As we enter a new year, and a new decade, my social media feeds are full of 10 year challenge photos, advice to my younger self posts, then and now comparisons and resolutions for the next year, and I have to say it’s got me thinking.
Things have definitely changed for me over the last ten years, I mean, they have for everyone haven’t they? I’d be surprised if I knew anyone who was still in the same job/ house/ relationship and had never been somewhere new or hadn’t had some kind of significant life event happen over the last decade. Life moves on and often we have limited control in the hand we are dealt.
So where was I 10 years ago? I was a nursing student, living with my parents and in a relationship with a boy I thought was going to change my life. I had a lot of debt, a slimmer waistline and thought my future was all mapped out.
Now, I’m a Deputy Nurse Manager at work, also known as a Junior Sister. I rent a lovely flat with my husband and our dog and live on the other side of the country. The relationship with the boy who would change my life really did change my life, but the relationship I’m in now is one where I’m supported to be the best person I can be. I have a little debt but a bigger waistline, and I’ve learnt that my future is definitely not mapped out, even with the best made plans.
What advice would I give to my younger self? I don’t think there is anything you can advise really. If I were to do anything differently then I wouldn’t be where I am today, or have had the experiences that I have had.
I would tell 26 year old me to be prepared. Your heart will get broken. You will at points have no money to your name even though you’re working your ass off. You will know isolation, and a loneliness that you didn’t think possible. Not everyone will like you and that’s ok, because you can’t get on with everyone. You’ll have arguments, you’ll hate your job, you’ll get fat and you’ll discover that you’re body doesn’t work as it should, and that actually getting pregnant can turn out to be really freaking hard.
Despite this though, through the pain and the tears you will experience so much joy!
You’ll take exciting chances, travel the world and find a job that although hard you enjoy. You will meet a man who will become the best friend you always wanted in your life. You’ll climb mountains, walk on glaciers, ride camels in the desert and swim in the sea. You’ll discover it’s ok to enjoy the hobbies you like and say goodbye to the people who make you feel bad about yourself. You’ll find joy in walking the dog in the park in the pouring rain, cooking dinners after work with your hubby and going for coffee with friends. Life will never be boring.
In 2009 there was no way of knowing what the next ten years were going to hold, and now in 2019, the next decade holds just as many secrets. I suppose now, however there is one difference.
The difference now is that I’m older and wiser. If before I’d have told myself to be prepared for the challenges that were about to unfold in front of me, that things will not plan out how you want- now I tell myself to not prepare. Sure, plan a holiday, budget, have career aims, but know that you might still crash your car en route to the airport and miss your flight. Be aware the credit card might get paid off, but then the washing machine will break down. Career aims serve purpose, but take all opportunities offered to you.
The greatest thing we can do is enjoy every day and be kind to each other. I wish you a prosperous new year, and an exciting decade ahead, full of fun, love and adventures. May you learn from your mistakes, and cherish the bad times for the path they end up taking you on. We are just organisms breathing on this spinning planet in a universe too big for us to fully understand, just keep doing your best
Happy New Year everyone!