25 more things I’ve learned by 25

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.

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My highlights of 2017

Walking in the Boboli Gardens, Florence

Now that Christmas and the new year are very much in sight, I’ve put together a list of my personal highlights from 2017. This year included difficulties, like losing our wonderful Grandad in September and our darling dog just a few days ago. But reflecting on positive experiences doesn’t take away their significance.

I’d love to hear about the best parts of your year too. Here are mine:

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Talking social enterprise in Sri Lanka with Josie George, AMMA

AMMA Sri Lanka's Mother Makers at Workshop

This week I’m happy to be introducing you to my cousin Josie. Josie runs AMMA, a social enterprise that trains and employs mothers in Sri Lanka’s central highlands. AMMA uses colour from food waste and local plants to create beautiful, natural textiles. Read our interview below.

Molly: What led you to start AMMA?

Josie: A few different reasons. Something needed to be done about the high unemployment levels amongst mothers in the tea picking communities here. Around the same time, Child Action Lanka, the local charity we work with, was looking to start income generating initiatives to become more financially sustainable.

I wanted to build an enterprise that demonstrates a different, fairer, more wholesome way of doing business in the fashion / textile industry. This gives me the opportunity to promote natural, botanical dyes, which I believe are a much safer alternative to synthetic dyes for both our planet and our wellbeing.

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24 more things I’ve learned by 24

Pastel pink and floral notebooks

Last September I shared 23 things I’ve learned by 23. Now approaching my 24th birthday, I’ve put together another list. I’m all for lifelong learning.

Here we go:

1. You can’t and don’t need to do everything. Prioritise your commitments.

2. Qualities can be more important than qualifications.

3. Social contact can help you live longer. Make sure to ‘build your village’.

4. What a stranger at a train station thinks of you really doesn’t matter.

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July reflections

Molly in Florence, with Tuscan hills and architecture behind.

Hello again!

July seems to have passed quickly, thanks to travelling, working and packing to move out next month. I’ve been chipping away at larger projects and stepping away from my laptop more often during evenings and weekends. I’m feeling focused and content.

The summer break from MA classes and essays has given me more time for personal reading. I’m enjoying Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & In Life, One Conversation at a Time. If you’re put off by the seemingly corporate title, I recommend giving it a chance. Susan Scott’s book contains reflective exercises for defining what your version of success looks like. It offers useful tools for holding necessary, thoughtful conversations with partners, managers and other key people.

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