© 2019 by Michelle Reed. 

  • Seashells

Lessons I've Learned This Year

I have just come back from Devon, I recently went to the beach for surfing. A good surf always gives me a lovely adrenaline rush and being next to the ocean gives me peace of mind. I love being by the ocean in general, it feels like I am at one with nature. The ocean is definitely one of nature’s finest masterpieces. This was my second trip to Croyde in 2 months, I go there so much I think I may just move there. I love the relaxed, surfing vibe in the town. It’s a little bit different to where I currently live. This is my third holiday this year and on my 3 and a half hour drive home I was already planning on when I can go back there. You know when some places just feel like home, Croyde is that place to me. This trip was very last minute, but it was worth it. I stayed in a lovely house in Georgeham which is next door to Croyde. Georgeham is a nice little countryside town in the middle of nowhere, it only has around 20 houses and a couple of pubs but it’s perfect for a quiet getaway. The only downside was, even though I got to surf, on Saturday, the lifeguards put red flags up because of the recent storm that came, it made the sea too dangerous and rough to go out so I couldn't surf Saturday, I still had an amazing time though and seeing 12 foot waves was a very humbling experience. You could see how powerful mother nature can really be.

Whilst I was on holiday and since I got back, I have been thinking about my life in general, like what I want to do next and where my life is heading, I have also been thinking about the fact that it’s currently the middle of August and this year and month is going quite quickly. I can already feel the Winter chill in the air. But as much as I like Summer, I do look forward to Autumn and Winter too. Every season has something different. Whilst I was thinking about my life, I was thinking about what I have learned this year and how I have changed as a person. I wrote them down here;

It’s OK to make mistakes

For a long time I was worried that I wasn’t normal, that my mistakes made me odd or unusual. That everyone else never or rarely make mistakes. But this simply isn’t true. Everyone makes mistakes and frequent ones too. You only have to speak to a few different people to find out how many mistakes they have made that day or even that week. The truth is, we are all in the same boat and when you compare yourself to someone who ‘appears’ to never make mistakes and do everything right, you are comparing yourself to something that isn’t real. You are comparing yourself to something that doesn’t exist. No one is perfect and no one goes through life without making errors, it’s all a part of the learning process. The best thing about making mistakes is the opportunity to learn from them and grow as a better, much wiser person. Mistakes are essential for growth. Just know that mistakes are inevitable and it’s OK to make them.

It’s OK to not have your stuff together

Again, it’s so easy to compare yourself to someone who ‘appears’ to have everything in their life sorted. Granted that sometimes, people achieve things, but that doesn’t mean to say they have their whole life together, it just means they achieved something in one area of their life. It’s so easy to make up scenarios in your head and we all do it, but they simply aren’t true. Your brain tries to fill in gaps, but the truth is, the reason your brain is trying to fill in gaps is because it doesn’t know the truth. You can’t make assumptions on false reality. It’s pointless and meaningless. I know it’s hard because it’s so easy for your brain to overthink things. Psychologists have found that we are learning and developing all the way into our late 20s. So now is the time to explore a few different options and see what’s best for you. It is normal to change your mind on what career path you want to take at this age so embrace it! You are still figuring out who you are as a young adult, so you can’t expect to have everything figured out. Explore and enjoy the journey of self-discovery.

I’m a woman and I’m proud

Now, you might read this title and go huh? What does she mean she’s a woman and she’s proud? She’s a weirdo. Well I may be a bit weird but that’s now the point, let me explain. Before my current career began, I previously worked in horse racing. I rode racehorses, and my dream was to become a professional jockey. Now, some of the people I worked with were amazing and wanted to give me that opportunity. However, some of the people I came across would laugh in my face at the fact that I was ‘female’ and wanted to become a professional jockey. These people would say things like ‘This is a man’s sport and always will be’ and ‘You’re a woman, you have no chance so you may as well not bother’. I’m also aware that there are some people out there that don’t believe sexism exists. I am proof that it does unfortunately. There are some people who are very narrow minded and judge people based on gender. I can say honestly that being a woman is the most amazing thing in the world. We as women can be more emotional which means we feel more things and we are more open with our feelings, and that makes up connect more with each other. We get to kick ass in our careers and then dress up in the most beautiful dresses in the evening. Being a woman is a powerful thing and it’s something to be extremely proud of. I’m not saying that men are bad or anything like that, men have qualities we don’t and women probably have qualities that men don’t. What I’m saying is there are many advantages to being a woman and it’s something you should be proud of.

Change is inevitable and vital

Some people fear change, and as much as change can be exciting, I am one of those people. I can go as far as saying that even if one of my favourite youtubers posts a video on their channel that is completely different to what they usually post, a part of me resists watching it because of the fear of the unknown. I know I will watch that video because I’m intrigued and that’s what change does. It brings excitement and new ideas. Without change, the world would be pretty boring. Imagine watching the same episode of your favourite show over and over again, you would eventually get sick of it. This is why change is important. Also, change is pretty much inevitable, with people bringing out new ideas into the world continuously, it’s only normal things will change, and people like to make their mark on the world. The world is changing now and you don’t even realise it. Think of all the amazing TV shows and experiences you would miss out on if change didn’t exist. We would all still be living in caves. So don’t fear change, you never know what change will bring. Something amazing could be right around the corner.

Down time is just as important as productive time

I love blogging, it’s an amazing feeling that you are reading what I write. I love writing about my opinions and photographing my journeys. But down time is just as important as productive time. A couple of years ago when I started social media and blogging, a part of me would strive to work constantly, 24/7, even sacrificing sleep time for productive time. But how can I be most productive if I’m going to burn out? How can I be at my most productive if I have barely slept? Truth is, I can’t, and neither can you. To be the most productive you can be you need to be in a good mind set. You need to have a clear mind, and a well-rested mind. That means making sure you get enough sleep, and making sure you make time to enjoy other things in life. Think of your brain as a battery, at some point the battery is going to need re charging, and the only way to re charge is if you relax and get enough sleep. You know your brain and body, and if it is calling out for a break, take one.

Family, friends and pets are important too

I have realised this year what I need to give me life and energy. Sure, one of them is my passion which is blogging and documenting parts of my life and my opinions. But another one is making sure that I spend enough quality time with the people close to me too, as they are the ones who lift you up and give you energy when you are feeling so good, so it’s important to nourish those relationships too. It’s important to spend quality time with your parents, the sad truth is they won’t be here forever. It’s important to spend quality time with friends, you want them to make them feel important to you as well. It’s also important to spend time with pets, for example, if you have a dog, do you give them quality time with just you and them? I bet your dog would love a nice walk around the area you live in, or a nice play with the ball. Maintaining your relationships with other people and animals not only benefits you, it also benefits them too. Don’t neglect them especially because of your career and your dreams, at the end of the day, what is the point in being successful if you have no one to share it with?

People have different opinions, and that’s OK

This is something I have slowly been realising for a long time. Everyone in the world is different, and that’s OK. Just because you love pop tarts and another person hates them, that doesn’t make the other person abnormal or weird, it just means they have different taste than you do, and that’s OK. If everyone in the world had the same opinions, the world would be a very boring place. When you have conversations with different people and new people, the reason it’s interesting is because the probably do something you don’t do, or they probably know something you don’t know. If you already knew what that person was going to do or say, it would be so predictable and boring. It makes the world interesting when we are all different. You don’t have the agree with everything someone says, but being open to listen to their opinion, opens you up to new things and is very respectful to that person. Everyone is different, and that’s OK.

Are there any lessons you have learned this year? Let me know in the comments.