Monday, 26 November 2018

Five Things I Learnt In My Year Of 23

A few weeks ago on Monday 12th November, I celebrated my 24th birthday! It still doesn't quite feel normal to say I'm 24 yet; on the one hand getting older doesn't bother me at all and I actually quite enjoy it, on the other I still feel 16 years old and am terrified at being one year away from the age I wrote this post to. I thought it would be nice to celebrate my birthday with a post continuing what I started last year, and share five of the things I've learnt, either about myself or life in general, throughout my 23rd year!

I AM MY OWN WORST CRITIC... Like most recent graduates, I've been a bit lost since I completed my degree. Back in education, I had something I was working towards, completing work that I knew I could do well if I put my mind to it, with an end goal in sight. Since losing that, and essentially having the world as my oyster, I've allowed myself to become overwhelmed by my ever-growing options, and gradually I began to allow doubt and fear to settle into my mind. It's ridiculous really, because I know that everyone and anyone can achieve what they want to if they believe in themselves and put the work in, so why should I be any different? Why do I criticise myself and my own abilities, when I wouldn't dream of telling a family member or friend that they should doubt theirs, and neither would they to me? I continually do my best to build my confidence, and I am succeeding, but I still find myself struggling to shake off that niggling voice that has taken up residence, uninvited, within my mind, and allow it to tell me that I can't achieve something, or that I don't have the abilities to try. I'm slowly convincing myself that nobody who cares about me would ever share this view, so this year, I will be working my arse off to give that voice in my head that tells me I'm not good enough an unceremonious middle finger. 

I NEED TO FOCUS ON MY OWN INDEPENDENCE... In this instance, I don't mean independence in terms of living (so cooking, cleaning, etc.), I mean independence in terms of how I live my life, the things I do with it and the people I have within it. I've noticed that as a result of low confidence, I rely on others more than I personally feel like I should. I rely on my friends to share experiences with me, or my family to always be there to support me in the things I do, which I know is an acceptable and important thing to have in your life, but now I'd like to try more things on my own. Whether that's something as local as going to the cinema by myself, or as extravagant as applying for a job that might move me away from my hometown. I feel like it's time to start putting myself out there and time to start building the life that I want to live.

I WOULD LIKE TO LIVE ABROAD... I've always known that I wanted to travel. I've never been the backpacking kind of type, but I've always wanted to explore new places and experience as much as I can of the world. It wasn't until this past year though, that I started to seriously consider the idea of moving abroad, whether that be for a few months or a few years. This will be a big one for me, and it's something that is going to take me a while to work towards, for the reasons made in the point above, but it's something I know I want to achieve and will always strive towards. Frustratingly enough, New Zealand is the place that continuously calls to me, as if I couldn't have picked somewhere further away, but I'm sincerely hoping that one day I will get there!

I CAN BE A VARIETY, ALL AT ONCE... Society tries to make boxes for people to belong in, in a variety of instances. Even in this whole blogging world, I spent a long time believing that I needed to find my niche and put myself into one particular box because others told me that's what I should do. We make it so that we can organise people in our heads as 'the clever one', or 'the pretty one', but humans are so much more complex than that. We have layers. What if I'm interested in, and therefore am, lots of different things? What if I'm loud, confident, goofy and sarcastic, but also quiet, reserved, serious and like my own company? Different people bring out the different aspects to my personality, my interests vary way beyond one particular niche, and thankfully, I think I'm finally starting to accept that.

SOCIAL MEDIA MIGHT NOT BE FOR ME... This past year, my relationship with social media has changed drastically. I've been questioning whether it's something that I even want within my life anymore, and I'm still figuring out how I feel about it all. A lot of the time, I love using social media, and as someone who wants to pursue a career in writing, I feel like it's important for me to have some sort of online presence. The rest of the time however, I find myself wanting to delete almost every account that I have. When I was younger, the most social media we had was Facebook and MSN, and even then the most I used them was one or two evenings a week when I was allowed on the computer. I spend so much time nowadays just sat scrolling through my phone, wasting time. I'm not gaining anything from it, other than already knowing what my friends are up to before they get a chance to tell me themselves, and I'm bored. When I think about things that I want to achieve, it's always something along the lines of learning piano, writing a book, learning how to draw, learning a language etc. It's never in relation to social media, or if it is then it's something like writing for a magazine or publishing on this platform, something that can be achieved without social media accounts. I'm still figuring out my relationship with it all, and I don't think I'm going to do something as drastic as removing my accounts permanently, but I'm learning and reassessing where I stand with it all, and from now I'd like to be far more conscious of the time I choose to spend absorbing the social media world.

Twenty three has been an incredible year. It was the year I worked harder than I ever have before, pushed myself to better my mental health, graduated university with a first class degree, experienced potentially the best summer of my life so far, built and developed new friendships whilst rekindling old ones, and grew exponentially as a person. I'm looking forward to the life lessons that 24 is going to bring my way, and I can't wait to discover the experiences that will teach them!

Samantha
x

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16 comments

  1. Happy belated birthday Samantha! It's great to look back and see what you have learned. Every year that passes I am sure that you will get more and more independent, and realise that the person that you need the most encouragement from is yourself. This is an exciting journey! Also living abroad definitely makes you grow so much, in all aspects, so you should definitely do it at some point :) Here's to your next year!

    Julia x
    Last Post: My Top Tips To Worry Less | https://juliaspeaksbeauty.blogspot.com/2018/11/lifestyle-you-worry-too-much-here-are.html

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    1. Thank you for that lovely comment!! I'm sure I will move abroad at some point - I can't wait <3 x

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  2. Aw happy belated birthday Hun reading this really put a smile on my face! Have an amazing next year :)

    Grace Louise || www.gracelouiseofficial.blogspot.co.uk/

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  3. I hope that you had the best birthday sweetie!

    Danielle xx
    https://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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  4. Happy belated birthday! :DDD

    Ufff, I get the years so badly! I'm 27 and I still can't believe my age. I still feel 20!

    "I've been a bit lost since I completed my degree. Back in education, I had something I was working towards, completing work that I knew I could do well if I put my mind to it, with an end goal in sight."
    I get that so badly! I used to feel the same when I finished college a couple years ago. I wish I had some advice on that front! All I can say is that I ended up other goals to works towards and that's kept me both busy and motivated :) Of course I chose goals that are aligned with my values and my ultimate desire in life.

    I can also relate so much on the variety front! I come from being a fashion and travel blogger mostly, but lately I decided to drop that and just post whatever I like because I was getting so bored! I feel limited by a niche.

    On the social media front, I actually wrote a post about it! It's my last one, if you want to check it out ♥ I basically am tired of it too. I am here for the connections, for the social part, not just for mindless scrolling!

    Sora | http://dangerouslyme.com/

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    1. Thank you!! I've found my feet a little bit now we're nearing the end of the year, but for a good few months I was completely overwhelmed by my new found freedom from education - hopefully I'll be able to pinpoint the direction I'm heading in more within the new year! Of course I'll check your post out <3 x

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  5. I have a similar battle with social media sometimes - I love to blog and I'm also a creative person (and also, I'm a bit addicted to it sometimes too), but sometimes I wonder if social media is making us all a bit too focused on materialistic stuff + showing off our lives. I guess it's just something to be aware of!

    http://skylish.co.uk

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    1. I agree - I think it's lost the 'social' aspect of it overtime and is now more of a showcase, which I'm just not enjoying anymore! x

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  6. Happy belated birthday, beautiful girl! So many beautiful lessons you talked about in this post, it's so nice to look back once in a while and realize how far we've come. I think it's so important to acknowledge all those accomplishments. I hope that 24 is even more beautiful, fun and fulfilling for you. Wish you all the happiness in the world! x

    Paula | Thirteen Thoughts

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    1. Thank you so much for that lovely comment Paula! It honestly means so much <3 x

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  7. These are all such incredible lessons to learn. I completely feel you on the social media thing. I use it for work, but figured out a way to lessen the usage so I can stay present in life and the more important things that matter. Keep living and learning, babe! XO, ellese

    Rock.Paper.Glam.

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    1. Thank you so much! That's exactly my aim with it - I think it's very common nowadays to succumb to the whole 'pictures or it didn't happen' thing, but I think it's so important to just put our phones away and focus on the moment! <3 x

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