What I have learnt in the last 20 years

20 Years ago I was 18 and the world was mine!

Few things happened in the last 20 years.

It was exactly 20 years ago today that my father had passed away while trying to save his best friend’s life. I soon realized had to start relying on myself more in life as he would not be around.

It was also 20 years ago I got my first client, teaching English  language to a 12 year old schoolgirl. One soon became 4, 4 became group of 20 and one group fast became 4 groups of 20.

My mother is a great promoter, you could always rely on clients and business from her, all my initial clients came through her, she just has this natural ability to turn one dollar into 100. She recently got hold of the disused communal toilet in Georgia, Tbilisi where she lives, renovated, turned it into a studio apartment and moved her first tenant before renovations where completed, really mom?

It was also 20 years ago, at the tender age of 18 when my heart was first broken, joy of being a teen.

And It was 20 years ago when I decided I would go to England and make proud of myself :).

Here I am nearly 15 years on living in England and today more than any other day wonder what have I learnt in the past 20 years.

I would really like to say that through those years of travel and living abroad (now I call it a home) I have discovered my path, but it had not really been like that and the paths I’d embarked myself on were not always clear to me why I’d chosen them in the first place.

But on reflection there are things that certainly stood out and I’d like share, so in no particular order here are my observations over the past 20 years…

Cliché first – follow your heart, If something does not make you happy, there is always a choice. Years ago I read a book that my yoga teacher recommended called Shanta Ram, and it made me humble. If you feel like choice is limited highly recommend reading the first chapter of the book.

Risk failure – from career to love, some things are worth risking. If I’d never risked leaving the comfort of the home and moving abroad with no money, no working rights and really no place to live, I would not have enjoyed fun student years in a new city, cool career days in London, new friends, new business and a new family life. If I’d not risked in love, I would not be so much in love and so loved that I am today. So risk is good.

Love your family, but they are more fun from thousands of miles away :) I am a better person when I spend only a few weeks with the family every year.

Joy of simple pleasures. I’d like to say that I am so great at appreciating the smell of roses, but the fact is, I can appreciate those simple pleasures of life better when I have everything I need. Need is very specific and it is different for everyone. When I was a teenager I wanted to be rich so I could afford going to the gym. These days you don’t need to be rich to do that so I am happy.

Meditation & light, really? I don’t know how others do it, I tried, and wish I could say I am one of those enlightened creatures who sees the light in the meditation and follows that light, but in reality my source of meditations often evolves around a strong cup of coffee before my yoga class reading the latest issue of The Monocle while scribbling notes in my notepad.

Wheat-grass smells and tastes horrible and life is too short to say no to an almond croissant, but I do like to cook from scratch.

Invest wisely, money and possessions are not everything, but it makes sense to respect years of hard work by becoming a wise investor rather then spender. You’ll help others more. I’d be so proud of myself if I could say I have always been disciplined but that would not be true, it took me well over a decade to understand, I am still learning.

Always call a friend, texts and Facebooking is OK but it’s not personal.

Look after yourself, both physically and emotionally. Healthy mind, healthy body. Knowing your limits when to back off and when to relax is so much better.

Learning to say no can feel so liberating.

Don’t jump the queue – working in the Pub I have learnt that everybody from the Prime Minister to the bum who lives in the street has to wait for their drinks without jumping the queue.

TV yes or no – My most productive years were when I got rid of TV completely, but then again nothing replaces watching every episode of “Game of Thrones” back to back in pajamas (who does not do that?) because life is much more fun with good Amazon series.

Don’t stop dreaming (another cliché), last night I could not sleep so I wrote a letter to myself when I am 40. Life seems full of fun, excitement and possibilities.

Frustrations will happen, learning to ride along the challenges will make everything so much lighter. I am still learning how to deal with people, or situations that push my buttons, but I am getting better at it.

Don’t follow the convention. Set your own rules, from fashion to business. I ware black blouse and rock n roll boots on my wedding, it was the happiest and most fun day in my life.

If you are wrong say sorry, and mean it.

Stay true to yourself and follow the energy (the final cliché… for now) – if you do, it will get you exactly where you need to be. It turned out right the thing to do to not listen to people who said I was crazy moving to London, quitting the job, breaking up or making up, if you listen to yourself you are likely to become more intuitive in your needs, desires, ambitions and even if you make lots of mistakes, like I did, you will be happier, more fulfilled and more chilled person to be around with.

It is the start of 2016 and I wish you all fun, love, light in the year ahead.

Stay safe, stay warm

Tamara x

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