On Saturday I turn 28! I’m pretty excited about it. Even though I’m inching my way out of my 20’s and onto my 30’s, it’s exhilarating to think of the new chapter ahead. New adventures, life lessons, friendships await. I tend to be a future thinker and I’ve been contemplating what I want to accomplish before I turn 30, but I think with any significant (or non-significant) milestone, it’s important to have perspective. To look at where you have come, rejoice in the things you have accomplished while thinking of future goals and aspirations.
So while it’s easier for me to dream up my goals and aspirations for the future, today I want to focus on 5 things I have learned so far in my twenties.
1. You can’t be friends with everyone, and that’s okay.
In my early twenties I desperately tried to fit in with every situation and person I met, but as I result I would lose myself a little bit in the process. I was such a people pleaser, and this made it harder to find out who I really was, because I changed who I was, depending on who I was around. Now in my late twenties, I have learnt that it’s okay to be authentic. The more comfortable I’ve become with myself, the better friend I’ve been able to be and that kind of vulnerability has made for even deeper connections.
2. You can’t do everything. Focus on doing a few things really well.
When I started my photography business, I was photographing families, newborns, children, events, engagements, weddings and also offering graphic design services. Phew! It makes me exhausted just writing that. I realised in my mid twenties, that I LOVED weddings, engagements and working with couples. I didn’t need to offer any of those other things. As a result, I focus on what I love to do and specialise in Weddings. It’s undoubtedly made my business stronger.
3. Comparison is the thief of joy.
To be honest I still sometimes struggle with this, but I’ve made a conscience effort to avoid comparing myself. I no longer follow other wedding photographers work on Facebook or look at their blogs. I will still look at my photographer friends blogs and websites, but now I will do so with intention and make sure I praise and encourage them by leaving a comment on their work. It’s great to be inspired by others, but for me I need to do it when I’m in the right headspace to avoid the nasty comparison-itis. When I focus on my own business and work, I get so much more done and avoid the trap of unproductive comparison. Create > Consume.
4. Practice moderation when consuming pop culture/media.
I have realised that information you consume online and on the news is normally made up of the 5% of extreme view, the other 95% atcually occurs in the silent middle ground, where the rest of the people are. I realised I was paying too much attention to what the news and media was telling me, and it didn’t help that I was pretty gullible in general! If I took the news as gospel I would think conspiracy rules the world, people are trying to rip you off, steal from you or hurt you. Sam and I have recently gotten rid of our TV (!) but we don’t miss it. I don’t pay attention to the news anymore. You might think I’m living in ignorance, but I still hear about the important things, and the things I don’t need to know about – I don’t know about. Our lives have become less stressful and more relaxed as a result.
5. Get your priorities sorted.
When I was building my business, it’s literally all I thought about. It would consume me! I was neglecting my faith, my family and friendships. Now, instead of checking my emails and social media before I’ve gotten out of bed, I am learning to start my day right, to prioritise what matters most to me. I’ve written a post on my morning routine here.
What advice would you give to your 20 year old self? Or maybe your 30 year old self? I would love to know!
Image above photo credit: Fiona Anderson