Last month I turned 26. I do not know where it came from, I truly felt like I just turned 25. This year flew by. Every year I write a list of things I have learned in the past year, and this year was a challenging and different year for everyone.
I have previously done:
23 things I have learned in 23 years (a full 23 bullet point list)
24 things I have learned in 24 years (a ’24th’ item broken down into a. b. c.)
25 things I have learned in 25 years (same as above)
When adding to my list I decided that instead of just adding one thing I will do 26a, 26b, etc. To allow myself for a few more points to sneak in and I will continue to do the same this year.
Let me add to those lists with the 26th thing I have learned in life:
a. Plans are not for sure. I would like to thank COVID for this massive change in my mindset. I have always had many plans for my future regarding travel and where I as going to next and THAT was my life. My travel plans were my life. When COVID first arrived and I had to shift my mindset into ‘Okay, maybe I will go to New Zealand’ everything felt wrong and confusing. I am now so much better at understanding there is no such thing as a concrete plan. I no longer put that pressure on myself.
b. Travelling isn’t my only identity. Well, it was for a very long time. I was someone who travelled and saw the world. Now I am someone trying to figure out who they are when they are not travelling. That is harder than it sounds. It took me a long time to accept the changes of the world and to not keep holding out hope that things would change. I have had to start actually thinking about my future plans outside of ‘what country will I go to next year?’ Now I am thinking, about my career and where I want to live in the future. Where is home?
c. I need a home of my own. When everything fell to pieces and we had to end our backpacking trip I had no home to go. I could go to my partner’s mum’s house or my mum’s house. That is not a place of my own and in my mid twenties I need my own space and my own home to go back to. I want to still travel whilst having a safe place to come back to.
d. Friends are important. Friends that are close to you. I have amazing friends all over the world, but having friends that are close by is important. Especially during times of unemployment and loneliness. You need someone close to you who you can go out and walk with or just talk about life with. I have truly started to appreciate my freedom of movement and socializing because there have been times where it wasn’t allowed and that was terrbile.
e. Knowledge, more and more knowledge. I have made it my soul mission to constantly keep learning. Never stop. I have been making an active effort in reading books written by anyone who isn’t White. I feel like maybe this was a default for me but I have found some of my favourite books this last year and I have read A LOT. I have been listening to podcasts about all sorts of different topics; NATAL (about being a Black person in the prenatal system), 1619 (the arrival of enslaved Africans into Virgina), How to save a Planet (all about climate change) and so many more!
f. 30 isn’t old. The older I get the more I realise 30 is not old. Neither is 35 or 40. I have been meeting more and more people older than me and they are just like me in every sense. Society has placed these ideas of us that 30 is old. Well it isn’t and since when did becoming old be such a bad thing? My personal mission is to age and keep ageing and love it.
g. take nothing for granted. COVID can take some responsibility for this, it taught me to take nothing for granted. I never thought I would be visiting home and I was NOT able to huge any of my Grandparents. A sad reality. Hugging, socialising, anything that we cannot do because of COVID I miss intensely and I never, ever want to take anything for granted. Alongside this, people. I am so grateful for all my friends and family and I do not want to take them for granted, I want them to know how much I love them and want them in my life. I think that is important.
And those were a few of things that I have learnt this year. I hope you enjoyed me sharing some of my old age wisdom and I look forward to all my future life education. If you want to catch up my previous blog post was on twenty twenty one.