This month I turn 25. I feel good about this quarter-century birthday. As I step firmly into my mid-twenties, I’m reflecting on more lessons learned so far. You can read similar posts from 2016 and 2017 if you like.
1. I’ve changed in many ways over the last ten years. I’m less anxious, more settled. More ambitious in some areas, less so in others.
2. In some ways I haven’t changed at all. I still enjoy reading, writing, musicals, being in bed at 9:30pm and most things involving Reese Witherspoon.
3. Short-term work has pros and cons.
4. Although I try to be an active listener and ask questions, I often leave social events thinking, ‘Did I speak too much?’
5. I really like living by the sea, even if most days I only see it through train windows.
6. Budgeting is satisfying.
7. There will always be something else to dust.
8. There will always be something else to Google.
9. It takes a long time to travel from Sussex to Scotland by car, but the views are worth it.
10. During a road trip, I am best in charge of snacks, maps and entertainment.
11. My core wardrobe colours are blue, green, white, grey and black, with some maroon thrown in.
12. Uncertainty is inevitable. We all need ways to handle it. I like coming up with plans A through D and watching SNL clips on YouTube.
13. You can tell a lot about your own situation by your gut reaction to other people’s good news.
14. Cut the ends off make-up tubes and dig around to get more for your money. I think I picked up this tip from Shout magazine in 2006.
15. Flexibility with food (except gluten, in my case) is important.
16. Friendships need nurturing. Be the one to message first.
17. I use Pinterest for two hours straight or not at all.
18. Choosing to marry someone can be a huge, easy decision.
19. Creativity isn’t constant. My ideas usually need quiet time to emerge. Walking without podcasts or music helps.
20. I have a pretty good memory. If you want to know which car park section my family used during our 1997 trip to Disneyland Paris (and why wouldn’t you?), I’m your person. I can still see the Jiminy Cricket sign.
21. Who you are and what you do go far beyond how you earn a living.
22. A staycation isn’t necessarily a waste of annual leave. Some of my favourite weeks off have involved resting at home and exploring Sussex.
23. It is possible, though not simple, to change jobs, finish a master’s and plan a wedding at the same time.
24. It’s often best to say yes and figure out the logistics afterwards. (See point 23.)
25. There’s a reason the quote ‘Remember when you wanted what you already have’ is doing the rounds on Instagram. Make time to take stock of progress.
As always, thanks for reading.