10 Things I Learnt In 10 Years

Another decade done and dusted, another one to begin and welcome – granted I only remember about half of my first decade. I started this decade as a 10-year-old, finishing primary school and soon to be heading into the big scary world of secondary school. Since then, I have completed GCSE’s, A Levels, had my first relationship, begun university, experienced a couple of heartbreaks and met some incredible people along the way who helped me get by. So, what have I learnt along the way?

  1. Don’t let other people determine your own self-worth.

Social media is a very love-hate relationship for me. It’s a feel-good factor but can be equally quite detrimental. Why didn’t I get as many likes on that picture? Was it the angle?

It’s become both easier to love and hate yourself in a social media consumed society. Sometimes my feed is filled with perfection and other times imperfection is promoted. Yet, I struggle to see anything beyond the correlation of likes and self-worth – silly I know!

I’ve learnt to step away from social media once it becomes obsessive. I’ve learnt to prioritise some time for me. To pick out a nice outfit or to do some writing that I’m proud of. We are all worthy and nobody else can tell you otherwise.

2. There are no end destinations – start today.

We are all guilty of holding off tasks until we have certain elements in our life, until we’ve got a life sorted. We wait for the “one” to come along to make us happy. We wait until we are qualified to start building a career. We hold off on the things we love because we’re too busy.

But, what we fail to see is our weakness in all of this is finding the time. Because, as it’s been said before, there is no right time. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed to any of us, so why not start today?

3. Laugh it off – everything will be okay in the end.

As we’ve known for quite some time now, laughing sets off endorphins – aka the happy chemical in our brains. I’ve certainly found that nothing cures a problem like laughter does. Because truthfully, when life has felt like a big pile of so-and-so, a good belly laughter has managed to bring me down to earth a little. It’s made me feel happy, good, and safe – even if only for a little while sometimes. Life is just too short to be so serious all the time, let yourself to laugh it all off. You’ll feel better for it.

4. Live for yourself. Do it for yourself. And be proud of yourself.

For years, I used to do things to make my family proud. I put myself under pressure to do things that I’d once enjoyed but didn’t anymore because I wanted to be praised. I wanted to be somebody, but not for myself.  

No matter what I do, my family will always be there for me and back me. But, I spent too long ignoring building up my own confidence, and giving myself the love I’d been so willingly giving out. It’s so important to build a life for yourself. To be selfish from time to time and to do everything you can to be happy and content.

5. You will experience loss and pain but you will be okay.

Losing a loved one is up there with one of life’s most difficult experiences. Grief is an experience like no other and is a long process but you will get through it. Grief teaches you lessons like no other and life can change, although bittersweet, for the better, whether it’s your attitude or circumstance.

The pain that comes with loss can feel as though it will never go away and to some extent it doesn’t. But the pain becomes easier to deal with and the more time goes on, happy memories aren’t so difficult to recall.

6. Embrace who you are, the quirks, and things that make you different.

University and working has certainly helped me to embrace who I am. The fact that I can either be extremely quiet or extremely hyper with no in-between is something I’m yet to come to terms with. But, it’s all a work in progress. As stated above, there is always room for improvement and growth.

I’ve found that what makes you different is what matters, it should NEVER be tucked away and hidden away from the rest of the world. Insecurities make it difficult but the biggest asset for me has been to follow a “fake it until you make it” attitude. When done for long enough, it weirdly starts to stick. Once you begin to embrace who you are, you learn your own self-worth – a big bonus. Accepting yourself truly sets you free.

7. You’ll make mistakes but you will learn from them.

Making mistakes is a part of life, but overthinking can lead to thinking one mistake will define you for the rest of your life – it won’t. I’ve always believed that it’s okay to make mistakes so long as you actively take something from it and make a conscious effort not to make the same mistake twice. And even when you do make another mistake, you must forgive yourself. We make mistakes, we learn, and we grow.

8. Nothing lasts forever, you just have to make it through today.

There have been many a time where I’ve thought a life trauma, mental state or situation would never end or even get better. The saying “nothing lasts forever” really does ring true. Because no matter how tough times get, or how strongly you believe it will never get better, there’s always a glimmer of hope just around the corner.

The good times don’t last forever to teach us not to take them for granted and equally the bad times aren’t a constant either. We experience both good and bad times – the two make us stronger and build us to be better people.

9. Be responsible for your own happiness.

Yes, very cliche but it’s so important to make sure you set aside time to do what makes you happy. To build a life that makes YOU happy. Anything extra is a bonus to that but shouldn’t become what DETERMINES your whole happiness.

10. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.

Rejection is soul-crushing and probably one of the less popular experiences of life, but, without it none of us would get what we want or even appreciate it when we get it. Rejection can bring you to your knees but it’s what instils a motivation to push on and strive for what it is that you want.

Putting yourself out there is the only way to succeed – rejection, rejection, and rejection are the building blocks for success.

Happy New Year!

Ciao for now x

Posted by

Wellbeing writer, host for The Inspired Narrative podcast and mental health support worker.

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