Becoming 29 and the 10 life lessons I’ve learnt

I turned a whopping 29 years old.

Yes, 29, my final year of enjoying my 20’s before I eventually and hopefully turn 30.

It’s been an amalgamation of emotions throughout my life thus far and I only see it fit to share the most important 10 lessons I’ve learnt on my journey in life thus far. I don’t claim to know it all and I’m sure the older I get the more I’ll learn but in this moment in time these are the ones that stand out and are true to me.

  1. Memento Mori. Remember you will die.

Even though I sometimes tend to get lost in all of my daily tasks and future visions I have for my life, waking up this morning and realising that 28 years have passed by already really put into perspective the shortness and quickness of life. Therefore since life is short and fragile, I’ve learnt about taking things into perspective, if I’m going to die anyways why not make the moments I have, the now, the best present moment. It doesn’t have to be through grandiose actions, simple things like taking the time to sit outside and enjoy my surroundings, telling the people I love the most that I love them, being grateful for every meal and just sitting and enjoying every bite. It can also be becoming more mindful of my words and actions towards others. The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius sums this up best:

“You could leave life right now, let that determine what you do, say and think.”

  1. Amor Fati “Love your fate”

Through my new found curiosity in philosophy I came across the Latin phrase “Amor Fati” which roughly translates to “love of one’s fate”. As slightly nihilistic as this will sound, for the most part life kinda sucks especially the older you get. Gone are the days when one had the freedom to just concentrate on ones youth and not give any mind to responsibility and the intricate dicy web called adulthood. But alas here I am and as much as life does have amazing, positive and happy experiences they are intertwined with really crappy ones. However, Amor Fati reminds me to rather have an attitude of realising that whatever happens in life good or bad is NECESSARY. So, if in one moment fate is in my favour and something great happens I should be thankful and love that, however, if in the next moment fate falls out of favour and something bad happens I should love it the SAME. Both instances serve equal purpose in life which is GROWTH & ACCEPTANCE OF REALITY.

“My formula for greatness in a human being is amor fati: that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it—all idealism is mendacity in the face of what is necessary—but love it.”

Friedrich Nietzsche
  1. Honestly, No one cares

Coming from someone who sometimes takes other peoples opinions to heart and who can sometimes waste a lot of mental hours re-hashing a conversation I had and possibly internally beating myself up for maybe saying something I felt was stupid or weird. It’s OK! because honestly NO ONE CARES! everyone is in their own mental bubble worrying about their own life. So that waiter who said “Enjoy your meal” and you said “Thanks you too” he honestly won’t waste his mental space thinking it about that for more than a split second giggle if even. So be free and unhinged with what you say or do, within reason of course.

  1. It’s OK if your circle is small

I think you get to know people on a much deeper level when your circle of trusted people is smaller. This is just my opinion though and if you feel a much deeper connection among larger groups then that’s fine too. With trust it’s all about what makes you comfortable and not forcing yourself.

  1. Not everyone is going to like you

They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, I’m Selma and I’m a certified people pleaser and that’s not healthy. No matter how much you go out of your way to appease someone, there are just some people out there who won’t like you no matter how hard you try and they might even dislike you more when you do. SO! Let me scream this to myself and for the people in the back: IF IT IS NOT YOUR DIRECT ACTIONS THAT MAKE SOMEONE TREAT YOU IN A BAD WAY, IT’S NOT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO CHANGE THAT PERSON! Everyone is given the same responsibility in life, to control and change themselves. Let people be and give them the space to choose their own reactions.

“You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

Dita Von Teese
  1. Family is Everything

Make sure you make time for the people in your life who you call family whether blood related or not. These are the people who are there for you and give you solid advice and guidance without expecting anything in return, I’ve learnt that people like this are rare to come by in this world. As my parents get older I’ve had to face the inevitable but hard fact that I won’t have them in my life forever and so this is a plea to myself and to whoever is reading this to make time for these important people in your life, be present in your interactions with them, make lasting memories and as dark as this will sound say all the things you would say at their funeral to their face now while they are still alive.

  1. Laugh. Laugh A lot.

Why you so serious? Listen life I’m sure is going to be filled with some really tough moments and I believe the best medicine to release that stress is laughter. Laugh when things are going great, laugh equally when they are bad and laugh especially when someone is trying to bring you down, maybe don’t just don’t randomly burst out laughing in their face cause you’re not the Joker and people might think your insane but smile and shrug it off. You don’t want the highlight reel of your life to be a depressing drama think more a Jim Carrey/Will Ferrell/Chris Rock movie, now that’s the kind of playback I want to have when I die.

“Always laugh when you can; It is cheap medicine. Merriment is a philosophy not well understood. It is the sunny side of existence.”

Lord Byron
  1. Get your money right

Money might not buy happiness but it can sure as hell make life much more pleasant, so always get your money right and make sure the income you get whether big or small is invested somewhere so it can work for you and your dreams.

Make sure you have an emergency savings fund with 6 months worth of your expenses saved for a rainy day

When you get paid have the mentality of paying yourself first before looking at your expenses or Wishlist. This means making sure the first deductions out of your account go to your various savings and investment accounts.

Have a retirement fund, as much as I said life is short, you never know you just might make it to 80 so make sure you have a good nest egg to crack when you get there. We want to be old and cruising the world, not old and cranky cause we’re broke and hungry.

Have a great investment account with low fees. Make sure a good portion of your money goes into an investment account as early as possible you want compound interest to work for you in the next 10,20, 30 years. I think this is one of the best ways you can have your money make you more money while you sleep. Low fees also make sure you get the most benefit out of your hard earned invested money.

  1. Be patient

They say patience is a virtue but a dang hard one to attain and upkeep, at least for me. However, in the moments where I have actively practiced this art I have realised its benefits. Patience allows a space for the confusing dust of life and peoples actions to settle so that you have clarity on what’s actually at hand, it beckons you to be more focused in the now in a spirit of gratitude with the faith that everything in the end will work out how it was meant to work out. Patience and faith work hand in hand. No matter the situation at hand its more beneficial to practice the art of being a sage with the faith that you will gain better clarity and therefore act in a more beneficial manner.

  1. Be unafraid. Be bold

As far as we know you only have this life, be unafraid to go for the things that make your heart flutter with glee, attempt to try all the things you’ve wanted to do in life, work in the field that makes you feel the most productive, work towards contributing to the world however big or small and in all things, ideas and pursuits do it BOLDLY. I’m saying this to myself and having it here so I can look back at it when I feel low but I hope it can give you a boost too. Even if you fail, you get up and try again or try something different and in all that you do, do it well, do it with all you have and make your future self proud!

Never forget to carpe all the diems.

Love,

Selma

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