I am officially a quarter of a century old. How weird is that?!
For a long while, before this birthday arrived, I was afraid to turn twenty-five.
Do you want to know why? Well, I would hope so if you are reading this blog post!
I was fearful that I hadn’t done enough to have something to show for the years I have lived so far. I was constantly scrutinising myself as though the only things that matter are the ones that you write down on your CV, the relationships and friendships that have been had and stayed with you, or the spectacular tales from travelling the world around.
All those things are wonderful attributes, achievements and experiences to have under your belt, but what are they without true happiness or self fulfilment?
Having watched many people of my own age (and younger) progress along the way that fits in with social expectations and ideals, it has been hard to set those comparisons aside and solely concentrate on myself and where I am heading in my own time.
Being honest, it hasn’t been the smoothest of rides to this point, but it has moulded me into a more enriched, mindful, and self-aware individual than I ever thought possible.
I am not suggesting by any means that I have not ever had anything long-lasting to look back on and smile. There are so many remarkable things I have seen and done, but since my illness to hold, life came to a halt for many years until I could create a new beginning.
Since this time last year, there have been a few life-changing lessons that have that encouraged me to grow stronger in both body and mind. I want to share them with you with the hope that you can gather something positive for yourself to think about when wondering about where you are right now and where you are heading.
I Was Born To Be Myself
I have long thought that in order to call yourself successful you need to follow what is taught to you by others, what is set for you to follow, and continue on the same path along with everyone else your own age.
It wasn’t until I fell ill with an eating disorder that, it was a fake version of reality that could never provide me with a fulfilling life.
Somewhere inside me, I have come to slowly realise that I was never meant to follow the crowd. I have been given a new chance to pursue my true purpose, and that is to fully embrace all that makes me who I am and to create an impact that is long-lasting for myself and other to thrive off.
Healing Takes Time
Time is the greatest healer. That I have no doubt over. However, there is a tremendous struggle of self-acceptance that time is what is required in order for you to begin anew. I have battled for years facing this, falling deeper into depression, rising levels of anxiety and growing more fearful of whether there was any hope of me getting better at all. Having suffered a relapse over this summer, I really questioned if I was destined to remain tormented by my own mind forever.
Yet, here I am today.
I am coming to terms with knowing that each day is a new opportunity to work on building my foundations, taking it all in my stride and trying to reduce the pressures I inflict on myself to hurry along. Recovery takes time, no matter what the story may be. Once you have lived in darkness is really helps you to develop a greater appreciation for the light.
Quality over Quantity
I am not in constant contact with anyone I knew from school.
I don’t have a large group of friends.
I don’t go out every weekend.
I have never had a serious (or any) relationship until 24.
Yet society seems to be under the opinion have the opinion that people who have a small social circle are introverted, un-adventurous, and not very fun to be with.
It can still cut me up inside knowing that I have lost many people over the years for a number of different reasons, some of which have caused a lot more damage than others. Though each time I was knocked back, I learned something more about what I needed from a friendship or relationship. I started to understand what I liked to do for fun and gave myself better opportunities for finding people who share similar aspirations to me.
I am grateful for people that I have met and how have become a big part of my life. There may be a handful of them, but they are one mighty bunch of inspirational people.
Always Follow What Is In My Best Interest
Having spent the majority of my life comparing, worrying, questioning, doubting, and fearing the worst outcomes for myself, I need to develop a more positive and constructive way of supporting myself to maintain positive health in both body and mind.
I am one of a kind with a unique story. What is right for someone else may not be best for myself to do or think. I need to learn how to trust in what I truly believe in and want out of life. I must surround myself with more of what empowers me, gives me strength, and provides a deeper sense of meaning.
Health is different for each individual. It looks, sounds and tastes different for everybody on this earth. There is no set of written rules of what makes us be our best self. It is up to us all to find what it means for ourselves. To do so involves a complete internal focus, tuning in to our bodily cues, our thought processes, and what our heart calls out for us to seek.
Turning 25 may have seemed daunting at first, but now that I am here taking all that I can from what has been before, there is excitement, optimism and faith inside me that sees a wonderful new chapter ahead.