Another year has passed. I turned 33 today and I couldn’t be happier. Plenty has happened in a span of one year. So many special events, memories and people made this such a kick ass year. I could not be more grateful for all the good and all the bad things that have happened this year, and all the years before. They are all life lessons I take to heart, because they’ve allowed me to grow a little wiser, and made me a stronger person.
I can hardly believe I am the same girl I was in my 20s, my teens and childhood. Life has definitely become simpler since I settled down and got married. Things that used to matter aren’t so important now. I have a more relaxed outlook in life these days–I don’t have to kill myself to get to where I want to be. I feel like I can eat and sleep and enjoy life, because whatever it is I need to finish, it can wait until tomorrow. A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t allow myself to be this relaxed about life. Deadlines, events, shoots, taping–these all took over my life until finally my body couldn’t cope with the stress and I got sick. I developed vertigo from lack of sleep and poor nutrition. I didn’t allow myself to eat properly or sleep well because work was always on my mind. I hated my body for not performing according to plan, but you know what, I needed to take care of yourself. More important than any project or deadline is your health and you should never take it for granted.
Its surprising how priorities change through the years. I want different things now. Things that cannot be quantified with riches or success, but real things that matter. Relationships, health, quality of life–these are the things on my must-have list now! Now I want to live happily, without thinking of what other people will think or say. I’ve realized that they actually don’t matter, not so much. Your core relationships are the ones that matter. Back then, I was so concerned with image and what people thought of me. I needed things to be perfect all the time, which was honestly very tiring. I felt like I was putting on a show. It was stupid and unreal, and I was cheating myself and other people of the real me. I felt the need to project this perfect person who was far from perfect. She was shy and a little insecure. She was afraid of rejection so she didn’t go the extra mile to build relationships. It took my 20s to discover this important life lesson: just be yourself. Allow yourself to be silly and funny, embrace your mistakes and forgive yourself for them, live in the moment without any pretences or walls. Since this realisation, I was able to face my fears and live the life I’ve always wanted, doing the things that matter to me.
And what really matters are: Family time. Spending quality time with my husband and dog, doing something or not doing anything at all. Of course, this includes time with my parents, my sister and two brothers. I don’t get to spend enough time with them now that I live away from them but its nice to know that nothing has changed when I am with them. Enjoying delicious food and amazing wine without counting the calories. Skinny is so 2000. Good food should be enjoyed on a daily basis, and I don’t mean junk food, but real honest to goodness healthy delicious food. Wine, yes. Always. Wine is always a good idea, especially when it’s an incredible bottle. Being around my friends. No doubt, friends matter. They really do, and not the ones who only hang out with you when you’re popular or successful. I mean real friends who know the real you and could tell you if you’re doing something wrong. Friends who would stick by you no matter what, even on days when you feel you don’t matter to the world. You matter to them. Period. Filling my home with things I love. Its all about quality, not quantity. I want my house to be filled with only the things I love and my husband loves. If its something we don’t like, it has to go. I like things that has purpose and function and looks nice too. It is good to have beautiful things, but these don’t necessarily have to be expensive. Like I said, these have to be things I love. Working from the heart. While we do need money to pay bills and live a certain lifestyle, we must never, ever forget to love our work. We have to be passionate about it. We have to love it. If you don’t, then you’re doing the wrong thing. It mustn’t feel like work, but an extension of yourself. You have to be able to express yourself, your creativity and love what you’re doing. I feel very blessed I am able to do just that through my blog, through my show, through my endorsements and through my pet projects.
Everything else is secondary. Life can be so simple if you make it that way. I can only hope that next year I am still as passionate and excited about life as I am today. So I am telling my future self as early as now, BE HAPPY! That’s all we can ever hope to be.