This blog is usually a light-hearted space (even in my low moments) but I just wanted to take a minute to talk about something I never thought I’d see.
My 20th birthday.
I was so sure I’d never make it this far (age-wise) that I never really planned for it. Just like I’ve never dreamed up my ideal wedding or the prefect 21st birthday party. I never though I would leave my teens.
When you turn 13, everyone tells you that your teenage years are going to be the best of your life. Now, I know I’m still technically in them but I can say for certain that this just isn’t true for me. I had a rocky childhood and my early teen years were rebellious – at best! I had no future planned, no purpose in life and not much encouragement to reach for the stars. I didn’t even have pushy parents.
I don’t regret anything in my life – all choices lay the path to our future – but I know I didn’t make the smartest decisions, there are a lot of things I would have done differently. You can’t change the past, you can only learn from it – and that is exactly what I’ve been doing these last two years.
I (somehow) got into a good university, and am now a year away from graduation and my 21st birthday. I have wonderful friends whom I hope will be with me for many years to come, I have a good job and five (technically six) books under my belt.
13-year-old me would not believe it. She wore black skinny jeans, kohl eyeliner and dreamed of getting her lip pierced. Her poetry was delusional at best and she never thought it was any good. It’s taken me seven years of bad choices, a wobbly education and supportive people in my life to realise that we don’t have to be the person our life dictates. If I hadn’t jumped off the crazy train, I would be homeless, jobless and off my face every day.
What I am trying to say is, I am so proud of myself for making a life changing decision in a park when I was 15: I said no – not anymore. I gave up the jelly bracelets and spiky boots. I donned cute dresses and (mostly) natural hair – and no more scary make up. I stopped caring what boys thought of me and decided the only way to be happy in life was to truly be myself and strive for greater things.
I’m proud of me, and I think at some point in everyone’s lives they have a chance to choose the right path. I may wobble occasionally, but I’m still on track to being the woman I want to be.