29 Lessons I've Learned in 29 Years

I can’t believe that today is my last day of my 20s. I’m not going to lie, I have been freaking out a fair bit of late. I have felt emotional, anxious, overwhelmed and a whole heap of other emotions that have thrown me a little off guard. Talking about it with Rob and friends these past few days, it has dawned on me that I’m not the same person I was at 21, or 25 or even 28. And whilst that realisation has taken me a little by surprise, I can only see it as a good thing.

So to wrap up my 29th year, I though I would share with you 29 things I have learnt so far. Whilst I feel like I could write a book on things I wish I’d known, right now, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. And a lot of that is down to the little life lessons I’ve learnt along the way. These 29 things aren’t earth-shattering, more gentle reminders, tips and tricks I’ve learnt along the way so far. Here goes…

1.Trust the timing – nothing is going to happen when you expect or plan for it to. But know that you are exactly where you are meant to be at this point in your life.

2. Take care of yourself – you are entrusted with two things in this life – your body and your mind. Take care of them. Make self-care a habit not a fleeting thought.

3. Things happen to different people at different times – I freely admit that at 18, I had a plan set out for my life of what I was going to achieve by the time I was 30. I was going to graduate, travel, move to London (or another big city), date, find my soulmate, get married, buy a house and have kids. Oh and start an amazingly fulfilling career. Have I achieved those things? Most of them, yes. Some no. But that’s okay – because I’ve learnt to trust in the timing. Things will happen for me, when they are supposed to, and not a minute before.

4. Don’t live the same year, every year and call it life. 

5. Do something that is worth your time. Money isn’t everything.

6. There are seven days in a week. Some day isn’t one of them so use each of them wisely and stop putting stuff off to some day.

7. Trust that when you get a No, it’s because a better Yes is just around the corner

8. Build a life you can be proud of – build a legacy

9. Go the extra mile – not just at work but in life.

10. Don’t let failure get you down – or success go to your head.

11Don’t feel bad saying no – to activities, obligations or people that don’t add value, love and joy to your life.

12. Don’t feel like you need to hustle. My friend Ashlyn has a mantra – to work from a place of rest not hustle, and I love this. If you want to work your socks off and be busy all the time, then you go girl. But don’t feel like you have to do it just because it seems like everyone else is. Happiness is worth more than you realise.

13. Not all friendships last forever – and that’s okay. Everyone in your life is there for either a season, a reason or a lifetime. Learn to let go of those that are there for either a season or a reason – even if it hurts like hell for a while.

14. Learn how to be a good listener. Then be a good listener.

15. Show up. For your friends, for your family, for your love – your presence matters more than anything.

16. Forgiveness is everything. Learn to accept the apology you never got. Don’t hold grudges – the only person you’re hurting is yourself.

17. Adult friendships require constant effort, participation and time. But you’ll never regret it.

18. When someone trusts you enough to show you who they are, believe in them.

19. Family is everything. 

20. Don’t let others opinions define who you are. You might be the juiciest peach in the whole world, but there will still be someone who hates peaches.

21. Never underestimate the power of talking. It will solve more problems than you realise.

22. Progress not perfection. Perfection isn’t real, but progress is. Keep going. It will be worth it.

23. Make What Matters Happen. And make time for it in your day. Every day.

24. The only person you are destined to become is the one you decide upon.

25. Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel. Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t let it in.

26. If something’s not working for you – let it go.

27. How to cure a hangover – before bed: eat food, take paracetamol, drink lots of water. If that doesn’t work, get yourself in a hot shower. Or go to the gym/for a run/to yoga.

28. Life is too short for bad: wine, people, cake, music.

29. And to finish – one of my favourite quotes: “What if I fall? Oh, my darling, but what if you fly?”

I would also love to say thank you to each and every one of you who read this little corner of the interwebs. Whether this is your first visit or you’ve been here since the beginning, know that I appreciate each of you and am grateful for the time you take out of your day to read, comment and share my words.

So here’s to starting my thirties with love, laughter, health, happiness, success and, hopefully, less hangovers than I had in my 20s!


Annéka xo