Life Lessons: 31 Life Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years

Life Lessons – 31 Life Lessons I’ve Learned 31 Years

March 28, 2019justabelfastgirl

Life Lessons: 31 Life Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years

So for those of you who don’t know, disgustingly I’m 31. I have no idea whatsoever where the past 16 years have gone, but I wish I could go back to being 18, again. I was already so grown up, I never had a real childhood, I never did anything too extreme as a teen and I would definitely go back and live my early 20’s over again if I could. I’m 32 this year, and ever since my miscarriage back in August I’ve been taking stock of my life and what I’ve got to show for my almost 32 years on this planet. I’m definitely not where I want to be, but that’s okay, I’ve got time. 

It’s been a tough 31 years, but I know it’s going to be worth it when I sell my (hopefully) best-selling novel, have children, join the PSNI and the career I want to be in. I wanted to give credit to Lorna and her recent post: 20 Things I’ve Learnt About Myself in 20 Years. Please give Lorna’s post a read and follow her on all her social media channels.

1. I have a disturbing sense of humour 

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
All GIFs should be Nick Offerman GIFs

I spoke about this recently on Twitter when commenting on my cuz Ross’ tweet (go check him out and his blog. His blog is here, and his Twitter is here.) I had said that if people saw half the snap chats or Whatsapp conversations I have I’d be in some serious trouble. My dad’s side of the family all have deadly (that means amazing in NI/Ire) sense of humour’s and we all get on really well so it’s always a laugh.

I’m a big tomboy (despite being an MUA) and I prefer football to chick flicks. I grew up around lads so my sense of humour has always been a bit too extreme for some female friends. I’m the type of person that seems to be able to get away with saying what’s in my head because people genuinely don’t expect it to come out of my mouth. Half the time I’m not even trying to be funny.

2. My Music Taste is Absolutely Shocking

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Me on a daily basis listening to my music collection.

With that being said, my taste in music is REALLY varied. I can go from listening to Carrie Underwood to Five Finger Death Punch and not even blink. It makes for (in my opinion) some amazing road trips when I’m DJ and weird conversations when friends or family flick through my music collection. I don’t think my parents realised until quite recently that I prefer old school rap and heavy metal to any kind of pop music. I did the shuffle song tag a while back, I’ve included the link here so you can get an idea of what I mean.

3. I’m Stronger Mentally & Physically than some Individual’s Think I Am

those of you who follow my blog know about my PTSD journey and what brought me to it. Those who are new should go and check out my post on it, you can find it here. There have been times when my strength has been challenged from a physical perspective and as mentioned above I’ve always been a tomboy. I grew up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland so I needed to be a pretty tough kid when I was out and about. This carried through to my teenage years and adulthood. 

I’ll be the first person to tell you I’m a complete gobshite and I know I am. It’s a terrible habit, but it’s so deep in me now that I’ve just accepted that one day my mouth is going to get me punched in the face or in serious trouble. Until that day I’ll just embrace it and go with it.

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Me doing a squat on accident then wondering why I don’t have abs of steel

I went through a shitty time with my PTSD and right now I feel stronger and more determined than ever to keep going and working hard to achieve what I want to in my life. The self-reflection over the past few months has forced me to really look at myself, my life, relationships and what I want. I’ve had to make some tough decisions about things that certain people (that I won’t name) here didn’t think I could or didn’t think I could cope with, but I’ve coped brilliantly (in my opinion). I still have rocky days, those suicidal thoughts, but I’m here.

4. I LOVE to Learn

I have a problem… I went through what I’ve studied in a previous post, but since I wrote that I’ve actually signed up for more things! What is wrong with me?! I’m still going to be studying in my 90’s. I just find something and I get so invested in it and want to learn everything there is to know about it back to front. I used to make the excuse that it was “good for my CV”, but that’s total bullshit as at least half of what I’ve studied had nothing to do with the career (Human Resources) that I was in at the time.

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Taking my glasses off after a long day of being a specky bastard

Currently, I’m learning to speak a few different languages. I speak Italian, I wouldn’t say fluently, more intermediate. I want to learn Gaelic (Irish), and Spanish or Japanese. I am also reading more about parapsychology (if you don’t know what that is, click the word and you’ll be taken to a Wikipedia page to find out more).

5. I Procrastinate WAYYYY too Much

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Me running away from the To Do List I procrastinated for two hours writing

For someone that has so much going on at one time, there is absolutely no need whatsoever for the amount of procrastination I do, like NONE. I tried hypnotherapy and although it was brilliant for being more organised (I’d let that slip, but back to do lists and diary management) I think because he started speaking very softly that I didn’t get the procrastination bit as I couldn’t hear him. He thought I had fallen asleep halfway through and although I said I hadn’t, I think I fucking did. Still 100% worth it though and I recommend Warren Yorke if you’re in Belfast and fancy giving it a go.

6. I Love Juggling Multiple Projects at Once and like Stress

Who likes stress, like? Clearly, I do. My nonbiological sorellina (little sister in Italian) Lauren tells me often that I have a lot going on at any one time. I’ve had to give up my NSPCC counselling as I just don’t have time now which I feel awful about, but I know I could give the kids my 100% focus because I’ve got a zillion things going on in my mind at once. 

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years

Just to give you an example of what’s going on at the moment so you get an idea, I am currently writing my first novel (30,000 words to go #sendhelp), changing jobs, trying to look after my fur baby because he stupidly hurt his leg jumping to attack my letterbox (don’t ask), writing my autobiography about my childhood, I’m full-time at uni, have just moved house, trying to be a responsible adult (ensuring bills are paid and so on), I’m in a relationship so making time for the partner has to come in here, still fighting with my PTSD, trying to get back into my workouts following yet another back injury and then there’s my two, yes two, blogs. 

You’d think with having all that going on I’d be exhausted by the end of the day, no. My GP kindly gave me sleeping tablets as without them I’d be wide awake for two to three days before I’d crash and that’s no good for anyone.

7. I Buy FAR too many Books

I have this weird obsession with buying books that I haven’t even read yet. There’s a term for it, it’s a Japanese word, tsundoku.

Tskeundo is the desire to buy more books than you can ever read is so universal.Tsundoku is a combination of several Japanese words, including “tsunde,” which means to stack things; “oku,” which means to leave for a while; and “doku,” which means to read. – Credit to Wikipedia, 2019

Yup, that’s me. I escaped into books when I was a kid so I’ve always had piles of books, but I was far better at reading them than I am now. I’m a quick reader, I can finish a book in a few hours and it drives my partner insane because when we go on holiday my suitcase will be 50% books 50% clothes. I bring my kindle with me, too so you can imagine how many I can get through. 

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Me when I’m homeless and bankrupt from buying too many books but still own a library

Lately, though, I just haven’t felt the need to sit down and read. At the moment I’m reading a book by Freya North called Love Rules. It’s not my usual crime thriller/psychological thriller/horror book/autobiography and is a definite chick flick. I picked it up because I, myself, am writing a romance novel (who’d have thunk it? I haven’t got a romantic bone in my body!) It’s a good book, don’t get me wrong, but man I’m struggling, lads. I think it’s down to procrastination, again.

8. I HATE Kylie Minogue and have No Idea Why, but it’s Okay

LGBTQ+ community, don’t come for me! I’m not the only bisexual that can’t stick this woman. I’m just one of the only ones that will admit to it. This started in my teens, I have no idea why or when it really started and I’ve thrown this in here because I am genuinely interested in seeing if anyone else gets this type of way with people they haven’t met.

Hate is a strong word to use, but I really, really dislike her. If her music comes on the radio or TV it’s switched over or off. Same with any interviews or shows about her, I just can’t stick her at all. Nothing to do with her being Australian, I don’t mind her sister, I just really, strongly, do not like her.

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years

I’m the same with Ricky Gervais, too but I think it’s because when I see his face I just want to punch him. I swear I don’t have anger issues… Frankie Boyle is another, but I know I hate him because he’s a cunt. He’s not funny at all, his jokes are always in poor taste (says the girl who above said she’s got a similar sense of humour) and I don’t rate him at all.

9. I Think Way Too Much About the “What If’s” 

I find myself doing this a lot, especially recently. It’s something I know everyone does, but I do it way more than I care to admit. I often think about how different my life would be if I didn’t have mummy issues, or if I had done something a different way, or if I had said this or maybe told this person this. It is what it is, you’d think in 2019 we’d be able to travel back in time, but Marty McFly and the Doc Brown lied to us (if you don’t know who that is…I just…no just no!) the Delorean (made in NI, just saying!) cannot send us back in time. 

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Pity the Delorean couldn’t send Uncle Fester back in time to find some style

Basically, I need to just accept my life is the way it is for a reason and I should stop thinking about the “what if” scenarios and getting pissed off about the government spending too much money on space. (no matter what you say here I’m just not going to be convinced this is a good thing or that aliens are fucking real. Unless you count my neighbour who doesn’t seem to sleep or go outside, ever) when they could spend it on properly curing the big C, Alzheimer’s, creating microchips for pet owners that allow them to know what their animals are thinking and so we can communicate with them. Like come on, how funny would it be to know your cat actually is planning to kill you (it is, cats are evil.)

10. I’m a Catastrophic Thinker

Are you one of those people that worries so much about things and you always think worst case scenario? Yup, me too! I do this because if I think of the worst case scenario and it doesn’t happen then anything else isn’t going to be anywhere near as bad. It’s something I am working on, but I’ve only come to realise it recently when speaking to my therapist. All I am doing is upsetting myself when what I should be doing is just focusing on what I need to and whatever happens, happens. So long as no one dies or is badly injured then it’ll be grand.

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years

I’ve included the article by Psychology Today that gives a perfect example of what catastrophic thinking is and what to do. You can read the article by clicking, here. The link will open in a new tab so you don’t need to worry about leaving the page.

11. I Can’t Help Everyone

I beat myself up about this all the time, especially when it comes to the job I want to do when I’m done with university. I want to work in the sex crimes unit of the NCA or PSNI in Northern Ireland. Sometimes I get so frustrated that I’m not done with university yet and doing my dream job, but it’s something I really need to come to terms with before I go into it. I’ll watch documentaries on human trafficking, sex crimes, or more recently there was a documentary on Netflix called, I Am Jane Doe. I remember watching it and just wishing I could do more than just report the dirty pedophiles on Twitter. 

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years

It’s the same in my personal life, if I miss a call or message from one of my lads (friends not specifically all lads) telling me they need help or advice and they end up not telling me what’s wrong I feel awful for the rest of the day for not being there for them. I never try to counsel my friends because whilst I have a counselling qualification, I know where I stand and I know when to step back. However, I do try and give advice if I can, and I am 90% there when they need me day or night.

I need to stop being so hard on myself when it comes to missing people. I don’t mind taking on other people’s problems, or my lads coming to me for advice. It doesn’t bother me the way it might get others down. I know things about people I don’t even know that well, people that have messaged me on Twitter or Reddit asking for help, it’s just when I miss those things that I feel like a total dickhead for not being there. 

12. I’m not Normal and that’s okay

What I mean by this is that I don’t think the way others do and it’s a product of my childhood and how I learned to cope. I’m desensitised to a lot of things that would cause people to turn away, stop reading, or start crying (maybe all three). When I read news stories like that of Baby P (a toddler in the UK that was horribly neglected before dying of his injuries), Baby Doe from Opelika I don’t get upset, I get frustrated and angry that the law is so shit and we don’t have capital punishment. 

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Da fuckkkk is wrong wit chu?

I have ridiculous social anxiety when on nights out. Instead of getting panic attacks, I just become so moody because I hate it that I’m so weird. My friends are well aware of it now and don’t pass comment, but there were times when I’d be asked why I was being so fucking weird and not joining in. I don’t like to be the centre of attention, and often I’ll be the one sitting quietly unless I’m in a group of people I know really well. This goes for family too, my partner finds it so weird that I don’t visit my parents or family as much as I should, but I just sit there and don’t say anything because, well, I don’t really have anything to say. Surprising, because I can fucking talk for Ireland other times.

13. My Gut is ALWAYS Right

In every single situation, it’s like my granda is giving me advice from the afterlife and I need to listen to it. Every single time my gut has been right, if something doesn’t feel right then I need to get out of that situation pronto because there is a reason for it. I need to listen to it more and not just in situations I shouldn’t be in, but when I eat carbs and know I’m going to be constipated and bloated for the next fucking millennium despite my brain and stomach saying, “lad your fine eat those carbs”.

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years

14. It’s Okay to Have a Drink When I Want To

I went teetotal in 2018 and didn’t really look back. I had no urge to drink, didn’t want to drink and knew I didn’t need a drink to build up the confidence to do things. Whilst I was never an alcoholic, I did go through a period in 2009 where I could sink two bottles of wine a night if I wanted.  I began drinking at around 16 (sorry dad), I could sink em’.

You may be thinking, typical Irish, well… there was my mates and boyfriends (ex’s) drink limit and then there was mine. The most I remember drinking was 24 bottles of Magners in one night (small bottles not that it makes it any better). I never, ever got hangovers, ever and was really lucky I couldn’t get drunk. I’d get a bit tipsy, but I’d never get to the state of drunkness where the room would spin or I’d be in a serious state. My biological mother was an alcoholic from her late teens, see the issue here? 

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Nick Offerman – Forever my spirit animal

I went totally cold turkey which was fine, as I had majorly cut down since my teenage years and 2009. You know when you just fancy a glass of wine or a takeaway? Well, if I started craving a glass of wine, tequila or Magners I’d freak out and get really pissed off at myself. When I moved house recently I had one glass of red wine and I beat myself up so bad about it. There’s nothing wrong with the odd glass and it doesn’t mean I’m going to turn into an alcoholic, my catastrophic thinking at it’s best here.

15. I’ll Be A Good Mum

I never wanted kids, ever since I was a small child I told my dad I’d never have kids. I wanted a career, at the time I wanted to be a Social Worker. When I met my husband, I told him bluntly there would be no children entering my womb and he needed to be okay with it just being me and him and probably a million rescue dogs. Even after my first miscarriage, my words to my dad were, “You can’t miss what you didn’t know you had”. My dad thought I was just handling it well, the truth was I genuinely meant that and was relieved I wasn’t going to be a mum. 

A Mother's Love: My Childhood Abuse Survival Story
Photo Credit to Nazarenko Andrii

By the time my second miscarriage happened, I was devastated. I had all this deep seeded shit from my childhood, being told I wasn’t good enough, that I was selfish and didn’t deserve happiness, that I genuinely believed I didn’t deserve to have a little mini human love me. If you saw me with my dogs you’d think I was insane, I treat (ed for Honey) them like they are my children. For some mad reason, kids love me, my little cousins (even Karla that I tormented as a toddler, sorry kid), my friend’s kids’, my godchildren, and I never understood why. 

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
My future spawn running over my second husband for life insurance money

I won’t just be a good mum, I’ll be an amazing mum and I’ll be nothing like the woman that gave birth to me.

16. Everyone’s a Critic

And being billy big bollocks and giving them shit is only going to fuel their trolling fires. It’s better to report and block and not name and shame as much as I want to. It’s a sad state of affairs that in 2019 I have to apologise for sharing a joke sent to me by a friend about a mental health condition that I suffer from, myself. 

17. People May Not Like You and That’s Okay

I can name those people, on one hand, at least those I know about and usually the feeling is totally mutual. I used to be so wrapped up in everyone liking me and being the liked one. I figured out this was down to the whole childhood thing, I used to get that awful feeling that’s so hard for me to describe, my gut would feel like it had dropped to my feet and I felt hot all over. I don’t get this feeling often and realised it must be the shame, shame that someone was bitching at me or being nasty and embarrassing me (usually online). I hated that feeling and avoided it at all costs by trying to be friends with everyone. But, you know what? It’s okay, it’s fine if people don’t like you and whilst you may think they don’t have a reason to (like my hatred for Kylie and Ricky) it’s fine because there is always going to be someone, somewhere that loves you for you. 

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Why does Brain look so familiar, though?

18. Get Rid of Toxic People

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Brain is such a wee ball-bag isn’t he? I loved them both.

This happened quite recently actually. I’m still in the process of figuring out who really needs to go and who needs to stay. It’s hard to let go of relationships that you’ve held with people, especially if you have known them for years. I saw a quote just today that said, “You need to start saying to yourself, is this going to benefit the positive journey I am on?” It was bang to rights, the toxic people aren’t going to benefit the journey I am on, or the positive future I hope to have so they need to go. It feels like a weight has been lifted when it’s done and I highly recommend it.

19. I’m More Creative Than I Think

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Thanks, Kris – feel free to leave me a couple of mill in your will.

For those of you new here or those that don’t know, I am currently writing a book. I was sent an email from an excellent publishing agency recently that really enjoyed my book. The email couldn’t have come at a better time, I was feeling very shitty about my blog, the book, and just my overall creative side. I never thought I was very creative, this came from having a low self -esteem from childhood (for obvious reasons). So it was amazing to see my hard work finally paying off. All I need now is for Maltesers or Ben & Jerry’s to love me enough to send me free chocolate ice cream (and chocolate) to get me through the rest of uni, writing this book and keeping the blog going.

31 Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
AHHHHH! I cried when I read this

20. Making Peace with the Past

To able to move forward I need to make peace with my past and everything that has happened to allow me to move on to a positive future and a new life. I’ve found this tough as I don’t feel ready to forgive my biological mother for the things she has done, but at the same time, I don’t want to be angry at her. I just want to forget her and move on.

21. Not Being a Prisoner of the Past

Never be a prisoner of your past. It was just a lesson, not a life sentence. – Unknown

How true is that?! I’ve been doing a lot of reading of quotes recently during my weekly Pinterest pin spree. I suppose this is similar to above, but for me, it resonated so deeply. I don’t have to remain a prisoner of my past or allow my mental health to control every aspect of my life. It’s an important quote to remember.

22. Work Isn’t Everything

I was a work alcoholic before I got really sick with my PTSD. I had worked my way up very quickly in the HR field, but that came with a lot of responsibility and a lot of stress. I’d have my work mobile on me 24/7, answering emails, texts and calls at all hours. Sometimes I’d still be working at 3 am, did I get any thanks for it? Did I fuck! I ended up feeling so worn out and pissed off with HR that I wanted to leave it. I took a career break last year and I’m determined to never go back, I wanted to help people. HR is all for the business and what the business needs, anyone that tells you any different is a liar. I wanted to be about the employees, they need help and advice. So much so that I now help people with work-related problems for a very small fee. This is anything from employment law advice, careers advice, CV and cover letter creation and taking on employee relations cases. 

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years
Yup… it’s fantastic!

My most recent case was my cousin, he had been unfairly dismissed from his job. I went through the whole investigation and disciplinary process and tore it to shreds (verbally and in written form). My cousin was reinstated after I forced him to appeal the decision to dismiss him, he used the information I gave him for the meeting, the letters I wrote for him and he had 24/7 support from me and a good friend of mine to get him through it. If you ever need any help just give me a shout.

23. I Do Have a Purpose in Life

Another thing I’ve reflected on, what is my purpose in life? Is it to go through what I have in order to educate others? Was it to rescue my two rescue dogs? Was it to make life difficult for my da? (lol, sorry da) Or, was it just to help people in general?

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years
I see what you did there and I’m here for it

I do a lot of journal writing and I firmly believe my purpose here is to help people. Whether it’s the kids I counselled in the NSPCC as a Childline Counsellor, whether it’s my dream job in the PSNI, becoming a mum, through my blog or just generally being there to help others. I believe that is my purpose in life and it made me excited for the first time in a very long time.

24. Hard Work WILL Pay Off

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years

For me, this is working hard on my blog and my book so I can do this full time, I’d love to be able to go back to uni full time to do my degree instead of using the Open University. It means I wouldn’t need to worry about finding a job or worry about money because I’d have royalties coming in. I’m continuing to work hard on both and trying to ensure my blog is open to everyone. For me it’s not really about the money where my blog is concerned, it’s about educating people and removing the stigma from mental health conditions.

25. Loss Will Last a Lifetime, Time Isn’t a Healer

With that being said I was watching a video that Tati Westbrook had put up talking about assumptions. She said something like, “When do you get rid of loss? Never, but you fill your life with joy to overcome the sadness.” that isn’t her exact quote, but you get the idea. Last year and the year before I suffered quite a significant amount of loss, from my beautiful 16-year-old dog, Honey, my miscarriage and losing my grandad who was my hero. I also found out what really happened to the uncle I wrote about in a previous blog post and it was like I was going through that loss all over again.

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years
Did you know Snape was really a single mother with 3 children?

Life is so short and Tati is right, the loss is something you deal with your whole life. It’s important to make your life as happy as possible and to rid yourself of anything causing negativity and upset. Surround yourself with happiness and do a lot of self-care especially if you have a mental health condition.

26. You are Born with No Money and You Die with No Money

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years
When you’re a broke ass bitch

People are so tied up with money, it’s a necessary evil and people will literally murder people they are supposed to love for money and greed. One of the things I have learned over the years is that you enter this world with no money (literally, you don’t come out of the womb with a purse) and when you die you die with no money because you no longer have a need for it.

27. People Will Lie and there is Nothing You Can Do About It

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years
What we should do to liars, but we rise above.

I see this a lot, especially on social media. From lying about their lives on Instagram to bitching and lying about other people. I used to get so angry at these types of people because I knew the truth, but after a while, I come to realise there was no point in saying anything or getting frustrated. I knew the truth and so did others and the people that made up these lies obviously have low self-esteem or are jealous. Karma is a bitch.

28. Be Flexible With Your Goals, It’s Okay To Change Your Mind

My career goals have changed, I was so determined to be a Social Worker and I worked very hard to study for it. Then I attended a lecture on the Baby P case and I knew that I couldn’t do it,  I would end up in jail for beating people up. I then fell into HR and stayed there 12 years, in the beginning, I loved it, but towards the end, I was so turned off to it. I’ve always had an interest in true crime and joining the police force. I should have done my degree in psychology and criminology (separate degree) years ago.

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years
^ What he said ^

Someone said to me I was just going through phases and it was ridiculous to keep changing careers. I began to feel really shitty about my life choices and that this person was right. Truth is, they aren’t. It’s okay to change your mind in your career, it’s okay to change jobs and it’s okay to not be sure. Not everyone wants a career and that’s okay too. It’s not for other people to comment on your life choices as it’s your life.

29. Karma is a Bitch, Every Action Has a Reaction

There is so much negativity in this world. I was speaking to a very good friend of mine last night about this. I fully believe that the more negative you put into the world the more it’ll come back to you in the tenfold. My friend totally agrees that’s the case and it’s something I work hard on. As much as I am a wee gobshite (I’m really working on it) I also know I have a good heart and I just want people to be happy and safe.

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years
Karma at it’s finest

I want others who are negative to be more accepting of others and to understand that there is a stigma surrounding certain things such as mental health and homelessness that just doesn’t need to be there. I used to think that fighting back was the right thing to do, but then that’s me drawing myself into a negative space. I believe fully in karma and that every action as a reaction. I’ve been working on apologising to anyone I think I may have ever hurt in any way shape or form and it’s been good to do that and I’ve felt a weight lifted.

30. Your Dad and Non-Biological Mum Will Love You No Matter What

I’ve put my parents through some shit over the years, from being a dirty wee smoker as a teenager, underage drinking with an attitude to boot. To my most recent suicide attempt, being very introverted and just being a pain in the ass (in my opinion). I can be very, VERY difficult to get to know when I want to be. I’m used to sitting in silence and being on my own a lot as that’s what my childhood was until I hit high school and even then there would be nights I’d choose silence and isolation than friends and boyfriends. 

No matter what I’ve ever said or done, there is nothing I could possibly do that would ever make my parents decide to say, “fuck it I’m done with you”. As I have gotten older I have come to realise how horrible it must have been for my non-biological mum to be around me at times. I was so brainwashed by the demon that I couldn’t see how my refusal to speak to her, to get to know her and to be a decent daughter to her could really hurt her.

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years

I’ve said before how incredible my mum is. She is the nicest woman I’ve ever met, she absolutely dotes on my dad (who is also a wee dote). They are very in love, even after all those years together and they just have such a happy, simple wee life together. It’s something I want for myself and they’re excellent role models. They have their little weekend drink and the rest of the week is focused on work and keeping fit. They have a good circle of friends, everyone loves them and my friends will all tell you how good they are.

I’m so lucky to finally have two amazing parents, and I’ve done a lot of apologising to my mum and telling her how much I love her and making sure she knows it. She knows I have issues with females, especially in a maternal way, and she knows it takes a lot for me to share how I feel for fear of getting hurt, but she has never given up and after 22 years it’s paying off, finally.

31. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

We all do it, every single one of us. We all wish we had a house like so and so, a car like so and so, or kids and a bank account like so and so. There are all these tags nowadays, #relationshipgoals, #homegoals and so on. They are used out of context most of the time as people have no intention of trying to get that life, but they wish they had it. There is no point comparing your life to someone else’s because all you see is what is on the other side of the screen. You don’t see behind the photos, videos or successes.

31 Things I've Learned in 31 Years
claps loudly in the corner

It’s the same with blogs, as tight-knit as the blogging community is, there are others who don’t write as well or engage with the community that get these big breaks and all of a sudden your newsfeed is filled up with bloggers bitching about said person. I’ve kept my mouth pretty shut (for a change) when it comes to the green-eyed monster. Yes, I would love to be able to do my blog full-time and get paid for it, but if it doesn’t happen then that’s okay, too.

Well, that was a pill and a half. It’s worth it to read it back and see how far I have come from that sick little baby to the grown ass woman I am now. Don’t forget to go read Lorna’s post, follow Ross and tell them both I sent you.

I’m sorry I’ve been so lazy with the blog recently, but with uni and writing this novel it’s taking up more time than I thought it would. I have 20 drafts saved that I really need to just post up, it’s just all the social media marketing that comes along with the blog side of things that takes up a million years and I don’t have the patience for it at the moment. My Instagram is literally full of pictures of me procrastinating, food, me buying stuff I don’t need and it’s about the only social media channel I have that’s totally up to date. If you don’t follow me already, you can follow me, here.

I’d love to see your own versions of this post and what you’ve learned in your lifetime. A special thanks, again to Lorna for giving me the inspiration for this post. Don’t forget to check her out.

Until next time,

Life Lessons: 31 Life Lessons I've Learned in 31 Years
Pin Me!

Hey did you know I have a true crime blog? If you love all things true crime then you should go check it out! It’s called The Missing & The Lost, you might recognise a few cases from ones I had once covered here. Click here to find out more.

If you are looking for some recipes to quell your hunger then you should click here.

For all things related to mental health, sexuality, self-love, loss and grief, learning more about me and who I am and for everything else, click here.




Leave a Reply

Comments (48)

  • Samantha

    March 28, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    It’s fun to go back and see what you have learned through life! Thanks for sharing! Love all the GIFS too 🙂

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 28, 2019 at 5:46 pm

      I think I got a bit carried away with the GIFs Samantha lol!! I love a good GIF, though!

  • katie davies

    March 28, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    what a fab entertaining and fascinating post i too often think of the what ifs great read thanks

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 28, 2019 at 5:45 pm

      Thanks for reading Katie!

  • Tara

    March 28, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Ok, you are my long lost twin. I’m very sorry you suffered a miscarriage. I can’t imagine. Any woman that can overcome that is a bad ass!

    Now, my humor can easily scare people. Oops, I find it funny and they are like WTF Tara.

    Books, I’ve read some pretty darn interesting books this year. Based on your personality, I think you may enjoy a few too.

    We need to connect.

  • Raluca

    March 28, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Such a great idea, loved this list, especially how it starts, with a ‘disturbing sense of humour’ :))

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 28, 2019 at 5:42 pm

      Thanks Raluca! Seriously though, so glad Whatsapp is encrypted lol!

  • wander women abroad

    March 28, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    you are spot on ! thank you for sharing these nuggets of wisdom

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 28, 2019 at 10:45 pm

      Thank you!

  • Mama Maggie’s Kitchen

    March 28, 2019 at 9:37 pm

    Wow! You’ve learned so much. Thank you for sharing this. This is so inspiring.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:09 pm

      Thank you so much. I can’t wait to see what other people cover on their own posts. I think posts like these are always good food for thought xx

  • Everydaydonia

    March 28, 2019 at 10:16 pm

    Thats a lot to take in, sorry about your miscarriage its a hard thing to go through. And you ahd awesome GIFs thanks for sharing things about yourself.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:08 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  • Calleigh | The Fork bite

    March 28, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    There are so many great lessons we all learn from life either bad or good. Life is all about the journey and less about the destination. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:07 pm

      Thank you for reading Calleigh! I can only imagine what a post like this will look like when I’m 61, haha!

  • danielle

    March 29, 2019 at 12:54 am

    Haha this was great! I am 32 and I can relate so so much. Thanks for sharing!

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:07 pm

      Thanks Danielle!

  • Rhonda Sachs Albom

    March 29, 2019 at 10:13 am

    It concerned me how much I related to most of these. A terrible sense of humour, the ability to procrastinate for hours… yep, this is me. I’m sorry for your miscarriage. That must have been very difficult.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:06 pm

      Thank you Rhonda, procrastination is far easier these days now we have all this technology! I’m starting a new audible book on focus so keep an eye out as I’ll probably do a review on it.

  • Yeah Lifestyle

    March 29, 2019 at 12:08 pm

    I find posts like this really interesting – it is alway nice to see the lessons people have learned as they’ve made their way through life.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:05 pm

      Thank you for reading! I agree, I loved Lorna’s post so it really inspired me to do my own.

  • Catherine Santiago Jose

    March 29, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    This is such a fun and very enjoyable article to read. For me, it is so nice to look back and to know those things that you’ve learned base on your experiences.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:05 pm

      I agree Catherine, it was nice to look back to see what I’ve overcame, but at the same time reflect on what I have learned.

  • Melissa Dixon

    March 29, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    I am excited to see how much we have in common despite the fact that both of us have been anything but normal for our lives. I love to learn too and am excited about finding your blog, I am going to check out some other posts.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks so much Melissa! We need to connect, drop me an email ( and I’ll pass along my number xox

  • kumamonjeng

    March 29, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    Glad to learn about your journey and I agree to those points. Very inspring and motivating post. My favorite point from your list is stop comparing with others.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you! Yeah we really all need to stop doing that, I think it makes us way more self critical than we need to be xo

  • Surekha Busa

    March 29, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage, it was so nice that you could handle yourself always, you are so inspiring.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you so much Sureka that means so much.

  • Sara Welch

    March 29, 2019 at 7:44 pm

    Sounds like you have learned a lot about yourself! I felt like I learned who I was once I entered my thirties; it can take a long time to find yourself sometimes!

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      That’s really reassuring to know, I wasn’t looking forward to my 30’s but starting to embrace it now I don’t have a choice lol.

  • Beth Pierce

    March 29, 2019 at 8:19 pm

    You are very self aware! That is an awesome trait to have!

    1. justabelfastgirl

      March 29, 2019 at 9:11 pm

      Thank you, Beth!

  • Chelle Dizon

    March 29, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. Welcome to adulting stage haha. I enjoyed reading your list, it seems like I can relate to all of them.

  • Angie Scheie

    March 30, 2019 at 3:10 am

    I’m so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I’ve been there and it’s so hard. You sound like you have such a great perspective on life and 31 is young! Enjoy it all!

    1. justabelfastgirl

      April 7, 2019 at 11:48 pm

      Thank you so much, Angie!

  • Alexandra Cook

    March 30, 2019 at 8:53 am

    In my past 28 years, I have learnes so much too but not like you. I have different life when I was a teen and in my 20’s. What I loved most was I learned to be independent.

  • Catherine

    March 30, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    It’s always interesting to take a moment and reflect on the lessons you’ve learned. May heartbreak make us stronger and more compassionate going forward. Bless you!

  • Sudipa

    March 30, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    Good to know about you and the GIFs are funny

  • dearmummyblog

    March 30, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    My grandma grew up in the troubles in Northern Ireland and my mummy had to develop a thick skin while living there and going to school as well after moving around a lot, so we get this x Sounds like you are stronger than you realise x

    1. justabelfastgirl

      April 7, 2019 at 11:48 pm

      Thank you, I’m so glad we’re past The Troubles now and it’s a more open and welcoming environment xo

  • Jasmine – LoveLifeLaughMotherhood

    March 31, 2019 at 4:40 am

    my music is incrediblhy varied too. I can from from Drake to STP to the Killers without batting an eye

  • Lisa @ Midwest Glam

    March 31, 2019 at 8:26 am

    What a fun post! I’m a catastrophic thinker too. And that Michael Scott gif is fitting lol.

    1. justabelfastgirl

      April 7, 2019 at 11:47 pm

      It really is, Lisa lol!

  • Vivienne

    April 1, 2019 at 4:20 am

    It’s fun to sit down and write out what you’ve rediscovered about yourself! I also think most of us procrastinate waaaaaay too much lol

  • Amy

    April 2, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    Love this post, felt myself being able to relate right through, especially when it comes to not pleasing everyone and letting go of toxic people!

    1. justabelfastgirl

      April 2, 2019 at 10:34 pm

      Thanks Amy! I’m glad you could relate to it. It’s crazy to look back over the past 31 years. I don’t feel 31 and certainly don’t act it lol.

  • NPC

    April 4, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    I too have a crazy and diverse musical taste. I like many genres! You’ve definitely learned a lot!

What are your thoughts on this post?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous Post

Netflix & Binge: 5 Netflix Shows You Need to See

March 18, 2019

Next Post

My Go-To Hair Products for Dry, Damaged & Coloured Hair

Hair Care - My Go-To Hair Products for Dry, Damaged & Coloured Hair

March 29, 2019

%d bloggers like this: