I’ve made it to another birthday. Another trip around the sun. Another year older. Birthdays have never been a huge deal for me. I love my birthday secretly. I love people making a big deal about a day all about me. But I also hate surprises and being in the light so birthdays have always been days filled with anxiety and happiness and every emotion in between.
Since this is my first birthday living on the other side of the world I decided to reflect at the last couple years and write down the things I’ve enjoyed and the things I’ve learned. Lets get sentimental:
- Follow your heart. This is probably the biggest one that I’ve learned in the past couple year and one that follows me through every year as I get older. Following my heart is the reason I found the love of my life, it’s the reason I’ve travelled, it’s the reason I moved to the other side of the world, and it’s the reason I’ve decided to (hopefully) move to Australia for good. I feel like follow your heart is pretty self explanatory. Do what your heart says, don’t overthink it. (Unless what your heart is saying is illegal, then think about it 😉 )
- Take risks. Kind of similar to following your heart but taking risks has been something I’ve always tried to do in my life but never actually implemented until recently. It all started with applying for my internship with TWLOHA and it has gone on from there. From traveling to Australia to traveling to Japan to moving to Australia risks have pushed me out of my comfort zone and inspired me to continue to implement adventure into my life.
- Mindfulness. Mindfulness. Mindfulness. This is still one that I’m working on but one that I have found really important in my life this last year. My anxiety improves tenfold when I practice mindfulness and it just gives me so much hope and positivity.
- Keep learning. After graduating from university I was feeling really lost without having to go to classes every day. When you get used to going to school for over 15 years and then suddenly you don’t have to study or take exams or go to class anymore you’re bound to feel a little lost. I never realised how much I love learning and how much my mental health relies on continuing to learn. My plan in the next year is to start working on my masters but this last year I strived to learn new things on my own. I conquered free classes in photoshop, web design, and embroidery!
- Being sensitive is a strength. I’ve always been a very sensitive person and for some reason growing up it always had such a negative connotation. I would cry often and took things very personally and always got made fun of it for it. But these last couple years and after working with TWLOHA I have been embracing my sensitivity as a strength not a weakness and my life has been changed. I love being sensitive. Being sensitive has allowed me to excel in my career and personal relationships.
- Others opinions don’t matter. For as long as I can remember I’ve always been very conscious of other people’s opinions. I worry I let others down and I care when people talk behind my back or give me negative opinions. It’s probably because I’m so sensitive but I’ve learned that none of those opinions matter. What matters is what you think of yourself, what you’re working on, and what you’re achieving. And those people with negative opinions of you don’t belong in your life.
- Take breaks from social media. With all the terrible political things happening I realised I needed to take breaks from twitter and facebook and instagram often for my mental health. Also the more I look on Instagram the more self conscious of my own personal looks I become which is not good either. Take breaks and take them often.
- Go to new places. I’ve always had a travel bug. I want to visit every continent before I die. And just this last year I visited two brand new places and experienced new cultures. Here’s to even more travel in the future.
- Take pride in your interests. Sometimes I worry that the things I like are “too weird” to talk about. I believe in ghosts and the paranormal. I love crystals and spiritual living. I love those things and that’s what matters. Not if people think you’re strange because of it.
- You don’t have to have “busy” weekends. I work 40 hours a week and get tired. People always act weird when I say I haven’t done anything all weekend and always say “you need to start doing stuff with your weekends”. The introvert in me hates that. I’m tired. I’m going to sleep in and just watch Netflix if I want to.
- “Low maintenance” friends suit me. I haven’t seen my best friend in months and we haven’t talked in weeks but I know the next time I see her it will be right back where we left off. We will forever be best friends and we can have our own lives and live on different sides of the world and not talk for months but still know that we love and support one another.
- Plants and flowers make everything better. Our apartment is filled with succulents and I love treating myself to flowers occasionally. They bring life and light to your living space especially when you’re dealing with a tiny Sydney apartment.
- Some people won’t understand you. That’s okay. I’m severely introverted (and proud of it). But almost all of my friends in Australia are extroverted. I can’t hang out with them all the time because I get exhausted and it’s just too much. Some of those extroverted friends don’t understand why I have to leave parties early or why I skip after work drinks. And that’s okay.
- Spend money on the nice stuff. Skin care that works for your skin. A little black dress for any occasion. Shoes that will last years. It’s okay to spend more money on the stuff that makes a difference or the stuff that will last.
- Give yourself grace.
- Mental health days are as important as sick days. Some days I can’t get out of bed, not physically, mentally. And on those days you can’t fathom putting on a smile and acting like everything is okay. Don’t.
- Making decisions won’t kill you. My anxiety doesn’t let me make decisions. And if it’s an important decision, nope, forget it. This past year I’ve challenged myself to be the decision maker. To stop saying “I don’t care, you pick.” and start saying “lets go here”. It’s changed my world. I’m still alive. My life isn’t any worse because we chose to go to thai instead of italian.
- This too shall pass. I have this on my body permanently. It’s been my mantra since 18. And every year it changes meaning for me. It’s grown with me and will continue to grow with me forever.
- What was my life like before Uber Eats? Living in a big city means you can get anything delivered to you through an app. Oh the convenience.
- Make time to be creative. I love bullet journaling and knitting, and embroidering, and watercolouring and writing but 9/10 times I get too busy and forget to enjoy my creative outlets. Set aside time in your week to focus on your creativity.
- Adult life sucks. Why did I want to grow up so fast? Bills and work and real life responsibilities sucks. Let me go back to when I could take a nap without being judged.
- Be kind. Even to those who might not “deserve” it. Say thank you and smile at a stranger. You may change someone’s day or even life. You never know
- And finally find the one that makes your heart skip a beat. Ever since meet T my life has been flipped upside down. I’ve been happier, less anxious, and couldn’t see my life any other way.
Here’s to 23.