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In Things We Love

32 things I’ve learned at 32

32 things I’ve learned at 32

Goodbye 31, you've been fantastic, and hello 32, I cannot wait to see what this new year will bring. So without further ado, here are 32 things I've learned at 32. 

Johan Vandamme

Yes, this post is totally different from our usual posts, and you will find precisely what the title promises. I actually wanted to write this post when I turned 30, but being a typical Virgo, I started overthinking and worrying that it would be weird to have a blog post that has nothing to do with jewellery. Fast forward to earlier this year multiple people whose opinions I value a lot told us that because we are the people behind our jewellery, we should share and show more personal things. That’s the moment I decided that this was the year to write a very personal post like this one today.

The doctor told my parents I would arrive on August 17th, but that didn’t happen, because I waited till right before lunchtime on August 27th.

Every year has new challenges, we all learn new things every day and follow our own personal road of life. Today I’m turning 32, and I thought it would be an excellent way to reflect a little and write down a few of the many lessons I’ve learned in my time on planet earth.

It goes without saying that I could not have survived all of these years without the support of my amazing parents, my siblings and my friends who love and accept me for who I am, even if that means they sometimes have to wait to hear back from me (just read nr. 30 and you’ll get it 😉 ). And last but not least my irreplaceable husband Fredrik, who you all know is not only my better half in life but Fredrik is also my better half of JUVELAN, and we wouldn’t be where we are today with our business if it weren’t for him being the most supportive person anyone could ask for.

Goodbye 31, you’ve been fantastic, and hello 32, I cannot wait to see what this new year will bring. Let’s have some cake and celebrate. So without further ado, here are 32 things I’ve learned at 32.

Love, Johan

  1. Laugh! A lot, and often. (and loud)
  2. Doors close for a reason, so focus on the open doors instead.
  3. You don’t need a special occasion to do something special. We all work hard, and sometimes you need to award yourself with something nice for no reason. A 10 min break in the sunshine, a nice dinner, the shoes you’ve been eyeing for a while, that hotel with a private pool, an evening on the sofa with a movie.
  4. Take time off. I’m still in the process of learning how to do that. As a workaholic, it’s easy always to find something to do, but your body, mind and soul need to recharge their batteries from time to time.
  5. Humour. Use it. A lot. It brings joy to other people. Unless they don’t share your sense of humour. But that’s their loss 🙂
  6. Everyone won’t like you, and that’s ok.
  7. Anything can happen if you let it.
  8. Make more time to see your friends. Most of my friends live in different cities or even countries, even though it’s not always possible to see them as much as I’d like to, the moment you are together it still feels like wellness for the mind and soul.
  9. Learn from the people who are willing to teach you something.
  10. Be proud of who you are and what you do. You worked hard to get where you are, so it’s perfectly fine to be proud of yourself.
  11. People will come and go in life. That’s just the way it goes, and sometimes it hurts.
  12. Never be afraid to ask for help. Being a little control freak perfectionist Virgo it’s not always easy to ask for help, and it took me a long time to realise that it is ok to ask for help.
  13. Surround yourself with positive and likeminded people.
  14. Sleep enough. It’s so essential for your body, mind and soul. A couple of years ago, I used to work till way past midnight because I thought it was the only way to be productive and get things done. That might be true for some people but not for me. So Instead of staying up late, I started getting up early and using the morning hours as much as possible, and it feels a lot better.
  15. Take the time to celebrate the little things in life as well.
  16. “Nothing can be created out of nothing”. It is also known as “Von nichts, kommt nichts”. One of my favourite German sayings I’ve learned over the years of living abroad. And it’s so true; nothing will happen if you won’t actively do something to make things happen.
  17. Your parents know what they’re doing, and it will shape you into the adult you will become. And then you’ll thank them for what they have thought you when you were younger.
  18. You make mistakes for a reason; learn from them, so they don’t happen again.
  19. Be polite to people. Manners never hurt anyone.
  20. Dream big, then work hard to make those dreams become a reality. It takes time to build things, but it’s so worth it.
  21. Don’t overthink everything. It’s not always easy when you’re an overthinker like I am. But I’ve learned that sometimes you have to dive in headfirst and see what happens. You might be surprised how much overthinking can hold you back.
  22. Stay humble.
  23. Being a perfectionist is great, but sometimes it’s good to leave the perfectionist inside at the door. Even if something is not perfect for you, it will be perfection to someone else.
  24. Learn how to say no to things.
  25. Listen to music. The first thing I do after waking up is switching on the radio. I listen to music every single minute of the day until I go to bed at night. It calms me down, makes me happy, and it’s an instant mood lifter.
  26. If you don’t feel it, don’t do it.
  27. Unexpected nights out are always the best. I’m known for the person who doesn’t go out, mainly because of nr. 14 and because I prefer to plan things, but occasionally, on the right day, when the mood feels right and with the right people, spontaneous nights out can be exactly what you need.
  28. Be honest.
  29. Open the door for other people and let them walk through before you do.
  30. Answer your messages! Anyone who knows me personally will probably laugh out loud now because I’m the worst person when it comes to answering my messages. It’s something I’m well aware off, and it’s work in progress for me.
  31. Never take anything for granted.
  32. LOVE LIFE! Something that one of my best friends always says and it’s something you cannot forget. Love life, cause we only live once so make the best out of it.

Photographer Bina Terré