Thursday, 19 December 2019

10 Life Lessons From The 2010s

Hey lovely! The 2010s were a pretty transformative decade for me - they saw me through my twenties, through higher education and into the working world and they also saw me meet the love of my life, settle down and start a family. I imagine you've been through a lot in this time too.

So before we enter a brand new decade, I wanted to reflect and share with you ten life lessons that I've learnt during the 2010s!

life lessons from 2010
Ivory Mix

Note: Thrice Upon a Dream has now moved to Wonder and Grey!

1. It's Okay to Say "No"

I don't know who needs to hear this but you are allowed to say no to anything, to anyone and for any reason.

I get how difficult it is to say "no" especially to the people you love but you need to prioritise your own wants, needs and limitations over other people's requests and/or expectations. It's taken me far too long to understand how important this is because I'm a chronic people-pleaser but I'm also a person with my own needs and establishing healthy boundaries is what keeps me from burning out. Honestly, saying "no" is one of the most valuable ways that you can practise self-care so give it a try.

2. Self-care is Essential

Without sounding too much like a cliche, you need to look after yourself. Seriously. When we don't, we risk becoming stressed, run down and burnt out which is why self-care is so essential to our everyday lives.

But what is self-care anyway? Well that's the thing, it's defined as being "the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health" but it's highly individual - what self-care means and looks like to me might mean and look like something completely different to you.

For me, self-care can be anything from taking a nap to avoiding things that make me feel anxious. In fact, one of the effective ways that I practise self-care is by taking an hour just to be alone. I lost the luxury of me time around the same time that Mini was born and don't get me wrong, I love my life and being able to stay home to look after him is a blessing but it can be a bit much sometimes. Those little periods of peace and quiet help me to recharge and lower my stress levels so I can get right back to the chaos of motherhood with a little bit of sanity.

3. Your People Will Find You

It's hard to explain this one but honestly the people that are destined to be in your life will find you in the right place and the right time. Don't believe me?

Back in 2010, I was alone. I'd dropped out of university and moved back to my hometown while I picked myself back up again but all of my school friends had moved on to bigger and better things. So I started going to gigs by myself because music had always been a lifeline for me and one fateful day in October 2010, I wound up meeting a few incredible people who I still consider to be some of my closest friends today. I was simply in the right place at the right time.

And if that's still not enough proof for you - I met my best friend Mandy when I went back to uni in 2011. Neither of us were eligible for student housing so we had to rent privately during our first year. I'd found somewhere to live with a different group of girls but had to pull out because the rent was more than I'd be able to afford meanwhile someone else pulled out of the house share that Mandy was part of so I filled that space without having met any of the girls I'd be living with. She's been a constant in my life ever since and we even went to Orlando together back in 2016.

And my husband, Matt? Well we met on a dating site. He was the top match for me and we hit it off straight away, moved in together six months later and now we're married with one child and four guinea pigs.

4. Listen to Your Body

You know your body better than anyone and you have to trust that because your life might depend on it. It's not something to take lightly or be dismissive of, seriously.

It became quite obvious that something was off with my body within a few months of Mini's birth but it kept getting dismissed as normal post-partum stuff so I just ignored it. And that carried on until I couldn't ignore it anymore.

By the end of 2018, I was in pain three weeks a month and more often than not, those pains would wake me from sleep, have me screaming out in pain and/or unable to move. Tests kept coming back normal so I was misdiagnosed over and over in an attempt to fix the unknown. I became increasingly frustrated because I knew that it was endometriosis.

So last Christmas Eve, I actually ended up in my doctor's surgery begging the on-call doctor to give me the contraceptive pill because I was desperate for some relief and I knew that it's what would be recommended first for someone suffering from endometriosis. And honestly this one tiny pill has changed my life. If I hadn't trusted my body, I would have spent this year in so much unnecessary pain and that thought is terrifying.

5. Do What Makes You Happy

Happiness is that one intangible thing we all seek and sometimes we get so lost searching it for it that we forget that we have the power to create and define happiness for ourselves. So what makes you happy? What would you rather be doing right now? Go do that and start filling your life with thousands of joyful memories.

6. Be Real With Yourself

Be honest for a second: when was the last time you felt out of control of your life? For me, it was Monday. I always feel a bit bitter when I have an endo flare-up, after all I'm taking the contraceptive pill back-to-back, I'm not ovulating, I'm not having periods and yet every single month I still have to suffer the wrath of my uterus. Now granted it's not as bad as it would have been if my cycle wasn't being manipulated by synthetic hormones but it's still bad enough to make me cry and honestly nothing relieves it. It sucks. So I have to be honest with myself about what I need to regain some control over my situation.

No matter what you're struggling with, be honest with yourself about what you need. What support do you need? What needs to change in your life? How do you get from where you are to where you want to be?

7. It's Okay to "Unfollow"

You have complete control over your social media so make the most of that. You can unfollow, block, hide content that you don't want to see or even walk away completely. There's no law that says you have to follow someone just because you know them in real life. I'm serious.

One idea that I really like is that social media is like a museum or a gallery. You are its curator and you alone have the power to fill it with content that speaks to you. I've recently started doing this myself and it's great.

8. You Can't Fix Stupid

This was actually something my former boss said and it's stuck with me. Some people will believe whatever they want to believe regardless of how inaccurate or ridiculous it is and no amount of proof or logic will change that. So before you go in guns blazing, just take a step back to assess whether or not your words will fall on deaf ears or blind eyes. More often than not, it's not worth your time or energy to fight a battle that simply can't be won.

9. Making Mistakes is Part of the Process

I think I speak for everyone when I say that mistakes are an inevitable part of life. As hard as you try, you can't be perfect 100% of the time. Take every mistake as an opportunity to learn, to grow and to be better and don't beat yourself up about it.

10. It's Your Life

There will always be people in your life casting judgement on you and the decisions that you make but these are only opinions and you don't have to listen to them let alone act on them.

The power to make a decision is yours and yours alone so do what feels right for you even if it sounds ridiculous to everyone else. This is your journey. You only get one chance at life so you might as well live it by your own rules.

Well there you go: I've shared ten of the many life lessons I've learnt over the past ten years onto you, my dear friend so use them wisely. I sincerely hope that these will encourage or inspire you to pursue your best life in the 2020s and beyond.

So let me ask you this, what's the one most important lesson that you've learnt in this decade? Let me know in the comments below!


life lessons from 2010s pin
4 comments on "10 Life Lessons From The 2010s"
  1. Fab post!

    Chelle |

  2. I love all of these life lessons! I can relate with so many of these, especially with self-care. I didn't realize how important and needed it was until the recent years. YESSSS ON DOING WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!!! You need to put yourself first- your own happiness. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥

  3. Ooooh, thisnwas powerful. The post made me think, yikes!! So much can happen in a decade. We have to make the most of our time and keep learning and growing.

  4. Some great lessons - I especially like numbers 7 and 8! I'm preparing to do a mass unfollow in the new year as I haven't done one for years and I think it's time for a clear out. Number 8 is such an important one too, taking it on board will save you so much stress in the long run! x