10 Life Lessons Learned the Hard Way

‘The rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience’ – Baz Luhrman

I don’t be any means consider myself to be wise or knowledgeable in any way however the more I plod through my 30s the less shits I find myself giving about things I would have normally gotten into a right tizz over 10 years ago. Sometimes It’s important to go back and realise how far you’ve come rather than worrying about how far you still have to go.

Your hardest work will go unnoticed

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I remember once I had a new boss I really wanted to impress so when they asked me to put together a report I took it home and worked on it over the Easter weekend. I thought surely because they’d given it to me at 3pm on the Thursday and I handed it back – completed at 9am on the Tuesday morning I’d score some serious brownie points. You know what they said? Nothing.  Didn’t even bat an eyelid.  I ruined my long weekend for nothing. Lesson learned? Your time off is for you, not work, and most of the time if you spend your weekends doing work you don’t get praise, you just get told you’re crazy!

Most adults are incapable of having a sensible debate

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In my wise old 35 years on earth, and especially since I started blogging I’ve learnt that it’s ok to have an opinion, as long as it’s the same as everyone else’s. If you look at recent hot topics; the UK General Election, Brexit, the presidential election, and Great British Bake Off leaving BBC1, they’re things everyone has strong opinions on, which is absolutely fine, but no one seems to be able to discuss anything sensibly without it resorting to mudslinging and playground insults. No one is ever prepared to see things from the other person’s point of view. Why people broadcast their political views on the internet is beyond me in the first place, that should be filed away with religion, sexuality and your real weight in the None of Your Beeswax cabinet.

You can achieve anything if you have the right motivation

I’m the first person to start something and then jack it in when it gets a little bit too difficult or I don’t think I’m making any progress however I’ve learnt that it’s got nothing to do with laziness and everything to do with the finding motivation. My off/on relationship with running is well documented but nothing motivated me more than when Dave started ultra running and I didn’t want to be to the fat wife when he’s super fit. I’ve also never been any good at saving money until I got the chance to take a trip of a lifetime to Vegas with my best bud Meagan and suddenly, saving money was all I think about. Because that was way more important than buying 99p tops off eBay.

It’s not all about you

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This was a hard lesson to learn for a self-involved narcissist like me but sadly, it’s not all about me. Not to put too fine a point on it, apart from those closest to you, most people don’t give a crap about you. And I don’t mean that in a nasty way, just that everyone has their own stuff to deal with, and you and your needy obsession with having everyone like you doesn’t matter to other people (perhaps that’s just me!). You’re not at the forefront of everyone’s mind 24 hours a day. People just care about themselves, not you, so just get over it and concentrate on what’s important.

Those who gossip to you gossip about you

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Sadly this is something I’ve learnt the hard way. We all gossip to an extent, it’s human nature to talk and discuss and find other people’s lives interesting but idle office gossip I try and stay away from because I’ve seen the damage it does, both as a gossiper and a gossipee. There are very few people I trust with my deepest darkest secrets or personal opinions of other people. Oh and whatever you do don’t ever gossip about someone over text because technology has a cruel way of of sending that text to the last person you want to see it!

Don’t underestimate the power of positive thought

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It’s super cheesy but it’s so true that no one can make you feel bad unless you let them. I like to think of myself as a positive person but life wears you down sometimes and you see some of the travesties and injustices, even on the smallest scale happening all the time. I have lots of little tricks to try and help me stay positive, like remembering the ancient Chinese practice of literally counting your blessings and listening in my head everything I’m thankful for. I focus on what i’m looking forward to even if its just going to the pub on Friday night. And I’ve become obsessed with my Happiness Journal which allows me to always end the day on a positive note.

Everyone is Everything

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I’m not someone who takes criticism, constructive or otherwise, very well. I want to get things right first time, every time. Which of course is massive, unrealistic pressure to put on yourself. I’m hyper self aware and know massively what my faults are, and i’ll name them before you do. However these two things do not a happy partnership make, Beaucse if someone point out that I’m being particularly whingy one day, I don’t like it. Even thought they’re right. The thing is though. We’re all a bit whingy sometimes. We can all be lovely sometimes too. Or rude sometimes, or thoughtless sometimes, or selfish sometimes, or arrogant sometimes. We’re not bad people. We’re just sometimes a bit of a dick (some people more often than others of course)

Not everyone will like you

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One of my biggest fears is having people not like me (genuinely) which is bonkers when you think about it. I don’t like everyone I meet, some people, for whatever reason, rub me up the wrong way, and it’s not that they’re bad people, it’s just like oil and water when it comes to our personalities and we just don’t mix. I spend a lot of time trying to impress people, people who no matter what I do will never think I’m good enough. Take my 10 minute mile challenge for example, there’s certain people who I want to be impressed by it, but they couldn’t care less. However weeks ago I got a lovely text from Meagan when I was done telling me I was a superhero. That was the jolt back to reality I needed. It doesn’t matter if not everyone thinks you’re incredible, as long as the people you think are incredible do.

Embrace your alone time

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I’ve never liked being on my own all that much. When I lived in a flat on my own my phone bill was through the roof because I wasn’t comfortable in my own company. The older I get the more I’ve started to to enjoy some alone time even if it’s just for an hour or so. I love shopping on my own so I can meander though the shops at my own pace with my music on and take as long as I like without anyone else getting bored. I also recently found myself in town super early for meeting a friend so took myself off to Starbucks and had a coffee and watched the world go by. I felt super relaxed and was pleased I was able to entertain myself without having to rely on the company on others.

Nothing is forever

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Every time I’ve gone through a period of anxiety, or ever worse, a bout of depression. I’ve always withdrawn into myself and been completely unable to see any way out. I resign myself to the fact that this is how life is always going to be so I’d best just get used to it. This of course, is utterly ridiculous because nothing is forever. If I’ve been unhappy at work, inevitably, things change and it gets better, or I leave for a better job. If I’ve fallen out someone, we either make up eventually, or they fall away from my life to the point where I never give them a passing thought any more. Sometimes it takes longer than you’d like but things do change. They do get better. And cheesy as it sounds, time is the best heeler.

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