50 things I learned by 50

50 things I learned by 50

OMG it’s my birthday this month and it’s a big ‘un. To make me feel better, I wrote this list of 50 things I learned by 50. You know… in case it’s helpful.

  1. Chase an exciting life, not money.
  2. Curly, frizzy hair is still (most definitely) good hair.
  3. Being productive and achieving, even the smallest of things, makes me happy.
  4. Adulting is something that happens to other people.
  5. Learning to be happy in your own company means you won’t end up with someone who treats you badly (you’ll know that your own company is always better than bad company).
  6. Getting comfortable with rejection (try rejection therapy) gives you the balls to put yourself out there.
  7. Having the balls to put yourself out there makes life waaaaay more interesting.
  8. Being willing to date men who are shorter than you also makes like waaaaay more interesting!
  9. Being a step mum is actually way more rewarding and fun than you might at first think (love ma Cool Kids).
  10. I’m not for everyone and that’s cool, I wasn’t meant to be.
  11. And hey, don’t date people using age, height, weight, nationality, ethnicity as a guide, date people using their values, their vibe, their energy as a guide instead. If I’m going to get all mumbo jumbo on yo ass, …ask yourself if they vibrate on the same level as you?
  12. While I’m on the topic of mumbo jumbo stuff, I think I’ve finally got what meditation is about and why people rave about it – it’s about seeing your thoughts as simply that, just thoughts.  You are not your thoughts.
  13. Also – Russell Brand – how did that happen? Am I the only one is surprised and amazed at who he is now? I love new Russell (although I can’t believe I just wasted a go on him).
  14. My idea of success was always different to other people’s ideas of success – engagement, marriage, babies, house in the ‘burbs, cars, matching three piece suites – and I thought it made me weird, but now I know that redefining my own personal idea of success has in fact helped me become truly happy (although it still makes me weird).
  15. You’re as hot as you think you are. Yasss! (So aim high!)
  16. Therapy is something everyone should invest in at some point in their life. (If I had to choose just one thing from this list – this would be it).
  17. Make fear your bitch. (I’m not actually sure what that means but it sounded good at the time).
  18. Being creative is good for the soul. And business.
  19. Portrait photography is about making a connection with someone and building on that.
  20. Online dating is about making a connection with someone and building on that.
  21. Kindness is cool. The coolest thing. It really doesn’t seem like it would be at first, but it is.
  22. Look for the good in people even when you don’t want to. Everyone has a story, it’s just that with most people we don’t know their whole story and so it’s easy to judge them harshly.
  23. That said, steer clear of overt racists. And covert ones too. Or even better, challenge them.
  24. Bill Murray is probably God .
  25. Happiness is an inside job.
  26. That Liz Lemon eye roll gif tho’.
  27. You get to choose who you love. Anyone tells you different? It’s a lie. You can choose who you want to love and that’s freeing. Ditch anyone, who isn’t deserving of your love. This isn’t always easy, but it’s always easier with the help of a good therapist.
  28. Treating yourself and talking to yourself like your own best friend, in fact becoming your own best friend, is a game changer.
  29. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
  30. The way you treat yourself, sends signals to people about how they can treat you. Send them only the best signals. You kick ass.
  31. Commit to addressing your unconscious bias. Also read ‘Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People about Race’ and other similar books. For the sake of humanity.
  32. Love yourself like your life depends on it (and read the book of the same name, if you haven’t already).
  33. Exercise feels good (when it’s over).
  34. In the beginning, there was Jack and Jack had a groove…
  35. Go with the flaw. Perfection is dull. Flawless is unremarkable. Embrace what makes you different. It’s often your ‘flaws’ that make you spesh.
  36. At the end of every day, look back and remember why it was a good day.
  37. Approve of yourself. It’s not easy to stop wanting validation from others but as soon as you give it to yourself in great big doses, you don’t need it from others and it feels amazing.
  38. Wherever you go, take your badass self.
  39. Real wealth is health.
  40. Put loving yourself at the top of your to-do list every dang day.
  41. Every few years, evolve past your comfort zone.
  42. My momma told me I can worry about fitting in or I can invent who I want to be.
  43. Every day ask, ‘What do I love about myself today?’
  44. And yes, if you realise you’re not enjoying life most of the time, stop and figure out why and what you can do to turn that around. Then do that.
  45. Never look at your body under florescent light.
  46. Learn to skateboard. Learn to speak another language. Learn to cook (note to self). Learn a martial art. Learn how to sign. Learn how to forgive. Learn to paint. Learn to love yourself. Learn to build a website. Learn the constellations. Learn to master the inner voice in your head. Never ever stop learning. Cultivate a growth mind-set, baby.
  47. Remember that, when really bad shit happens… “it too will pass.”
  48. Family (including your chosen-fam) is everything.
  49. Stop thinking about what other people think of you. Otherwise, you’ll be giving them way too much control over your life. Take back the control and own your glorious, messy, beautiful life. You only have the one, so live it.
  50. And in case you missed it the first ten times, don’t forget to love yourself….

Words by Saskia, dodgy iPhone photos by Giles.

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