25. I kinda used to think I’d have it all figured out by 25, it feels like an age in which you should have it all figured out, right? Nah probably not..
I’ve come to realise there is no one single cemented age by which you should have it all figured out. You literally have your whole damn life to figure it out, what fun would it be to know it all by 25? Whats the craic then? Whats left to uncover?
So relax, you don’t have to have it all figured out by 25, so please don’t, if you do, un-figure it, you’re being ridiculous. I do think there are some pretty essential things to have a decent grasp on by the time your 25, things I think help shape you and mould you to the person you’re going to be, the basics I guess. So I’ve compiled said essential basics of 25 below, they’re important and of course I should know, I have been 25 for a whole 3 months – I’ve got this down.
1. Give back before you have to.
We have all been there, a botched attempted at avoiding eye contact with a brightly dressed man wearing a look of kind despair & holding a clip board, and telling yourself you’ll donate another day. I mean there’s only so much philanthropic activities you can commit to as a 20 something graduate, both in a monetary and physical sense its not plausible to try help every Tom, Dick and Harry you pass from Trinity to Baggot St. I get that! But that doesn’t give you an overall excuse not to try though, find a cause that means something to you and do as much as you can for it. Its not about it being rewarding for you – which it obviously will be, but I think its more about the whole knock on effect it has, it’s part of a bigger picture.
2. Be a good person.
I’ll be the first to put my hand up and say being a good person takes work, and I mean this in a completely different sense than the above point, I mean it on a more personal level. Being a good person does take work, we are so so self consumed and it takes a conscious effort to step out of that self consumption to think about how others are feeling. I am the world’s worst person for not thinking before I speak and I land myself in hot water a lot for it (No like a looooot, I’m a pro). That being said I’ve consciously made more of an effort over the last number of years to remove myself from my own ridic situations and think about other people, have a bit of empathy and show a bit of kindness. Like yeah my little life with its woes of boy troubles and 3 pound winter weight gain is hard, but some people have actual problems hun…
3. Know your worth.
Possibly the one thing I remind myself of every day is my worth. In all accounts of the word and in all accounts of life it is so, so vital to know your worth. It sets the standard on how you let others treat you, in your career, in your relationships, in everything. It seeps into how you hold yourself and carry yourself, knowing your worth and being conscious of it is more than just confidence, I’d nearly argue its the ability to not have to act confident, you effortlessly exude this anyway. Knowing your worth doesn’t mean having to tell everyone how good you’re doing, what your 5 year plan is or what have achieved thus far in life, it is so much more than that. It’s saying all those things by how you interact with situations and how you deal with people, having that standard and living by it transpires into all these things. I’ve found knowing your worth also gives you a great sense of independence, its more than simply loving yourself it’s knowing you’re happy out in your own two shoes, knowing that you bring everything and more to any table you sit at and trusting yourself to get you where you want to go.
4. Step out of your comfort zone
I first realised how essential this was after moving to Dubai at 21. I’m not entirely sure where my comfort zone is but it wasn’t Dubai, and that is meant in a very literal sense. Both living abroad and just the general situation propelled me right out of that comfort zone, and I’ve never learned more about myself as I did there. Yes theres moments even now when I conclave into a frozen introvert and would rather the ground swallow me whole than continue participating in the situation I am in, but look that shit build’s character. You might feel awkward or embarrassed for a minute but that’s probably the last time you’ll feel that way in that situation. I now actively look for ways to escape my comfort zone, I put myself in situations I’m not 100% in, because I’d stagnate otherwise. Fabulous things happen in that place and you have to be willing to put yourself there whenever you get the chance.
5. Never, Ever, Settle
OK, this does relate to knowing your worth a lot but it takes a more active effort to maintain even though the two are entwined. I consider this the most integral life lesson I’ve learned to date. Over the years I’ve always been surrounded by friends who take the form of strong, powerful women, the consistent pattern between us all is the drive and ambition we all have. However I’ve seen strong amazing friends full of uncapped potential settle for their circumstances, situations and surroundings. Don’t get me wrong one persons interpretation of settling for less could be anothers ideal outcome, but the difference is knowing you’re settling, knowing you’re capable of more but not pushing for that. And that kills me, I mean whether its a job you don’t want to be in, or a relationship where you’re not being treated how you should, there is just not enough time in this life to settle for mediocre. I’m all for working for what you want and yep, I get it, sometimes we have to work through shitty jobs or annoying situations, but that’s what it should only ever be – working through. Don’t end up in the “grand for now” job for longer than you should, don’t be complacent or lazy – push yourself, who else will if you don’t? I for one want to make sure in 10 years time I can safely say I chose the life I live and be completely happy with that.
And there you have it folks, my basics to life at 25 I think the magic to it all is when you own the basics all as one. I can’t say I live by all of these basics everyday, theres been situations & people I’ve let cloud them and I’ve regretted that hugely, but its something I’m working on and as for 25… Yeh, closer to 30 than I’ve ever been, all down hill from here I’ve heard, ok fair, but I’m owning it and it’s turning out quite enjoyable.
Thanks for reading x