Thursday, 16 October 2014

24 lessons ahead of Chapter 25

Denim Dress: Primark
Gladiator Sandals: New Look

Oh hey there October! Or Libra season for the horoscope dependant masses!  

I celebrated my 25th birthday at the start of the month, and have spent some time reflecting on  life and all its happenings.  With all that life has taught me so far, the most important perspective to carry is to always see the glass as being half-full - as opposed to being half empty.

Playing down your achievements and self-discoveries? Stop being so non-chalant! They're important, and you should celebrate them. So, in light of this quarter-life milestone, here's 25 life lessons I'll be encouraging myself with throughout my 25th  chapter.

1. It's those 'little things...'

...remember the India Arie track? However 'stuck record (ish)' and cringey this sounds, it’s so true! Life isn’t just all about the big moments and the major milestones. Although of course they are an awesome part of the journey, I’ve found that the beauty of life lies more in small, sentimental happenings. Remember, it's about quality - not quantity. 

As a society, we seem to get caught up in the 'dream, believe and achieve' cycle and wanting to reach another landmark to give us a sense of identity and when we do, we don’t even stand still long enough to enjoy the rewards before moving onto our next target.

Now, I'm not suggesting we abandon our dreams and goals, but I've come to know that the core of true happiness is usually strongest during the part in the process where we recognise the things we want to achieve - and decreases when we finish achieving them.  

*insert symptoms for 'what do I do pursue syndrome' here*

2. True, authentic confidence NEVER needs to be explained

Seeing people comfortable in their own skin without fear or apology is exciting! There is however, an art to carrying yourself confidently and it doesn't take the form of rudeness, arrogance or compromise. Some are born naturals and others...just aren't. Even if everyone else around you demonstrates the traits, remember to always be you! 

3. Take the risk- it'll be worth it!

Yes, of course, there’s a chance things won’t work out, but there’s always a possibility they will.

In taking risks and accepting the challenge of the unknown, nobody escapes the sometimes not-so-pretty side of life. We all feel fear, experience sadness and heartache and can even sometimes feel a little lost. But isn’t it better to have experienced failure than to have never tried?

Come on - just do it already!

4. One of the greatest liberations comes from living for yourself

As selfish as it may sound, I know it to be more than true. While it's very important to look out and after the ones we care about most, it's important to remember we're of no use to anyone if we're not being and living for ourselves to a suitable standard. 

In letting go of those fears and living my life for me, I have become a totally freer person who can continue to genuinely care for and love the most important people in her life.

5. Regrets never change anything

Too often in life, we look to the past and it involuntarily ruins our present. Feeling regretful of whatever our past may entail is of absolutely no benefit whatsoever.

All that 'Shoulda, woulda coulda' stuff is just sooooooooooooo tiring! Leave. It. Alone.

By leaving the past where it belongs and looking at today, you can change just about anything for the better. It’s up to us to do with it the best we can in order to minimise the space for any regret to live in our lives.

6. Don’t take yourself so seriously; mistakes are essential

Being able to laugh at yourself and your mistakes is a crucial lesson.

I think if I didn’t laugh, half the time I’d have to cry when it comes to the silly mistakes I’ve made so far.Cut yourself some slack and just remember that mistakes are such an essential part of a life actually lived. Without them, I’d never have learned what I’ve learned. 

7. Buy it now or cry later!

You think I’m kidding that this lesson makes the list? Nope.

As a self-confessed shopaholic, if you love it and can afford it in that moment, just get it. I should know; I’ve cried those tears of regret and had dreams of jeans, dresses and heels I should've bought during the day when laying my little beanhead down at night. 

8. Girls are from Venus; Boys are from Mars

Oh how true this is. We are different. And thank the Lorrrrrd for that! We were born to be so, and trying to be the same, whether in terms of career, physical body, mind or soul, is a task I'd rather leave alone.

See ya boys- wouldn't wanna be ya boys! *sticks tongue out*

9. Formal education isn’t everything

Pleaseeee don't tell your parents I said this! Although it's a vital part of life and growing up, and helps us to become who we aspire to be, I’ve found from experience that more often than not the living of life teaches the most important lessons.

10. Just be yourself

Please, please, please. Everyone else is taken. Literally. It's so much more flattering to be who God intended for you to be. It’s really that simple.

11. It’s alright to not know everything

Always remain curious and ask questions. Only a small minority will care if you don’t get the joke or need to ask what on earth he or she is talking about. I’ve learned so much by being honest and admitting my ignorances whenever they arise.

12. Stay motivated - that in itself makes you someone elses motivation!

A very important part of life is the motivation to become the person you know you can be. Like a personal trainer cracking the whip, a question that never fails to kick me in the butt is, “How do I want to be remembered when I’m gone?” A little heavy perhaps, but motivating nonetheless.

13. It’s okay to say no from time to time

If you want to stay sane, be able to save money and execute your personal goals, please practice how to do this!!

14. It could be worse… (and if not, shoes make everything better)

Whatever happens and no matter how seemingly nightmarish things may seem at the time, let’s be real for a second: It could always be worse. Get up, dress up, and show up!

15. It's ok to have an off day!

Everyone wants to be happy everyday, but it just doesn't happen that way I'm afraid! It is however, in our best interest to ensure that our 'off days' don't become contagious. Other people's good days on your off days need to stay that way!

16. Everyone’s walking his or her own path

As much as we all think we know people from following them on Twitter or seeing the pretty parts of their lives on Instagram, we, in fact, know very little.

The dirty laundry and the less appreciated aspects of a person’s life can’t always be understood, nor do they need to be. It’s of utmost importance to never judge a book by its cover and know that however perfect things may seem, you haven’t walked a mile in someone else’s shoes - and given the chance, you'd probably opt for keeping your own pair on!

17. Never touch anything with half your heart

Whether it’s loving a person, an idea or committing to an expensive item, giving your all to what you love is a risk, but it’s better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. I couldn't agree more: A broken heart that knows love will eventually heal and whatever you give your heart to, it’s best to give it your all.

18. Laughter really is the best medicine

I'm not just talking any laughter, i mean that deep down belly cackling the makes you feel like you've 10,000 sit-ups the night before. At this point in your life, you should know exactly who can give you those giggles!

19. There’s no such thing as perfection

Trust me, I haven’t found it, although I thought I'd experienced it at one point. It was only when I stopped searching that I found what I’d always been looking for. True happiness lies in the love of the imperfections found in life, my journey with Christ, love and friendship.

20. Dress for the job you want - not for the job you have

It's all about proving you deserve the responsibilities you're being given...and then some. There's always a chance to be trusted with more than our job description initially suggested. This doesn't in any way mean that we're not into the role we have currently, it just means it's time to get bothered and getting better prepared for what could happen later.

21. Keep smiling, keep waving - especially at strangers!'s Karen's obsession with strangers again. I've been doing this since I was five on the buses of West London guys...and it doesn't stop! Wave and smile at everyone, especially the annoying person who overtook you just before the traffic lights and ended up at the red light right next to you. HaHa! Hiya!

22. Your today creates a better tomorrow

I love this one! How exciting it is to think that what I do and how I choose to live my life today is all creating the direction of my life tomorrow? Evidently, we can only live in the present, but in making it the best we possibly can, tomorrow's outcome could get interesting. 

23. You're not Weird, crazy or any other name you choose to call me!

lf you learn to embrace, appreciate and truly enjoy all that makes you who you are, you'll eventually find that we’re all just as 'weird' as each other. 

We waste so much time comparing ourselves to our neighbours, but if only we’d learn to massage our own unique qualities, we’d see that actually there is no competition. The world is screaming out for more originals, darling so please beckon to its call!

24. I am my sisters keeper

...and she is mine. This year more so than ever before. I Love you so much Dani xx

Kandidly His, Kandidly Yours,

Karen xo


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