And things I’m still learning.
As many of you will know, it was my birthday last Monday. Now, usually, I like to use this time of year to lament over how ancient I’m becoming or how anxious I (and we, as a generation) am about how much we have or haven’t accomplished in life. But I’d like to start this year in a different way, because it’s not every day “oh-my-God-Sally-we’re-so-oooollllldddd-I-can’t-deal.“*
We’re still young!
One thing we 20-somethings love to complain about is that we are “old”. I can’t tell you how many times in the run-up to my birthday last week that I wailed to my mum and my friends and whoever else would listen to me about how old I was becoming. And perhaps for fair reason – being “on the wrong end of your 20s” is a phrase many of us are familiar with. But for obvious reasons, being 20-anything is really quite young in the grand scheme of things.
We have so much more time to explore – whether it’s on a personal, social or professional level – than we often like to believe, and I intend to remind myself of this fact more often going forward.
Talk less, do more.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to understand the importance of keeping my head down and getting on with it rather than talking about what I’m yet to do. This has been a personal struggle for me, because you guys know I love to write about the projects I’m working on(!) On one hand, speaking openly about my goals has helped to hold me accountable to living and working up to them in the past, but sometimes it’s pretty cool to be involved in something in secret and celebrate small successes for yourself as and when they arise.
“Who am I?”
I think I first became aware of what it meant to “grow up” when I turned 24. Two years on, I’m more self-aware than I thought I was, and to an extent I’m a different person now. I know who I am, but better still, I have more of an idea of who I want to become.
Knowing what you want is only one step in the right direction.
This relates to points 2 and 3 above. I’m learning that it’s not enough to know what you want. It takes a certain level of commitment, discipline and (in many ways) courage to actually set out and achieve your goals, whatever they may be. Shonda Rhimes speaks about this at length in her book, Year of Yes (which I would highly recommend, by the way). There is a significant difference between dreaming and wishing for things and actually taking the necessary steps to achieve those dreams and wishes in real life. The first part is easy; it’s the second part that takes work.
God’s timing is always the right timing.
I’ve had my fair share of setbacks and disappointments over the past year, as has anyone. but I’ve learned to trust in God’s timing and remember that things will work themselves out, regardless of whether I understand why something happens a particular way. Whether you’re a religious person or not, I think that everything happens for a reason. Although sometimes things won’t go according to your own plans, you will one day have the foresight to look back, connect the dots and see why that setback was a necessary occurrence to get you to where you are today.
Be excited, not anxious, for the future.
I’m more excited than ever about this next year because it’s the year that I will see a lot of milestones, especially in terms of my career. As I mentioned above, a lot of us love to complain about getting old and I think that in many ways it’s because social media has made others’ lives so much more accessible to us that we cannot help but to compare people’s highlight reels to our seemingly boring and ordinary AF lives.
There’s an old proverb which says that comparison is the thief of joy, and I’m really not in the mood to rob myself of my own joy for no good reason. So I’m going to get excited by life instead.
*I’m not too sure why I keep referring to a girl named Sally. I legit do not have any friends called Sally.
Mom jeans, Topshop. Black turtleneck jumper, Mango.