I'm not where I thought I would be - are you_

I’m Not Where I Thought I Would Be – Are You?

Next week I’m going to be 25 years old and while it might not be a landmark birthday (although my next one will be 30 *shudder*) it has made me think quite a lot about where I am, where I want to be and what I’m doing. I don’t think I’m alone in saying that my life looks very different to what I thought it would be like when I was a child/teenager.

So I thought why not have a look at those expectations

I thought I would…have bought a house.

*laughs, laughs, cries* I don’t know anyone my age who went to university and can afford a house. The only people I know are those who have been working since they were 18 and saving hard. I’m happy for my friends who have their own houses, I’m also jealous. I am a long way off of owning a home so for now, renting it is.

I thought I would…be married.

25 is aaaaaaaaagggeeeee away and so grown up right? Haha. So I thought. Although, on my 25th birthday I’ll be a little over a year away from getting married! So I guess this one was close.

I thought I’d have…at least one child

My Mum was 21 when I was born, my Dad was 22 so for me I thought this was a great time to have a baby. In 1994 it wasn’t such a bad idea but both of my parents left school at 16 and worked quite soon after.

So, I assumed I’d also have my own rugrat in my early 20s. But instead I packed up my life went to university and spent my 21st birthday in a Wetherspoons with a bunch of friends and was carried home by Ali and my friend Lex.

There was a little while where I doubted whether I’d be good at being a parent, whether it was something I really, really wanted. After a few issues and a little scare something might be wrong (thankfully it’s all fine) I know I want children but I’m not in a rush.

I thought I would…be working for someone.

From being a little kid to my early twenties I had a LOT of ideas about what I would do with my life. There was a musical theatre actress, singer, teacher, Dr of Literature, Marketeer. It kept changing so, that’s one thing I didn’t have a solid idea for.

But I was never one of those people who thought that I would go off and build my own business, my own empire – now that’s the dream. It just didn’t seem like something I could do but at this point in time I don’t know how I could do anything else. Funny how time changes things.

Looking at all of these, I think that I definitely based what I thought my life would look like based on my parents – I mean didn’t most of us look at a grown up in our lives and go that’s what my life will be like or that’s who I want to be. But, even though the gap between me and my parents is 20 years, the world has changed so much. I can’t get a 100% mortgage, we’re fighting more for jobs and having children later.

So while I’m nowhere near where I thought I would be at 25, I’m not unhappy. I have a flat I’m renting, a fianc√© I adore, my own freelance job and beautiful hamster babies. It might be a little different but it’s still pretty good.

Are any of you nodding along with any of these? What did you think you’d be doing at 25? Let me know in the comments below. ūüĎá

On Loneliness

Recently, I heard that young people between the ages of 16-24 feel the most lonely It didn’t surprise me in the slightest because I completely agree. The last few years I’ve felt very lonely – even in the last few weeks I’ve struggled with loneliness. I have a very loving family, I quite often just go and hang out with them.

I feel like there are so many ways you can feel lonely and, often, it’s not easy to talk about. You don’t want to worry people, you don’t want to seem needy and, for me at least, there are confusing feelings. Have you ever been in a room full of people and felt alone? I’m sure you have.

But what are the biggest reasons to feel lonely?

Social Media

I love it, it’s literally my job to create, manage and monitor social media. That said, everyone posts a highlight reel which means it can look like everyone is out having fun, living their best life and you’re sat at home in your PJs. I know this and, sometimes, I still feel lonely! It’s easy to get swept up in it.

Growing up and apart

Your late teens and early twenties are also a time of huge change. You grow up and a lot of times you can grow apart from people you’re really close to. Some people I know have moved to new cities or even countries.

Not knowing what the hell you’re doing

I can *seem* like everyone else has their shit together. They don’t, I promise you. Everyone I speak to says they don’t know what they’re doing with their lives, they question everything they do. But for that conversation, one of you has to admit it and that can be the hardest part, am I right?

Relationships

So many people I know feel lonely because of relationships. I have friends who are single who feel lonely, friends in relationships to feel like they’re disconnected from friends who are single or in very different relationships. For me, I feel lonely when Ali goes on tour, as I write this he’s in Manchester. Not having him to hug can be really lonely.

That’s just some of the reasons I think people my age are lonely – but I might not have your reason listed. I guess I’m writing this because I wanted to say you might feel lonely but you’re not alone.

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Carrying On: Surviving the Past Year

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I know, why am I talking about the past year when it’s April? You see the past year has been tough, really damn tough. It was unexpected and difficult and at times I didn’t really know how I was going to get through it all. I wish that was me being dramatic, I really do.

Career Changes

Aaaaaand this is where it kicked off. In April 2017 I was let go from a Marketing job. To be fair I wasn’t happy in it and now I know it was a good thing, a really good thing. So I did some temp work, some more work which turned out to be temp work before I found my current job. Now I do what I wanted to do when I graduated, I work in Social Media. I love doing extra research, looking at stats and people listen to what I have to say! That said my¬†confidence took a really bad hit for a chunk of the year but I’m back guys!

 

Relationships!

So, Ali is a Sound Engineer and back in April 2017 he hadn’t done much travelling for work. We also hadn’t spent more than 2 weeks apart since we were 13 and 14. Everything changed in that regard this year. Now we’re used to spending time apart from a few nights to two months after a busy summer and his first tour. When it first came around I panicked, I cried and I was petrified of sleeping alone. Now? I miss him but hello, double bed for one?¬†Yes, please.

Personal Challenges

Only a few days after losing my job, I lost my second Dwarf Hamster, Hamski. That was heartbreaking, we knew she was old but the timing just seemed cruel. Because of everything that was going on my mental health took a hit, I became very anxious and depressed, I thought that everything was destined to fail in my life. I was in a lot of pain which, I found out was going to continue to be a constant in my life. I really had to work hard to overcome my personal issues to succeed.

But it wasn’t all bad…

Of course, I’m going to throw in a cliche. It has to rain for flowers to grow. I believe that everything happens for a reason in your life, this year reminded me how resilient I am. I’ve been knocked on my arse and got up again. I’ve got a job that I love, that I feel so passionate about. I have my little Hamster, Wickett. Ali and I are actually closer since he started working away and then coming back. I started to get comfortable with how ‘boring’ I am. I know I can be fully independent if I need to be.

Long story short, it was shit but I got through it and I bet you could too.

 

I’m in a Funk

Blerghh. That’s not a normal start to a blog post, is it? Recently I’ve been sitting at my laptop trying to write, well, anything and not being happy with the result. I’ve attempted blog posts, non-fiction book ideas, fictional book ideas and I’ve just felt really ‘meh’ about it. The thing is it doesn’t just cover my writing. In general, I’ve been in an odd fidgety mood where I just can’t seem to feel good about what I’m doing.

I wrote a little while ago about what’s been up with me¬†and got a lovely response from so many people, so thank you. I’ve been trying to get myself out of this mindset and pinpoint if there’s anything in particular, but I’m coming up with nothing. That was until I spoke to a friend of mine and found out she had quite a few of the same feelings.

Now, we’ve been friends since we were 11 years old and we have drastically different lives but we still had these feelings of not quite knowing what we’re doing and feeling like we’re not doing enough or what we should be for our lives. I’m going to throw it out there and say I’m not the only 20 something that feels like that at the moment.

There’s so much uncertainty about everything that even the smallest things can feel like they’re a huge deal. Take blogging for example. Logically I know that if I only post twice a week no one is going to die. It’s not a life or death situation but the thought still fills me with panic. Am I where I should be with my blog? Why am I not getting as many views as XX? Am I doing enough on my own social media? The list goes on.

We all know we’re not¬†supposed¬†to compare ourselves but, let’s be honest, we all do. My friend has two kids under 10 and worries about career stuff. I have started in my career and worry about having a family in the future. I guess it doesn’t matter where you are, you’re still going to worry about something and feel that you’re not doing it right.

Have any of my fellow bloggers been stuck in this funk before? What did you do to get out of it? Let me know in the comments below!

What Do You Do For Fun? 23 and ‘Boring’

I was recently asked what I do for fun, what my hobbies¬†are. I replied as I always do I blog, I read a lot and I write. People don’t really believe me when I say that’s what I do for fun. Don’t you go out? Don’t you drink etc, etc.¬†That’s usually how it goes. So sometimes I think about it, am I boring for my age?

I’ve never been one for regularly going out to clubs and partying. When I was a teenager I went to house parties, hosted by my boyfriend. When I was in college I didn’t go out drinking still, only to a few house parties. In my first six months at university, I went out to a club grand total of two times the first I was on the night bus crying by midnight because I had an anxiety attack. The second time I came home early. In¬†Second year I’d get drunk so I wasn’t anxious and go out with friends. In¬†Third year I didn’t go out at all. Then I graduated and became even more comfortable with my own life.

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You might follow me on Instagram and think, hang on I’ve seen pictures of you out with friends. I do go, occasionally. Once a month my friends and I try and go out for drinks or I might go to see or do something. For a long time, I got hung up on the fact I didn’t feel ‘normal’, I felt ‘boring’. I had this idea in my head of what I was meant to be doing.

There is a pressure I think. Travel the world, but save money. Go out and party, but spend all your time networking and building a career. Have fun, but think seriously about your future, you only get one chance. All of these things going through your mind.

The thing is, I like staying at home and reading books or writing. Blogging makes me happy. Spending time on my craft, reading a really good book, having lie-ins¬†or just chatting with my boyfriend is a good weekend. I like going out and seeing and doing too but I don’t feel like I’m missing out by not going out every weekend.

I thought, for a long time, the worst someone could call me was boring. I was fun right?¬† I was entertaining? People would want to hang out with me? I tormented myself worrying about this shit. Slowly, I’m working towards not caring about that stuff, about doing my own thing and what makes me happy. And, for me, that’s what’s important doing things I love to do rather than what everyone else is doing.

I want to hear from my lovely readers! Do you ever feel like you’re not doing ‘what you should’ or a bit boring? Do you ever feel under pressure to be or act a certain way because of your age? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING! (But nor does anyone else)

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Ah the life of a graduate, the new and exciting¬†opportunities, meeting new people, perhaps travelling, isn’t it wonderful? Well, it would be if life worked out like that. Recently I was talking to a few friends of mine who are coming into the final part of their last year at uni (how it’s been a year since that was me I don’t know) and they had the normal worries of a final year. Worries about the deadlines and dissertations but most importantly feeling like you don’t have a bloody clue what you’re doing. So I let them in on a little secret, I don’t know what I’m doing and as far as I can work out nor does anyone around me, some are just better at pretending than others.

My graduate life is different to how I thought it would be, because working full time every day is hard. It’s a different kind of hard work to what uni was. This is a physical type of exhaustion, my whole body is tired as well as my mind. Do I think Uni prepares you for working full time? No, no it doesn’t. I loved the freedom and the independence of uni, working from home and working when I feel most motivated. When you’re working you have set hours, depending on your employer you might or might not be able to work from home, although I’m yet to meet a graduate who is working from home full time.¬†The transition is hard, it’s not all bad, but it is hard.

There are so many days when I feel my head is spinning and I don’t have a clue that I’m doing. BUT out of everyone I speak to and I mean everyone (who’s willing to admit it), no one thinks they know what they’re doing. There are some people that feel more in control and some that are better at pretending they do.

I have days now where I wonder what I’m doing because my life hasn’t followed this detailed plan I had in my head. I didn’t know that I can to know what I want but roll with life at the same time! So don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do, no one does!

Sunday Seven: 22 and a half

This week I hit 22 and a half, I know¬†most¬†adults don’t count their half birthdays, but firstly I don’t see myself as an adult and secondly I like using this as a benchmark to take stock of what I’ve done in half a year. I mentioned way back in January that I don’t like making New Years Resolutions, instead, I like to use my year birthday to birthday to see how things I have been going. So let’s take a look back and see what I’ve learnt in the past 6 months.

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You don’t need loads of friends to be happy¬†

Now I’m back in Basingstoke we don’t have as many friends around, but that really doesn’t matter. I still talk to Joe all the time, although it sucks I can’t just pop and see him. I also have Abbie and Ben on the other side of town. I have a lot smaller group of people that I’m in contact with but it’s really about the quality rather than the quantity.

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The pain of losing someone you love never goes away, you learn how to deal with it

A few weeks after my birthday I lost one of my hamsters. Although, to me they are my babies. Noodle passed away and it broke my heart, I still miss her each and every day and that never stops.

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I want to write, so I’ll goddam write¬†

Enough messing around, it was time to get serious, get planning and get on with it. We’ll see what happens…

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Having your own space is key to happiness 

We finally moved home! Having our own space has made it much easier for me to relax and have time to myself and Ali.

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It’s ok not to be ok.¬†

I have a problem with wanting to be perfect. I always have. In the last few months when things have gotten tricky I’ve had to remind myself that I’m allowed to feel tired or overwhelmed, that I’m human. So, I did what I always do and I wrote about it and it made me feel a lot better.

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Leaving a job that isn’t right for you doesn’t make you a failure

Back in November I left my first full-time¬†job for a variety of reasons. I wasn’t happy there and didn’t feel like it was right. When I left, even though I had another job lined up, I felt like a failure because I hadn’t been there long. That said it lead on to bigger and better things and just because it didn’t work out didn’t mean I was a failure.

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Grades aren’t everything.¬†

For a good few months, I hid my degree certificate. I didn’t want people to know that I wasn’t perfect and didn’t get the first I’d been dreaming about. I hated mentioning it and whenever I did I’d follow up with ‘but I was only 3% off of a first!’ as if getting a 2:1 in literature was something to be ashamed of. I won’t lie and say it doesn’t hurt but at the same time my life was a mess in third year, to come out at all with a degree is fine with me. It now happily sits on my desk while I write.

Sunday Seven: Seven Things That 20 Somethings Are ‘Supposed’ to Do

I’ve spent a lot of time thinking this week about what is expected of 20 somethings. People have a lot of opinions about your twenties, what you should be doing, what you shouldn’t be doing, how you should feel, how you shouldn’t feel. It’s both exhausting and annoying. While some people are truly trying to help and pass on wisdom after the mistakes they made, it is SO hard not to roll my eyes most of the time. Anyway, I’m hoping that I’m not the only one who gets these!

You should travel, all the time, everywhere! 

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Now, don’t get me wrong I enjoy visiting other places, seeing other cultures and their history BUT I’m not someone who’s into travelling. The thought of just having a backpack and all that jazz doesn’t appeal to me, it never has. I have a list of places I want to go but you won’t see me heading off for weeks or months at a time to share a room and a shower.

You should get experience, lots of experience! 

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I’m lucky enough that I’ve had some great opportunities, but very early on I learnt that coming from money can really help get your career kick started. There are so many industries where you are expected to get experience by working for free or on minimum wage. I know for a fact most 20 somethings really do want to get experience but simply cannot afford it without support.

You should/shouldn’t be thinking about getting married!¬†

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People are obsessed with when¬†they¬†think you should or shouldn’t get married. There’s a total divide on what people think in my life. A lot of people are like you guys have been together forever, when are you getting married? OR they will tell you under no circumstances should you do it in your twenties, I have to say though most people who say this are divorced.

Go out! Party and make the most of it! 

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I did a year of partying at uni, sometimes it was fun but it was never my thing. I’m quite happy to go to the pub every now and again or go out for some cocktails after payday but I’d rather save my money and do exciting things that won’t make me feel awful the next day!

Don’t forget to save!

Between all the travelling, partying and unpaid experience?

You’re in the best time of your life, remember that.¬†

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So far my 20s have been good, but they’ve also been pretty hard. I think people forget the confusion, the stress of trying to work out who you want to be and how to make that happen and all the expectations on you. Oh and not to mention the debt if you went to uni, so much debt.

What are/were you guys told throughout your 20s? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Settling in and Adulting Hard

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It’s been 35 days since I accepted my first full time job. In the past 35 days I’ve bought a new car, left my two part time jobs, started a job, moved out of mine and Ali’s first home, voted in the European Referendum, booked my graduation, got my results, released two new singles and played the main stage of the biggest free festivals in the South East. I get up, shower, drive to work, design, market and all that jazz, get lunch with some colleagues, maybe cuddle a dog or two, then I drive home and for the past few weeks I’ve always had something to do or somewhere to go. To say I’ve been busy is an understatement and so I hope that you will understand the reason the blog has been so all over the place!

More than anything post uni life has made me tired but happier. The end of uni was hard, third year wasn’t my best and I was terrified of what the future was going to hold. That’s not to say that everything has been easy starting my new job. I almost had an anxiety attack on my first day, I’ve been trying to understand the ins and outs of the company as well as working out how the hell I fit in. I’m lucky though, I have a great team of people who are genuinely nice and supportive. I haven’t found anyone who I don’t get along with (which is good because there are less than 20 of us).

Slowly and surely I’m finding my feet in the big adult world. There have been some wobbles and times when I’ve sat there and thought ‘I don’t know if I can do this’. I’ve had days where I’m so tired I’ve just cried for no reason and yesterday I got very lost in London (that was something I got very stressed about). The thing is though, knowing I have a team that I can ask questions to and rely on is a brilliant feeling. I’m still the new girl, I will be for a while but that’s ok. In the meantime I can work on this whole ‘being an adult’ thing…that might take a little more work.

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Babyface strikes again

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At the age of 20 and 11 months, I still manage to get ID’d if I ask for a drink with my meal at a restaurant as well as normally being given a children’s menu. Tonight on a long awaited family meal for my Nanna’s birthday¬†my family got to have a laugh as I was asked to get my ID out in front of all of them. It is a blessing and a curse having a baby face. I get told time and time again that when I’m 30 I’ll be grateful for it. That might be so but it doesn’t help when you’re trying to buy a 15 DVD in HMV or when people ask if my Mum and Dad are home.The picture above is how I looked tonight, make up on, hair straightened and nice clothes but alas, I still look 16.

That said, if you look at the rest of my family they all look young for their age, especially my parents, neither of them look like they’re in their 40s. You can see here that my Mum’s side all have young faces too…

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It’s not all bad, I mean I can still get away with kids tickets on the train most of the time, if I’m not feeling too hungry the kids meal is normally a good option and every now and again because I’m so tiny I can fit into my little sisters hoodies (kids clothes are also cheaper). I don’t want to be a baby face forever though, especially while at work and people think you’re the kid on school work experience. ‘I’m 21′ I want to shout at them ’21!!!!!!!’.

This was just a quick blog tonight guys, I’m sorry last nights blog wasn’t posted I was completely absorbed in a Paula Daly book (the review for which will be out in a few weeks!). Back to business though are there any fellow baby faces reading this? What is the most embarrassing thing to happen because you look young? Or maybe you have something you really enjoy! Let me know!