While we may have only just reached the mid-point of 2018 (anyone else feel like it should still be January?) this year has already been hugely transformative for me. I think I’ve mentioned this on the blog before, but I tend to give myself an overall theme for each year to work towards, for example ‘happiness’ or ‘health’. I decided on New Years Eve last year, that 2018 would be the year that I begin to transform as a person and rid myself of more than a few demons I’ve been carrying around with me for a long time.
The first of these that I wanted to be rid of was my anxiety, an illness that has plagued me now for six years with varying degrees of ferocity. I made some great progress with this at the start of the year and while I have relapsed slightly this past few months due to a lot of stress and change, I know in my heart that I’m a lot better than I was and if I continue to focus on making these changes by the end of the year I’ll be in a much better place.
The others, I’m still working on, but through the process of working out the way my head works, what makes me tick, and how to grow as a person I’ve learned some truly eye-opening lessons and that’s what I wanted to share with you today.
I DON’T GIVE A FUCK.
Brash though it may be, I’ve found my quota for ‘giving a f**k’ has been vastly reduced over the past few months. Whereas at the start of the year I was worried about what everyone thought of me, whether people liked my outfits, my blog, my videos, now I simply don’t care. I don’t care if people find me annoying, or don’t want to be my friend. I don’t care if people don’t like my blog or videos – just don’t watch them then! That’s their choice – you can’t be liked by everybody at the end of the day and I’d rather be one person’s shot of whiskey than everyone’s cup of tea. By shutting down the part of my brain that worried constantly what others thought or worrying about my job or blog I’ve opened myself up to some serious inner peace. Granted, with everything else that’s going on in my life right now I’m probably not the best friend in the world at the moment, I know that when things calm down it’s going to enable to me to be a much nicer person for everyone to be around, a much better friend, and a much more caring individual.
FAMILY ARE EVERYTHING
It’s only after moving home again recently that I’ve come to truly realise where I’m at my happiest. I loved London, I loved Manchester and I’m sure I could love other places more but for me, I love my family most in the world and a life where I can’t see them regularly isn’t one I’m hugely interested in. I don’t have a very big biological family – we’re talking literally 4 living biological relatives and my step-dad – so I think for me being around them is so important. As I’m getting older I can appreciate even more what they have done and still continue to do for me, and being around them is magical. My perfect evening involves sitting in our garden with a book, sharing some rum or a bottle of wine with my parents as the dogs roam around and letting myself let go and relax. I won’t live with them forever, and I intend to start saving for my own house soon, but for the time being I’m enjoying every second I get to spend with them and I know that when I finally buy my own place it will have to be close enough for (very) regular visits.
LISTEN TO YOUR GUT, ITS USUALLY RIGHT
Time and time again throughout my adult life I have had gut feelings in various situations that I’ve (stupidly) pushed down and ignored. Whether those be situations with family, friends or relationships, I’ve not listened to what my intuition was trying to tell me and instead have gone along with what other people wanted, or stuck with a situation to avoid hurting someone. Ultimately, this ends up in a mess because whatever your gut was trying to tell you usually comes to pass and you’re left trying to pick up the pieces of your friendship, your bank balance or your wounded pride. Annoying though it may be, and as much as sometimes I don’t want to listen to what I know is right (similarly to when your parents give their pearls of wisdom that you refuse to acknowledge even though you know they are 100% correct), from now on I’m going to lead with my gut not my heart and let everything else fall into place.
LIFE’S TOO SHORT – WEAR WHAT YOU WANT
This blog was begun back in 2014 as a way for me to document my journey with personal style. I’d always struggled with really knowing who I was or what I liked, and much of my later teen years were spent with me flitting between what I felt most comfortable in (band tees, chunky boots, hoodies etc) and trying to fit in with the popular crowd at college. I never let myself just relax where clothes are concerned, and I think it almost put me off fashion completely. It was only when I got into my early 20s that I started to enjoy shopping and experimenting a little, and then I started my blog to give me more of a focus to learn.
Fast forward four years and I’m a fully-fledged shopaholic. I love nothing more than buying and experimenting with clothes and I don’t see this side to me changing any time soon, however I have still for the best part of four years been battling with my ‘style’. To begin with when I started blogging I didn’t have a bloody clue what I liked, but as time went on I discovered the sports-luxe trend and my confidence soared. Then I realised that I liked luxury fashion, finer tailoring and a more put together look and I started to flounder. I also felt like my more alternative side wasn’t getting enough self-expression and that led to two years of a very confused mixture of styles on here that were as contradictory as I think it’s possible to be.
Now however, I’m comfortable. I don’t need to be hemmed into one ‘style’ of dressing – I wear what I like and as long as I feel comfortable in it that is all that matters. There will always be elements of alternative to my style, just like there will always be a nod to sports-luxe or luxury fashion but that doesn’t mean that my whole wardrobe has to be dictated by one element of my sartorial leanings. Lets just call it a fashion fusion and be done with it.
DON’T BE SCARED OF GETTING OLDER
The past few birthdays, I have had what can only be described as a quarter life crisis. I was terrified as every year crept by and I got closer to 25 when I thought I should be a ‘real adult’ and have my shit together. Then 25 came and went and all of a sudden 26 was on the horizon, the last year of my ‘mid 20’s’ and I became very aware that I hadn’t achieved any of the things I wanted to in my career or personal life and was so ‘behind’ everyone else. I’m 4 months into 26 now, and these feelings have disappeared. Sure I’m not thrilled to be turning 27 next year, but I’m not scared anymore either. There’s a part of me that is abundantly excited for the ‘dirty 30s’ – a decade where I have been told your inhibitions go and you’re a lot more at peace with yourself. My 20s have been transformative, messy and nothing short of difficult a lot of the time, but they’ve also provided me with a vast amount of life experience that I can’t wait to take with me into later life.
30 seemed so old when I was in my teens, but now I’m getting ever closer to it I realise that it’s just another number and you’re only as old as you feel. Sure you’re not a teenager anymore, but you’re in no way ‘past it’ and can still dress in the latest fashions, go out and party, and enjoy every aspect of life you could in your 20s just with a little more experience and (hopefully) a little more money in the bank.
So there we have it, the five life changing lessons I’ve learned so far this year. I do hope you stuck with me until the end, it was a long one but one I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing. The process of reflection and looking back on this year was quite a positive one for me, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the rest of this year has in store for me.
As ever, if you’ve enjoyed the post or if you have any words of wisdom you’d like to add, make sure you leave a comment below.
Until next time xo
Dress: Topshop | Sunglasses: Alexander McQueen | Shoes: Vans (Zalando Exclusive)