Life lessons I learned – the hard way


The rollercoaster of everyday life, we go through highs, we go through lows. Besides starting out in my career, the last couple of years have been a whirlwind of events, travels, emotions, places and unfortunately loss. Not all have been easy, yet every single one of them worth it, except maybe the loss part. That I could have done without. Not that I think I have all the wisdom at hand, but thought to share some of the things I, especially in the last 2 years, have learned. Over time, here’s what I’ve picked up:

  1. Leave no stone unturned. Keep on digging. Keep on asking. If you want to know something, ask about or for it. If something’s unclear, say it. Keep hunting. If you ask enough times, people will answer truthfully. May that be your mom, sister, doctor or lecturer. I feel doctor’s are the worst with their jargon, so if it’s unclear ask them to explain in baby-language. The truth isn’t easy to uncover, and most often it’s a hard reality. But it’s better than not knowing.

  2. It’s ok to be a bedside granny and knit on weekends. You don’t have to be wasted 2 nights out of the weekend or 4 out of the week (those were the studenttimes). You don’t need to parade around town to PR events, dinners or fashion ‘things’. You don’t need to do the standard social call to friends or your mom if you don’t feel like it. Tell people you don’t like to hang out in grungy, nasty, smelly clubs. Tell ‘m you’re not in the mood for fake socializing. Instead, invite them over to your cozy cabana. They too, like to much rather sit on the veranda and drink grade A grapes. So, do the things you actually want to do. And when it comes to dancing. Do it in your sweatpants or knickers through your own hallway.
    Also, knitting is awesome, and even profitable!

  3. Collect photographs yourself, rather than Pins. Collect a friendgroup across the world, rather than on Facebook. Collect miles rather than shoes. Those cheap tickets you’re doubting about aren’t screaming for a reason, those need to be bought.

  4. Stop buying shoes.

  5. If things or people have a negative energy around them, ‘STEP AWAY FROM THE VEHICLE’. Don’t keep downers in your life. If they keep you up at night, in a bad way (not the sexy kind of bad), eliminate them. It’s simply not worth it. They‘re not worth it. It’s harsh, but will make you’re life a lot clearer. Ex-partners? You’re better off without them. Friendships that have faded? Remember and savour the good times. Insecure girls that won’t allow your male friends to hang out with you? Sod off then. And the worst: people that inflict pain and cruelty on you, both psychological and physical. Leave. Run! None of these people deserve your presence to start with. Even if that’s family. Toxic people are huge distractions and stress-inducers that you just don’t need in your life.
    Eliminate the bad. Focus on your relationships that are about love and positivity. Share your vibes with people who care, actually care. You’re only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with. 

  6. Seek balance in life. Work & Leisure. Family & Friends vs. Me-time. Sugar & Exercise. Wine & Water. I try tried to do everything all the time, which ultimately snaps back like a boomerang. So, balance.

  7. Rise from the Ashes. Like a flaming Phoenix. Yes, we need some sass! Everyone is bound to hit a rough patch in their life. The difference between torment and triumph is how you deal with a situation.
    It doesn’t help to crawl into a corner and shrivel up. Sure it feels good, but only for a little while. But then pick yourself up and stand tall again. Even in dark times try to take care of your health and happiness, as weird as that might seem to the outside world. Let other people judge you, they’re not you. Go through your break-up, grief or loss. Let it wash over and then get back up. Thrive through your tears. Move on.

  8. One of the most heartbreaking, sad yet unbelievably beautiful and true things my dad ever told me was ‘you come alone, and you go alone’. It was at a time I had disappointed him incredibly and even then he tried to help me.
    Obviously people matter in your life. Love is there for the taking. Love will be present. Friends, Family, Lovers. It comes with pleasure, comfort, joy, but also pain and loss. But ultimately it start and ends with you. Not one person in your life will be able to dictate your life, except you. Not one person in your life will be ‘blamable’ for things that did or didn’t happen, except you. No one person has to live in your skin, except you. No one person will need your love more, than you. Don’t become dependable of other people, be in charge of your own decisions. Be your own person, be comfortable and be able to look yourself in the mirror. Be content and in love with just you. The rest is there to enjoy from.
    For me, this one is the hardest and most important. I have no good tips on how to get there yet. But I’m happy I’m trying.

  9. Hone your powerposes.

  1. Just because you’re a girl, you’ll have to fight twice as hard to get there. It’s unfair, but it’s true. Every move you make will be followed through a looking glass. You wil get many many more comments on your proffesional and personal behaviour than your male counter parts. I’ts challenging. But it also gives you great power and options. If anything, your horizon is unlimited. There aren’t that many women that have been able to pave the way yet (not discreting those that have so far). So you might as well uncover some hidden gems.

  2. Change and learning is supposed to be uncomfortable. If you’re comfortable, you think you know it all. It’s uncomfortable to stand in front of 300 people talking about your work. It’s uncomfortable to write on the internet filled with trolls. It’s uncomfortable to tell someone you love them, miss them or break up with them. It’s uncomfortable to speak Spanish with your bare minimum skills in a country where no-one speaks English. This is the life of learning. Put yourself out there. If you’re comfortable you’re not doing it. Neither right nor wrong, you’re just in static motion. Break the mold and break away from your comforts. While you’re at it, do it like a Phoenix. 

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