The last five years have been the biggest learning curve of my life and I can honestly say that I haven’t taken a minute of it for granted. I’ve experienced the biggest changes both personally and professionally that have taught me so many life lessons with some big highs and massive lows thrown in for good measure. From getting married and moving into my first proper home to starting my own business and carving a new career for myself, they’ve been the biggest moments of my life that carved me as a person.
I’ve always felt that age is just a number and it’s the life lessons and experiences that make you who you are and I’ve definitely felt a monumental shift in who I am as a result over the last five years thanks to these three elements.
Mistakes will be made
This blog post I wrote last year is still one of my most read on the blog and that just shows how much we need to accept the mistakes we make in our life. Not getting it right every time and making decisions that, in hindsight, perhaps weren’t the best is all part of growing as a person and getting to know ourselves. It’s take me a long time to reach that conclusion and make peace with the mistakes I’ve made over the last 5+ years but it’s the most rewarding place to get to.
Failing and f***ing up are two of the most important life lessons we can experience. They can change us irrevocably and there comes a time when you have to stop apologising for them.
Embrace the scary
As a scorpio through and through, change is something that excites me and unnerves me in equal measures. I’ve taken a lot of risks over the last five years in areas that have otherwise been stable and reliable. Some were spontaneous and rash, others were thought-out and terrifying. Yet, both have forced me to dig deep and find a strength and confidence in my ability that I didn’t know I had or would have discovered if I’d played it safe.
While the unknown is a daunting thought, it’s also incredibly liberating and often shifts the ground from underneath your feet that leads to a myriad of other opportunities and options. Leaving the security of a 9-5 job at a crucial time of renovating our house and getting married, to anyone on the outside, would seem absolutely mental. And it probably was! But that whole awful, scary experience has largely contributed to the woman I am now. I’ve become stronger, have gained a huge amount of perspective and allowed myself to dream bigger than I ever thought possible.
Health comes first
It’s no secret that I’ve had a pretty awful time of it health-wise the last 12 months and it has 100% been at the hands of stress. I expect a lot from my body and my biggest regret is not giving it the time and respect it deserves to rest and recover. I’m not someone who relaxes well or slows down, even when ill. But having glandular fever has forced me to seriously address some lifestyle habits that have clearly not been working for me.
Over the last five years I’ve worked 2-3 jobs at one time, worked 16 hour days, worked out HARD in the gym and starved my body of all the wellbeing it was calling out for. Being at the mercy of a virus, something completely out of my control has forced me to stop. To rest. To start exploring new ways to quieten my mind and work better not harder. Because ultimately, without our health what do we have?
Thank you, next
Something that went hand-in-hand with my general wellbeing was a bit of an evaluation of the relationships in my life. I was completely unaware of how draining and exhausting some elements of my life had become and, while difficult, it’s forced me to put myself first. When I sat and thought about the relationships that weren’t working for me anymore, it wasn’t a long thought process.
As we move through different stages of our lives, it’s inevitable that people will enter and people will leave along the way. Gone are the days of school when friends consumed our entire day – life is now full and busy and an extra amount of effort is perhaps required to keep those connections going. Friendships are quieter and deeper but no less supportive. But when the effort is one-way and you’re left feeling disappointed and deflated, I’ve learned that it’s time to move on. Maybe it’s temporary or maybe it’s forever, but either way if it’s not fulfilling my life, something has to change. And that’s OK.
While we can never know what’s around the corner, it’s a combination of good and bad experiences that equip us with the tools we need to handle anything life throws at us. We get to know ourselves a bit more and, without knowing it, we gain a little more faith in our strength.
SHOP THE POST