It was my birthday yesterday. (Thank you, thank you, for the best wishes and I’m sure your card just got lost in the post?)
I am big on birthdays. The world was blessed 22 years ago (I’m half joking here, half not, sorry) and so was I, with the breath of life! What is there not to celebrate?!
A few years ago, Lu introduced me to her annual ritual. Every year she writes a list of all the things she wants to achieve before her next birthday. I love this kind of thing, because you think your goals wouldn’t change, but when you sit down to read last year’s list in parallel to this year’s, the change can be mind blowing.
As my rule for this blog is to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I thought that I could share both list’s exactly as they were written. (lucky you!)
Okay, so at 21, by the time I was 22 I wanted to…..
- Have made some kind of progress in my acting career.
I can confirm that I have NOT done this, if anything I’ve taken a big step back. Slowly tip toeing away from the life that I thought I wanted. The juries out on my acting career to be honest. I still want it, but I’m not sure it wants me. I’m taking a time out from that world because I’m not sure it fits me, and at the moment I’m not willing to change myself to make it happen.
- Go Travelling, alone.
Absolutely smashed this one. Bali was one of the best things that I did on my 21st year on planet earth and I did it all by myself. Pat on the back. Good work G.
- Lose a stone or get back to a size 10.
Bloody hell! If you read my last post, you’ll know how I feel about this one. AS IF THIS GETS TO TAKE UP SPACE ON THE PAGE. Also, I’m not sure I’ve ever been a size 10. Even when I was living off Diet Coke and carrots sticks, I was never really a size 10, the clothes fit but I still wasn’t happy with the way I looked. I mean, what are these numbers I’m equating myself to anyway. If I was to write this again I would put, to feel comfortable in my skin, no matter the fucking number that is on the label of my clothes. Sorry, I should be happy really with how far my thinking has come. I just can’t help but feel ashamed that it used to take up so much space in my mind.
- Fall in Love.
This one is classic me. Fantasist, romantic dreamer. I think I needed to write this one because I was still in Love. Still in love with my ex, or the idea of him (there’s a blog coming up on this so if you need more information stay tuned). Since I wrote this I’ve fallen in love 3.5 times. (I say fallen in love very loosely. Became infatuated? Began the process of falling in love? Became obsessed? I understand that my description of love is flawed but I really mean I felt things I hadn’t felt since I fell madly in love with my ex – and that’s a bloody miracle).
** Side note: if I’m really going to delve into this I would argue that what I thought was falling madly in love, wasn’t really, it was something completely different. But that’s another story for another time.
So, the first love affair, was with a guy that I’ve known forever, and it happened in a party, in a field. I looked at him and realised I loved him and maybe always had. I told him, and he didn’t do much about it. I think we’re still friends. I doubt he knows any of this because stuff seems to just fly straight over his head.
The 0.5 was with my ex, I saw him again and half fell into his massive eyes BUT half managed to keep one foot on the ground and decided it was an awful idea the next day.
2 is the most recent. Still a little sensitive, still like to call him ‘Found another girl’ Boy. Now, he definitely would have had no idea that I fell for him that hard, because I was, for some reason, Mrs cool as a winter breeze.
And number 3. My favourite of all, was falling in love with myself. Anything I’d ever disliked, traits I’d spent my life hating and things I couldn’t stand seeing in the mirror, I decided to love. Whole heartedly. All of the love I wanted to give to a partner I gave to myself. And I am so thankful for that.
- Start saying yes to things I want to do, and no to things I don’t.
So, this one I actually had not implemented AT ALL until last New Year’s Eve, when my friend Emily and I were extremely intoxicated and decided that it HAD to be our New Year’s resolution. No excuses now. It’s actually been so important for me, as I am a classic Yes person. Just say yes to everything and figure out whether I can do it or even want to do it later. I then end up running myself into the ground pleasing others and ignoring my own wants or needs. I’m still guilty of this a little, but I am much more likely to stop and think, ‘Do I actually want to do this?’
- Remember not to waste this time, when you’re young and all of your mistakes have minimal consequences, rather life lessons instead.
This was VERY grown up of me I think! It’s so true and I really beat myself up when I make mistakes. A friend said to me recently ‘God when you fuck up, you really fuck up’. They were referring to the time I turned up three hours late for an exam because I didn’t check the timetable. Worst of all I was actually in the library cramming whilst the exam was going on. But what have I learnt – Check the fucking timetable. Simple. So really, I should thank myself for fucking up so drastically. Embrace it!
- Start blogging
Mic drop. Just going to leave that one there.
Okay moving on to the present list. I am so excited about this upcoming year, I can’t even contain it. As Taylor Swift once said, I’M FEELING 22. It rhymes (it doesn’t but it does sound good), you can’t get it muddled when you write it down AND I’ve had a whole year of experience in being a fully-fledged adult everywhere in the world. SO, I’m bound to be my best self this year.
So here we go, these are the things that I want to achieve and put into practice whilst I’m 22…
- Don’t settle for less than you deserve. In relationships, friendships, quality of food or anything at all.
I first thought of this one in regard to boys definitely. Largely because oh so often I revert to a 15-year-old girl that just wants attention, to be loved in whatever form it comes, as long as it is directed at me. But fuck that. I mean really fuck that. I don’t want to live my life making excuses for people that don’t value me, or anything that doesn’t make me feel great. If you can think of just one thing or person that makes you feel even slightly underwhelmed, unimportant or just disappointed, tell them that’s how they make you feel. If they don’t adjust their behaviour towards you, then don’t settle for less than you deserve. (I’d also like to maybe implement this with my choice of wine, but I’m not sure my bank account allows for a bottle of Cotes De Provence of an evening.)
- Take time every day to find something beautiful in the world around you.
This one relates largely to my recent revelation of self-love. To pull myself out of my own thoughts, I find it unbelievably helpful to take a minute to stop, and find something that I haven’t seen before and just wonder at its beauty. Sometimes it’s something random, like a dog saying hello to another dog, the sun on your face when you don’t expect it or just a weird looking leaf. I basically want to strive to bring the wonder that you feel when you travel to a new place, to my every day.
- ‘We’re here for a good time, not a long time’. Take every opportunity that comes your way and have no regrets.
This is one of my Dad’s go to quotes (he has many which I’m sure I will filter into my writing at one point or another) it normally surfaces after he’s had 5 G&T’s, and he’s feeling wistful and nostalgic. It’s kind of depressing, but so true. You never know what’s around the corner and worrying about mistakes you’ve made, or things that may go wrong, only stunts your experience. I never want to look back from my rocking chair and think ‘I really wish I’d have said yes to that.’ I just want to live in that moment when someone turns their back and starts counting to 30 in a game of hide and seek. Or maybe just like a child, impulsive, inquisitive and utterly fearless. Because we truly are here for a good time not a long time, I intend to make the most of it.
- Read more and broaden your vocabulary.
I am painfully jealous of people that are ‘well read’. You know those people that just know things about things. At first, I thought it was just a few older intellectuals that I aspired to be like ‘one day’. But no no no. Recently, largely due to podcasts, I’ve been faced with people that ooze the confidence and sophistication of a privately educated, middle aged white man, but they’re in their late 20s, rocking a tracksuit and septum piercing. I refuse to spend the next 5 years using the word ‘like’ as a gap filler and if I can’t learn another language (U at A Level Spanish, don’t talk to me about it) then I am determined to learn English better. (Definitely some awful grammar there but I said learn, so give me a minute).
- Travel to at least one new place.
Lu’s just quit her job, to swan off to India to do some yoga (that’s not what you’re really doing Lu, I know it’s a very serious decision, it’s a proper job and I’m proud of you). I’d like to go and visit her. I’d like to go to Japan. I’d like to go to South America. I’d like to see the whole world. At least one of these will do, for this year.
- Last but not least. I would like to try my absolute hardest to stick to all of the things on this list, but not get disheartened if I can’t.
Tune in 22/10/2019 for a re-cap and brand-new list of achievable goals. x
p.s Feeling really blessed as I have the most incredible friends and family, and I am so grateful to all of them for loving me, lifting me and giving me the best birthday a girl could ask for. (Yes, I am well aware that I’m writing a blog not an Oscars speech, thank you very much).
Happy birthday to me.