Yesterday I turned 33. Not traditionally a major birthday – you most probably won’t find shiny buttons or balloons unless you specifically search for them. And yet, this one feels significant. Not sure why, but it feels like I have turned a corner. When I look in the mirror, the person who looks back at me is definitely not the same one that stared back a year ago.
I don’t feel wiser, but definitely more in tune with myself. This past year was brutal in exposing my faults and weaknesses, and some I am still trying to bury under the carpet. One day soon I will have enough guts to face them as well. Until then, I can at least share with you 33 things I have learned in my 33 years walking this earth. Some of them I feel are profound, and some a bit obvious. But all lessons none the less.
33 things I have learned in my 33 years:
- Get to know yourself, and trust your gut
Know what you want, the values you hold dear, what you like. And then, when your gut tells you something is wrong (or right) listen! When you are in tune with yourself, you will intuitively know what direction you need to go in.
- Doing nothing is also ok
Driving life hard is awesome, being busy is the salvation of many. But getting still and reflecting is so important to your wellbeing. Start to be comfortable with doing nothing.
- Pay attention to your body
Especially considering food. Stop following diets and fads. Eat real food, and focus on how it makes you feel. You will quickly figure out what you should and should not eat, and your body will thank you.
- Challenge yourself
Physically, mentally, spiritually. Do something that scares you, and keep on doing it until it no longer does. Then find something else. I am currently conquering my fear of heights.
- Do what makes you happy, even if it doesn’t make sense to other people
Stop living a life that you hope others will approve of. Do what gives you joy – if others cannot see it, it is their problem not yours.
- Wash your face, twice a day
Take of your makeup before bed, and wash in the mornings. Believe me, this is a game changer, especially in the anti-ageing arena!
- Feel the sun on your face
Get a good dose of Vit D in, every day. You need direct sunlight (so not reflected through a windowpane) on your skin for 15min every day. Morning sun is best, since it will also help to regulate your circadian rhythms which will help with quality sleep.
- Put in the work, relationships are worth it
Any relationship is not based on a “one and done” rule. You need to constantly put in the work to make it last. Value people, not things, so put in the work.
- Wear the right shoes
Always. Your feet and back will thank you.
- Create a lifestyle that makes you excited to get out of bed
This includes everything, from your routines, commitments, choices. You do you, and do it well.
- Get enough sleep
Figure out how many hours you need, and then do everything you can to ensure you get those hours. Also, make sure you get quality sleep as well as the quantity you need. Do a sleep routine cleanup, removing any and everything that is keeping you from getting the best sleep you can get.
- Stop judging yourself based on other people’s standards
And stop judging others because they sin differently than you. Focus on your own life, your own happiness, and pay no attention to other’s opinions. As long as you are happy, healthy and safe, they have no right to say anything.
- Figure out your style, and what works with your body type
Do you know if you can wear yellow? You should. Figure out which colours work on you, as well as which styles suit your body type, and then determine your own personal style.
- You will not end up alone
There are 6 billion people on this earth. Holding onto a relationship that is not working because you are scared of being alone is ludicrous. You will find someone else, especially when you open yourself up to finding love again.
- Collect the memories
Leave the clutter, but keep the memories. Focus on people and experiences and not on material possessions and you will quickly notice your life is richer and more interesting.
- You can get along with just about anyone, no matter what
We all love, we all fear, we all hope. No matter their culture, colour, race, religion, if you want to you will be able to find at least one thing you have in common.
- Find people who will be in your corner and fight for you
Build your tribe. Have your “ride or dies”. But remember, if they will fight for you, you need to be prepared to fight for them as well. Give and take.
- Stop making excuses when you don’t want to do something
Learn to say no when you need to, no excuse necessary.
- Go preloved as much as possible
Second-hand is awesome. Not only do you save money, you also help save the planet. And often you can get better quality than what you would have been able to afford, for a much better price.
- There is more to life than sex
A tough one, but so true. Look for authentic instead of sexy, find someone you connect with on more than one level, and don’t use your body as a bargaining chip. You are not payment for anything.
- Take the plunge, it is the only way to answer the “what ifs”
Take risks, sometimes calculated and sometimes throwing caution to the wind. Life is short, and you do not want to leave this earth thinking what would have happened if you just…
- Learn how to budget
Learn how to live well within your means. And if your means are not enough, find ways to supplement your income. Life is about more than money, but you need money to stay alive. Make it work for you.
- If you don’t know, ask
Unsure? Then ask. But don’t ask if you are not prepared for the answer.
- Sometimes starting over is the only choice you have
And it can be glorious. You can find the good in any situation if you simply look for it. Starting over is not a bad thing, it is a second chance. Grab it with both hands.
- Find a creative outlet
Very few people are satisfied and fulfilled creatively by their day job, even if they have a creative job. Find something that can help you free your creativity.
- Fake it till you make it
Confidence is key. If you don’t have it, then act as if you do. Do this as often and as long as you need before it becomes second nature. One day you will realise you have it, no need to fake it anymore.
- Most things will cost more and take longer than what you bargained on
Remove the blinkers and see life for what it really is. No romance, no make-believe. Harsh reality. Then bargain for that. I would rather be pleasantly surprised if we get in under budget, than left scrambling to find resources in order to finish.
- There is no right time
Life is what happens when you are making other plans, right? Stop thinking next week or next year, or when I get that promotion. It doesn’t work like that. There is no right time, so take the plunge and get it done.
- Drink the supplements
Even if you eat a well-balanced diet. Drink your supplements! Go see a doctor, get your bloodwork done, figure out what your body needs and then give your body exactly that. Especially important to ensure you age well.
- Be kind
If you can be anything, choose to be kind. To yourself and to others.
- Realize that you are part of something special. Nothing lasts forever
Grab every moment and life it to its fullest potential. You are the hero of your own story, a magnificent epic. Don’t change it into a tragedy. Enjoy your life, it will be over all too soon.
- Life can change in the blink of an eye
Every storm eventually runs out of rain, and anything can change. On your bad days, remember that. And when we keep on walking, we eventually walk out of the rain and into the sunshine.