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A reflection on the last ten years

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This week, my Twitter feed has been awash with #alevelresults – people finally getting that all important news after months of studying, stress and hard work. It got me thinking: how the hell has it been nearly 10 years since I walked through those Sports Hall doors at my college to be handed that non-descript brown envelope that held meaning for the next few years of my life?

10 years. It makes me lol and cringe and roll my eyes and shake my head all at the same time. I’m well aware that saying “where has the time gone” makes me sound old but it’s true…where has the time gone?!

It made me think about what’s been going on this past decade; what I’ve achieved, how I’ve changed, what I’ve accomplished and what I’ve been through.

There’s been joy and heartbreak; there’s been drunken nights at Shelleys (Horsham gang will know what I’m talking about) and quiet nights in front of Netflix; there’s been exams and new jobs and arguments and love and new friends and old friends.

10 years ago, I was a naive 17 year old, with not a care in the world other than where I’d next get my WKD and house party fix and “OMG does he fancy me or not?”. Fast forward a decade (a decade?!) and I can’t quite believe I’m now a mortgage-paying, home-owning, working 9-5 adult. How the heck did that happen?

Time is a funny thing: I can remember that day I picked up my A Level results like it was yesterday; the sweaty palms, the heart palpitations, the worries that I might end up doing something I hate for the rest of my life because my hard work didn’t quite pay off. And yet, life has thrown so much at me that that time also feels like a million years ago and that person back then, with the terrible highlights and not-so-great fashion sense, is like a totally different human being.

The biggest life lesson I’ve learnt over the past 10 years is this: “cherish what is now”. It’s a lesson I’ve not taken seriously enough in all honesty. I wish I had made more of those easy teenage days, those boozy uni nights weeks, those early days of my relationship. Because soon enough, you realise that years have gone by and that time has well and truly been and gone.

It’s not all bad: I’m undoubtedly a stronger, more educated, more sensible person now than back then. In certain areas of my life I’ve gone backwards – my confidence and my positivity for sure – but I think that’s part and parcel of growing up and having to take on a whole lot more responsibility and worry and adultness. In other areas, I’ve leaped and bounded. I’m proud that I have a strong career behind me. I’m proud that I have a relationship with a man who is my absolute soulmate. I’m proud that I’m still best mates with some of my school friendsĀ and that I’ve made new best friends who I love more than anything.

Life is a funny, complicated adventure. I wonder where I’ll be in the next 10 years?

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