There is no need to sugarcoat it, no need to lie about it, no need to drama about it. This age has its benefits, too and while I was preparing this list, I came to the conclusion that I wouldn’t want to be 24 again. That time I was looking for my true self, I was looking for self-validation and self-confidence at the wrong places. My skin was firmer and I could party harder obviously but I would not go back to that age. Here is a list of 40 things I have learnt in the last 40 years (a list which is far not complete).
1.Forget your age sometimes!
At the early 30s I had really no idea how old I was and when I was asked, I had to calculate every time from the current year since age was really not an important topic in my life. I did not care so neither others did. I need to go back to this habit, clearly!
2. Does it really matter?
With the time I have learnt that sometimes it is wiser to push back my ego and ask myself a question in the heat of an argument: does it really matter? If it doesn’t count in a month then I let it go. There is no point to fight for the sake of it since that only poisons my own life.
3. Say no!
I started to deal with the topic of saying no a few years ago as I had issues with it. Then I realized that a “no” to others can be a “yes” to my own happiness. Saying no does not make me less loveable and at the end of the day I go to bed with a calmer mind if I speak it.
4. If you like it, wear it!
Fashion advices, stylist or magazine articles, at the end of the day it is going to be me who steps out in that outfit and spends 8 to 10 hours in it and not them. The most important opinion is mine. And if I like it, I wear it.
5. Move, you are not a tree!
I changed work, got out of relationships and even relocated and changed my country of residence as I was not happy in those situations. It is ok to cry but to solve it is not enough. You are not a tree, if you are not happy then move!
6. Energies, vibes
I have tried so many times to silence them and find some rational solution but then I had to learn that energies never lie. People do. I learned to listen to my inner voice and if it tells me that I need to share space and time with a person, I do it just as if it tells to keep some distance, I take that too.
7. Money, success and fame
I used to have a great carreer with even greater salary and there were times when I had to live the struggles of a beginner while at other times I did not know how I was about to buy food the next day. I had to experience the highs and the lows to know that I am capable of creating (financial) security and survive even under the worst circumstances and that money and fame are not everything.
8. The comfort zone
It has happened to me as well to get comfortable in a situation, choosing the known instead of the unknown but thankfully I came to my senses at some point. The new is essential part of the personal growth even if it is scary and even if you get hurt in the process!
9. Getting hurt and becoming careful
My heart has been broken before, I got disappointed in people and it is inevitable that I became more careful. However fear can not keep me locked down and I should not project a previous negative experience on the next person. Old and bad patterns must be broken and it is a hard job, actually it gets harder by the years but it is worth it!
My mom has taught me since my early ages that it does not matter who asks it but if I can, I need to help others. It sounds as a cliché but I really feel better once I help someone out. Not because I am expecting some positive karma in return but to see that change which I ignited.
11. I compete only with myself
I used to compare myself to magazine cover girls, to models, to bloggers, to colleagues but I had to realize that my only competition is the woman in the mirror. Am I smarter, more patient, more fit than a year ago? This is the question and not if I am more advanced or far behind the others in life.
12. A big child
Mom still calls me “Zsuzsika” as little girls’ nickname and I try to remain as such. A little girl who has not lost her sense of humour and who can still believe in the good in people and who can still smile to get some chocolate from Santa Claus.
13. Being myself, forever
I tried to look as others expect me to look, dress, speak and behave how they wanted me to. But then I had to realize that in that way I don’t only lie to them but to my own self. If they don’t want me the way I am, I do not want to be wanted in any other way. I am not a Nutella, it is impossible that they all will love me!
14. It’s all about the perspective
When I was a teenager, people in their 30s seemed so old. Now I see it differently. Before my piano exam I felt that my life is on the line. I see that differently now as well. Just as I see those boys differently now who bullied me on the beach because I always had bigger boobs than the rest of the girls. It really depends on the perspective!
15. Pounds come and go
Dramatically changing. Even if I want it or not, my body is changing by months. When I am happy, I put on weight and when I am down, I drop it. This is how it is and there is no point fighting against it. The only thing I can do is to stay conscious and focus on my health.
16. Self-confidence needs time
I am a quite impatient type who wants it all by yesterday. However life has taught me to remain patient and let things happen in their own time. Just like self-confidence which I have been working on for years (!) now. I feel that it is a life-long lesson and instead of rushing it, I learnt to enjoy the process of changing into a better and more self-confident person.
17. You don’t know it all
At my 20s I thought that the whole world is mine and I know it all. I quite often smile when I think back and now I see how much I had no clue about. Sometimes it is really worth listening to those who has 10+ years of experience compared to me.
18. Buy them!
Those boots with the stones, that fine parfume and those crazy earrings. Buy them! If you can’t stop thinking about them, buy them! Regretting not buying it is worse and it only poisons your brain. Buy them!
19. Sometimes you “just” click like that
I have learnt that there are encounters which are beyond the rational, at least some of us experience those when you understand each other from a look and it feels like you have known each other for a thousand years. All you need to do is enjoy it and not searching for rational explataions. Just be happy to find a soulmate!
20. “Ready” doesn’t exist!
My work, my blog, an article I work on, my home will never be perfect and I learned that these things only can be stopped and paused but not finished and there is really no point stressing about them!
21. Travel, see, learn!
Money best spent is on discovering our world. Not on a new phone (which becomes out of date in a year), not on a new wardrobe (which won’t fit or I get bored with them) and not on the fancy house décor. I rather spend it on something which never goes wrong: memories. Just as I remember how I almost destroyed accidentally a zen garden piece in Thailand or how I danced with a local group in Sicily. You must travel as much as you can!
22. Olive actually tastes good
There are things which become better as the years pass by and as our taste changes. Like good wine. Or olive, in my case. At my 20s and early 30s I could not eat one single bite and now I enjoy those green (or black) olives next to a glass of white. We change and that is totally OK. Just let it be and enjoy!
23. Sport is not a punishment
I thought of any type of sport as punishment in my 30s which all had one goal: to lose weight. By today the idea has been born that it is rather a pleasure and surely it has the side effect of getting my body shaped but I would not force myself with activities I don’t like. Instead I choose a sport which gives me joy since hate would never take me anywhere.
24. Sleeping is important
It seemed as luxury when I was 30 so instead I got one more drink with friends, one more song to dance to, one more party to attend, one more talk just not to miss out on something. I know now that even a 30 mins nap can make miracles and it is not a tragedy to stay at home on a Friday night, at least my wrinkles will thank me that.
25. Live music
Whether it is a gypsy band or a concert of a band I never heard of, nothing gives such chill as attending a concert. You can’t compare the feeling to listening to music at home so if I get the chance I am glad to enjoy live music. It fills me up, gives me energy and calms me down. It is a must in life!
26. Smile without a reason
Smile to the shop assistant, to the cashier, to the petrol station guy as we all go through hard days and kindness costs nothing but maybe your smile is all good someone gets on that day. I love to see how faces can change thank to a smile. An unconditional one.
Your birthday, an anniversary or “just” yourseld. Because you are alive, you woke up today, you have friends and a roof above your head. You don’t need a special occasion to wear those sexy lingeries, don’t put on makeup just because you may meet people who know you and don’t wear that pretty dress because of others but because of yourself. Celebrate you!
28. Happy end is not granted
Not every story ends with a happy end and not every encounter finishes with walking off to the sunset. Everyone comes to our life for a period of time which maybe only one page in your book, a whole chapter or maybe till your last page, you don’t know it in advance. Accept them and let them go when their time is up.
29. Tragedy is miracle disguised
It feels ironic to look back and see how the deepest lows and biggest disappointments brought a bigger and better change to my life. That time it hurts and I don’t understand why it happens but I know for sure that all happen for a reason so let it come!
30. Hugs, friends, cry
I have learnt the value of an honest, emotional and protecting hug, a true friend who won’t let me down even if I am out of control and how relieving a good cry can feel. Simple yet precious things!
31. Pet as family member
We have always had a dog at my parents’ house but Lulu is my very first own pet with whom we have gone through so much and we live in harmony together. He is the extra “bag” I would never leave behind. Not for a new home or a new relationship. You can live without a dog but it is a waste of life!
32. It’s not about me
Negative comments of other people bothered me a lot in the past and honestly still today it can happen that they hit home. However I realized that what they say about me says more about them than me. Their subjective opinion can not be my reality!
33. Flexibility is the key to happiness
I could hold on so tight to words and promises, plans and agreements. But life is not fair and people make promises easily however if I get stuck in disappointment, it only poisons my own live so instead I should be like a willow and be flexible. Let it go and adjust my plans – that is the key.
Just as facial cleansing, decluttering the environment is essential from time to time. Out with the old clothes and people who don’t serve my higher good and cut out the unnecessary rounds. Cleaning is like a spiritual ritual, I always start to put in order the things around me then everything in the inside will fall into the right place as well.
35. The good hairdresser
When you find the one, stay loyal to them. And I am not talking in a romantic sense now but referring to experts. A good hairdresser is a gem (and my Kriszta is quite more than just a hairdresser in my life), just as a trustworthy grocery guy or a manicure lady who works pricesely. Their presence in our life can bring joy and turn a bad day to a good one.
36. Agree to disagree
Long ago I took it as my mission to convince everyone of my own truth. As time has passed I realized that it is pointless and makes me upset to get into arguments without being open to the others’ point of view. Sometimes it is enough to agree to disagree. Period. End of discussion.
37. If you never ask, the answer is always no
I was too afraid of rejection and failure to ask so I rather did not. Whether it was a salary increase, asking someone out on a date, I was too scared even to ask. However if you never ask, the answer will be always now. I have learnt not to think instead of others or decide instead of them.
38. Don’t tolerate me, love me
How many times I was told I am “too much” and so often I was fighting for the attention and love of those who only tolerated me. However that was not what I needed. Today I choose to be with people who accept and love me the way I am and vice versa.
39. Everything happens for a reason
It is your raging ego and you do not understand why it happens, why to you, why now and why like this. But my most frequently used mantra gives a great explanation: this must have happened this way and later I will get the answer to my why too. It helps a lot in accepting things!
40. Don’t rush!
Missing out on life can not be avoided by being a step ahead and already thinking about your next to do, your next obstacle to overcome. Actually that is how you miss out on your life because while you are busy planning your next goal, your current joy slips away. You have to live and love now, be present now!
So let’s start living and loving! May the next 40 come!