Saturday, 31 March 2018

BethTalks: 20 Things I've Learned by 20



As it’s my birthday today and I’m in a mindset of reflection, I thought that I would make a post about 20 things I’ve learned over my lifetime.  These are on a variety of topics and are in no particular order.  I hope that some of these things resonate with you and that you integrate them into your own life if you haven't already.


Without further ado here are some thoughts on my approach to life.


1.  Always Bring A Charger With You
If you don’t, your phone will die.  This will always happen at the most inconvenient time.  This is especially applicable if your phone battery life is very short (like my iPhone).

2.  Friendships Come And Go
Don’t be afraid to welcome people into your life or wave goodbye as they exit it. Some last a long time and others will be so short; they were only in your life for a season.  

3.  It’s Better To Be Early Than On Time
I’ve been a part of sports teams and various clubs for most of my upbringing and I’ve learned that being early will allow you to do the necessary prep work like a warmup, use the washroom, drink water, etc.

4.  Have Routines
Having a morning routine is a really good way to mentally prepare for the day, while nighttime routines can help you turn your brain off and get ready for bed. Routines bring stability into our lives.

5.  Don't Try To Do Everything
In high school, I tried really hard to cram as much as I possibly could into a day.  I was constantly juggling school, sports, clubs, and volunteer positions.  Individually, these were all good things to do, but I got quite overwhelmed and got exhausted trying to fit it all in.  University is not much better, due to the increased workload, but I'm hopefully on my way to a more manageable schedule soon.

6.  Hobbies Make Life So Much Better
It's good to put your time and energy into something that you do just for yourself.  Not for school, or work, or because you should do it, but because you want to.  This could be learning a new language, hiking, photography, writing, skiing, sailing, baking, or anything else that you could possibly get enjoyment out of.

7.  Hang Out With Friends & Family
As we get older, it can get harder to spend time with those we care about; people are always busy, schedules don't line up, etc.  We need to make it a priority to spend time with the people we care about.  It sounds cheesy, but it's totally true: life is better when you do it together.

8.  Excercise Is Actually Good For You
Who knew right?  I never realized how important exercise was to my health (mental and physical) until I got to university and my fitness routine flew out the window.  Growing up I played on sports teams, trained in karate, and enjoyed running (would do it for fun).  That all stopped when I graduated from high school. I just recently began trying to get back into the habit of exercising multiple times a week.  I've started running again and doing yoga, but these activities need to be more regular.  I also want to take up swimming.

9.  Travel Somewhere New Once A Year
We should all try to push ourselves out of our comfort zones.  Visiting new places and encountering new people is very good for personal growth.  Without the outside influences that you get at home, you may discover a new side of yourself.  There are so many reasons why travel is beneficial to you and if you need more convincing please feel free and check out this post.

10.  Read A New Book Each Month
My younger self, who read a new book pretty much every second day, would be crying if she read this.  It's super important that we read to expand our knowledge base as well as our thoughts on various topics.  When I was younger, I mostly read fiction, but I've tried lately to read books of different genres such as autobiographies and non-fictional how-to guides.  In my opinion, learning outside of the classroom is even more important than the learning that takes place inside of those four walls.  You will not be in school forever, but you will continue to learn throughout your life.

11.  Down Time Is Important
I still feel quite guilty when taking time for myself (ie. doing something that's not perceived as productive); however, I have come to realize that I need to relax in order to be productive.  Being stressed is generally a hindrance to productivity.  We also need to give our thinking mind a break and allow our feeling mind to take over.  If you've been experiencing a creative block lately, you've probably been thinking too much.

12.  Accomplishing Goals Is An Amazing Feeling
Achieving goals, regardless of how small they are, can make you feel like you've got your life together.  It can be really hard to go through life feeling like nothing you're doing is amounting to anything.  I'm the type of person who needs to see progress, whether that's in the form of crossing things off of my to-do list or being able to do something that I never could do before (like speaking in another language or doing that extra push up).  I get really discouraged if I don't feel like I'm progressing.  This is why it's important to set short-term achievable goals.  You have to work your way up.  If you can't realize the short and the easy, how are you going to accomplish the long and the difficult?

13.  Try To Be Your Authentic Self
There's no sense in trying to be someone else because you can never be happy trying to live according to someone else's values.  You need to discover who you are and what makes you happy, and then do that!  I know this is easier said than done, particularly because finding yourself is no easy task; but I believe, that it is a worthwhile endeavour.  After all, only you can live your life, have your impact so you might as well decide for yourself what that's going to be.

14.  Go Outside
Life cannot be experienced by looking through a screen.  You need to get out there yourself and explore this world.  The fresh air and sunshine are good for you.  You need to get off your butt and lock your front door behind you.  

15.  There's No Age Limit On Your Interests
Never be ashamed of liking something that's viewed as childish.  Why do you need to use other people's standards as a measure of your happiness?  You still watch cartoons?  Awesome.  You still like stuffed animals?  Great.  Don't let the world bully you into doing otherwise.

16.  Beauty Standards Suck
Again, don't try and change yourself in order to meet society's standards.  If you don't want to wear makeup, then don't.  If you don't feel like dressing up, then don't.  You have to do what's best for you.  There is far too much emphasis placed on looks.  Focus on your interior, not your exterior.  If there's something that you want to change about yourself in order to make yourself happy, then you should definitely do it.  Your motivation should never be about pleasing someone else (especially not the faceless mask of society).

17.  Get Rid Of Your Thoughts
If you're like me and think too much, you need to find a way of getting out of your head.  You need someplace for all of these thoughts to go.  They cannot continue to ping pong back and forth across your brain or you will go nuts.  You could expel these thoughts by talking to someone, whether that be your mom, friend, or dog, or by writing them out in a journal.  Putting these thoughts into words and then releasing them leaves you with more room in your brain to think about other things.  This also creates space for your creativity to flow.

18.  Don't Forget To Enjoy The Little Things
Life's events occur on a wide spectrum.  It's not like things are going to be either awful or great.  There is some in between.  We need to get into the habit of celebrating the little things in life that make us happy.  We need to enjoy the little things before we are ready for the crazy awesome big things.  For example, I went to the movies earlier this week and had a bag of buttery popcorn all to myself.  It lifted my mood significantly.  Seek out the small, as it is the accumulation of small things that make a life great.

19.  You Are In Charge Of Your Life
This one is especially important for us young adults to realize.  You need to make your own decisions.  You decide your values, your beliefs, and your actions.  You are in charge of yourself.  If you don't like where your life is heading, change paths.  You are your own boss.  You cannot look to others to tell you what to do.  You can get advice, but the reality is that we're all just winging it; we're just at different stages of winging it.  Those older than us and have more experience winging it can impart wisdom based on their own life experiences, but no one has ever been you or has lived your life.  Therefore, you are the best person to be in charge of your own life.  You need to take responsibility for it and rise to the challenge.  You are the author of the story of your life; if you don't like something, change it, rewrite it, and look forward to the next chapter.

20.  You Will Never Have It All Figured Out
Cut yourself some slack!  I know that it might look like everyone else is put together, that you're the only one still figuring it all out, but that's not true.  No one is perfect.  No one knows everything.  We all have our limitations and shortcomings, that's just a part of being human.  There will never come a time when you have everything sorted.  There's always more things to consider, more to learn, and more to discover.  And that's exciting!  Wouldn't life be so boring if we reached a certain age and then suddenly knew everything?  That would take all the fun out of the experience.  Part of the beauty of life is that there's always more to it than we understand.  Enjoy the process (even though it's going to feel awful at times) and the mystery of it all.




If you're interested in seeing some more pictures from today, please feel free to check out my new Instagram account.




So the cool thing about my birthday this year is that it was on Good Friday, which means that everyone had the day off.  Today was a lot of fun.  We drove to Mount Seymour to go snowshoeing.  It was my second time and I really enjoyed it.  The trail took us around 2 hours to complete.  We only ran into a few people so we pretty much had the trail to ourselves.  The undisturbed snow on either side of the trail was gorgeous to look at.  The tall pines cut us off from the outside world (the ski hill) and made me feel at peace.  After we returned our snowshoe rentals we drove to Deep Cove where we ate lunch at my favourite cafe.  We then wandered by the water's edge and took in the scenery.  After taking some photos, we headed home for some much-needed downtime (read: naps).  Dinner was take in sushi (one of my favourite foods ever).  Next on our agenda was catching up on our favourite TV shows.  It was so nice to just chill for a bit.  I'm kind of in panic mode with school at the moment because classes end within a week and a half and exams are just around the corner.  We then had cake and they gave me some presents.  And then my birthday came to an end as we all headed off to bed.  This has to be one of my favourite birthdays.  I'm looking forward to what my 20th year will bring.

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