A post to my old self

I was rummaging through my drafts and came across a post titled ‘22 things I learnt being 22′. I only got to writing 11 things but found it so interesting looking back at my mindset 4 years ago. I am now 26 years old and have a far broader outlook on life. I thought I would go through each of the things I learnt at that age to see if anythings changed or developed since :) So here goes…

Turning 23 last month, my 22nd year on this earth you could say, has resembled a wild roller coaster ride. I’ve most definitely experienced and learnt something from nearly every single aspect of life. Here are 22 things I’ve learnt in the past year which I feel have somewhat changed my outlook on situations I’ll probably be presented within the future.

1. Don’t be fooled by empty words. People can promise you things over and over and there’s always that hope that this time will be different. If their actions don’t back them up, don’t give chances, give them a one way ticket out of your life. Luckily I’ve become much better at distancing myself from people who suck the energy and soul out of you. I call these ‘soul sucking dementors’ (HarryPotter4life). Anyone who doesn’t lift your spirits or make your environment a happy place to be in, stick up that magic middle finger of yours and tell them to jog on!

2. Exercise really does help your mood & well being. I’ve never felt so at peace after sweating buckets and my god, that was not me two years ago. I still can’t believe there was a time where I despised exercise. Now it’s my sanctuary. I’ve had health problems and anxiety for most of my life and have found that since exercising these symptoms have reduced by 70%. There was a time where I was so ridden with symptoms that it was a struggle to get out of bed every single morning and every day would be spent walking around like a zombie. Exercise won’t cure all your problems but it will definitely give you the confidence, calmness and strength to get up and keep going. 

3. I will forever be grateful for the person who invented nachos. I am still incredibly grateful for nachos and hold those cheesy, crunchy goddesses so close to my heart but 4 years on, I am grateful for SO MUCH MORE. In the past I’ve really struggled with my negative mindset and could never see the positives in most situations. I used to think bad stuff happened to me all the time and just couldn’t see why all these things kept happening to me and what I did to deserve them? I can now see that it was the way I looked at each situation. I’m not saying I don’t have bad days and times where I just want to scream at someone for cutting in the line or sneezing snot rockets all over my back. Each morning I now wake up and start the day with a warm cup of lemon water (Keep calm and lemon water) and write 10 things I’m grateful for. It is amazing how much your day can transform when you are grateful for being there and doing what you’re doing. I am grateful for the most simple things like being alive. Just being alive on this earth is enough for me. 

4. Always be grateful for your own, your friends and your families health. It is so much more important than most things you have, if not the most important alongside the people you love. I wrote this a couple years before my dad passed away. I think when he was first diagnosed with cancer was when I started to become more grateful for my health. I no longer wanted to spend my nights drinking bottles and bottles of sauvignon blanc and vodka soda’s, gorging out on junk and what I thought was the only yummy food  on offer. When he passed, my grief and confusion for my loss turned into symptoms of not only emotional pain but was more so turned into physical pain. My body took a huge knock to the system and still hasn’t 100% recovered. My weight slowly dropped off due to my love of exercise and watching what I ate to being the smallest I’ve ever been. I lost all my curves and resembled a bobble headed toy. Food wise I was healthly but mentally, I felt this constant pressure to be in control of every single thing I ate. I became OBSESSED with counting calories and stopped enjoying food. When I moved to London shortly after my dad’s death, I began to heal emotionally (well you never really heal from losing someone) and stopped caring about what I was eating and just wanted to enjoy life. 12 kilos heavier, I am not where I want to be weight wise but I have learnt the most important lesson of all when it comes to your health. BALANCE. I am trying to focus on nourishing my body with whole foods and eating meals which energise me the majority of the time but if I want a pizza, I want to get that pizza and enjoy every moment of it. 

5. Choose a life/job/career you enjoy even if it pays little…master the job you love and money will find its way in. I’m not exactly in the place I want to be in job wise right now but my time will come and any experience is always great experience. I am still not on the career path I have always wanted but to be honest, I still don’t know what I want to do. At times It can be daunting considering at this age I always thought I would be on a secure career path. I have had a variety of jobs from model booking, social media marketing and my current job working with special needs children. I have picked up skills from each job and even though I may not be where I want to be financially, I have never ever been happier and don’t dread waking up to go to work.

6.Never a failure, always a lesson. Still true. I don’t think I would be the person I am today without all the fails I’ve made. 

7. Always keep your standards high. You only live once so why settle for anything less.  Especially when it comes to how others treat you. When it comes to how others treat you, I really think that it is dependent on who you surround yourself with. I no longer care if someone may be treating me badly because if they’re worth having around, they won’t treat you that way. Growing up in Hong Kong, like most places, you made your friends where you lived and you made your friends at school. Then comes university, then comes living in another country and then comes moving back home. I naively expected to return home and for things to be like they always were but what I’ve learnt in the last 8 months is that people change and some people leave. It is okay to not like the people you were once friends with anymore. It is okay to distance yourself from people because they never have anything positive to say. It is okay if you’re not interested in hitting the clubs anymore and you’ve turned into an old woman overnight. It is okay to not let others treat you badly and its 200% okay to walk away. 

8. If someone cares about you, they won’t ever make you doubt it. I think I wrote this when I was either dating someone or had just broken up with them?! (which would explain the randomness) Whether it’s a friend or a partner, you will know if someone cares about you. I have felt like Jeremy Kyle the amount of times I’ve listened to friends harp on about their love interests and justifying all their shitty actions. Erm, your ‘boyfriend’ hasn’t called you for 6 days? DUMP HIM. Your ‘boyfriend’ has been emailing his ex girlfriend? DUMP HIM. Your ‘boyfriend’ is always talking about how good looking other girls are? DUMP HIM. For goodness sake people, DUMP THEIR ASSES. 4 years ago, I knew I was in a relationship that wasn’t right. I knew he didn’t care about me as much as I had liked him yet I still made the excuses. It’s only now that I am in a long term relationship with the love of my life who treats me with respect and shows me he cares and loves me every single day that I fully believe in the statement above. 

9. Weird people are fun and I’m happy I am one. Still weird. Still like ‘weird’ things. But now I don’t look at them as being weird things, they are just things you enjoy. Yes I was once so fascinated by watching a fly up close clean all the water off it’s body, I made my boyfriend watch for about 5 minutes until the little winged cutie was done. Yes I still have the imagination of a 5 year old. Yes I still find pulling the ugliest face possible one of the funniest things ever. I am fascinated by what society would call ‘weird people’. I like watching documentaries about men who are in relationships with blow up sex dolls and polyamory relationships and people with phobia’s of carrots. Weird is interesting. Weird is good. 

10. You’re not always going to be liked and many people will prejudge you without getting to know you, I honestly couldn’t give a flying fudge. I have to say that this statement was probably a massive lie at the time. I think I always wanted to be liked by others but I’ve also always wanted to not care what others think of me. I don’t so much mind individuals not liking me but if I’m honest, what annoys me most is when people who haven’t really spent much time with you don’t like you. If you get to know me and still don’t like me, fair enough. It doesn’t matter! I won’t loose any sleep over it!

11. Give as much as you can to others in need. If you’ve got a roof over your head, a bed, a fridge full of food and clothes on your back, you are richer than 75% of the world. I interact daily with people who care more about buying designer clothes than the world around them. It does anger me at times but I’ve come to realise that you can’t change people or change their views. I wouldn’t appreciate a christian shoving his bible in my face nor would I make people watch animal slaughter house videos on repeat in the hopes they eat less meat. But what I can say is that if you are reading this post on your computer or mobile, you are one lucky being. If you gave up your morning coffee for a week, you could feed a family of four for weeks. Doesn’t seem like that much hey? Help is needed at all times, all across the world. 

Funny how things change eh?