This past weekend I celebrated my 29th birthday, and while majority of my friends are panicking about ‘turning 30’ (holla 1987s) I just want to say:
a) Have 363 days left until my 30th (just to rub it in on those panicked friends) and…
b) I am shockingly excited for my 30th (which many people can’t understand)
However, since I’m entering into the last year of my 20s, I thought I’d do a little personal/professional reflection. There are a few important lessons I’ve learned in my 20s, so here’s my little countdown in no particular order:
5. The key isn’t what you know, it’s who you know
It’s a saying that we’ve heard time and time again, and I will say I definitely believe it… to a certain extent. While you’re probably never going to be a doctor without a PhD, life is incredibly flexible and full of opportunities. How many times have you heard the “tripped and fell into it” kind of story? Your network is key to everything – and not just professionally. My network includes friends, family, friends of friends, professional contacts; these are all the people I have learned from and continue to learn from, not just the people that ‘get you a job.’
4. It’s about quality not quantity
Looking back (and I mean, WAY back) think of how important it was to have lots of everything. As kids we wanted all the Pokemon cards or pogs or Polly Pockets or whatever it was; we wanted to have the biggest birthday parties of all and have all of “the things” in the world. Then, as we grow up we realize it’s about quality and not quantity. It’s one of the reasons I took my birthday off of Facebook too. Those who are closest to me are spending time with me on my birthday, or reaching out to me personally, not writing a “happy birthday” because they feel they have to. I problem solved that “if one has a life event and doesn’t put it on social media, it DOES in fact still happen.” *gasp!*
3. I don’t know everything
In fact, I question every day if I know anything. The whole “we get wiser with age” thing is still a mystery to me, because I feel like the older I get the more I realize I have SO to learn. Whether it is in the lessons of life, or educationally, or professionally, I honestly know I’ll never be done learning – and it’s awesome.
2. Mindfulness and meditation are a real thing
They aren’t just quotes on Twitter (#MotivationalMonday) and memes on Instagram (#blessed), but a really, real thing. The past couple years have been absolutely transformational for me when I discovered that all the stuff I was jokingly calling “woo-woo” were actually life changing skills and tools. Breathing exercises, meditating, journalling, and even colouring – these are all things I do in my daily life and much, much more. It has made me less over-reactive (we all have our moments), more present in everyday life and able to connect with people, experiences and things more than I ever thought possible. I might have to full elaborate on this journey in a separate blog. Honestly, it’s been life changing. ????
1. Time is a crazy thing
We spend so much time rushing life. As children we play dress-up and plan our imaginary weddings. In school we long to be done school. In our 20s it’s the houses, marriage, babies rush. Each job is a ‘what’s next’. The list goes on and on, but sometimes we really need to pause and reflect. I think this leads into number 2 a bit, but appreciate the smallest of small in every day life. The snowflake that lands on your eyelash, the way a stranger smiles at you on the sidewalk or holds open a door, or maybe the feeling of waking up without an alarm on the weekends – whatever it is, appreciate it. All we have is today (cue the RENT music). We don’t know what tomorrow will bring, and as I get older, that makes me excited. I love living life as an adventure – my adventure. I love seeing my friends live their lives – their adventure. Sometimes our adventures cross, sometimes they run a little more parallel, but everyone has their own journey. I posted a picture last week on Twitter, and it really comes down to this – TAKE YOUR TIME. Live for the present, because it’s a pretty awesome ‘gift.’
These are just a few things that stood out to me when I think back on my last little while. An entire decade can be a little hard to reflect on, and the points that stood out to me today might not be the same ones that stand out to me tomorrow. All I know is that each year, week, day, and moment brings about something new. Age is seriously nothing but a number. You can learn something from absolutely everyone and from absolutely everything. Embrace your adventure!