After returning from a trip to Berlin recently, the guy at passport control I needed to renew my passport, it expired this year. I remembered then how I felt when I got my passport at the tender age of 16. I was excited at where I would be in my life when the time would come for a new passport. I imagined I’d probably have a house, a husband and kids who’s passports I’d have to look after too.
Fast forward 10 years and my life is nothing like that. I’m not married, I don’t have a house and I certainly don’t have kids. It made me realise how much my perspective, mindset and goals have changed since then. I’ve realised how much I’ve learnt since turning 26:
– I really didn’t need to complain at 18 that I was fat/had slow metabolism/bad skin/bad hair – back then it was probably the best it was ever going to be.
– Life really wasn’t that hard at University – I worked for a maximum of 3 hours a day and slept more than a sloth probably does in it’s entire life.
– It’s also probably not the hardest it’s going to be now. If I think it’s bad enough just trying to look after numero uno, I dread to think what it would be like to look after kids too.
– Even though all I dreamt of as a kid was having kids at 26 I’m so glad I don’t have them right now. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a hangover with a screaming child to wake me up at 6am (although granted I know I probably wouldn’t be hungover if I had kids). I couldn’t date, I couldn’t spontaneously go on holiday, I couldn’t work really long hours, spend days lazing in bed watching movies. I’m quite happy to spend the next year or so being selfish before the time comes for me to be completely sefless.
– Living in London, I have absolutely no idea how I am ever going to afford to buy a house unless I sell a kidney or move back to the boring northern village I came from. Plus I kind of like pretending that I can afford to live in the £1.5m house I am currently renting.
– Everything that happens in your life, happens for a reason, even if you can’t see it at the time. The shitty jobs, the bad boyfriends, the poor salary, they have all taught you something and helped you become the person you are today.
– Continuous learning is SO important. When I finished University I was so happy to be out of education after 15 years of non stop learning, I told myself I was done with education for ever. Fast forward a few years and I strive to learn something new everyday, be it a language, a physical skill, a new word, a self help book. The only way to grow and succeed as a person is to never stop learning.
– There will always be a prettier, skinnier, taller, curvier, more successful, more fashionable person than you. ALWAYS. The key (which is something I am still trying to practice) is to focus on YOU and being the best possible version of you and not compare yourself to unrealistic, ideal women from around the world. Don’t compete with anyone but yourself, just focus every day on improving yourself.
– Good things don’t come to those who wait- unless you are working hard whilst you are waiting. I spent years twiddling my thumbs expecting companies, jobs, boyfriends to come to me all whilst I did absolutely nothing. I’ve started to understand the true meaning of hard work, but until I accomplish my goals I don’t think I have even started to comprehend how much effort and commitment is involved in order to chase my dreams.
-shitty men and relationships are not a reflection of you. In this day and age where online dating is more common than real life dating, people have become lazier, greedier and ruder. As long as you are keeping your standards high and giving the relationships your best shot, then the rest is down to a series of external factors that you will never be able to control. Keep your head up and move onto the next one.
– you can NEVER give up on your dreams. I always thought I would be an author, a TV presenter, a director, an actor, the list went on. But as soon as I received the tiniest form of rejection, I stopped chasing my dreams and thought that I should pursue something more mainstream. After speaking to and researching successful people, I’ve realised that the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is NEVER GIVING UP.
– I don’t have to have everything figured out by now. Unlike my 16 year old self thought. I’m still young, the youngest I will ever be in fact, and as long as I’m actively walking down the right path of where I want to be in life, the rest doesn’t matter.