4 lessons from turning 24

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Last weekend I celebrated by 24th birthday at home in Belgium, and it was the first year that I felt a touch of nerves at not being able to avoid being an adult anymore. This has been the most fast-paced year I’ve had and although there have been a few tough moments, I feel like I’ve jumped from 15 to 24 and learnt an incredible amount along the way. Which is why I’ve listed below some of the things I wish I had known this time last year:

There’s no need to be perfect

Something I’ve been struggling with for way too long. I’ve learnt that I have created a very perfect person that I expect myself to be, and yet know that it’s impossible to achieve. At the end of the day, the people around you like you for who you are…. And the ones who don’t are probably just fighting their own demons and are welcome to go do that far away from you.

Don’t stress over things that haven’t happened yet

Because they honestly might not. My parents always told me this quote that went “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes, most of which never happened” and I’ve never related to it more. I’ve had entire weeks ruined because I’m stressed about something that might potentially go wrong at work. And whether it’s a future argument between colleagues or a project you really don’t want to work on – don’t waste your energy stressing on the would/should/coulds

You come first

Working full time in a busy (slightly crazy) environment has really taken its toll on me. At first, I took things at work so personally that every challenge felt like it was live or die, and if I couldn’t get something done well enough or on time, I was a failure. Luckily I noticed just in time that I was getting close to insanity, and with the help of my family I took the time to step back and reconsider where I was and what I was doing. Conclusion: my health, both mental and physical, is my priority – and at the end of the day the world will not stop turning if I’m not the hardest working employee that ever lived.

Nothing comes before family

Not really a new one, but a golden rule. I think that having moved around as kids really solidified my relationship with my brothers and my parents because we were all we had in strange new places. Living a country away from my parents now, I recognise more than ever that they’re my biggest fans.

Here’s to the next year of trying to follow these tips, I’ll let you know if I manage…!

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