Happy Birthday to me!
Wow, another year has flown by and last week I became a 26 year old. Geez! Feels weird to say that because in reality I feel about 23, which I know doesn't sound that different but at the same time it is polar opposites haha. But, in all seriousness, I'm so happy to have reached another year of my life, and apart from a few grey hairs, happy, healthy and ready for my scary journey into the late 20s! Eek! Right, let's quickly go over what I did for my birthday and then we can set some goals for this year.
26 Going On 6
I really had such a fun filled birthday and started off my celebrations with a flashback to one of my favourite parts of my childhood, the Spice Girls. The night before my birthday, some friends and I watched Spice World at the Rooftop Cinema Club in Shoreditch and it was so bad (what awful acting!) that it was great! I loved that movie growing up and it brought back such fond memories of my young desire for girl power. Plus the fashion is very in right now so I was definitely taking some tips haha. It was great to feel like a teenager again amongst a roof full of similar aged girls reliving their youths, singing 'Spice Up Your Life' together. A perfect start to my birthday and a great way to keep me feeling young :D.
The morning of my birthday, I had breakfast at the Ivy Chelsea Gardens with another group of friends, where we giggled though most of the morning and annoyed the waiters with endless altering of our orders (not purposefully, it just was hard to decide what to eat when you kinda want everything on the menu). We then did our nails together and had another quick bite to eat at Farm Girl in Notting Hill. It's great to have friends that love food as much as I do haha! Finally I ended the night watching Vamos Cuba! with my boyfriend, followed by a quick spin around the dance floor myself, during their after show class. If you're into salsa, this is a show to see! The dancers are ah-MAZ-ing!
And that was my celebration! Easy and simple! I did also have pizza and cake at work, organised by my colleagues and my mother sent me flowers, as she couldn't be here to celebrate with me. Everyone made me feel so special so a big thank you to every single person that made the effort to be part of my day in some way.
Peak and Pit
I always like to reflect on the best and worst part of any experience, as a way of appreciating things and learning from them too. All I mentioned above was a peak. Mostly, it was people just making an effort for me, which I appreciate more than anything else. That's the most important thing for me, knowing that people care.
Now, the pit. It was a weird one this year because for some reason I actually did not enjoy my day as much I should have. Don't get me wrong, it was fabulous but all I could think about was taking a good shot for Instagram. Can you believe it?! As stupid as it sounds, I was so fixated on taking photos, hoping I'd be happy enough to share one on social media, that I was never actually fully present in all the fun going on. The only time I actually was able to stop, relax and let the day sink in was when I was doing my nails because I couldn't move my hands or touch my phone. Isn't that so sad? The weirdest part is that I have never been like that before. Whenever discussing social media, I have always been the one to refuse to let it dictate my life. I have never been so invested that I refuse social invitations from people because I need to blog. Life is for living and while, yes people who work hard on their blog go on to make money from it, I'm just not one to sacrifice my happiness and youth for it.
That's the stand I've always taken but for some reason, on this day, my birthday of all days, I fell apart. I'm not really too sure why. I think it stemmed from a conversation I had with a friend over the weekend about another friend who only started blogging 6 months ago and has already tallied up 30k followers on Instagram. Plus I started noticing that a lot of people who had began blogging at the same time as me had now well surpassed my follower count on social media. Of course, as comparing yourself to others does, I started to feel inadequate and panic that I wasn't doing enough to boost my analytics. Hence, why all I could think about on my birthday was ensuring I had an insta worthy moment depicting all the apparent "fun" I was having on my special day.
It got to the point where I was at home getting ready for the evening show, when I decided I needed to take a selfie, as I had not taken one "good" picture all day. And I hate selfie taking but I was getting desperate. About 200 selfies later, I still was not happy with the way my pictures looked, thinking "why don't I look like these Instagram girls", and was now gonna be late to the show. The funny thing is looking back at all my photos, I have so many great ones but for some reason I was stuck in this mindset that they had to be 30,000 likes worthy haha. So with crushed self-confidence, I rocked up 10 minutes late to the show, which meant that my boyfriend and I missed the start, as they don't allow entrance until an interval, putting me in an even worse mood. All because of my one day obsession with social media! Pathetic. Fast forward an hour, it was a happy ending...after several glasses of wine and a little salsa dancing with my man ;).
Overall, I'm gutted that I let something so insignificant affect how I enjoyed my day but there is always a lesson to be learned in life and I've really taken this one onboard. Social media is such a small aspect of what's important and I will not let it affect me so much again!
Ok, last bit now. Since life is always about learning, no matter how old you are, I need to set myself some new goals for the next year of my life. I didn't manage to accomplish everything from last year but I did make a start. I downloaded Duolingo to help me learn Italian (been at stage 1 for half a year now but at least I made the effort), I switched jobs over to a role that requires me to network more, I started trying some more interesting fitness programmes (hula hooping, aerial yoga, etc...) and while I have not been able to monetise a personal project yet, my blog is growing stronger day by day and I'm at the cusp of making a quick buck here and there. The only goal I have not touched is learning to drive so we'll just add that on to this year's goals. Actually, all my previous goals are to be continued but I also have some new ones I'd like to add. I stumbled upon these 45 life lessons somewhere online and thought they were just so great that I wanted to incorporate them into my plans for this year and also share them with you: