29 Life Lessons I’ve Learned In 29 Years

Today, I turn 29… If I’m being honest, I don’t really have too many feelings about this one. I’m now at the age where I have to actively think ‘What age am I?’ when someone asks me.

29 feels a little stale if I’m being honest. For me it carries no significance other than I am a year closer to 30…maybe 30 will feel fresh and like I have achieved something? It’s not that I don’t think I haven’t achieved anything this year, it’s more that 29 is a very…frustrating birthday. It’s like when you turned 9 or 19….and you just had one more year to go before you reached a ‘significant age’.

On the flipside, it does feel a little weird to be entering my last year of my 20’s. So if I take it from that perspective, so much has happened in the past decade – I completed my undergrad, spoke in the UN General Assembly, saw some incredible speakers who I consider role models (Barrack Obama; Ban Ki Moon; Kofi Annan and Mary Robinson), got elected in a university wide election, volunteered in Ireland and overseas, travelled a lot, met some incredible people I can now call friends, began working in an area I am really passionate about, found ‘my person’, completed my Masters in Law and commenced on the journey to becoming a qualified Barrister…something I am so very close to completing! That all said, here are 29 things I have learnt in the past 29 years!

  1. Being genuinely happy for others is a gift in itself. For me, this came at a point in life when I was truly happy with aspects of my own life. It’s great to remember that someone else’s triumphs do not diminish yours. Be a supportive person and watch it lift your spirits up too. Pay it forward.
  2. You can chose who you surround and spend your time with.
  3. The people you chose to spend your time with are a direct reflection on you and your lifestyle.
  4. It’s ok to say no…and trust me this is something I have struggled with.
  5. Stop waiting for everything to be right….I hate to break it to you but it will never be the perfect moment so just go for it!
  6. What you think about yourself is the most important thing!
  7. Life isn’t fair, there are always people out there who will score a better deal and some of them may have put in less time or work. Alongside that, you won’t get on with everyone out there and some people will just be downright horrible but be the better person and let it lie.
  8. You can create the life you want.
  9. Don’t dwell on your mistakes, learn from them, cut yourself some slack and move on!
  10. Food is not something to fear.
  11. Don’t let someone else make their priorities be yours, learn to be your own person and to be happy in your own company.
  12. Don’t make allowances and accommodations for those who wouldn’t give you the same consideration.
  13. If there is someone negative in your life – don’t feel guilty about cutting that person off, block them our of your life or social media feed and simply not listen to them.
  14. You don’t get points for being the busiest or looking like you hustle the hardest. Work isn’t everything so learn to take breaks before it breaks you.
  15. It’s ok to cry, even when people tell you its not.
  16. There are some things that other people are just better at doing, do not let this get you down, work hard and focus on perfecting your strengths.
  17. It’s cool to be kind.
  18. Be assertive (in the right situation) and stand up for yourself. On the other side of this, don’t be a dick and admit when you’re in the wrong.
  19. Friendships that are built and forged purely on tearing others down are not built to last. You will find your people, no matter how small or big that group may be, they will be amazing people <3
  20. Ignore the noise, if there is something going on in your life don’t be afraid to step away and take some time with your own thoughts. It can be so easy to allow others to cloud your judgment during times of uncertainty but make sure you stay true to yourself and choose what and who you allow into your life.
  21. Your health really is everything.
  22. Be a lifelong learner – NEVER, ever stop learning – take courses (there are so many free ones); ask for training opportunities in work, read books, learn a new language, explore other cultures, take up new hobbies.
  23. Success means something different for everyone….so what if you’re not working in a magic circle law firm and earning big….are you happy with what you’re doing with your life and are you where you want to be.
  24. Read everyday.
  25. Don’t be ashamed to both recognise and shout about your accomplishments. You’re awesome, don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise.
  26. Take care of your mind as well as your body.
  27. Learn how to be alone without being lonely.
  28. Life comes with great highs and great lows but you are strong enough to deal with anything that comes your way.
  29. It’s ok not to like or be liked by everyone.

I have very little clue what this year has in store for me…more so given the current pandemic but I welcome 29 with open arms and look forward to embracing my last year in my 20’s. I have not only achieved a lot in the past 29 years but I have also made a lot of mistakes. All of which have made me the person I am today. I have a lot to be grateful for, some incredible friends, spread all across the globe, a job I love and I am on the cusp of becoming qualified to practice in a career I have a dreamed of since the age of 16.

Safe to say I am excited for the adventure ahead <3

Take care and stay safe!

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