Today is International Women’s Day. I have been fortunate enough to be born in a time and in a country where women before me have fought to give me all the privileges, we take for granted today. I have been able to vote since I turned 18. I spent six years at university earning the Master’s Degree I wanted and have been making a career for myself since I graduated. I have the freedom – financially and otherwise to create the life I want. Thank you is a small word.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, YouTube have launched a new campaign called #DearMe. What would you tell your younger self? That’s the question YouTube is asking women around the world in order to empower young women who are struggling with self-doubt and pressure. Inspired by this post over at French by Design from earlier this week, I’ve decided to share some of my life lessons, that I wish I had known sooner.
#1 It’s not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain
Lets face it, there will always be storms coming your way. Some will be big and uproot you, make you doubt everything you know and examine all your ideals and beliefs. Some will be small and merely shake you. You can sit around and wait for it to pass, while feeling sorry for yourself and spend all your energy wishing it had never happened. It won’t change a thing. You will never have control of what happens around you. People die. Relationships end. Jobs are lost. illness happens. That’s a fact of life. But the good news is, you have the power to choose how these events will affect you, and how much power they’ll have over you. This is not easy – I am still working on this one, but the freedom – oh the freedom that comes with the realisation, that none of this can break you. It’s empowering when your focus shifts from trying to control the uncontrollable to learning to manage your thoughts.
#2 There is no right or wrong path
When I was younger, I had it all figured out. The path was laid out before me. All the things that you are supposed to do in the order you’re supposed to do it in. Until something happened that kickstarted a new path for me. The sooner you let go of what you think is supposed to be and start living what is, the happier you’ll be. Don’t be afraid to take the unconventional or less travelled road. Your path is yours – no one else can walk it for you or decide what is right for you. Let go of the ‘coulda’, ‘shoulda’, ‘wouldas’ and the picture in your mind of how it’s supposed to be and embrace what is. Everything will fall into place eventually. Life is a journey, not a race – enjoy the ride.
#3 It’s not the end of the world
It might feel like it is, but it’s not. On the contrary. Sometimes everything must come down in order to make room for new things. Rebuilding the walls will only make them stronger. In the middle of the ruins you might just find a new little seed is growing – one that would have never grown roots in your old life.
#4 You are the constant in your life
When your world is torn apart and you feel completely alone and broken, remember this: You are never alone. You are the constant in your life and you will always be there. A friend of mine said this to me at a critical time in my life. Long story short; Everything in my life was changing at once and I’ve never felt so lost, heartbroken and alone. I had just ended a six-year relationship and I was living alone for the first time in my life – the one person I was used to seeking comfort from was no longer there. I was lost at sea with nothing to hold on to until i realised, that there was a constant in my life – the only one that will ever be – me. They say “the only constant is change”, but you will always have you throughout the change. That foundation can’t be shaken.
#5 Don’t be afraid to say no, when you have a bigger yes burning inside
It takes courage to say no. Period. And it takes a lot of courage to say no to something you want, but isn’t quite the right fit. I’ve found this to be true in relationships, friendships, work situations – well life really. Listen to that big yes inside you. Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve. You will never know unless you try.
#6 When someone shows you their true colours, believe them
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Actions speak so much louder than words. You will save yourself so much trouble and heartbreak if you only listen to that tiny little voice in your head or stomach (or wherever yours are). If it doesn’t feel right – it’s not right. Walk away – from friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, business partners and others who don’t treat you right.
Your turn now. What would you tell your younger self if you had the chance? I would love to hear your version in the comments below. Let’s share the wisdom and the love.
This is one of the most personal blog posts I’ve ever written. There’s been a few of these lately. That’s one of the things I love about blogs, it’s ever evolving and I am thinking a lot about what I want this blog to be these days.
Happy International Women’s Day. I wish you a great Sunday x
The quotes are borrowed from this board of mine on Pinterest.© that nordic feeling
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