1. Tell the truth: My Mum always taught me from the earliest age that the truth will always out. In fact when I was younger she would often sit me down and ask what was on my mind. It was always at a random moment and caught me off guard. A chance to get anything off my chest without the fear of getting told off (every child’s worst nightmare of course). Those little acts of being honest no matter what I had accidentally broken or done at school taught me the most valuable lessons I’ve carried into adulthood. To be truthful, but also open. And many times it has been proven that the truth will indeed always come out in the end – so it’s a wise move to just tell it in the first place.
2. Let the little things go: I remember being 15 years old and having those teenage problems we can all look back on now and cringe about. My then friendship group was full of squabbles over personality clashes and he-said, she-said dramas. Of course, at the time it’s all that matters in your world. So when I told my Gran about one particular argument I was stuck in the middle of, she made a very simple point that shut me up there and then. Without getting angry she simply pointed out how very trivial it all was whilst she stood there washing up having been diagnosed with cancer, which turned out to be terminal. It’s a bit hazy but I can’t even remember replying. She taught me a valuable lesson that day and it was to let the little things go. I may be older and wiser but its human nature to still get into arguments and before you know it, sucked into petty things that just don’t represent you at all. So taking the time to see the bigger picture, whatever that may be, is always at the forefront of my mind. If I can forgive that person, I do it immediately. If there are real issues to be addressed, I do it in a way that gives everyone space to consider our relationships and if it’s worth ruining over something so, so little in the grand scheme of things.
3. Hard times are not something to fear: Every single person I know has had something knock them for six. Everyone who ever walked this earth has suffered in some way. Illness and death tend to be the ones that hit us hardest but though we may fear those things, I’ve learnt that a hard time does not have to mean a hard life. Hard times teach you nothing but strength and i’ve seen it make many people into the characters they now are. Feel it, feel through it and move on. But don’t ever fear something that is as inevitable as the good times. Why fear something that is essential to live?
4. Don’t be scared to be alone: Perhaps I can’t pin this lesson down to one person in particular because a lot of people have taught me to be alone. Trying to fit in for many years has only ever led me to feel alone in rooms full of people. So removing yourself from a group of friends that just feel toxic or a dead end relationship may mean you’re alone for a bit, sure. But unless you can do that, the cycle will never end. Taking a decision to be alone, at the age I could have been partying with those same friends that were bad for me, taught me about the bare bones of life. I still had my family. And I still had my identity. And with that I began to do things for me… which funnily enough brought with it the people who ended up sticking around anyway.
So there we are… some life lessons from the past 21 years. And it’s safe to say I’m expecting a hell of a lot more!