“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” J.M Barrie – Peter Pan.
It’s been on my mind a lot recently about how as we get older we learn more and more about ourselves. We’re always discovering more about what we want from life, about our jobs, and about the world around us. I think that when things start to get a bit crazy in the world it makes us reflect on our own lives. Or is that just me?
I remember being about 14 or 15 years old and thinking adulthood was so far off and I’d just worry about it when I got there. I’m 27 now, married, renting a house, and I still have the same thought of “I’ll worry about adulthood when I get there”. I’m sure a lot of 27 year olds will have their shit all figured out, and in some aspects of my life I do, I work hard to keep a roof over my head and still treat myself, and I’m happily married to a wonderful man. But, I still get the questions thrown at me like “so, any sign of babies yet?” “why didn’t you go in to teaching when you studied for it?” “Do you not want to buy a house instead?” And believe me when I say that although I can shrug these questions off, they still make me think that I haven’t hit adulthood yet and I have so much more to learn.
I’ve always been someone who just lives in the now, and never really planned out the future in my head, so I never considered what would happen in my life after I finished school, or University, or when I moved away from home. So these are just some of the things that I’ve learnt along my way so far (in no particular order…)
Bills – There’s a bill for everything.
If I have one piece of advice for someone thinking about moving out of their parents house, it would be to only do so with some savings behind you. I wish that in school there would of been a pep talk by a teacher about how there is a bill for everything. I now have so much respect to my parents for always keeping a roof over our heads and letting us still have treats and holidays, and for when I started earning, teaching me the value of money.
There are so many bills you don’t anticipate, the likes of estate agent fees, rent, council tax, utility bills, phone bills, TV licences, on top of all your other personal bills (phone, car, food). It all hit me like a tonne of bricks.
Beans on toast became our staple for a little while.
This isn’t meant to sound scary, or doom and gloom, it’s just a fact of life. But you know what, and this is the most important part, if you can manage all that above, then even if you are eating beans on toast, then you’re doing amazing! And never forget to treat yourself!
Heartbreak – There will be some.
Heartbreak is a natural thing to go through when growing up, I’m sure we all experience it, but as we get older we can experience it in many different ways. There’s the heartbreak from your first love, there will be none like that, but you’ll get past it, I promise! Then there’s the friendship heartbreak. As you get older it’s natural that you grow apart from those we were joined at the hip to in school. You start to realise that instead of having a huge friendship group, it’s better to have a small circle of friends that you can rely on no matter what. This is a hard realisation but you’ll eventually see that it’s for the best, your friendships will blossom from it & you’ll be happier in yourself too.
You become choosier as you get older because your time is precious! Bring me the positive pals!
Family – You need them.
When you’re living at home, your family can be suffocating. You’re surrounded all the time, you’re living by other people’s rules and you just want to get out as soon as possible. But take a moment to breathe. Think about what you want to do in that moment of your life. Somewhere along the line you’re going to need their help.
The best situation I remember being in was when I was still living at home but earning from a few little jobs! I could go shopping when I wanted, book that holiday, head out to the cinema and for nights out, all without feeling guilty. Live it up!!
I still try and do all these things now but I get the worst buyers guilt. This is because I start to think I should be saving, or buying food or thinking of bills. But that is where my hubby turns to me and says, Jess you’ve earned that money, so treat yourself.
Queue me running to Zara or googling the next holiday destination!
Another short note on family, I noticed that once I moved out I actually wanted to hang out with them more. I love my family unconditionally, but as they say for those we love, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
Studying – Gain experience but don’t lose your health.
There’s no denying that when you’re in school your exams are the “be all and end all”. There is so much pressure from teachers to make sure you do well. Exams are important for progression and the experiences you go on to from there will certainly change your life. But they aren’t worth risking your health over!
I’m writing this as a girl with GCSE’s, A-Levels, 2 degrees, and years of stress and anxiety under my belt! However, it was only during my 2nd degree that I decided to do it all without stress. I took my time in my assignments, I time managed myself, I thought of my well-being, and it helped me get the best results ever.
My main studying advice would be to LIST your dream jobs & start from there. CHOOSE wisely your subjects & topics that will get you there. RESEARCH it all. TALK to people about how you’re feeling, about stressing, about the subjects, about prospective jobs, and RELAX amidst all the studying, your well-being is the most important thing of all.
And now lastly,
Dreams – Don’t give up on them.
When you’re a child you have the best imagination when it comes to dream jobs. So why don’t we when we start to grow up? The realisation of what we have to do to achieve those dreams can sometimes stop us in our tracks. But don’t let it, no major achievement ever came easy to anyone. Dreams have to be chased.
I still have dreams for my future and I still work hard to achieve them. I’m so inspired by people who set out their dream clearly in their mind and don’t stop until they’ve achieved it. They just know deep down that it is going to work out. That kind of determination and self belief is something we can all learn from.
A dream can be anything to anyone, a job, a lifestyle, a holiday. I firmly believe that nothing should stop you from achieving your dreams, no matter how old you or what life throws at you, you can do it.
I wonder if I’m the only one to think like this, or you guys agree too? I’d love to know.