I know… I’ve mentioned this an embarrassing amount of times, but I’m excited so you’re going to have to forgive me – it’s my birthday tomorrow! I have a brilliant day and night planned with Matt and my family, but I opened some of my presents earlier tonight to help control my excitement. I’m a very lucky girl, and Matt and my parents put a lot of thought into it for me!
So, to celebrate my birthday I’m going to share 21 things I’m happy to have accomplished in my short life whilst sipping an ice cold gin and lemonade in my birthday tiara!
This is probably my most obvious accomplishment, but going to university was the best thing I’ve done with my life. It allowed me to pursue something I’m passionate about, gave me the freedom to move into my own home with Matt and is providing me with a huge number of graduate opportunities that I just wouldn’t have had without a degree. Each to their own, but the thought of going straight into a job-for-life with little or no prospects is daunting, and I couldn’t imagine having to live like that. I’m simply glad I’ll have options when I graduate!
2. Falling in love:
I could waffle on forever about how happy I am I found Matt so young, but I’ll keep it short and sweet. I’m so sick of people moaning about how much it sucks to settle down and marry so young, as if we’re losing our freedom and ability to have fun. Finding love young simply means you’ve found the person you want to be free and have fun with, and I hit the absolute jackpot with Matt.
3. Learnt to cook:
Good food, good health, amazing planning opportunities, endless experiments and lists, lists, lists! Life is so much easier when you can cook a good meal.
4. Money management:
My mum was always lead money manager in my parent’s home – it was her domain. That trait was definitely passed down onto me. Because I’m super organised anyway, this accomplishment was an easy one but an important one.
5. Learnt my alcohol limit:
I’m sure everyone goes through a phase of teenage excessive drinking… Yeah? No? Just me? Either way, my almost 21-year-old body can no longer take hangovers so learning my limits was a huge accomplishment.
6. Do more things that scare me:
Especially recently, I’ve started saying ‘yes’ more. I went on a raft in a lake (still can’t believe how terrifying that was), I faced my fear of heights on the big wheel (bad move, that was scary) and my anti-social little self has to talk to lots of people at work every day (against my will)!
7. Never broke a bone:
I’m a legend. A careful legend.
8. Photograph everything:
Obsessive, yes. Useful, more yes. Looking back in 20, 30 or 40 years on all of my beautiful memories will be such an experience, and I’ll be forever grateful of my past self.
9. Put endless effort into my education:
University was a step in the right direction, obviously, but throughout my entire life I’ve always obsessed over being clever. I wanted encyclopaedias for my birthday, I read for fun when everyone else was playing out, I completed courses and lessons over the summer holidays, I cried over 99% module scores because I wanted 100%. I have and will further my brilliant education.
10. Glandular fever and getting better:
When I was 7 I had glandular fever, and I got really poorly. Really, really poorly. I missed a lot of school, about a year. After that, I only went to school in the mornings for 9 months. Now look at me, little smarty pants! I actually only remember the presents I got – the teddies, and this red and yellow plastic thing that I think was a stationary holder from my grandma. Memories are weird.
11. Never wore excessive make-up. Never wore foundation:
My mum never wore excessive make-up, and because I didn’t grow up watching her apply it, I guess it never appealed to me. Thank heavens for that – I may sometimes leave the house with an uncovered, very occasional spot (because I don’t cake my face in make-up) but at least I’m comfortable in my own skin!
12. Overcoming obstacles during my GCSEs:
In the midst of my GCSE’s, my mum woke up in ridiculous pain. My dad was at work. I was ready to leave for school, but she really needed to go to hospital. She drove. I then spent my full day in silence, worried, with her bed-ridden on the emergency ward, unable to call my dad, missing school, with an almost unconscious (because of the pain killers) mother, allowing tests from the doctors that I didn’t even know what they meant. She doesn’t remember a thing from that day and she’s still not completely better 6 years later. Point of the story, I didn’t let anything get in the way of me and my education. Nerd.
13. Wyke College Awards:
Wow, another education-based accomplishment. You wouldn’t guess my focus in life was, would you? I was so proud when I was nominated for and won my subject awards in college. I was also awarded with the Kingston Communication’s Digital Media Award, which sounds super cool and was awarded for my combined accomplishments in IT and Photography. Yey!
14. Getting rid of those shorts:
The number of times my parents have retold this story is insane. After 3 years of owning a hugely hated pair of shorts, I fell into a little fresh water stream. When we got back to the car, I stripped off the wet shorts (don’t worry, I was only a kiddie) and sat in the car in my pants! My mum pinned the shorts outside of the car windows, held on by rolling up the window completely. As we drove home… I am accused of… rolling down the window and letting those shorts fly off into the distance! Bye bye!
15. Quit my crappy job:
I had an awful job, solely to save money for a deposit. It was important, intense and the bastards treat us all like slaves as they sat around drinking cups of tea. When we had been living together for a few months, I was ready to quit. I wasn’t allowed. They wouldn’t let me. So I turned my phone off, ignored all calls from big boss man and never went back.
16. Treat yo’ self:
Since moving out, having jobs, university and what not, I’ve had disposable income! Granted, it’s not a lot… but it’s more than I’ve ever had before which means me and Matt have had the chance to splurge on ourselves and our come. I think it’s nice to treat yourself every now and then!
17. Accepted my sense of style:
I always tried to wear what was fashionable, and that’s boring. I enjoy vintage, I enjoy monochrome, I enjoy polka-dots, long skirts, red lipstick and I hate mainstream fashion. Weirdly, it’s kind of fashionable to be unfashionable at the moment. Life is complicated, and I’m done with people laughing or looking down on me because I don’t want my boobs out or bum out or wearing the same 3 items of clothing as every other fashionable female.
18. Built a 7ft cardboard and papier-mâché sculpture of an avatar (from the film Avatar):
One of my proudest moments. It was so cool. I braided hundreds of individual wool plaits for her hair. I put so much effort into her… and then she was done, and she was too big to take home!
19.Climbed 2,356ft up to Red Tarn:
Red Tarn is a lake of Helvellyn, Lake District. Did you reach that? 2,356ft. We wanted to continue up to the top of Helvellyn but some of our group was too tired and majority won. This was a huge accomplishment, and one of those achievements I’ll remember forever!
20. Embraced my varied hobbies:
I am passionate about so many things – programming, photography, cats, books, design, art, movies, TV, crafts, nature. I used to think you could only chose one or two. Fuck that, I want them all and I have them all!
21. Started my blog:
My blog is my accomplishment of the year! I absolutely love the freedom of writing, and the community is amazing. My readers are amazing. Your blogs are amazing. I’m so grateful!
Tick tock goes the clock – one hour to go until I’m 21!
Have you accomplished something you’re super proud of? Accepting your achievements instead of focusing on your flaws is so important!