I recently celebrated my twenty-third birthday. One thing is for sure: the older I get, the quicker these birthday-things sneak up on me! I feel like a proper adult when I complain about how quickly time goes by. Suddenly we’re in April, yet I am still recovering from Christmas lunch.

I’ve never minded growing older … Maybe I will care more once body parts start losing the fight against gravity, or the lines on my forehead can hold coins. But for now I welcome the next set of months around the sun. Why, you may wonder. Well, that’s because I am an old soul. And anyone who knows me can testify to this. I’ve always been “more mature”, as older adults like to say, than my fellow millennials. Add to that the fact that at the age of 16 I started working full time in a fast-paced and whirlwind industry; fending for myself and suddenly paying taxes and doing my own washing.

Over the past few years I’ve shed many tears, doubted myself constantly and feared for what my future may hold. I’ve had to make many tough decisions and sacrificed a lot, but in the end it was all worth it. I now look at those tough early years of my career as a time with lots of “growing pains”. And I know now, as I get older, how much stronger I am because it. I am also wiser, accepted that my life didn’t quite go as planned, which is okay. And, more importantly, I am finally becoming comfortable in my own skin settling into a life I love. All of this with the man of my dreams right by my side, cheering me on. (How lucky can a girl be?!)

Therefor I wanted to share with you twenty-three things I’ve learnt over the years. Some are funny, some are deep, all of them are true.

  1. Hard work pays off.
  2. Take time for yourself.
  3. Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay.
  4. Everything happens for a reason.
  5. Coffee is the best thing ever.
  6. A good support system is the best foundation.
  7. Parallel parking can only be done when there are no, or as few as possible, witnesses.
  8. Step outside of your comfort zone every now and then. It makes you grow.
  9. Sleep is vital.
  10. Try and live a balanced life.
  11. Always have a book in your handbag.
  12. If you need more than one sock drawer, you have too many socks.
  13. Exercise is just as good for the mind as it is for the body.
  14. Spend as much time with family and friends as possible (to keep those love tanks full).
  15. When you’re the one paying for fruits and vegetables they expire much faster.
  16. It’s totally okay to not have everything figured out.
  17. And it’s totally okay to not always be okay.
  18. Make sure the top of the salt shaker is screwed on properly.
  19. Read as much and as often as you can.
  20. Invest time in what makes you happy.
  21. Keep learning.
  22. Always have music on in the house.
  23. Be kind and laugh as often as you can.

Here’s the thing: I may not have it all figured out, but that’s part of the journey. Some days are diamonds, some days are stones, and sometimes life can be tough and shitty (excuse my language, but let’s call a spade a spade). But you will grow through what you go through; it’s part of life. And it’s okay to not always have all your ducks in a row, just be kind to yourself (as my father always says). In the end, what really matters, is that you are happy with the person you are. When the noise and pressure of work, family, friends, etc quiets down, you have to be okay with that person looking back at you in the mirror.

Lastly, I want to share with you two of my favourite quotes. The first is by mr F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it’s one that really hits home for me. The second one is by Nikita Gill, where she writes about growing.

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

You have shed a thousand skins to become the person you are today.
And if you ever feel overwhelmed by the many people you once were. Remember. Your bones have grown, but what makes them has never changed.

– Nikita Gill

Love and light,

Katryn

P.S. All the photos are from a shoot I did in beautiful Carlingford, Ireland. A big thanks to the talented Kat Mervyn for capturing all these moments!  The wild Irish coast has truly stolen my heart.