25 Years – 25 Reflections

Well, I guess there’s no point denying it anymore. The quarter-century is upon me. I’m officially embarking upon my mid-twenties. My next big birthday is my 30th.

In other words – I’m feeling really old!

I want to break the stereotype of “X things I’ve learned in X years”, so I’ve re-branded it to do, well, essentially the same thing (Because I don’t know how else to signify this graceful transition into the land of mum jeans and regular Facebook updates of inspirational quotes over a Minion’s picture). So, here are 25 thoughts on 25 years of being me!

  1. My most important one – it’s never too late! To change career, to get on board with something you really want to do, to buy the shoes? It’s never too late.
  2. The worst time to start university is straight out of school. Wait! Don’t lynch me yet! This is a personal thing I’ve learned – uni is ‘what you do’. But it’s not for everyone, and at 18, it might not be for you. It certainly wasn’t for me at 18, but at 21 it was the only thing in my way, hiding a career I genuinely wanted. It’s much better to know your end goal then get into that much debt to come out the other side with no idea what to do next. A lot of friends have told me they envy me waiting until I was 22 and a little more sure to go to uni.
  3. Feminism is a thing, and it’s a thing I need to get behind. I’m a woman in STEM dammit! If I can’t get behind feminism, why am I here.
  4. Other people’s opinions have a really strong influence on those around them. I go into my mid-twenties with the confidence to stand up for my opinions and beliefs.
  5. The world is my oyster, and I’m under no obligation to stay in one place if that place isn’t working for me. Go where there is opportunity, don’t think it will come to you.
  6. I’m not ‘past my sell by date’. If I don’t want to have kids, that’s a personal decision I need to make and really doesn’t have anything to do with anyone else.
  7. I am not my sister, and it’s our differences that keep us close. Sibling rivalry never goes away, but we will never stop being proud of what the other has achieved.
  8. Relationships go much deeper than mutual attraction, it’s about respect, trust, and a deep connection. And you are well within your rights to reject anyone who doesn’t fit the model you want.
  9. It’s perfectly fine to be single. Important, even. Jumping from relationship to relationship without ever getting to know yourself, just because you don’t want to be lonely, isn’t good for you.
  10. Emotional abuse is very real, it’s devastating, and it destroys you. But learning to identify it, call it out and knowing when to leave will make you stronger than you’ve ever been.
  11. You’re under no obligation to be friends with everyone. If you don’t get along with someone, just leave them be.
  12. You don’t need to keep every friend you make. If they aren’t putting effort in, or are bringing you down, you don’t need to keep them around.
  13. Your own mental health is the most important thing at stake. Take care of yourself. Don’t expend yourself for others at it’s cost.
  14. Anxiety is common. It’s okay not to leave the house on the days you really don’t want to.
  15. You’re allowed to break a man’s heart. Especially if he’s broken yours too many times.
  16. You don’t have to feel guilty for influencing the feelings of others by doing something for you.
  17. Life is too short to not try every hair colour.
  18. Maturity is something to be proud of.
  19. You are allowed to ignore anyone who doesn’t like what you choose to do with your life.
  20. Sharing success is vital.
  21. You are not under any obligation to be the same person you were a year, a month, a week, or even 5 minutes ago. Change is not a bad thing, especially in personal matters.
  22. You can be afraid every day of your life and still do everything you wanted to do with it.
  23. Someone telling you your goals are unreachable is no reason to give up. Someone has done it before, you can do it too!
  24. If you aren’t prepared to try really hard at something, you probably don’t want it as much as you think you do.
  25. Remember for every ‘perfect’ person you compare yourself to, they’ve probably been through every rough, imperfect patch you have. Instagram ain’t real life!

Essentially, I like to think I’ve done myself proud over the past 25 years. I’m right where I want to be, keeping myself occupied every day and despite some lows, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. And no longer dangerously underweight…

So happy birthday to me, leave me well wishes, (I’m kidding of course!), and have yourself some cake for me!

Rachel xxx

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