When things go wrong you have the power of choice. Do you stop or do you move forward?
We all make mistakes, we are all human, mistakes are a part of life and they educate us if we choose for them to do so. At the time of making a mistake we can wish for the ground to swallow us up, but when you look back on these moments it is not as bad as it seemed at the time (most of the time.)
I believe that everything happens for a reason when it comes to bigger life events. We meet people for a reason and we have daily crossroads where we need to decide our path. Regret is something I don’t personally like to feel as you only have one life so we should accept mistakes we have made and grow from them (I know, easier said than done!)
I do however look back at some decisions I have made in the past and sometimes question whether I did the right thing. A lot of the time the answer is no, but these events have got me to where I am now and made me who I am today:
Following the crowd to uni
I finished sixth form at the age of eighteen not really sure of what I wanted to do with myself next. I loved being creative and knew I wanted to focus on that, however university just didn’t sit right with me at that time. I enrolled at a local college to study art foundation for a year which was one of the best times of my life and I am still really close to a few friends I met there. However when that year came to a close I was left with decision making all over again of whether to go to uni or not. I feel as if my sixth form and college didn’t educate us enough on other options apart from university, and it felt to me that in order to succeed I had to go and get myself a degree.
So off I went like everyone else did to university where I had an up and down time for three years. I don’t regret my time there and I ended up graduating with a 2:1 degree, but I can’t help but consider where I would be now if I had taken another path.
But you know what, I made one of my best friends there, I learnt a lot of new skills, I gained independence and got some amazing opportunities through going to university so I will never regret those years.
Not listening to my gut feeling
This is a biggy. Through the years my gut feeling has proven to be right on almost all occasions it feels like I have a sixth sense almost. However the number of times I have ignored it or squashed that feeling down because I didn’t want to know or believe what I was thinking.
But as I said, every single time it proved me right and saved me from ongoing crappy relationships and situations.
Yes, because I ignored my gut feeling I endured some horrible times, but ultimately it has taught me so much about what I deserve, how to be respected and to stand up for myself.
Being irresponsible with money
You go to uni and get a lump sum of cash to get you through each term, and coming from earning practically nothing on my Sunday retail job, jumping to having a wad of cash is an exciting thing. I basically did not use my money wisely at all! One year me and a friend went to Ibiza and Gran Canaria paid for on our student loans. I feel pretty guilty about it now but we were young party animals looking for new adventures.
Fast forward to today and I totally get all those times my dad would tell me to spend my money wisely. It took a long time for me to pay off those debts but now I know the importance of saving as well as spending wisely. I am not perfect still as I do have that spontaneous streak in me! But I try my best.
Staying in my comfort zone
For so long I would never try anything new and was happy living in my safe little bubble. I entirely believe this is down to my mental health so I don’t place any blame on myself, however I feel like I missed out on some opportunities when I was younger because of it. For example in my first year of university I completely missed out on the ‘freshers’ experience in the first week because I was too scared to go out and not know anyone. My social anxiety flared up and had a hold over me which meant I missed out. But it wasn’t the end of the world.
Believing I should be anything else other than me
When I reached the age of sixteen I really struggled accepting who I was. Social media was starting to really take off and I just didn’t think I was good enough both physically and personality-wise. I had always been labelled the shy, quiet one, the one you’d never know was there at school and I wished I could be charismatic and one of the more popular girls. Physically I started to compare myself to others and I think bigger insecurities stem from when I discovered my then-boyfriend had porn magazines stashed away and I would think to myself I don’t look like that, that means I am not attractive.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have body hang-ups as a lot of us do, but I accept who I am as a person now. I won’t ever be life and soul of the party who loves public speaking but that’s ok! Being quiet is not a bad thing and doesn’t ‘devalue’ me as a person in the slightest. The people around me love who I am and I am growing to accept that.