My birthday is coming up. I’m turning 26. Alternatively, if you’re a parent who refuses to refer to the age of your child in a year format, this little princess will be 312 months old. I’ve packed quite a bit into my years on this planet and have decided there are a few things that I won’t be doing as I enter into my 26th year on Earth.
I am often the person that people come to for advice and hard truths. I enjoy it. I really, really do. However, it is difficult to shine a light back onto yourself and take stock of the way you live your own life. I can recognise that it is a work in progress; I am a work in progress. Spending too much time focusing on things that aren’t really important is a habit I am trying to break.
With all of this in mind, it seemed only natural to create a guide for myself. A reminder of just how capable I am to change the course of the parts of my life that are actually controlled by me.
People have bucket lists right? Things they want to have managed to do or achieve before they die. Well this is more about enriching my existence by quitting the things that aren’t adding to my life. I’m going to call this my ‘Fuck It Right Off’ list. Things that I refuse to do, or spend any energy or time on going forward. A spring clean for my mind, body and soul.
- Stop smoking. Just stop doing it. It’s gross, expensive and killing you. Besides, there are better things you could be doing with your hands.
- Stop staying in bed all day on your days off. Go outside and enjoy the city you’ve been aching to live in for the last 10 years. Your pity party has officially ended.
- Stop comparing yourself to celebrities and strangers on social media. It’s unhealthy and unproductive. You know how great you are, stop letting images and societies beauty standards ruin your self-esteem.
- Stop wondering why they haven’t messaged you back or aren’t invested. It’s because they don’t want to be. Move on.
- Stop investing your time trying to fix people, they are who they are. You can’t change them and you shouldn’t want to. Accept people completely or don’t bother with them at all. You can’t love someone while punishing them for who they are.
- Stop trying to find a way to help everyone get along. It’s not going to happen. It is their shit to deal with, not yours.
- Stop pretending good friends say hurtful things. They don’t. Also, stop being the friend that says hurtful things. It’s not funny or ironic and you are not an asshole, so quit it.
- Stop making all of your decisions based on what other people need or want from you. Since when did your desires come second to everyone else’s?
- Stop looking for validation from strangers. What they think of you is none of your business and is most likely bullshit anyway. You know who you are. Believe it.
- Stop asking for permission to be yourself. Just get on with it.
- Stop apologising for the things you believe in. Not everyone is going to agree and that is okay but stand firm with whatever your heart is trying to tell you.
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself when things don’t turn out the way you thought they would. Some days are going to be shit, some days are going to be bliss. Be grateful you’re here to experience any of it at all.
- Stop pretending you’re okay all the time. It is actually okay to admit that you are vulnerable and sad occasionally. You can take off the cape and have a rest from being Super Woman whenever you want.
- Stop waiting for someone to come and save you. You are not a damsel in distress. You’ve got this. Since when did you need anyone to fight your battles or fix your mistakes?
- Stop chasing people. Family, relationships, friendships. The people you invest your time in should recognise your worth and want to be in your life. Period.
- Stop avoiding hard conversations. Communication is important. If you have something to say, say it. Fill your life with people who actually want to hear what you have to say so you can take comfort in knowing you are heard and understood.
- Stop living a chaotic life. Clear space; clear mind.
- Stop running away when shit gets real, hard or exhausting. If you care about it, hold on tight and figure it out.
- Stop making excuses for shitty behaviour. If it doesn’t make you feel good. Don’t do it, don’t torture yourself. What is there to gain from being the babe who is losing herself by just playing along with someone else’s game?
- Stop using exhaustion as an excuse for eating badly and not exercising. Find time, nourish yourself and take care of the vessel you’ve been blessed with.
- Stop allowing yourself to be devoured by drama. You’re no longer in high-school. The time for jealousy, fake friendships and bullshit is through. A good tribe should support, love and guide. Be what you need.
- Stop carrying around emotional baggage and regrets while picking at the wounds of past relationships. There is no reason why you can’t allow yourself to actually heal. When you do, you may find that life will surprise you.
- Stop trusting the wrong people with your heart. Protect yourself while remaining open enough to recognise when it is time to be brave.
- Stop forcing yourself into situations that don’t feel comfortable for someone else’s benefit. Know your boundaries and respect that confidence is the only thing standing between you and living the life you deserve.
- Stop ignoring your instincts. Your gut knows whats up before you do. Trust it.
- Stop saying no to great opportunities because you are afraid of failure or rejection. You’ve done some incredible shit. Be proud of everything you’ve achieved and know that this is just the beginning.
Being honest and brave enough to destroy your insecurities while challenging yourself to create the life you crave can be scary but necessary. Now that I’ve managed to deliver my own hard truths to and for myself, I feel stronger. It is time to say goodbye to anything that doesn’t feel right, time to fuck everything off that isn’t actually serving my life in a positive and fulfilling way. I know that as I smash into the next year of my life, I’m prepared and willing to give it all I’ve got.