Hello Sweet Peas!
Welcome to day 27 of Blog a Day in May! Today’s post is on five things I have learnt about myself and life since leaving University a year ago.
Lesson one: You can’t please everyone – I’ve always been a people pleaser, but when you’re a kid that’s generally translated as you being a well-behaved child. It gets a little harder to do when you’re an adult. You are going to come across a lot of different people in your life and they are all going to be expecting different things from you. It is literally impossible to please everyone. I have been publishing my work online for nearly a decade and for the majority of that time, whenever I got a negative review or a comment where someone didn’t like my work, it would tear me up inside. No matter how many good comments I got, if there was one negative one I would stew over it for days. I’d start off angry, then get sad, then see what I could do to fix it. I would read the message over and over again, wondering where I went wrong and why I wasn’t a good enough writer. Someone once said I was a cheap imitation of a writer… I stewed over that one for nearly a week. But there came a point where I could work through it, not everyone is going to like what you do, who you are, what you stand for. Doesn’t mean to have to stop or even listen to what they say. Learn the difference between constructive criticism and people being ass holes, because there is a difference!
Lesson Two: Life’s not fair. Suck it up Princess – I was 11 years old when I first started showing symptoms of PCOS but it wasn’t recognised until I was in my twenties. I fractured two vertebrae in my spine when I was in my late teens, but it wasn’t discovered until years later, by which time the nerves in my spine were permanently damaged. Both of these conditions are incurable and suck. I have cried so many tears because I felt it was unfair, that I didn’t deserve it. But I learnt that crying and whining doesn’t change anything. I can wish and pray and curse all I want but I will still have PCOS and I will still have nerve damage. Sometimes life isn’t fair but you can either let it hold you back or let your frustration fuel your determination to carry on!
Lesson Three: Sometimes your biggest discouragers are your loved ones – This was a hard pill to swallow. When you’re a kid you think you’re parents are these all-knowing beings and that they are always right. Then when you’re a teenager you think they’re always wrong. The reality is they are somewhere in between. They have experience and so they are right on a lot of things, but the world is moving so fast and there are experiences and opportunities that they don’t understand. I have wanted to work online since my early teens when social media first started becoming a thing. I love social media and I have been using it to publish my content for nearly a decade. But a lot of people in my family don’t understand it. They don’t see the potential of social media or how it has impacted our world in such a positive way. I often have family members ask me why I am so open on my blog, why I post about my PCOS, why I post selfies and makeup videos. They don’t understand why I share so much of myself online. They don’t understand and so they discourage me from doing it. But the thing is, if we do everything our parents and family want us to do, if we do everything the way they did then we will never make our own choice, our own mistakes! We will never become our own people! You are not put on this earth to become your family. You are here to create your own purpose.
Lesson Four: Be Unapologetically You – Someone said to me recently that I am unapologetically myself. It is the biggest compliment anyone has ever given me. When I was a kid I used to worry that I was weird. People either thought I talked too much or not enough, I dressed funny and I had weird views of the world. Yet I tried so hard to fit in, I always felt I wasn’t pretty enough, smart enough, skinny enough. I have done some pretty stupid things in the past to try and become as skinny as the girls in the magazines. I pushed myself to be who I thought everyone else wanted me to be until I was 22 and I had a breakdown. It took a lot of work to build myself back up again. I decided I really didn’t care what people thought about me, they were going to think what they wanted anyway. I started wearing what I felt comfortable in (which is generally loose fitting yoga pants and a t-shirt), I stopped worrying about my ‘lack of filter’ between my brain and my mouth. I am an extremely honest person and I say what comes into my head and yeh sometimes I talk a lot but that is who I am. I came out to my mother that I am bisexual, which was difficult but I no longer feel I am living a lie. It took having a breakdown to realise pretending to be someone else is exhausting. Instead, be unapologetically you!
Lesson Five: You are in control – When I left university I was thrown into a world of adulting that I wasn’t ready for. At first, I felt completely out of control and I didn’t know what to do. Then I felt like I was drowning, I didn’t know if what I was doing was what I wanted to do with my life, I didn’t know if I was where I wanted to be and I felt like I was running out of time (ah the joys of Chronophobia!). But to a certain extent, you are in control of your life and you are the only one who can make changes. It might not be easy, in fact, it might be soul-crushing hard work, but if you want something badly enough it is you and you alone that has to make it happen. Don’t wait for someone else to save you. For me, I knew I wanted to be a writer but I knew I needed to get better and the only way to do that is to write and practise. So I do, I write all the time. On average I write over 22,000 words a month. If you want something bad enough, don’t let anything stop you!
Those are some of the things I have learnt since leaving university! Have you learnt any lessons about yourself this year? Let me know in the comments.
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Love Ay xx