What I’ve Learnt In My (Almost) 30 Years Of Life

Almost three decades of life, what have I learnt along the way?

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Three decades may seem a long time, but in the grand scheme of things, I haven’t been alive for very long. However, I do feel I have learnt a thing or two along the way.

There are many people here on Medium, and a lot more people named not here on Medium, who probably know a lot more than little old me. Does that stop me from wanting to share my two pence on the world and it’s workings? No!

People can be mean

From keyboard warriors and high school mean girls, to some random drunk guy and your mum. People can really be mean.

I was bullied in school, and used to think how I couldn’t wait to get out there, to be an adult, when I wouldn’t have to deal with mean people.

Heads up — there will always be mean people out there, determined to hurt your feelings. Sometimes, it is unintentional, and sometimes we are at fault of picking at others too, can the world ever become a nice place? With no rude and downright horrible people in it? Probably not. But we can become better equipped to deal with them .

It’s never to late to do what you want

I’m guilty of thinking I’m “too old” to do something, going back to uni for example. But, honestly… come on.. I’m 29. The average life expectancy of a woman in the UK is 81. That’s another 52 years. Why do people think they are ever too do what they want?

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I recently watched the London marathon, one of the runners was in her mid-70s and had only started running at around 70, and was on something like her fifth marathon. People like that give me the inspiration and confidence to know that it is never too late!

We never really grow up

As I’m heading for 30, I occasionally worry that my life isn’t where it should be. When I was a teenager, I’d think of what my life would be like at 30… and it really never works out how you would like.

I spoke to my mum about this recently, should I feel different at almost 30? Because I don’t. Should I feel more like an “adult”? My mum turns 50 this year, and her response was that she still feels 21.

Our looks and bodies may age, but our personalities are still the biggest part of us — I have gladly accepted this fact, and would like to think I will still feel young when I’m the exact opposite!

Cats are the best pets

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Unpopular opinion? Perhaps. Do I doubt including it on my list? Not at all.

Cats are stubborn, loyal, funny, mischievous and downright cute animals. They seem to think they rule the roost, and they are picky with who they love — which makes it even more special when they show you that they love you (unlike dogs, who seems to crave love and attention from anyone they meet….).

I’ve had cats my whole life, and I could not imagine my life without one in it! Anyway, potentially unpopular opinion aside… let’s move on!

Education is vital

If you are reading this, you live in a modern, connected and educated world. We are so, so lucky for that. Education is a basic right we as humans should have access to. Without education, research and personal development, the world would be a very different place.

There are many countries in the world that don’t have access to this basic need, and I am grateful to have access to it in a variety of forms. Education is something I am glad I have never taken for granted.

Our mental health is one of the most precious things in the world

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Over the years I have battled some mental health demons, and watch people I love battle theirs — and sometimes lose. At almost 30, one of my main goals on a daily basis is to ensure my mental health is looked after. I have tried long and hard to improve my mental well-being, and will continue to do so.

So many people don’t have access to quality — and cost effective — mental health care, I’m lucky enough to live in a country with free health care, and while the mental health services may not always be up to the standard I would wish for, I am grateful for what I have.

We see all of the time people struggling with their mental health, celebrities in particular help raise awareness for the cause (sadly, sometimes when it is too late), and I am grateful for that. Looking after our own state of mind is crucial to have a long and happy life.

We will never be able to make others happy

While I spoke about looking after our own mental health and happiness, it is impossible to ensure the happiness of others, without sacrificing our own.

I have spent many years trying to make other happy, and while I still strive to look after those I love, I can’t always guarantee their happiness. And that’s okay. No matter what we do in life, it seems like we will always upset someone, one way or another. Accepting that has been a wonderful thing for me, and a great step in my strive for quality mental health.

Religion is one of the most destructive things in the world, and one of the most powerful

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I’ll get the potentially awkward thing out of the way, I’m an atheist. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate religion. I know a lot of religious people, of varying degrees. Some of the nicest, most open minded and hard working people are of one faith or another. Their faith means a lot to them, brings them a calm and happiness in a way that I couldn’t imagine, and helps bring them closer to their loved ones and strangers alike. It is powerful and amazing, when used in the positive way I imagine it to have formed in over the years.

On the flip side, religion has been the cause of a lot of harm in the world. From Hitler’s dislike (understatement?!) of the Jewish community, to the world wide divide between those who follow Islam, and those who follow Christianity. If interpreted in the wrong way, it can be the more destructive thing in the world. I can’t fix this, but I believe in not tarring all with the same brush, a lesson that I feel our national media needs to learn in order to help make some positive changes in the world.

We all have the ability to change the world

As mentioned above, I can’t fix the greater problems in the world, neither can you. But in our way, we can make small changes, that can have a ripple affect.

When we have a general election, I regularly hear people talk about there being “no point”, as they believe their vote won’t make a change. However all it can take is one vote to make a difference. Look at the fight for women’s rights, or black rights, or LGBT rights. If everyone sat back, and decided their part of the fight was insignificant, change would not have happened.

In whatever way I can, I will support a positive change in the world. Hey, my decisions and actions may not make a major change in the world in the way I would like, but I know that a small change is better than no change at all.

This is why I will always vote, always attend LGBT pride events, always try and advocate for the minority, I won’t support animal cruelty in any form (including fox hunting and horse racing) and why I’m a vegetarian. The things I care about, aren’t on the agenda for others, and that’s okay. For me though, my little decisions and actions are important to me, and help me make the change in my own way. This is something I believe everyone should partake in, don’t sit back and watch the world turn to something you don’t like. Voice your opinions, whether met with agreement or dispute — your voice deserves to be heard, and you never know, it might change the world.

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A part time writer, studying for my BA (Hons) Degree Creative Writing. My interests include mental health, politics, LGBT rights, fiction, poetry and many more!

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