27 Things I've Learned In 27 Years

25 Mar 2021

If you've been reading my blog for a few years, you'll know that I have a bit of a birthday tradition. I like to kick it old school and do a big old blog post about the things I've learned in my years around the sun! It's my birthday week (28th March, if you want to get me a card) and I'm turning a whole 27 years old. I'm well and truly riding the slippery slope, and let me tell you, I'm not having fun with it. Someone asked me how old I was the other day, and I accidentally said 27, then quickly had to say 'ON SUNDAY. I'm 27 on Sunday.' I absolutely do not want to be another year closer to 30!

But unfortunately for me, time is not a thing you can slow down, and so I'm almost 27. Yuck. I do think that because this is technically my second lockdown birthday, I should be able to take back 2 years and say I'm actually 25. I think that's the solution I'll go with. Anyway, before I waffle on too much, here's my list of 27 things that I've learned in 27 years. 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. Asking for help is ok - sure, it might be scary and you might worry about looking weak, but asking for help is ok. I started CBT this year and I was terrified to ask for help. And while I still feel like I've got a way to go, it's good to have a way to release some of the stuff in my head.
  2. No one really knows what normal is - I think this whole pandemic has shown this more than ever. What even is normal anymore? Whether it's referring to a lifestyle, a career, or someone's personality, no one really knows what normal is.
  3. You don't always have to live to work - the 'live to work' lifestyle isn't suited to everyone and I'm one of those people. I'm forever itching to be out and about, but know that I probably need some dollar to do so. I'm definitely more of a 'work to live' sort of person.
  4. Let the bad eggs go - some people are bad eggs and they can't be helped. Sometimes, you just need to let them go and be done with it (and also, don't watch their social media to make sure they're ok because it's not good for you).
  5. I actually do have a niche - it's funny because in my last birthday list, I said that not having a niche is ok, but I actually do have a niche. I'm a Teessider and proud of it, and I want to share that with the world.
  6. It's ok to change your mind - see above for the perfect example!
  7. The gym is something that I need in my life - I really don't like exercising at home or running or anything like that, but there's just something about the gym. I've really missed it in lockdown and I can't believe that I'm looking forward to getting back and getting into a routine.
  8. You don't need to be body confident all the time - there are times when I feel so fit and I really fancy myself, but there are other times where I feel like lard. I've learned that this is totally human and most people feel the same. Getting back to the gym will help, but for now, I'm accepting that it's ok to not be body confident all the time.
  9. Life is not always what you planned.
  10. Seriously, don't keep using your first ever email address - the amount of people who have commented on my 'ntlworld' email address is just ridiculous at this point. I should get on that.
  11. Put mascara on, even if you think the Zoom call won't involve cameras - you just never know and you don't want to find out by facing your Gollum-like mirror image on the screen for everyone to see.
  12. Crying is needed sometimes - I'm a mega cry baby and I've learned that that's needed sometimes. I used to feel embarrassed about crying in front of people, but after crying to my manager, crying at my desk and crying in the photography room, I've realised that it's actually a-ok.
  13. Online friends are true heroes - I'm lucky that I get to talk to loads of different people online, which is ideal for me and my socially anxious brain. All of you guys over on Instagram and Facebook, you're the best!
  14. People who talk passionately about the things they love are the best.
  15. Milk isn't your friend - me and milk don't get on, and while I say I've learned this, part of me still refuses to believe it. So I'll drink all the hot chocolate and eat all the ice cream, then be in a lot of pain. Totally worth it.
  16. Makeup brushes need cleaning more often than you think.
  17. You don't need to have certain family members in your life if you don't want them there.
  18. Having no blog awards doesn't make you a bad blogger - it's so easy to compare yourself to other bloggers and see their awards as a symbol of success. But the fact of the matter is that you have the courage to put your thoughts and words online for all to see. Sometimes you might get cheeky little collabs or even make money, and maybe one day, you will win some sort of award. But it's not the be all and end all.
  19. Maintain your eyebrows, for goodness sake - big eyebrows are finally appreciated in society, but come on Olivia, lockdown doesn't mean letting them grow out like a werewolf. But don't overpluck them either - we've walked that line and it isn't a pretty one.
  20. Wall art is always worth the money.
  21. You will miss uni and bar life forever - they say that uni is the best time of your life and they're all so right. I loved doing my Master's and I loved my bar job, and to think that you'll never do either again is kind of heartbreaking.
  22. Lockdown actually isn't all that bad - let me start this by saying some aspects of lockdown have been bad. I've had terrible mental health and I've put weight on like no other, but some aspects actually weren't horrible. It's made me learn the true value of having me time and it showed me how much I meant to my last job. It gave me time to write, craft, grow a following, and explore other options.
  23. Stay in your lane.
  24. If you build an echo chamber, you won't hear other opinions - while I'm guilty of building an echo chamber online and only familiarising myself with people with similar views, because who wants to see negativity? But at the same time, it puts you in this bubble of believing that everyone feels the same way. I need to break my echo chamber down a little bit and listen to external opinions, even if they aren't in line with my beliefs.
  25. Always be authentically you.
  26. When in doubt, Drag Race - I don't think I'm alone when I say that Drag Race is some of the best TV, especially the UK edition. I think I started watching Drag Race around season 8 or 9, and I've been hooked ever since. It just makes me so happy and I'm obsessed with the art.
  27. Don't feel bad for taking time out - I'm my own worst enemy and I often criticise myself for taking time out. I'm a part of the toxic productivity generation and I really struggle to switch off. I'm always thinking about work or feeling bad about not doing enough on my blog, but in reality, it's actually fine to have days out.

Wow - if you made it through that whole list, then well done you! It was pretty chunky and I say every year that I don't know if I'll do another, purely because they're getting long (and also serving as a reminder of how old I'm getting). But for now, from authenticity to eyebrows, and the gym to bad eggs, I've learned a fair few things in my 27 years and I'll continue to do so!

While I don't know if I'll do another mega list next year, meet me back here on March 28th 2022 for my 28th birthday (yuck!). And in the meantime, which of my learnings do you relate to most?

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