25 Things in 25 Years

25th Birthday
(This outfit is from the day of my birthday, woop! Full photos coming soon)

Last week (okay, more than 2 weeks ago now – I write drafts and forget about them!) I turned 25 – yay, woohoo, birthday and all that! (Yes, I am still 5 when it comes to birthdays – and I still sulk at the fact that Ben’s birthday is only 18 days after mine so my cards can only stay up that long). 25 sounds a good number to me – it’s a square number, being 5 x 5 (I always like those, but 5 is just about my favourite number, so that makes it better) so it’s nice and round, and it’s quarter of a century. When I was younger, 25 was the year I’d have everything together – I was going to be engaged at 21, married at 23 and have children at 25. Woops, I’m a few steps behind on that right now, aren’t I?!
In reality, numbers aren’t always what they seem. While 25 may sound super old when you’re 15, when you reach it, you kinda still feel 15 inside, like you’re still playing at being a “grown up”. There’s also the fact that I’m still the baby at work, as was noticed when we all had to declare how old we were in October 1985 (for a Back the Future thing, it makes sense, I swear), and I would have been, um, minus 5. Then again, I now feel kind of ancient in the personal style and fashion blogosphere – the majority of new blogs around my sector are made by teenagers. I think that’s the reason why most of us who’ve been around here for a few years are moving into being “lifestyle” blogs, talking about our lives with relationships, careers, finances, home decorating. I mean, if you’d told me that’s some of the things I’d be blogging about when I was 25 when I first started, I would have laughed in your face, but there you go!
Anyway, so I’m now going to pretend that 25 makes you super wise, even though in reality all it really does is make you realise as you age how un-wise you are. I’m sure in another 5 years’ time I’ll be reading this post laughing at how much I thought I knew back then – every 5 years seems to make you wiser, right?! Actually, I’m mostly doing this to reassure myself that in the past few years, even though it doesn’t feel like I’ve grown up, I sort of have a little bit.

  1. Life isn’t a race.

    Like I said, a few years ago, it was all about reaching those ages where I would get married, where I would have a successful job, where I would have kids. Those ages were mostly set based on my parents’ lives because those are the general ages they did those things. But those ages aren’t right for everyone. For example, my parents didn’t do the years at Sixth Form and uni that I did – their lives were on a different kind of timeline to mine. Just because they did it that way, and maybe because your friends are doing it another, doesn’t mean you have to stick to theirs too – there’s no right or wrong time for anything to happen in your life.

  2. Parents are (mostly!) right.

    Yeh, so guess what they’ll be saying to be on the phone tonight! If I could say anything to the younger version of me, it would be to listen to your parents – they’ve experienced a lot more life than you and usually know what they’re talking about.

  3. Routine is good.

    And this is the one that Ben will be all “I told you so!” to. I’ve never been good at sleeping, always awake until crazy hours and not able to get up well. I’m still not good at that, I always will be a night owl. But I’ve discovered a way to keep me at least a little more sane is to have a good and proper routine – being in bed around 10pm and up at the same time every time (alarm at around 7am, out of bed by around 7.45am, no later than 9am on a weekend). I also need to know what I’m doing when to keep myself from being overwhelmed, but that’s a personal thing really.

  4. Being yourself is cool.

    Not in the “I’m a special snowflake” kind of way, but the way that you know you don’t need to be the same as everyone else (or “unique”). I like ancient stuff, I like sewing, and I like being myself to read – that’s me, and I don’t need to apologise for it.

  5. Take care of yourself.

    When you’re younger, you’re constantly thinking about how you look and all that, but not really about how your body feels, if that makes sense. As I’ve got older, I’ve realised that this body is the one you get for life, so you need to look after it. I’m not perfect – I still eat rubbish and should exercise more, but I know how important it is to take care of yourself, both physically and mentally.

  6. Put yourself first sometimes.

    I used to always try to please others before myself, doing things I didn’t want to do to because I thought I should. But don’t forget yourself – you can’t rely on other people to look out for you, and sometimes, you just need a bit of me time to take some time out and put yourself first.

  7. But look out for others too.

    The above doesn’t mean to say to be completely selfish and do everything your own way. Sometimes it pays to help out someone else, even if it’s something you don’t even want to do at the time – even just a small thing like helping your partner to clean the house means you’ll get the job done quicker and will better about it later, as an example.

  8. Look forward to things.

    One problem I had when I left uni (and teaching actually) was that I wouldn’t have the school holidays to look forward to. I’d always got through things by having a goal of however many weeks it was until I got a break. With working full time, you don’t get those regular holidays, so I’ve found it’s important to give myself small things to look forward to, whether that’s a day out with a friend at the weekend, an evening meal with the parents, or even just spending some time sewing or blogging.

  9. But learn from the past.

    It’s always worth having things in the future to look forward to, but don’t forget to look back too and learn from your younger self.

  10. Do things that make you happy.

    Don’t agree to things because you feel obliged, don’t stay stuck in a job doing something you don’t like. If you don’t like something, change it. It’s your life and you have that option.

  11. Let go of the past.

    Pretty much everyone has something in their past they want to forget about, and sometimes you have friends that you grow apart from and have to let go of – it’s a sad but true fact of life. Do your best, but sometimes things are better left in the past.

  12. Keep in touch.

    Make sure your best friends and family know you’re around, whether that’s making arrangements to see them every so often, a message or a phone call.

  13. Don’t overthink things.

    Guilty as charged, I way overthink things all the time. But stepping back from situations can really help.

  14. Make mistakes.

    We all mess up sometimes, and that’s how we learn. Plus, no one is perfect all the time – we all do something silly every so often, some, ahem, more than others. But once you realise that, you’ll stop trying to be so perfect and embrace the occasional silly mistakes.

  15. Learn to have confidence in yourself.

    A big one for me, and probably a lot of people: learn to have confidence in yourself and love yourself for who you are. It can take time, but as long as you’re the best person you can be, there’s no reason you’re any worse at anything than any other person around you.

  16. Set goals.

    Make plans for yourself and try to reach them, whether they’re small ones such as completing a exercise routine or getting a specific amount of blog views, or bigger life goals such as finding that perfect job. It gives you a purpose and something to aim towards.

  17. But don’t stress if you don’t always complete them.

    As we’ve already learned though, life is not a race, so it’s not a big deal if you don’t always complete those goals – maybe they’re of less importance than you think, or maybe life got in the way. Either way, don’t beat yourself up about it.

  18. Keep learning.

    Everything can be a learning experience – I don’t mean you need to go back to school or uni and sit reading books for hours. Find something you like and learn more about it, after all, there’s so much out there to learn.

  19. Try new things.

    Like the above, there’s so much you haven’t had the chance to experience yet, so try some new things and you might find you like one of them. I was never crafty or arty, but I decided to try sewing and now I’m addicted. Maybe just read a new genre of book, eat something new, visit a new place.

  20. Find a balance.

    You don’t need to do everything or be the best at everything though. I often feel like I do so many things that I can’t keep up with them all – work, choir, Brownies, blogging, additional work at home, swimming, spending time with friends, reading – the list could go on! It’s all about striking up a balance so you don’t exhaust yourself but making yourself happy.

  21. It’s normal to feel anxious sometimes.

    It always looks like grown ups have it all together, right, and that you’re just pretending? Yeh, don’t worry, we all feel like that – the grass is always greener and all that. And feeling anxious about things is natural, just so long as it doesn’t take over your life.

  22. It’s okay to ask for help.

    You can’t always do everything by yourself, and whether that’s help with doing some DIY around the house or talking to someone about mental health or an issue you’re having, speak up. No one will think any less of you for it.

  23. Don’t make a big deal out of small things.

    I’ve spent enough of my life worrying about small things that probably don’t really matter in the long run. Spend your time on things that do matter and forget about small things that don’t; fretting over them just makes them seem so much worse than they really are.

  24. You don’t need to have everything figured out.

    Like I said before, no one has everything figured out, we’re all secretly pretending we know what we’re doing 😉

  25. Stay positive and have fun!

    Okay, so I kind of ran out of things by the time I reached this number – but really, staying positive is the best thing you can do for yourself and others. Because if you’re not having fun, well, what’s the point?!


  1. October 15, 2015 / 10:12 am

    A belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sian!!
    This is a really great post. I think it’s funny how it makes you sound older than you are though. You’re only 25! You’re practically still 18 😉
    I’m about to celebrate my 40th birthday (on Boxing Day!) so I’ve been mulling over how my life has changed and how it’s evolving and, more importantly, how much I love it more now that I’m getting older. I love getting older, I’ve never shied away from it and I’ll always happily tell everyone how old I am!
    I’ve only just started writing about style and I’ve found a niche – aiming at the 40+ age range – and I’m loving it.
    Suzy x

    • Sian Thomas
      October 15, 2015 / 10:16 am

      Thank you Suzy! Haha, I definitely still feel like I’m only 18 sometimes although I can’t quite believe it’s been 7 years since then!
      And wow, I definitely did not realise you were nearing 40! I love your outlook on aging – I think I feel quite the same 🙂 And I love that you’ve found such a perfect niche for you too.

  2. October 15, 2015 / 3:31 pm

    25!? Happy Birthday! 25 is such a brilliant age. You have you whole life ahead of you and can do anything.

    All of your tips could be applied to any age and since I will be 50 next year…yes double your age I can tell you that they still all ring true to me.

    Oh what I wouldn’t give to be 25 again.


    • Sian Thomas
      October 15, 2015 / 4:18 pm

      Thank you! I’m so glad you like the tips and think they apply to any age – that’s good to hear 🙂

  3. Ellie Binks
    October 15, 2015 / 6:16 pm

    Sian, I love this post! Hope you had a good birthday x

    • Sian Thomas
      October 20, 2015 / 9:12 pm

      Thanks Ellie! I had a lovely birthday 🙂 Hope you’re doing well! xx

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