You voted via my Instagram story so here it is: 17 Things I Learnt in 2017. There are so many points I want to make in this post so let’s just dive right into it. I’d love to hear any things you learnt too in the comments below!
1. If you’re not happy, it’s not worth it.
I’ll be the first to admit I can fall into bouts of depression if I’m in a situation that I feel trapped in. You’re happiness should be the thing that drives all your decisions. Life just isn’t worth living if you’re not enjoying yourself and only you know what truly does that for you. Even if it hurts other people, you need to get the fuck out of the situation if it’s not the healthiest for you. I’m usually pretty good at keeping my mental health in check but 2017 really tested it. Be selfish, drop the people who don’t support you in the ways that you need and always, always taking your feelings seriously.
2. Take all opportunities No matter the price.
My choice to leave Sydney wasn’t an easy one. Firstly, it seriously pissed off one of my flat-mates. Then it meant I was in a mad rush to get my stuff organised, not to mention the fall out after I left. Despite this, deciding to move to South Korea for 3 months was one of the best decisions I made all year. What I got to experience, learn and learnt to appreciate after coming home is worth its weight in gold. I never want to look back at my life and regret not taking an opportunity because I was scared it would be difficult.
3. Appreciate having fucking clean air.
I’ll never forget the relief of breathing in the fresh Melbourne when I stepped off that flight back. After 5 months of living in smog ridden Asia I can understand one huge reason why so many Asians migrate to New Zealand and Australia. It’s easy to take it for granted.
4. Don’t rely on someone else to hold you hand. Just do it.
When I planned on moving to Sydney at the start of the year I remember feeling comfort in the fact that my friend Sam might be there too. She had planned on living there but ended up on the Sunshine Coast instead. I remember feeling panicked like “I don’t know a single person in Sydney without her!!!” but that quickly changed. I think it’s easy to underestimate what you can achieve without the help of others to guide you along. Friends are everywhere and you’ll make them, it just takes time.
5. Dishwashing liquid is great for stains.
I contemplated putting this first because this is ground breaking stuff. Can’t tell you how many clothes I saved by scrubbing them with dishwashing liquid. Just yesterday I saved my new linen skirt from an ink stain with it. Pass it on!!
6. Home is where your favourite people are.
I experienced a lot of loss in 2017, a major one being our family home. It might seem little to some people but we’ve lived there my entire life. I thought when my parents sold it that I would feel sadder, but since returning to my hometown it just reinforces something I have experienced so often this year. Home is where your favourite people are. I’ve felt at home in Melbourne, in South Korea and I continue to feel at home in my small hometown New Zealand.
7. Childish Gambino forever.
Am I already running out of things I’ve learnt in 2017 you might be wondering. No (yes, haha). I just love his music. III.Telegraph Ave., Redbone and V.3005 are a few I’ve had on repeat throughout the year.
8. Indulge when you want to – money isn’t everything.
I’m so paranoid about saving when I don’t have a job that I forget to enjoy the money I’m spending. You’ve worked for it, you’re allowed to spend it how you please. I’ve learnt to ignore the nagging “what about saving for a house… etc.” voice because who cares. I don’t know why spending money always comes with a negative connotation.
9. If you lose friends it’s most likely for the best.
I think this is pretty standard when you’re moving through your twenties, but if you’re losing friends it’s probably for the right reasons. There’s no point in holding on to relationships that drain you. Do it for your sanity. You can thank me later.
10. Never take our peace & freedom for granted.
I can’t begin to describe how lucky we are to not have to worry about war in our country. Numerous times while living in South Korea I had ‘cease and desist’ messages from my Mum telling me to come home immediately. A simple tweet from Trump was sending millions into survival mode and the news into chaos as a potential war loomed in the air. We all had to be aware of the location of bunkers, have a survival pack ready and know all emergency numbers – I had mine taped to my phone the entire time.
Knowing North Korea was letting off missiles only 500km away from where I lived felt completely unreal. That’s the distance between Auckland and Wellington. It’s too easy to ignore from our safe New Zealand environment that many countries continue to be at war. Enjoy what you have every single day – millions of people couldn’t imagine a stable life like the one we have been gifted.
11. It’s okay to not know what the fuck you’re doing – most people don’t.
The consensus is in: no one knows what they’re doing. I’d been so caught up in trying to figure out what to do next for work etc. that I kind of psyched myself out. After talking to heaps of my friends (I mean everyone I know) I just realised that no one has a clue what the hell they’re doing.
12. People mostly believe only what you tell them.
So many people in this day and age are incredibly LITERAL. If you don’t tell them straight up what you mean or think, they won’t know (or at least claim they don’t). I swear it’s because people are so easily distracted. For example: if you want people to think you’re busy at work, just tell them you are. Otherwise people will just assume you’re not. It’s tiring, but that’s 2017 for you.
13. Age is just a number.
There’s no age for friendship. You can have great friendships with different people at all different ages. I think post university you realise how similar everyone is. We all go through the same stages in life and it’s something you can relate to at any age.
14. If it doesn’t work out how you expected, move on.
This goes mostly for work. I got a job at the start of the year that I knew almost instantly I was going to quit. Between vibes, management and the workload it was completely different to what they’d described it to me as. I felt so guilty for quitting after a month because everyone says “stay in it at least a year” for experience. Don’t do it. If you know it’s not right for you, just quit – you’ll find something better. And chances are if you stayed you wouldn’t get the experience you needed anyway.
15. If you can’t talk about anything but superficial topics, drop ’em.
Again for friends. If you can’t talk about the important personal things in life, from politics to where you see your career going, just accept they’re probably not the friends for you. I found myself in a friendship that was so superficial and one-sided it became (for lack of a milder word) brain-numbing. It was refreshing to come home to close friends that just get you and care about you. There’s honestly nothing better.
16. Give it a go, even if you fail.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Not necessarily something I learnt this year, but it’s probably been the most relevant to me in 2017.
17. The best is yet to come.