It’s my birthday! I know I’ve probably said this every year but I can’t believe how fast this year as gone. I don’t feel like I am a year older and to be honest it just feels like another day. It feels extremely strange because usually I’m the one counting down the days to celebrate my birthday shenanigans but this year is different. I’ve learnt a lot of lessons over the past year that I wanted to write down so when I am feeling low or need a motivational word or two then I can refer back to this post.

The first one isn’t really a lesson, it’s more of a process that I think everyone who has had a difficult breakup or isn’t too sure where their life is heading should be on. Stop comparing yourself with others! Every single person on the internet compares themselves to other people and although it is super difficult not to do that, it is equally important to try. You could be flicking down someone’s Instagram feed and think how amazing their life is on the surface but behind that publish button could be a person who might be dealing with some really tough things whether that be a breakup, mental health, family issues etc. And we are all guilty of doing that. There has been plenty of times where I have hit post on an Instagram photo of my smiley, happy self when really I have had a tough day and I was going to bed crying with a tub of Ben and Jerry’s. We only decide to share the best parts of our life online and it ends up being a bit of a highlight reel. Similarly to vloggers on YouTube, you don’t see every single minute of what they do. They only edit the parts that they want you to see for entertainment or to make the viewer smile or laugh. I think what I am trying to say is to just focus on achieving your own goals rather than overthinking about the pedestal that society tries to put you on at certain ages.

There are certain situations in life that gives you a chance to meet new people. I used to be the type of person who could trust just about anyone until they give me a reason not too which is one personality trait that I used to love about myself. However this year I’ve realised that you don’t really know who anyone is unless you’ve known that person for an extremely long time. I’ve dealt with some pretty tough friendships over the past year which has led me to question who my ‘real’ friends are and who I should put my trust into many times.

Exercising isn’t as bad as I thought it was. I’ve never really been the one to go to a gym. I’ve tried to lose weight in the past and it just hasn’t worked. Earlier this year, my friend asked me to go along to a Boogie Bounce class and I honestly didn’t know what I was going to be letting myself in for but I surprisingly enjoyed it. I’m not really doing it for the physical health benefits, although they are good, I’m doing it more for my brain. It has been so good mentally! For those who are unsure what it is, you basically jump on a trampoline for an hour to songs that are really motivating. It’s like doing an insanity workout because you can burn up to 800 calories in one session.

It’s okay to feel like a little bit of a geek. Since starting my degree I have fell in love with anything to do with art, fashion or photography. I’ve really enjoyed going to the Baltic on a day I’ve had spare to just look round or putting my phone down and having a read of a factual book. When I was younger these things that I was interested in were classed as ‘geeky’ but it has only really been this past year when I’ve learnt that it isn’t. It’s called having an interest in something. People are allowed to have different interests and hobbies because that’s what makes them the person they are today.

A couple of days after my birthday last year I broke up from my ex. Since then I’ve dated other people and also gone back to him time and time again. I’ve been single since March this year and in all honesty I was so scared but I am doing okay. It’s okay to not be in a relationship with someone all the time. Use that breakup to concentrate on yourself for a while. I wish I took that advice last year instead of jumping into two different relationships that were short and unfulfilling. At the moment I’m not really interested in being with anyone else because I know in my heart that I am not ready to be deeply in love with someone else yet but the main thing is that I am completely cool with that. I’m not going to say that it isn’t difficult being the only single person in my group of friends but someone will walk into my life that will treat me how I want to be treated. I just need to give it time.

My most important lesson I’ve learnt is you do you! This was once said by a friend at University and it has stuck with me ever since. You shouldn’t care about what others think of you. If you enjoy something whether that be writing a blog, posting on YouTube or anything else that is unique and slightly unusual then you go and make the most of it because life is far too short to be worrying about what other people are saying about you.

 I’m off to enjoy a slice of birthday cake whilst getting ready for the day. I’ve not really got any plans for the rest of the day because I went to Beamish with my family at the weekend. Have you got any lessons that you’ve learnt this past year?

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