26 Things I've Learned In 26 Years

25 Mar 2020

I've turned this type of post into a bit of a tradition, haven't I? It's my birthday week (28th March, if you want to get me a card) and I'm turning 26. Now usually, I don't have a problem with getting older. I liked saying I was 24, but 25 felt like it suited me more. But there's something about 26 that I'm just not feeling. I'll be officially on the slippery slope, which is somewhere the no one wants to be. Plus, it doesn't particularly feel like my birthday week, thanks to the thing that shall not be named who is terrorising the world right now.

Anyway, every birthday I've had since I started this blog, I've put a little post, talking the things that I've learned in life. They might be things that I learned the week before or things that I learned when I was 5... it can vary. So in honour of turning 26, here's a list of 26 things that I've learned in my 26 years on planet Earth. Side note: these are things that are personal to me. Sure, some may apply to you, but if you disagree with anything, please be kind!

  1. Normality can be disrupted at any time - 2020 in particular has shown me that the rug can be pulled from under your feet at any time. Right now, I'm typing this after I've been furloughed, which means I'm not allowed to work and will be paid at 80% until the world is put to rights.
  2. Being anxious is not a sign of weakness - for too long, I was made to feel weak because I was anxious on phones, in shops or around people in general. Being anxious is something that I don't choose to be - it just happens. It is not weakness.
  3. I am stronger than I know - on the flip side of number 2, I definitely am stronger than I know.
  4. Happiness can find you, even when you're not looking for it - I think some people try to chase happiness and make it happen, but sometimes, it can creep up on you without any encouragement at all.
  5. Sometimes you need to step outside of the situation to see how toxic it is
  6. The people who gossip to you will gossip about you - this one was hard to learn, but I can now see the red flags in friendships and move away if I think I need to.
  7. I don't need a strict schedule for your blog - I've tried to keep up a schedule, I truly have, but this blog is a hobby for me, not a source of solid income. I'm fortunate enough that I can stop posting for 2 weeks and still have decent viewing figures, but I like to post when I want with no pressure.
  8. Baking is my true passion - I flit between hobbies because I'm so fickle, but nothing makes me happy like baking does.
  9. Having introvert and extrovert traits is a difficult balance - I always think about writing a post on being an extroverted introvert, but I'm not sure if it's something that would even make sense. Let me know if you'd like to see that!
  10. Not having a niche is totally fine
  11. Stay in your own lane - I am awful for comparing myself to other bloggers and I always make myself feel rotten whenever I do it. It's so important to realise that everyone is on a different path and you need to stay in your own lane. Your time will come.
  12. I don't want to live anywhere other than the North East
  13. With a full face of makeup, I need a cat flick to feel like myself
  14. Shy bairns definitely do get nowt - I'm pulling up my big girl pants lately and doing more stuff out of my comfort zone, like talking to people and asking for exactly what I want. I'm attempting to pitch more and be a bit braver in my real life too.
  15. University really is the best time of your life - my gosh, do I miss university. I didn't do all of the drinking and stuff, but I loved my bar job, I enjoyed my Masters course and I kind of miss going to seminars.
  16. Big brows will always win - I wish I could tell me teenage self to push past the people who laugh at her huge eyebrows because their natural thickness will be the envy of everyone in her twenties.
  17. There is no bar to hit - growing up, I was very aware that by 25, my mum had had me, got a job, got a house and was married. The thing is, the time that we live in is so different and it's much more difficult to achieve these things. Coming up 26, I'm not upset at the lack of child, house that's my own or a ring on my finger. There is no bar to hit.
  18. Parmos aren't good unless they're from Teesside
  19. I won't ever be stick thin - it's easy to forget about genetics when you're trying to lose weight. My mum and I are both broad people. We've got wide shoulders and broad hips, so it's virtually impossible for me to be the stick that I'd like to be, and I'm coming to terms with that.
  20. Talking to strangers online about your problems is a lot easier than talking to people you know in person
  21. Work in a field you love, but not so much that you fall out of love with it - I'm a Digital Content Executive, so I do a lot of writing during the day, which means that when I get home, I'm kind of not in the mood to blog. I haven't fallen out of love with blogging by any means, but I'm aware that every now and then, I need to step back and remind myself why I love it so much.
  22. Your siblings are your true best friends - me and my sister have been through a lot as siblings, some of which I may end up talking about on my blog when I feel comfortable doing so, but it only makes us stronger. We don't talk too much while she's at uni, but when she's home, we're best chums.
  23. Don't use your first ever email address forever
  24. Always say yes to marshmallows and cream
  25. Be as open about your experiences as you comfortably can be - you've got absolutely no idea how many people you could be helping by being honest and unashamed of your experiences, no matter how big or small they are.
  26. If you don't love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else? - can I get an amen?! I'm still working on the loving myself thing, but I'm getting there. Baby steps!

My gosh. I even said in my '25 things' post that this would be a chunky one, so well done you if you actually read through all of that! I hope at least a few things resonated with you or that some made you smile. I feel like I can say I won't do another one of these posts next year all I like, but my birthday will still roll around and I'll say, "I NEED TO WRITE A 27 THINGS POST".


Let's meet back here next year then, shall we?

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@thenorthernist