When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?
Life at 16 takes me back to a socially awkward, shy, insecure, ugly ducking of a teenager who fancied Gary Barlow way before he made a come back with Take That. Boys were a reality – I could actually touch them – (unlike Gary) and marks the start of the never-ending disappointment and heartache from the opposite sex. I’d already been kissed and saw the start of my first proper relationship where I fell in love for the first time. I started college and held my first proper job, earning around £2.70 an hour at Tesco. Oh the days before minimum wage.
My ambitions were simple. By 16, I had decided that I wanted to be a journalist. That dream never did quite get off the ground – although – miraculously did find myself working for a national paper recently in social media. Little did I know that my early dealings with the interwebs would create a career for me.
I also wanted a degree, a husband, the start of a career, a family and to be happy – all by the age of 21.
Did I mention I was naïve? I was probably as naïve as naïve could get. I was desperate to unravel the cotton wool that was lovingly wrapped around me by my parents. I was late starting my ‘rebellious’ stage – not that I was exceptionally rebellious. I was the same as any other teenager, only less cool.
Although I didn’t have a plan as such, I’m glad I didn’t settle at 21. The degree happened, as did the career, although that’s very much faltering right now. The path decided it had other ideas and gave me different options. I wouldn’t be the person I’d be had I’d followed it faithfully and actually, I quite like myself. At 16, I didn’t think this was possible. I thought the self-loathing would stay forever. I have, however, swapped my lack of confidence in myself for the lack of confidence in my abilities. A few pats on the back will hopefully sort this out.
Deep down I’m still that naïve teenager who’s wide-eyed, optimistic and easily impressed. I still haven’t got a clue about where life is going and what I want. I thought I did. But what I do have is a wonderful set of friends. Life is constantly changing and ever evolving. It doesn’t stop – sometimes you’ve just got to go with it.
Of course, I’m still chasing that Happy Ever After. If you know where it is, please point me in the right direction. In the meantime, just bring on the fun.