Turning 22 – What have I learnt in my life so far

Last week it was my 22nd birthday *sings Taylor Swift 22*. Every year when it’s my birthday, I normally get quite emotional or sentimental about the past year and what has changed or where I am in my life at that specific age. I thought to celebrate my birthday in blog style, I’d share 22 things I have learnt so far in my life.

1: Not everyone will like you. Simple as. Instead of trying to please everyone and having hundreds of friends, focus on the people who really matter. There will be people throughout life that you won’t get on with or who won’t like you but that’s okay and that’s normal.

2: Have time to yourself. Having time to myself lets me feel like I can reset my thoughts, think about how I’m feeling or what I want to do in life and my goals. It’s important to have time to sit there and think with yourself about your life.

3: Chocolate is the best food. Ever.

4: Speak up about how you feel. Sometimes being open and honest is a huge challenge for me, however, I need to take that step out my comfort zone and say how I’m really feeling to get my views or message across. Don’t hold in your feelings.

5: Disney films are the best. They make me so happy and whenever I need a pick me up, Disney is the way to go.

6: Walks are truly life changing at times. In a bad mood? Go for a walk. I bet you feel even 1% better afterwards.

7: Every life is different. Stop comparing yourself to every human being you walk past or see online. You are you for a reason and therefore, be the best you, you can be.

8: My boyfriend and friends are my absolute world and I’m beyond grateful to have the people in my life. Right now is the most content I have ever felt in a friendship group.

9: If you feel like you deserve more money in your job, do something about it. This is something I am currently working on and I hope soon, I will be earning what I believe I deserve and should be on.

10: The little things in life really matter. Whether its chocolate, a tv series, a run, a coffee date, the things that feel so simplistic and easy, make such a difference on my mood. We don’t always need to have a huge party or expensive dinner to feel important or happy.

11: Save money. I never saved when I first started working and boyyyyyyy do I regret that now. Save money and your future self will be really appreciative that you did.

12: Change something about your appearance (only if you want to). For years I have debated changing my hair colour. In January I finally dyed it darker and I LOVE IT! Don’t be scared, the risk might be worth it.

13: Have a work, life balance. You need to enjoy your life and not just have a life all about working. Do things that make you happy and take you away from the mindset of business, professionalism, and working.

14: Change your room around. You most likely spend a lot of time in your bedroom, I know I do. Therefore, I’ve found it really beneficial to change my room around whether its a complete change of colour, moving furniture or small things like buying a plant, putting your TV on the wall. It makes me feel refreshed when there is something different about the place I spend a lot of my time. Jazz it up a bit!

15: Think about what you say before you speak. Very important!

16: Treat yourself every so often. Even though I just said to save money, that doesn’t mean to never treat yourself. You work hard, you achieve things, you’re doing well; treat yourself!

17: School years are actually some of the best years of your life. I HATED school when I was there, but now looking back…wow what it a stress free zone. I miss school, treasure it when you’re there.

18: Say yes to more things. I’m a complete anxious mess most of the time and I struggle to do spontaneous things. I’m very much someone who needs to know what I’m doing next weekend about 2 weekends beforehand. I like a plan and it makes me feel better knowing I have a structure to my life. However, what I’ve realised is that sometimes, spontaneous plans are actually really fucking good plans. Say yes to more, try to get out your comfort zone, do different things you wouldn’t normally do.

19: You don’t need to know your whole life plan by the age of 19. Or 22. Or 30. Take life as it comes.

20: Good things will come your way. At times, even right now, I feel like life is constant crap coming my way. There’s always something new to worry about or stress over. But, even if it takes a while to turn around, life will get easier and better. Good things will come to those who are kind, keep going, never give up, who deserve it.

21: Get over the argument or issue as quickly as you can. Don’t drag on something for days on end. Fix the problem, life is too short to be mad and upset.

22: Be kind.

Let those toxic people go

Throughout life we will come across people who won’t have a positive impact on our life. Even though I’m young and still have plenty of people to meet in life, I have had a fair share of experiences with people I considered friends, who then turned into toxic people I needed to get out of my life.

I think removing toxic people from your life is a massive challenge a lot of people struggle to cope with and do. For some of us, it doesn’t come naturally to easily remove someone and we will continue to give those people or that specific person chance after chance because we are too scared to be brutally honest with ourselves and the person, that they are bringing a negative vibe to our life. We keep ‘friendships’ going because of the fear of looking like the bad person or having to be the one to make the move to remove them. It isn’t easy but I think the sooner we understand that these things are okay to do and NEED to be done for the sake of our mental health, it will be less difficult to do.

There are many different kind of toxic people out there but today I’m going to focus on the ones who don’t bring joy to you life, who don’t support you, who bring you down or try to make you feel bad; the ones who aren’t good for your mental health.

Sometimes it may take a few instances for you to realise that the specific person or people isn’t good for you. You may want to give them another chance and that’s okay, just don’t give them endless amount of chances because trust me, if they don’t change the first time, they won’t ever change. If they care and respect you enough, the will change their actions towards you to continue to be apart of your life.

The main thing to focus on to know whether you may be around a toxic person is to understand how they make you feel. If you feel scared of them in terms of saying no to plans because of how they react, or if they always try to belittle you or make your accomplishments in life seem silly or if they pick on your looks; this person or these people are not needed. There are plenty more people out there in this world who would give you the respect and support you deserve, who will treat you with kindness and make you feel loved. If the person or people are impacting your mental health negatively, then you need to let those toxic people go.

If this pandemic has taught me anything, it’s that life is too short. We never know when our last day on earth is or the last day we will see our friends and family again. Therefore, don’t waste life hanging around with people who make you feel like shit. Be the bigger person and end the relationship/friendship. Make a change to feel better within yourself, to be happier, to feel a weight lifted off your shoulders because you aren’t constantly worried about their judgements.

Surround yourself with the correct people. You will continuously meet new people throughout life and some you will adore with every part of your heart, some will become a new group of friends to go out with, someone might become a partner. This world is full of people, the right people you need to keep you happy and fulfil your needs.

Letting go of toxic people will most likely never be a fun thing to do (unless they have done something really bad which makes it slightly easier to get rid of them). That person or people may have been apart of your life for 20 years and then the relationship turns toxic. But, something to ask yourself is ‘will I be happier without them?’. Will you feel more like yourself? Can you be more yourself without them? Will you be able to live your life the way you want to without them? Will you be happy? Consider these questions, think about the answers. If the answers are yes, then you know you need to make a change.

When I say to let those toxic people go, I don’t mean to take action in a horrible way. You could start off talking to them less and giving yourself that distance from them. It’s not about removing them and being a bitch about it, you want to be the better person in this situation and not swoop to their level.

Life is too short. Live it the way you want to, with the people you want to live it with, the people who bring you positivity, the ones who help your mental health not make it worse. Let those toxic people go.