Anyone else feel like life is one giant obstacle course? It sometimes feels that things are put in our way as means of testing our strength and determining the type of individual we will become. There have been points in my life where I have asked myself "why me?!" and I'm sure you have too. Then I have to remind myself to look at the bigger picture or just to see a homeless person sleeping rough on the street to conclude that my life really is not that bad. I think it's safe to say that we are part of a society where it's the absolute norm to compare yourself to others so it only seems natural that your bound to give yourself a hard time. I partly blame social media for this and for over glamorising many aspects of life including my own. In actual fact it's often easy to forget that behind that perfectly filtered photograph life really is not what is seems. The stark reality is that more often than not I'm at home in my mix match pj's about to embark on another episode of Netflix and chill and by this I actually mean chill, not the chat up line Tinder is infamous for.
At the risk of rambling on which I'm accustomed to doing, today's post is a more personal one. As someone who doesn't like to divulge too much information what with being quite a private person, I often find these types of posts the hardest to write. With that said, you guys seems to love them and my blog after all is intended for all you lovely people that take the time to actually read my rambling. So today I thought I would touch on something slightly different than usual. Specifically, some pointers for my former self. The 25 year old Gemma giving some words of wisdom to her younger, less experienced self if that's at all possible. Our lives are made up of so many experiences but below are a few examples of pointers I would give to my younger self if I had the chance. These can also be applied to many aspects of your life or simply taken with a pinch of salt. I'm no agony aunt after all, I simply felt inspired to write this post and put my thoughts into words.
Worry less about your looks
Looks fade over time so having a cracking personality seems far more important. I don't mean the 'oh but you've got a great personality' when someones clearly trying to cream pie you but actually having a cracking personality can be a very endearing trait. Looks really aren't everything. There's no denying that I wouldn't say no to looking like Megan Fox but hopefully you catch my drift.
Moving on from this, surrounding yourself with positive people and those who only have your best interests at heart will help to make your personalty shine and in my opinion everyone should sparkle!
Care less about what people think
This is definitely easier said than done, believe me. I have first hand experience with putting things off because I was too anxious about what others may think of me. Many of you may not know but I actually put off starting my blog for the best part of a year and a half because I was too afraid that people would judge me or think I was vain and purely wanted to post pictures of myself. In actual fact, I lack confidence in many aspects of my life but blogging is something I not only enjoy but am extremely passionate about. One thing I have learn't over time is yes there will always be people who pass judgement along the way but if you enjoy what you do, who cares?! Life's too short to care about those negative comments which in actual fact may be the minority anyways. As far as I'm concerned, I only care about the opinions of those closest to me. Those that truly matter.
The same can be applied to boys. Growing up, it's natural to want to be fancied by all the boys in your class or even year. When you find out the feelings you have for your childhood crush simply are not reciprocated you want to go into hiding for weeks and turn into a massive sulky pants. Girls, there's no denying we've ALL been there. As you get older and start dating, I've been overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and would worry myself for days in the run up to a date with the same recurring thought "but what if he doesn't like me". Now, as I've gained a little bit more life experience, I worry less and know that not everyone will like me but that's ok too. You shouldn't have to change who you are, it just means it's or shall I say him is probably not right for you or not meant to be.
Take more risks
As humans we're creatures of habit which means it's can become so easy to get too comfortable. The next thing you know, years have passed and you're stuck with a boring routine wishing your life had panned out a little differently. As I've gotten a little older, I've begun to value the importance of life and how precious time really is which is why moments shouldn't be wasted on worrying about whether you should do something or not. Life is about taking risks. Even if you fall flat on your face and are left with next to no motivation to go on at least you can look back and say you tried. No what ifs and certainly no regrets. Ultimately, you can sit on the fence or take a leap of faith and it could be that very risk that determines your future. The biggest risk I've taken to date is quitting my steady and reliable full time job at Topshop to try and focus on becoming a full time blogger. Whilst there have certainly been some bumps in the road so to speak, I couldn't be happier with the decision I made. One risk I'm still hoping to take is to pack my bags and uproot to live and work in Australia for a year. I'll openly hold my hands up and say I'm not quite there yet but it is definitely an adventure I would love to embark on by the time I've reach the dirty thirty mark. So I've got a time frame of five years to make it happen.
Don't be pressured into saying yes, it's ok to say no if that's what you want!
I'm so guilty of this, it's not even funny. I hate letting people down and there have been many instances where I've said yes to try and please someone when deep down I knew I didn't really want to do it. In some aspects of life you need to be a little selfish in order to put your happiness first. I'm not talking about the not caring about others around you kind of selfish but what's the point in doing something that makes you unhappy and will ultimately fill you with regret? Life really is too short. Say yes if you really want to but also no if you really don't want to do something too.
Trust your gut instinct, it's always right!
This can be applied to so many aspects of life. From career moves, friendships and definitely personal relationships you're gut instinct is more often than not right. It's called a gut feeling for a reason. We've all been there. You have that off feeling where you just know something doesn't feel how it's supposed to.
People change and so will you
When you were 15 sitting on your lunch break in the school canteen, do you remember thinking these girls are going to be my friends for life? I sure do. I'm quite lucky in the sense that some of the girls I went to school with I'm still very close with but there are some who at a point in my life felt like best friends and now they seem like strangers. Weird huh?! Friendships will come and go but you'll realise who your true friends are because they will be there for you at the lowest points in your life or when things turn really bad. I'm talking the friend who's your shoulder to cry on when you break up with your boyfriend, the one to hold your hair back when your spewing up somewhere but also the girl you'll share some of your fondest memories with. People change, some for the better and others for the worst. It's a part of growing up. I hardly recognise my once 18 year old self and actually can see that I've matured and become more responsible. There's still room for improvement (obviously) but change more often than not it a good thing. I've learnt that rather than having a large group of friends, I'd rather have fewer friendships but more meaningful ones. It really is quality over quantity. It can be hard to let go of friendships, but they really do come and go but the important meaningful ones will stick.
If there was one thing you could go back and tell your younger self what would it be? Make sure you let me know by leaving a comment below.