everyone in your life, because you risk becoming resentful and unhappy. Read this and prioritize accordingly.
10. Never take your health for granted
Be grateful for your health, and the health of your loved ones. Never forget that it is a miracle if your heart is beating, your lungs are breathing, and your mind is sound.
11. Scarves/art/jewellery/unique perfume always make the best souvenirs
While travelling – buy the lovely souvenir, even if it’s a teeny bit out of your budget. I have a scarf from Spain that I hemmed and hawed over while in the shop. I had already spent most of my euros, and of course I had to admit that I did not need another scarf to add to my already extensive collection back home. I almost walked away from it, but at the last minute I scooped it up. Now? …I wear that beautiful scarf ALL THE TIME, and I think of my wonderful trip every time I do. Worth it!
12. It’s ok not to want the same things that other people want
It might take you awhile to figure this one out, but when you do you will feel so much better. Ah, millennials. 🙂
13. Spend money on the things you put between yourself and the ground – your shoes, your sheets, and your tires!
14. How much did Rosa Parks weigh when she refused to surrender her bus seat, and started a freedom movement? Did Marie Curie have smooth, perfect skin when she won both her Nobel Prizes? It’s never really discussed because…IT DOES NOT MATTER, NOT EVEN THE SLIGHTEST! NOT EVEN THE LITTLEST BIT, WOW!
This is an ongoing life lesson for me because I’m not as confident as I’d like to be with my self-image. It’s a work-in-progress, but when I remind myself of the above, having negative thoughts about the way I look seems insignificant and crazy.
15. Treasure good food, good wine, and good conversation
16. Water, water, water is the best way to prevent a hangover
I can’t drink the way I did when I was 20 without suffering for it the next day. Or even the next two days. But if I’m going to be stupid enough to try, I always make sure to take two advil and drink twice as much water as alcohol consumed. 4 drinks? 8 glasses of water. Yes, I’m serious.
17. Very few people are good listeners, but everyone wants to be heard. Be a good listener.
18. Reading fiction is one of life’s greatest joys
I truly believe this quote: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies… The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin
19. You should wear SPF.
Like, pretty often. Everyday if you can. The easiest way I have found to incorporate it is in my daily moisturizer.
20. Move away from where you grew up at least once in your life
This will give you some perspective, and force you to become truly independent. I remember the first night I spent away from my family home, halfway across the world, in an unfamiliar bedroom in France. There was a thunderstorm, and I managed to lock myself in my room. My landlord only spoke French and it was 2am. I phoned home sobbing, and realized how homesick I was and felt afraid of how homesick I’d be for the months ahead. Over my time away, I became truly independent and grew up a lot. I always missed my family, but I was able to make myself a new home 🙂
21. Call your mom
Ok, so I may consider myself an independent grown up, but I still call my mom everyday. That might not be your vibe, but you should still pick up the phone and ask her how she’s doing every once in awhile, because she carried you around in her womb for nine months, for goodness’ sake.
22. In the end, all your relationships will boil down to one of two options: either two losers, or two winners.
My good friend’s dad had a very good piece of advice when it came to relationships: A relationship works best when each person feels like they are the lucky one. (Side note: Why do Dads give such good advice?)
I think there is far too much pressure on young people today to “Follow their passion” and only work by doing something they love, etc. etc. I read this article and it helped me so much in figuring out how I want to navigate my career.
24. Life is short, buy the shoes
You knew this was going to be somewhere on the list!
25. You must stand up for others if they cannot stand up for themselves.
26. Practice self-care
This might be more of a personal lesson, but I have to remember to be kind to myself. It’s a lesson I’d like to pass on to my younger cousins and loved ones so that they grow up without feeling like they’re not good enough.
27. Give back, and be nice
If you cannot afford to support a cause you believe in financially, then find small ways to make a difference for those who cannot help themselves. If you’re packing a lunch for yourself, make an extra sandwich for the homeless person you pass by everyday. If you can spare your time, then volunteer once a week or once a month with an organization that desperately needs the help. Hold the door open for the person behind you, say thank you to the bank teller/flight attendant/customer service rep. You can make the world a better place by being nice.