Top 10 lessons I Learned in My 20s

Hello beautiful lady,

With my 30th birthday in a few days and also us being at the beginning of a brand new decade, I would love to share with you my “Top 10 lessons I learnt in my 20s.” Whether you are beginning your 30th year with me, embarking on your 20s, in the middle of a decade, starting a new phase of your life or just because, I hope this helps you.

Alright here it is goes…drum roll please (hehe always wanted to start off that way),

Top lesson 1)

It is okay to make mistakes, in fact, make a lot of them. I learnt early on “never a failure always a lesson.” You will be rejected at some point, whether it be from an application to whatever your heart desires, a job interview, a workplace, a sporting competition, a college, a school…..Can I tell you something, it is okay. I have been rejected, multiple times before and I have survived, you will too. It may feel like the earth is shaking underneath you and the walls are closing in and you cannot even picture yourself laughing or even smiling tomorrow or even next year, but you do, and guess what? You come out even stronger than before, you learn things that you never knew about yourself, about life, about love, about the world and people. Making mistakes is all part of growing, that is the exciting part. You evolve into the person you were meant to be because you get to teach people and you get to tell them “You see, I have faced some big mountains in my life, but I am here to tell you that mountain can be moved.” You learn that “this too shall pass,” that this moment of “breaking” or “feeling like you are failing” does not last very long. Think of it this way, remember the exact moment when you sprained your ankle (happens to the best of us, me included) or when your hairdresser did not understand how short you really wanted so you ended up with a pixie cut (again, happens to the best of us, me included) and you just wanted time to hurry up so your lovely long locks would be back or you wanted to be able to walk again normally. Well, time did by pass right? Actually looking back doesn’t it seem like that time passed by really really really quickly, almost like a flash. That’s the thing, when we are in the midst of confusion, pain or rejection, we don’t actually stop to think that this will pass so “what the hey let me just carry on living.” Ask yourself, will this matter in a week, a month or a year’s time, use that to judge how much energy you will put into the “dwelling time.” You will learn that every “no” is a “yes” in the right direction. You will learn that “everything happens for a reason,” which literally has and always will be my every day motto. I said it when I forgot the steak in the trolley after paying for it (whoever received that steak gift needed it more than I did) or when a friend who lives on another continent randomly sent me a prayer over my life at the exact minute I needed to hear it the most. You will believe it too one day, trust me. When you fail at something, say to yourself “what is this teaching me?” rather than “why is this happening to me?” Do not be afraid to fail as well, that age old saying “what if I fail” ohhhh but girl, “what if you succeed.” Think about this, if I had not failed once, twice okay multiple times….I would not be able to tell you that you are going to be just fine, more than fine, you my girl, are going to change the world!

Top lesson 2)

You are going to break someone’s heart, have your heart broken or find the love of your universe. All three happened to me in my 20s and my golly gosh do I have loads to say about this. I learnt invaluable lessons about myself and about relationships. So let’s break it up (no pun intended).

Lessons learnt about myself:

In my early 20s I learnt that I love hard, like with everything I am and all that I have. I am PISCES, we are natural empaths, highly compassionate beings and wear our heart on our sleeves. Horoscopes aside, because even though I understand a little bit about it, I believe we were created in the image of God and our own life experiences have shaped us to a very large extent (wow that is a whole other blog post I feel so I am going to have to reel it in). We as women (I am not generalising I am speaking from experience), naturally want to love and be loved in the exact love language we love (whole lotta love going on here). We sometimes feel the need to fix a broken person so we can feel whole inside and that we did a good samaritan, but let me tell you ladies, I learnt the hard way, a broken person will try to break you, and then when you try to fix the relationship by trying to fix them, all that happens to you is you feel depleted from your energy source and you end up breaking yourself. Ladies in your early 20s, it may feel like that first relationship that is hard, painful, ridden with baggage and pain is “real” and “true love” but I can promise you this and please believe me, it is not. Everything happens for a reason, you are supposed to go through the growing pains to know what sets your heart on fire, what you want out of love and what you deserve. The exact moment you free yourself from that “false idea of a true relationship” will be when the universe sings sweet lullabies to you and love blessings will appear, trust me, because it happened to me. Now, I am not saying that if you have never experienced this crazy relationship you won’t have the universe on your side when it comes to love. I am saying “like attracts like” and “what you think you become.” The moment you realise your worth, on whatever journey you are on, the moment you know what you stand for and what you stand against and do what you love, you will find who/what you love. Trust the process, trust the timing of YOUR life but you need to let go of what is not meant for you. The hard part is, you are going to have to learn it the hard way because only once we get burnt do we know how to truly avoid the flame!

Lessons learnt about relationships:

Thank God I found the love of my universe exactly half way through my 20s and have been together now for 5 years and growing. We have come out on the other side, so much stronger from doing long distance, two massive immigration moves together, buying big life things together, living with each other for 5 years, having our fur-baby dog-child together etc. etc. the list goes on mostly because we have truly built a life together. All throughout the journey it has reminded me what love and a relationship is meant to be and how I am so blessed to have found it. It is having each other’s back and being each other’s support system through the highs and lows, it is knowing that you have your best friend to call when you get the good and the bad news, it is cooking dinner at 10pm just because you can, it is being their biggest cheerleader and team-mate in life, it is being with a person that you see has the best traits to be a parent, it is looking at your other half’s eyes and knowing that they are there to catch you if you fall, it is grocery shopping and dog grooming (you can tell we are pre-kids), it is knowing that no tomorrow is too daunting and no challenge too hard because they are there holding your hand every single step of the way. It is late night runs to get burger and fries because suddenly you feel for it, it is about laughing about how exciting your dreams sound together, it is about praying to God together through the trials and the tribulations, it is waking up to morning coffees, it is late nights partying and early morning errands together, it is sending “your song” to each other when it plays on the radio, it is all of the above a million times over and then a million more things. Bottom line is, true love is meant to feel safe, and secure, it is a commitment and no piece of paper can change that. It is work, it isn’t easy, it is a conscious decision to choose to love and care for that person, every single day. Ladies, he is going to make you roll your eyes every once in a while, he is going to speak in his love language not yours sometimes, he is going to put the light on when you want to sleep because he is looking for something, but here is a trick….laugh when he does those things, laugh! Besides confusing the heck outta him, you will feel better, remember “choose your battles” and love when there is love to be had. You will know when you found your keeper and your Mr Right, he most likely will not be on a white horse, he most likely will not be quoting Shakespeare but when God blesses you with a good relationship, take that lesson you learnt about what you deserve and what you want and choose that relationship every single day. Don’t give up on love.

Top lesson 3)

One size does not fit all. Okay, so you know those hats that say “OS” or those belts? Yea, who is with me when I say they do not actually fit all sizes, either you have to make another hole in that belt or you have a little awkward looking end of a belt that just feels lonely and out of place. Do not compare your chapter three to somebody else’s third book. Please read that line again, it is essential you hear this. We as women too easily compare ourselves to each other instead of embracing who we are and what we have learnt individually and as a collective. I have lived with a man for 5 years, before marriage and guess what I am super happy we did that, we have learnt more about each other in 5 years than I think some couples learn in their lifetimes together. Best of all we have been through every single thing side by side because that is the true test of a relationship when you can go through soooo much and still come out saying “I am so glad it was you by my side when I went through that.” I am not advocating for living together before marriage because only you will know what is best for you, I am saying that society, your friends, your family, your workmates may not agree or understand your journey, but hear me out “It is not their journey to understand.” Do you boo! This applies to everything, if you want to lay a solid foundation and have kids at whatever age, you do that. If you don’t want a relationship but want to travel the world, you do that. If you do not see yourself having children or you want a soccer team of them, you do that. If you want to change your career at 45, you do that. If you want to go back to University at 35, you do that. If you want to follow your dreams of being a Hollywood actress, you do that. If your decisions are based on careful consideration for you and your life, and it comes from a place of spiritual alignment, I guarantee you will not regret that decision, you may, however regret listening and inevitably living someone else’s idea of what your life “should be.” You are also not going to be for everybody and that is 100% all goodies in the hoodies. To some people you are going to be “too bold,” “too kind” (I know right is that even a thing, we need you in this world) “too loud” “too soft” “too daring” “too passionate” “too something.” Can I remind you of a Rhianna song “People gonna talk whether you doing bad or good.” There is only one of you and it is that unique concoction that makes up you that the world deserves to see. So once again they do not call me RiRi for nothing (even though I got that nickname in high school before Rhianna but hey), “Shine Bright Like a Diamond.”

Top lesson 4)

Self care is vital for your vitality. Have an abundance mind-set and use the law of attraction to manifest your dreams. I have been doing the 21 days of guided meditation with Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey and I learnt the power of the mind, especially in my 29th year. I will be taking into my 30s this abundance mind-set and it is based on the notion of believing in the blessing, in the positivity, in the hope rather than the lack or the scarcity. I have really been immersing myself recently in everything Gabrielle Bernstein and Marie Forleo and I learnt something so powerful recently from Gabrielle, it was the “choose again” mind-set and let me tell you something ladies, it has been a game changer and a life changer for me. This mind-set is all about having a growth mind-set, not limiting beliefs.

Do this little exercise with me:

Step 1: Write down your story or your situation and write down how it makes you feel. It could be anything from career to finances, to love and relationships, to dancing to anything. For example, “I have not published a book as yet” “It makes me feel that I am wasting my time writing.”
Step 2: Forgive yourself for having that thought and forgive the thought.
Step 3: Choose again. This means choose the thought again thinking with an abundance not scarcity mind-set. For example “I am watching a webinar by people I respect in the industry that is free about how to publish my book so I am learning the skills I need in order to become successful at writing.”

I have used the law of attraction in my every day life for the past 6 years and it is super powerful. It is about the belief in a higher power (for me that is God) but that can be anything for anyone. It is the power of the universe and knowing that the universe has your back. I am that girl who sees signs in everything and I get signs whether it be a package on my doorstep filled with goodies I actually did not purchase but has a quote on the top of it by Theodore Roosevelt that says “believe you can and you are halfway there,” or seeing white butterflies everywhere which is a sign of growth and change, or whether it is actually receiving a reply from Gabrielle Bernstein in my inbox on Instagram saying “the world needs to hear your story, keep shining your bright light Xo” or whether it be a reply on Instagram from Marie Forleo using the exact same three emoticons that my Mum and I use to each other every day, I believe the universe has my back. I believe that what you think you become, that what you create you get, that when you give love, you get love, when you give compassion you feel and receive compassion. I believe that when we take action from spiritual alignment and then we let go and let God (higher power), only good comes from it and all things work towards your good. I also strongly believe that when you find your purpose, passion and calling, the universe just starts working so powerfully and magically towards that and you will feel it working.

Apart from having a healthy mind, I have learnt the importance of a healthy body. I call myself a “wellness millennial” because I truly want women to feel “whole” in every aspect of their life, from their career to love to their spirituality, to their body, everything. With my 30th nearing, I am hitting up those eye creams and serums, and have been obsessed with ensuring my skin care regime is up to scratch, ladies it is now or never right? Gym, walks in nature, bike rides, yoga, Pilates, just do things that make you move, the more you use your body now, the more your body is going to send you “thank you notes” in the future. I get laughed at for drinking my drum of 2 litres of water a day, but hey, my saying is “Don’t hate, just hydrate.”

Lastly, a healthy spirit. This will mean different things to everyone as I said before, belief in a higher power, for me that power is God. The power of prayer is powerful. It has literally changed my life. I am going to Colour Conference next week, a week before I turn 30 and I am so excited to be in an atmosphere of praise for all that God has done and will do in our life. God is one of my closest friends and I just want to tell you that “when you put God first, you will never come second in your life.”

Be your own heroine, look after yourself. Find what works for you and gets your heart twerking! Yassss Sister!!! This has probably been one of the biggest lessons I learnt in my 20s and at the cusp of my 30s. You have to be comfortable with being alone with yourself, to truly know what your heart says and feels. Then nurture that heart, because when you are truly happy with the women that is your “ri.flection” you will feel so at peace, enlightened and free. You will then be able to be the best mother, friend, daughter, sister, wife, the best YOU!

Top lesson 5)

“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” Okay, so you know that powerful feature on Facebook where you get reminded of your memories from 10 years ago? Did it make you chuckle to yourself recently about how you hair was wayyyy too short, but it grew back? Did it make you reminisce about that anniversary dinner where that waiter kept making you both laugh because he was so eager to deliver great service? Did it remind you of the first time you met someone who is now still in your life and you are thankful everyday for them? Did it make you think twice about how short life really is? Well that is what it does for me, you see that is the beauty of memories. You reading this will soon be a memory. What you ate for breakfast today will soon be a memory. You going to work and coming home safe and sound will soon just be a memory. So why not live for the moments we cannot put into words, why not take way too many pictures (maybe one less selfie though and one more outward photo) of the life you are creating. So that when I see you here days before my 40th and at the beginning of 2030, you look back in awe of what you have created, at the people who have entered or left your life, of the moments that will be just memories. Your job is replaceable, it really really really is. You are replaceable in that job. I know that this is frank, but you are replaceable in your job. So why not do what you are passionate about, be with people that make you feel alive and yourself and see those people around you right now, they are the ones who are irreplaceable so hug them extra tight. I live in Australia and the devastating bush fires, the passing of Kobe Bryant, his beautiful daughter and the others who lost their lives in that tragic accident, and Coronavirus epidemic are all stark and astounding reminders that “life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but by the moments that take our breath away.” Live your life and smell those roses, please!

Top lesson 6)

Be resilient. A life without challenges is not a life at all. Read that again. If you are in a challenge, about to find yourself in a challenge, getting out of a challenge, even have a tiny seed of challenge sprouting in your life, you need to know that one of the keys to facing challenges is having a resilient spirit. When I woke up one morning on a Summer’s day in New Zealand, I did not know that that day was going to change my life forever. I accidentally burnt myself with boiling water when I was 16 years old, and whilst this is very hard to share with you, because for most of you I do not even know your name, I hope that this message will inspire someone else. I dropped boiling on my lap, I was in hospital for some time, out of high school for some time, endured pain that I did not think was humanely possible to feel, felt every emotion possible all at once and all the time and was afraid beyond words. I had an out of body experience. Had I known then that that experience was going to shape me so much, that it was going to bring out a toughness in me that I needed in order to face every other challenge that life threw at me, that I was going to have the highest level of empathy when someone even knocked their foot against a coffee table, that I was going to be so resilient because of that experience, I would not have been so afraid. I excelled that year in school even though I was out of school for much of the year. I had to learn how to properly walk again because I was bed-bound for so long and associated walking with pain. The point is, I was determined to rise above that situation, determined to not let it define me and determined to tell another woman, that you are not your mistakes but rather that your scars whether they are internal or external are part of your story and your message. Whilst I struggled for many years with the emotional trauma and the physical trauma, I learnt so much about myself and I am forever grateful for what it taught me about life, hardship and the power of staying strong and resilient. You will never ever stop learning and that is the exciting part.

Top lesson 7)

Surround yourself with people that speak life into your life. Let go of people or things not meant for you that are negative or toxic. You are a gem and you need to protect your gem like properties. You know that belief where if you speak nicely to plants, they grow, why is that? Well, it is because the environment is conducive to growth and development. You cannot expect a sunflower to grow without sunlight, right? Well you my girl are a sunflower!! As women, our friendships with other women are the most important ones, ever. Some friends you had in your teens will exit your life, some will remain, some will go and come back, that’s life, just know……yes, you guessed it “everything happens for a reason. ” You need to surround yourself with women who empower you, women who lift you up and have your back, who support you in the highs and the lows. Women that you can call in every single season of your life, my sunflower! I am an only child and my golly gosh can I tell you, being an empath, it is the hardest thing to deal with as you get older and your parents get older. I encourage every girl who has a sister to love them dearly, to not compete or fight but to hold them so tight because God gave you a best friend for life, so treasure her. I have been so blessed to truly have the best mother in the world. She is the strongest, most resilient, most compassionate women I know and highly successful in her career, a boss lady in life. I have learnt that as women, our relationship with our mother is so very important. You will go through stages when you do not understand your mum, but then one day it clicks and it all makes sense (sometimes before having children of your own). I found that this relationship is the best when you are truly authentic in the woman you have become, because remember ladies, you are not your friend, your sister or your mother, you are you. I am also blessed to have friends who are like sisters to me and I am so excited to continue to do life with them.

Top lesson 8)

Learn to forgive. Learn to accept an apology you never got. The universe has an amazing way of giving you the peace, once you do this. Don’t we all want peace? Do not let anyone live rent free in your mind. Put your big girl pants on, wish them all the best and move on with your life. I wish I learnt forgiveness earlier in my 20s but hey Rome was not built in a day right? I want to say this though, know your worth and know what you deserve, forgive with an open heart because they did the best they could, or they did not know better, or they were acting on their own needs rather than thinking of others. I have a hope that every single person whether they are bullied in school, at work or on the sports field, know that they can choose kindness and respect and that they can forgive but not forget the pain. Do not ever forget the pain, because you will start to accept the behaviour again, just forgive, stand up for yourself and others, stand up for what is right, and move on.

Top lesson 9)

Learn to make your own decisions for your own life. Do not let others make decisions for you. You will end up resenting others, feeling confused and lost. I loved when Marie Forleo said when you making a decision feel the emotions, and notice what it stirs in you, is it peace, happiness, excitement or is it fear, apprehension, anxiety etc. I feel that’s your intuition speaking to you. If you make decisions based on careful consideration (analyse the facts yourself) and then trust your gut and take risks, you will not regret that decision. However if someone else chose your path and you ended up feeling unfulfilled and lacking motivation, would you not have regret? Therefore, I wholeheartedly believe you need to make decisions that are best for you and your loved ones and always communicate this.

Top lesson 10)

Have the time of your lives. Your 20s are meant to be fun and a growth phase. You are meant to learn in your 20s that hangovers get worse as you age but that hydrating and eating before going to bed softens the blow. You are meant to have days that turn into nights that turn into Macdonald’s drive throughs at 5am. You are meant to dance till your feet literally feel like they are falling off. You are meant to go on adventures with your friends to the beach. You are meant to travel, explore and eat food you have never ever tried before. You are meant to get to the top of that water slide terrified only to see little children walk onto the slide with an ease that quite frankly is alarming. You are meant to see a shooting star and make a wish and have a child like excitement that that wish will come true. You are meant to go to festivals and see your favourite musicians and sing until your throat is on fire. You are meant to go through everything and all of it and laugh every single step of the way. You are meant to have fun and spread your joy, and do not let anyone ever tell you otherwise. Promise me that.

Remember my favourite motto “Everything happens for a reason” well I believe that you were meant to read this today, I hope this has lit something up in you that has changed you. Remember this by Maya Angelou “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”

From my heart to yours, much love, I believe in you, you got this girl xx
Follow me on @ri.flection for more from me

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