Last month, on the 25th of November in fact, I turned the ripe old age of 25. This got me to thinking (in a Carrie Bradshaw-esque way it seems...) about what I've learned in my 25 years on this planet. It's been a bumpy ride, but everything has happened for a reason and I'm the person I am today because of the experiences I've had along the way; both good and bad. I look back on the 17 year old Laura who started this very blog, tucked up in my childhood bed with a head full of dreams and scribbled lists inside journals of things I wanted to do in life, and I kinda wanna give her a big hug. I wanna tell her that you can't always plan for life and to embrace the whirlwind journey ahead, as it'll all work out in the end. So, these are the 5 things I've learned...
1. Don't waste precious energy on people who don't do the same for you
Really, just don't.
Friendships or relationships, it's all the same - if the other person isn't giving back what you're putting into it, it's just not worth the heartache. I've wasted far too many hours, days and months fretting over how to salvage things that just aren't meant to be. Now, I'm sitting here happy as larry because I'm not doing that any more. Go make yourself a cuppa tea and delete *that* phone number, because you're worth so much more than this.
2. The right person will come along when you least expect it
Along the same lines as lesson number 1, don't worry so much that you're never going to meet the right guy or girl. For some, it's hard to look around and see all of your friends partnering off when you're still single. But, after kissing a few frogs along the way and creating hilarious stories to retell until you're 95 (guilty), that person will eventually turn up and treat you like you always hoped someone would.
3. Hard work and perseverance always pays off eventually
I'm not someone who's had the traditional route in life, with a slightly messy way in to get to where I am today. In fact, all of what I have now hasn't been handed to me on a plate - I earned it and worked my way up. Many late nights studying, sending off CVs and completing internships really feels like it's paid off, as I now have a good job and life. I'll never forget how strong I was the day I moved to Edinburgh 6 years ago to start my new life here, like a wee bambi stumbling around trying to find my way.
4. Always follow your dreams, no matter what's expected of you
One thing my dad always drummed into me as a child was to follow my dreams and don't just get a job or pursue a life that I feel is expected of me. I always knew what I wanted to do (with a few tweaks and turns along the way with experience), and I'm so glad I had the support to do so. However, even without that backing, it's so important to do what you want to do in life. We only get one shot on this planet, so don't waste it and spend your later years thinking 'what if?'
5. You're a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for
Harking back to many of the lessons above, I really am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for. Overcoming an anxiety disorder that I spent a decade struggling with, and continuing to fight for what I want in life, has shown me that I'm a blimmin' fighter!