So here it is, the big 25 & this is possibly the hardest birthday to take. When I woke up yesterday I was no longer 24 & instead I had suddenly reached my mid-twenties & flippin’ heck does that scare me. It feels like just yesterday I turned 20 & now I’m as close to 30 as I am to 20 – where did those years go?!
With this passing birthday I had an idea for a blog post – what I learnt as a 24 year old. With every year that passes we learn new life lessons & this year was a big one for me. I have lived in a foreign country for one year, I have started businesses & I’ve gone through one hell of an emotional roller-coaster. So I thought how better to enter another than to reflect on my year as a 24 year old woman.
Here is what I learned:
To believe in myself
I never realised how much my mind controls me until this past year. When it comes to every day life I am generally a very positive person but when it comes to thoughts about myself, I’m full of doubts & I completely underestimate my own abilities. I’m not sure where this mentality came from or how long it’s been there because I’m a confident woman but inside my own mind I guess I’m not as confident as I portray myself to be. I think things like ‘I can’t do that’ or ‘I won’t be good at that’ or ‘I won’t do a good job’ when in fact every time I push myself out of my comfort zone, I surprise myself. It hasn’t been easy to control this mind set & sometimes I still catch myself doing it but it’s just about saying to myself ‘I can & I will!’ because I’m capable of much more than I give myself credit for.
How to deal with financial struggles
This year I have had to face some of the toughest financial times I’ve ever gone through & for anyone, that isn’t easy. When I was living back in N.Ireland I had a lot of disposable income & I was able to go shopping & buy whatever I wanted without much thought. Since moving to another country with a high unemployment rate & where it can be so difficult to find a job, I had to face financially difficult times & it really wasn’t easy. But now that I’m out the other side I am so much stronger because of it, I am now so careful with money even when I have it & going through this has really taught me the value of money again. Be thankful for what you have & always save for a rainy day because you never know how your situation can change.
You don’t need so much ‘stuff’
This leads on from my previous point as when I was going through a tough time financially I just didn’t have the money to treat myself to anything, I only bought the essentials which meant no buying clothes & no buying makeup that I didn’t need. Suddenly I was using everything in my makeup collection & I was wearing all of the clothes in my wardrobe because there was nothing new being added that took my attention. This made me realise that I have more than enough already & when I had a lot of disposable income I didn’t appreciate what I already had as I was always looking for my next purchase. Now my shopping habits have drastically changed for the better as I only buy things that I really love & I don’t throw my money around. This is a life lesson that I am so thankful for.
Be the fiery, opinionated woman that I am
When I moved to South Africa I was suddenly living in the biggest country I’ve ever been in & I was thrown into a fast paced world that was completely different to my home. After moving I became conscious of who I was & how I acted as I no longer had my best friends with me & I had to meet new people & make new friends of my own. Because of this I began to feel like I was losing myself a little as in certain situations I stopped myself from voicing my opinion even when I wanted to & that just isn’t who I am. I realised that just because I live somewhere new, that it doesn’t mean that I have to change who I am because I’m a still a warm, likeable person but I just prefer the warm, likeable girl who voiced her opinion when she needed to.
No one else has their sh*t figured out either
There is a crap element of society where we’re made to believe that we need to have our lives figured out ASAP. I think a lot of that comes from the generations before us when the goal was to work hard in school, get a safe & secure job & start a family before you’re 30. The problem with this is that as 20 somethings we feel like we should have everything together & if we don’t then we’re failures, but you know what? That’s bullsh*t because I don’t know anyone my age who has their whole life figured out. We’re all just running around & trying to find our ‘niche’ in life so the sooner you realise this & stop panicking, the better you’ll feel because we’re all in the same boat. I’m just glad I realised this at the age of 24!