10 Things I Learned In My 20’s (plus one more)

I wrote this article a few months ago…actually right before I turned 30. But I was afraid to post it because I honestly didn’t want anyone to know I’m 30. The reality is that I am, and I think I could shed some wisdom. I’m sure in another 30 years I could shed even more wisdom. Just some things I wish I knew when I was 22 and graduating from university. When I was 18 and I thought I knew how the world worked. And when I was 26 and I thought I was old, getting fat and my life was over. Here’s a little something to say to the younger me, the younger you or maybe even our present selves.

Only you can make yourself happy

You have the power to make yourself happy, sad, frustrated or angry towards anything that happens to you. Sometimes truly shitty things happen, and you can’t help but feel like crap. But at the end of the day you control your emotions and how you react to situations. When I was younger I used to freak out about everything and blame all my problems on anyone other than myself. But slowly over the years I’ve asked myself: what’s the point in not being happy? Feeling sad and grumpy doesn’t feel good. It drains me. Sometimes it even makes me sick. So what the hell? Just be happy. If your not happy, change whatever it is that’s keeping you from reaching happiness. Life is too short.

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In grade 5 I knew I wanted to be a TV reporter and that was that. My love for sports developed and I decided before I ever went to college that I was going to be a sports reporter on ESPN. If you had told me I was going to be a flight attendant when I was 20 – I would have laughed in your face. It was hard to try and try and not get anywhere with journalism (at least where I wanted to go). It was also hard to stop pursuing it and move on to something else. Not saying I’ve truly given up yet 😉 – but I’m happy where I am now and life didn’t turn out the way I planned.

your life plan doesn't always

Everyday I thank God for my best friend. EVERY DAMN DAY. She’s always there when I need her, she always knows the right thing to say and she always has my back. We always joke with each other that if we didn’t know each other – we would be dead. It’s so important to have someone who you can talk to about anything and someone you can always depend on. Because having a million friends who don’t understand you or never pick up the phone, is not going to help you during the tough times. Sometimes we need to vent or we need advice from someone who really knows us and really cares – and a REAL friend is who can do that for us. Sometimes that person is a sister, a cousin and maybe even your mom. Either way, everyone needs someone to talk to and trust.

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Be positive.

Positivity.

“Don’t be mad, just find the positive in the situation.”

Seems like now more than ever people are constantly telling us to be happy about everything. Even the shit, garbage, unfair bullshit that happens in our lives. You can’t pretend that things are great when they are not. You can’t just stop being sad because you should be positive. What I’m saying here is don’t dwell on things and be angry, upset or sad all the time. But when those shitty things happen, I mean the REALLY crappy, awful things, let yourself be. Feel the emotion. Cry if you want. Yell if you need to. Don’t box it up and pretend it didn’t happen. Deal with it now, for five minutes, or even a day or week. Allow yourself to feel it, and then move on.

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I used to look at victorias secret models (god I loved them), and how beautiful they were. I wanted to look like that so bad. But no matter how healthy I ate or how hard I worked out, I always had thicker legs, bigger hips and small boobs. I started to follow all these women on instagram and it would make me feel shitty about myself. Why doesn’t my body look like theirs? Then I started to branch out on all the people I followed on instagram. I realized that we all come in different shapes and sizes and something that I might hate about myself, someone else might wish they had. I started to train and workout for me. To make me feel good, healthy and think to myself  “damn that girl looks good”.

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I wanted to start this blog 7-8 years ago. And only last December did I actually do it. I always think to myself, how far could I be now if I had just started back then? But I also know that I maybe wasn’t mentally ready to begin that journey. Do I wish I started it eight years ago? Yes. But I also don’t regret starting now either. And it’s hard. Everyday I think to myself: fuck I love this, but am I wasting my time? What if no one likes it? What if everyone is just lying to me? What if I fail?

But, what if I succeed? Take the leap girl! What’s the worst that could happen?

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Ask people how they’re doing. Listen to compliements. Accept them. Be the person who listens, you’d be amazed at what you can learn when you keep your mouth shut.

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I hate running. I hate hiking. I hate cold weather. I hate Calgary. Baseball and Soccer are the worst. I hate yoga. Mediation is dumb. Why would I do that? These are all things I’ve told myself over the last 30 years. And everything (other than running, I still hate that shit), is now something I love or can appreciate. Trying new things helps shape us. It teaches us to be more open and understanding.

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I remember when I first started working at the bar and a girl I was working with told me she was so excited for her 22ndbirthday and I remember thinking in my head “ewwwww that’s so old, why would you be excited about that?”

Now I feel pretty dumb thinking that. You’re never too old to change your future or start on a new journey. In fact, I know at least four women who’ve dramatically changed their careers in the last year (I give you props ladies!!) We are lucky that today it’s acceptable for us to do something new at any age.

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Women have this thing where we see each other as enemies, as our competition. We look at other women we wish we were, and make jealous comments. We see younger women, asking for our help and we deny them it because they might be better than us one day. This has to stop. I realized how hurtful it was when I was a young journalist heading out on my first few internships. My superiors told me if I wanted to be taken seriously, I would have to cut my hair. I would have to dress down if I wanted others to think I could do my job. I can proudly say I never changed who I was. I remember being full on ignored by a few women in the work place. And it sucked.

But I was also very lucky. I met some women who told me to come to them if I ever wanted to show them a video or written piece I had worked on.

I realized how shitty those other women made me feel, the ones who gave me one-word answers, and the ones who flat out ignored me, or cut me out of conversations. I knew I never wanted to be like them. They came off rude, catty and unprofessional. I never want to ever make anyone feel like that. I wanted to make other girls, other women, feel the way I did after being treated like an equal and having someone I could talk to. So even though I get an urge of jealousy when I see someone who is succeeding in something I wish I were doing better in, I give them props, acknowledge my jealousy and continue to support them in hopes that they would do the same. Hating on other women won’t solve your problems.

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Whether that’s people, or thoughts, your job or the city you live in. its tough to look at friends you’ve been friends with forever and realize that you’ve drifted apart. That your not the same person and them making you feel like shit about that isn’t ok. It’s the same with relationships too – don’t just be in a relationship because you don’t know what else to do. If you’re not happy, if you’re constantly stressed or upset with it, it might be time for a change. I do believe that everything happens for a reason, but we also have the ability to make decisions and change our futures. I was so miserable at two of my jobs, I would constantly get sick, I would cry before my shifts and I was so tired when I wasn’t working, that I never did anything else. But I got up, made a plan and changed it. Change is good. Embrace it.

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