As a child, my birthday was quite possibly the most exciting day of the year! I was growing up and that meant I got to have more fun, right? (Let’s not overlook the fact that there was also cake.) When I hit twelve though, something started to change. I still enjoyed my birthday, and for some years still looked forward to it, but I did spend a portion of my twelfth birthday in tears to my mum “but I don’t want to grow up – I want to be a kid forever!” – what brought this on, I can’t remember. Suddenly though, growing up seemed pretty scary.
Then came the next stage of my life. The one where I learned that things don’t always go how we plan them, and that not everyone who enters my life is going to have my best interests at heart – even if I have theirs in mine. It was the stage where more than ever before, I felt left behind. Stupid. Like I didn’t measure up.
Every birthday marked another year as a failure.
I would try and get excited about it, because I’ve always loved celebrations, and if I didn’t at least try then I knew I would spiral further. By then my depression had taken a stranglehold of my life and I wished so hard that it would go away.
About a year or two ago my outlook changed again though. I still felt like a failure, but I had hope again – hope that things would get better. Something else started happening though. For all my faults, all the things that I felt were short-comings, and my continued string of failures behind me … I started to feel gratitude again. Which led to me finally starting to just accept that this is who I am.
My dork of a younger sister and I at Airlie Beach ♥
I’m never going to meet my crazy ideals for who I should be, because they’re just that – crazy! My life isn’t going to be perfect (or even easy) – but whose is? Nobody is going to understand me, as long as I don’t understand myself! I am crazy, messy, scattered, hyper, at times inappropriate, socially inept, generally just anti-social, sometimes lazy (I think I’m a cat in a human body), distracted, whacky, weird, totally uncool, and I will never fit in. Ever.
I used to be proud of that last one.
I’m not sure when I lost that. I’m becoming proud of it again. Because for every one of those things I’ve started to learn that I still have positive attributes that not everyone is going to see, or appreciate – but they exist nonetheless. I’m creative, curious, apparently have infectious enthusiasm, stronger than I knew I was, determined, amusing, eager to help, apparently give good hugs (though I’m incredibly awkward about it), community minded, passionate about things I believe in, weird, totally uncool in the coolest ways possible, and I will never fit in. Ever.
Because I was born to stand out.
So yeah … this day was the first time I had the honour of meeting the gorgeous Lu (four days ago marked this as a year ago … Lu … we’ve been “real life friends” for over a year now … what.)
At risk of being too cheesy, life is a journey. Here is a list of 28 things I’ve learned in my 28 years on this planet:
01 | Age is just a number. Your birthday is a celebration of you making it another full rotation around the sun – quite incredible when you think about how fragile life really is. What a remarkable thing birthdays are!
02 | Irrespective of what you believe, faith is so incredibly important – but so is hard work. God delivered Noah (and company) from the flood – but first Noah had to build the ark.
03 | Further to that thought: persecution is something that in some capacity or another we all experience at some point in our lives. It’s never nice, and it’s never easy, but hold your head high – these things will only make you stronger. It’s an opportunity to grow.
04 | Not everybody is going to want to be your friend, and that’s really unfortunate for them that they can’t see your value.
05 | You’re never too old for Nerf guns or to build blanket forts.
06 | People who want you to give up on your hopes, dreams, and aspirations, are the people you need to give up on and walk away from (as quickly as you can. Then when out of eyesight – RUN!)
07 | If you have a good family, they are likely to hang around like a bad smell. A really familiar and reliable one that have got your back.
08 | We’re all artistic and creative. We’re all taught to doubt and second guess ourselves.
It’s also just over a year since I met the lovely Liz and the amazing Jem!
09 | A little sunshine is good for your physical and mental health.
10 | Rainy days in front of a crackling open fire, with a cup of tea and a good book, are good for your soul.
11 | The only thing more crippling than the fear of failure, is the realisation you’ve missed or thrown away opportunities due to your fear of failure.
12 | Pizza is never a bad idea. Have another piece.
13 | How can you possibly expect yourself to love someone else, if you can’t even love yourself? It just doesn’t work. Treat yourself with the respect you deserve and take care of yourself.
14 | Everything is made of triangles. Legit.
Even if only for Lu’s benefit … Angel, Lu, and myself at a very important business meeting.
15 | The day you stop learning new things, will be the day you die. There is always something new to learn.
16 | Gazing at a starry night sky will always be humbling and moving.
17 | Be passionate about your convictions, but considerate and compassionate toward others who are passionate about convictions that don’t align with your own.
18 | It’s okay to be interested in things that other people think are lame. Equally, it’s okay to think things that others are interested in are lame. Never let yourself feel awkward about it, and it’s not worth the investment of your time to pretend.
19 | Don’t gossip. Remember when you hear your friend telling you the secrets and rumours about your other friends, that they’re doing the exact same thing to you behind your back. Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. Equally, when you find out a friend has been gossiping about you, that doesn’t give you the right to retaliate. If you have secrets that you need to share – keep a journal, and keep it hidden.
20 | Girl gangs are amazing. It may take you ages to find the girls who fit into your girl gang (also, they might not all be from the same friendship groups – that’s cool too) but when you do, you’ll discover their friendship is undeniably the coolest thing in the history of ever.
I don’t even care that this photo is out of focus – I love it! Myself with Liz, Erin, and Angel.
21 | Emasculating men is not cool, not funny, and not what feminism is about. Treat your fellow humans with respect.
22 | Roaming the halls of your school with red ink dripping from your hands and arms while pretending to be a zombie (no reason, just because) is both perfectly acceptable and totally normal.
23 | That fear you have that people are all staring at you funny because they think you’re weird? *nods* It’s true. They do think you’re weird. Most of them think it’s awesome (and the ones who don’t are seriously missing out) and they wish they were as weird as you.
24 | Never be afraid to ask for help when you need it. There is no shame in needing help.
25 | Life doesn’t necessarily ever get better. There are good times, and there are bad times. Always. You just get stronger and learn how to laugh at yourself.
26 | You’re allowed to say no.
27 | Anger is as important and natural as any other emotion. Let yourself feel it. Really feel it. Deal with it constructively. Then let it go. Holding onto anger is like swallowing a slow moving poison that bubbles in your veins and corrodes you until you’re just a hollow shell. Additionally, learning to forgive yourself is hard, but vitally important if you want to let go of anger.
28 | You’re never going to be able to make everyone happy. Don’t be a people pleaser. Be honest, open to knew experiences and opportunities, and dedicate time to activities that are constructive and make you happy. Worrying about what others are thinking of you is not going to achieve anything – nor is it any of your business.
Haaaawwt … Maddy, myself, and Amy
I feel like I’m officially out of the age-related gray area. I’m 28 now. I’m in my late twenties. Apparently this means that I’m old and all hope for me has officially gone. I have wrinkles. I’m not married. I don’t have children. Let’s not talk about my job situation…
You know what though? I don’t care.
You’re never too old to start again, and every day is another blessing, another chance to try again. My life end goal: to die young, as old as possible, and to always give everything my best shot.
Bring on 28!
Because I’m a bit of a hobbit, I felt it was only fitting this means I give you guys something to celebrate my birthday! There are a few giveaways below! One is Australia and New Zealand ONLY, but the rest are all open to International entrants! What am I giving away, you might ask? I’m going to be giving away some of the books that I’ve read in the last year and absolutely fallen in love with. Paperbacks of the complete Bloodlines Series by Richelle Mead (Australia and NZ – sorry they are different heights, but you know … books), and ebooks (International) of Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier, Forget Me Not by Stacey Nash, and The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater! There are also two Amazon Gift Cards up for grabs – $5 from me, and $5 from Jem!
TERMS & CONDITIONS:
Bloodlines series is AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND ONLY – everything else is International
I will email winners and they have 48 hours to claim prize before another winner is selected