Hope this post finds you feeling positive at the thought of Christmas being just around the corner, lol … no, but really – we all know one minute it’s September 1st and the next it’s Christmas Eve! 😉
I turned 35 on August 26th 🎉 and decided to share reflections on some of the life lessons I’ve experienced thus far.
This original post was a beast, so I’ve broken it up into sections. This first one covers the ‘dark side’ of life.
Thanks for stopping by – hope you enjoy the read!
The dark side
1. ‘Always on the take’ – Some people will zap energy from you. Take your money, your time and just about anything else they can without giving goodness back to you. Soon as you notice these kinds of patterns of behaviour; it’s up to you to tap the fek outta there! No one deserves to be used, in any capacity. Put yourself first.
2. Burnout baby – Ol’ burn out! My evil little fren!! … Well! This is a thing that I think a lot of us go through as we hotfoot it up the career ladder. ‘Burnout’ happens when you go too far into your work-life and forget your real-life balance. I worked myself into the ground in 2017 and ended up in hospital in Sydney. An internal-infection wiped me out because I was weak from not taking care of myself … There are no prizes for making yourself ill. Work hard, do your job within reasonable hours. Keep your health a priority. There’s only one of you.
3. Toxic relationships – Family, friends, lovers, work colleagues – any ‘relationship’ that makes you question who you are and why you bother is a red flag situation. Keep a wide berth, kiddo.
4. Fake friends – If you have any ‘friends’ around you who make you feel uncomfortable, take this as a warning sign to change your circle. People on your level are all you need.
5. Body image – I’ve always been confident in my own skin so while this isn’t something I can directly give too many examples on; I’ve been around lots of friends over the years who struggle with what they see in the mirror. If you don’t feel great; remember to do whatever you can to lift yourself. Get a personal trainer, follow workouts on YouTube, pamper yourself, eat well. Remember that everyone has off days. Try to appreciate yourself. Self-care for the win.
6. Eye contact – This one sounds pretty random but if you know what I’m talking about, you know! It was only when I came home and started to appreciate some ‘’real’’ connections again that I realised I had spent much of the last 6 years living away surrounded by people who couldn’t look me in the eye. If you can’t communicate directly, you can never build anything. If people are being sketchy then keep a wide berth. The eyes have it.
7. Therapy – I went through a tricky time in 2017 and went for six sessions of therapy. At that point, I felt like that was all I needed to give myself some clarity and be able to move forward. Therapy is readily available and is not scary. Therapy is just talking after all.
8. Drugs – Drugs are bad kids! Hell yeah, they could be fun too but if you wanna be healthy you gotta know when to say ‘’no’’. Of course; you are best off being a person who swerves them altogether. Many choose ‘’We’re here for a good time, not a long time’’ rather than thinking about how it could affect them later down the track. Whatever fun you have in your younger years, there needs to come a time for growing up – no one can beat drugs. If you’re an adult with any kind of ‘drug problem’ then you’re on a slippery slope. Be honest with yourself about your issues.
9. Drink – Drink can be alotta fun. It can also be the devil. Again, no one can ‘beat drink’ in the long run. Have all the fun you need, when you’re younger. When you get into your 30’s and beyond; a hangover is the last thing you wanna feel. If you find yourself reaching ‘for a beer after work’ on the regular then Houston, you may well have a problem. Living the life of an ‘’Alky’’ is not a way to live.
10. Smoking – Any kind of smoking is a no go! Don’t do it kids! Another slippery slope to making yourself ill. Also; who wants to look like an ol’ leather handbag by the time they are 40?! No thank you, kind Sir.
11. Jealousy – Most will suffer at the hands of jealous people at some stage in their life. When you’re younger you think people bully you ‘because they hate you’. As you get older, you realise, yep people may indeed ‘still hate you’ but it’s always because they want what you got in one way or another. Take it as a compliment and rise above the nonsense. Don’t hate me cuz you ain’t me.
12. Failure – Whatever you’ve aimed for and missed out on; don’t fret. ”Failure” is frustrating but again, life works in mysterious ways! Always believe that if you missed out on something; it’s because something bigger, better, bolder was waiting out there for you. Keep the faith.
13. Comparing yourself to others – I’ve never been one for this (I’m tunnel vision on my own goals, hopes and dreams!) but know it is very common. Best bet is; keep off social media and remember whatever people put out in public, they often live a very different life behind closed doors. Be yo’self.
14. Fear – Dealing with physical fear is easy for me. Dive with sharks, bungy jumping off a building – whatever, I’ll do it and I’ll love the thrill! My personal fears come back to relationship worries ‘’What if it doesn’t work out’’ blah, blah, blah. My fear-factor can create a million reasons why things might ‘’go wrong’’. It’s normal to have fears, it’s up to you how you deal with them. Never, ever let fear hold you back.
15. Stress – Most of us go through ‘stressy’ times in our life. Maybe not when you’re in your 20’s (living the actual dream of youth!) but come into your mid 30’s and beyond and ‘real life’ can often get in the way … Best bet for conquering la’stress is; keeping busy. Exercise daily, or at least 4 times a week. Read. Talk it out. Don’t let stress overbear you. Own it.
16. Anxiety – Ol’ anxy! Another shitty lil fren who (sometimes) won’t quit! This was something that I didn’t know existed until I started to feel it back in 2017. Best way to try and conquer it; get moving. Walk, run. Take action of some sort. Whatever you do; don’t stay still and think. Sooner you accept ‘’it’s just anxiety’’ it will become a distant part of you that you can learn to recognise and begin to ignore. Break the cycle.
17. Depression – Depression is no joke and it can happen to you at any time for multiple reasons. Break ups, money worries, job stress, ol’ Covid mayhem. It is very common and there is always a way out. If you go through tough times you must talk to someone. Let people in, so they can help you out.
18. Social media – Used correctly, SM can help you grow and move ahead quicker. Follow people and accounts that inspire you, people you learn from. If you ever see anything posted that makes you feel conflicted or uneasy; unfollow or mute them. It’s that simples.
19. Scrolling – Mindlessly scrolling social media accounts is not good, yet so many of us do it. Put the phone down and go do something! Don’t waste your precious time.
20. Truth vs. Lies – You are going to get lied to at some point in your life, that’s just how it is. Whether you raise yourself to be a liar is a different story. While it’s sometimes ‘easier’ to tell a little porky pie now and again; I always stick with ‘’honesty is a must’’. Family, friends, relationships, your work ethic – if you cannot be truthful, you are lying to yourself. And who wants to live like that? No. thank. you. Truth wins, kids!
21. Arguments – Everyone falls out once in a while, you have to try your best to recognise when cross words are just that. It’s easy to fall into a mental ‘it’s the end of the world’ trap when you are upset / feel like you’ve upset someone. But sometimes you just need to let things out and reset. Sort it out quickly and move on. Tomorrow is a fresh day!
22. Mistakes – I could write a book on the holy mother of f**k ups I’ve made over the years. As people, it’s kinda something we do once in a while. Oopsy. If you mess up, make sure you apologise (and mean it). You must ensure you change your behaviour for going forward. We all make mistakes but it’s when you repeat the same things over without a care that things can become an issue. Learn from your ultimate chaos.
23. Apologies – If you have crossed someone or hurt them, lied or whatever you may have done – always be sure to do what you can to make things right. Don’t leave a ‘sorry’ left unsaid. Once you’ve owned up to your actions, taken it on-board like the adult you are – you can move ahead and learn from it. Suck it up; move forwards.
24. Cutting people out – I’ve lost count of the amount of people I’ve cut out over the years without a second thought. I’ve had it done to me more times than I can remember too! … If you can be brave (and adult!), it’s best to talk and leave things so people know where they stand. But in all honesty, sometimes you gotta. Some things are better left unsaid.
25. Actions vs. Words – It’s easy to tell people what they want to hear or to fluff things up to keep the peace. Whatever people say; you can gauge a person’s character on their behaviour, their actions and how they show up in your life. If you want to be a good person and show you care; do so with your words and physically too. Be there.
26. Peer pressure – Most of us have felt pressured into something at one time or another. Some of us have pressured others into doing things too ‘’one more shot, don’t be boring!’’ … End of the day; don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Just say no and laugh it off. If people keep going on at you; say N.O and tell them to get stuffed. End of chat.
27. Putting on a show – I’m not sure if this is just what happens as you get older or what (that’s how it feels!) but lots of people lead ‘fake’ lives in a bid to make out everything is perfect. Everything is not perfect and that’s ok. Don’t worry about having to live up to being a certain way – just being yourself and leading with love will be enough! Do you, kid.
28. Feeling trapped / stuck – This may well be an extremely familiar feeling since ol’ Covid took hold. It’s natural to go through waves of ‘’WTF am I going to do next?’’ when you have literally no choice but to stay put where you are. Make the most of where you are for now and quietly make plans for future you to enjoy when possible. It really is guna be alright!
Well! I started to write this ‘dark side’ section a bit tongue-in-cheek then realised how much I wanted to say as I began to type! Hope you gleaned something positive from this.
If any of the above speaks to you; please be sure to do whatever you can today (like, right now!) to take care of yourself.
YOUR life goes quick and it’s here to be enjoyed!!
The next Lessons @ 35 is called ‘‘Love n’ stuff’’ – I’ll post it early next week.
Thanks for reading ☺️