I was recently speaking to a friend about how much different we feel now we are approaching our 30’s than how we felt when we turned 20. I remember being really nervous about turning 20 and not really having a plan or any inkling of what I wanted to do with my life. I was not confident in myself, I didn’t appreciate any talents, I didn’t really have anything I felt made me stand out or special.
I learned a lot in my early twenties, as I feel many people do. We’re not really proper adults in those early days, we haven’t lived, we don’t really have a huge amount of life experience to go on. Many people in their early twenties have just left education or in their first job. Many are socialising until the early hours of the morning most weekends, meeting new people and learning what it’s like to have a little more independence. Some are living away from family and trying to adjust to that kind of responsibility and paying bills.
I didn’t really know myself, I don’t really think I even liked myself and I lacked self confidence. I then moved away and was in a toxic relationship, far from friends and family for a good few years. I became a mum at just twenty one and was a single parent living in a hostel by the age of 23. These were huge learning curves for me and it really made me have to do a lot for myself and figure things out.
Over the last few years I have become a lot more secure in myself and feel excited about what is to come. I am now self employed, a mother of two and in a loving supportive relationship. We have made our flat a home with all the lifestyle clutter you would expect in a family. We have been on holidays both in the UK and abroad, we are focused on paying off debts that have accumulated in those early years of my twenties where I didn’t really see the value of money. I have learned more in the last five years of my life.
The outcome of all this is that now I cope with my anxiety and it doesn’t cripple me as it once does. I am confident asking for help if I need to and making decisions based on informed consent and lots of discussions. I plan things better with my family and we have travelled and seen other cultures. I am more aware of how society works, public affairs and such. Whilst I am not physically or financially much better off I am much more excited about the future, I have goals, I’m working hard and I actually like myself.
I enjoy my friends company without the need for alcohol and spending loads of money. I have children that inspire me and provide me with daily entertainment and challenges. I have a partner who has been in my life for six years and who I love spending time with. I think all these lifestyle aspects are really important when it comes to truly loving who you are.