It’s been a while since I wrote an instalment for the 7 Series, I think I peeked with my 7 favourite gins and I’ve been pondering for a while on how I could ever write anything else for the series. I mean, you know how much I love gin!
Anyway welcome back, it’s been a while. As you might have already guessed from the title this edition of the 7 Series is all about the 7 things I know now that I wish I’d know in my 20s.
Your body shape and size doesn’t define you
I spent much of me 20s thinking about my weight and more specifically my clothing size. I was obsessed with my size which made clothes shopping pretty stressful, especially as every single shop across the land has a different sizing. There doesn’t seem to be a standard size anywhere. So where I was say a size 8 in one shop, I’d then be a 10/12 somewhere else which at the time in my mind I’d find traumatic. It’s amazing how those little numbers made such a profound difference on my way of thinking. But, as I’ve got older I’ve come to realise that my body size and shape doesn’t define who I am as a person. Of course I’d love to be a bit smaller than I am now but on the flip side I really like food. I’d rather be happy and eating the things I love than a size 6 and worrying about my diet all the time.
Never neglected friendships
Boys may come and go but your friends will always be there, well that’s if you’re not a dick and neglect them as soon as you get into a full blown relationship with a significant other. I’m completely guilty of this, getting swept up in the first throws of a relationship with a new boy and not making time for friends. Roll on a few months and said relationship was falling apart faster than a TOWIE coupling, I was left in a situation of having some serious making up to do. I’m so glad I sorted it all out, it taught me a valuable lesson about friendship and making time for those you love.
Having a passport is a privilege be grateful for those experiences
I’m lucky enough to work in the travel industry and often my job has taken me to far flung corners of the globe but, I’ve not always been grateful for it. Back in my 20s when my social life was in full swing I sometimes resented going on work trips and missing out on whatever social occasion had been organised. But looking back on it I’ve realised having a passport is a massive privilege and allowed me to have so many incredible experiences. Time to embrace travel more and explore as much as possible.
It’s okay not to be okay
We put so much emphasis on our physical health but for a long time back in my 20s mental health was wholly ignored and if anything hushed away. Conversations about mental health were often misguided or ignored, basically it just wasn’t discussed. As I’ve got older and had my own issues with mental health and anxiety I’ve realised that it’s okay to not be okay and more importantly it’s better to talk about it.
It’s okay to fail
Sort of connected to the above, it’s also okay to fail, cock things up or ultimately get things wrong. I was always a bit of a perfectionist and would often get the right strop on if I failed at something. Last year I went self-employed and to start with it was something I enjoyed but as the year progressed I was finding it harder and hard to get motivated and retreated back into myself. In the words of Mr B ‘you were a right grump’ but now I’m back working in London at a PR agency and loving it. 20s me would have been super annoyed about failing but 33 year old me realised that it was the best thing to happen. Least I can say I tried it and it wasn’t my bag.
Paper bag waist trousers will never suit me
I’m short and as much as I love the shape of Paper bag waist trousers they will never suit me. They didn’t suit me the first time they hit the high-street and they don’t suit me this time. I just need to accept it.
Live within your means
One of my biggest regrets at university was being talked into getting an ‘emergency’ credit card, cue the slippery slope of living beyond my means because I just had to have whatever it was I was desiring at the time. I can easily admit I was hopeless with money. That saying ‘it’s burning a hole in my pocket’ was written for me. I couldn’t just save it for a rainy day, I had to spend it. Which has led to me being in and out of debt with credit cards and loans but now as I’ve got older (and because Mr B is so good with money) I’ve learnt to live within my means and really consider the purchases I make (although sometimes I still can’t help myself).
So that’s it, those are the 7 things I wish I’d known in my 20s. Is there anything you wish you could have taught your younger self?