I’ve spoken before about how hard it was for me to turn 25. I struggle because there’s a part of me that thinks I haven’t achieved enough to warrant getting older. I find myself thinking if only I’d started my blog sooner or, if only I’d studied something different at university. I would have had it figured out by now and then I’d be one step closer to being truly happy in what I’ve achieved. Instead of feeling lost and confused about what direction to take and blaming my younger self for not figuring it all out for me.
It’s a really negative mindset to have and I am pushing myself this year and with this blog to really focus on my true desires. Work on things that bring me joy and have dreams that inspire me to work hard.
There’s not much point in me blaming my younger self for not doing the things I’ve only just realised I want to do. I love the saying that everything happens for a reason and I know it’s a bit stupid but it’s so true. When I think about the last decade of my life, I realise that I probably am exactly where I am meant to be.
I might not think I have it all figured out right now but I think if I were to meet my 35 year old self, she’d tell me I am on the right track.
I say that because thinking back to me at 16 I remember feeling lost and worrying that things wouldn’t work out. But now, it actually seems like 16 year old Lucy had a pretty decent plan for what she wanted.
I think there’s a lot I could learn from my younger self to be honest, she had a clear vision and wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted.
I sat and scrolled through my old Facebook photos earlier, all the way back to 2011 when I was 16. I tried to recall being that age, I put myself back in my size 5 chelsea boots and remembered who I was at 16.
I was obsessed with Paris, that’s one thing I remember. I remember being treated by my mum and dad to a weekend trip to Paris for my 16th birthday. On that same birthday I received a gift bag filled with Paris themed gifts from my sister; slippers and pyjamas with the Eiffel tower on, an Edith Piaf CD and a French movie called L’Arnacœur (The Heartbreaker). In my spare time I would even sit and trawl through apartment listings in Paris, picturing my future home. I’d imagine waking up in my bed with the double doors to my Juliet balcony flung open overlooking the Eiffel Tower with a black coffee in hand.
16 year-old Lucy dreamed big and she knew exactly what she wanted.
I even knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had a plan for when I’d be 25 – I would be on my way to becoming a top translator. Speaking a multitude of foreign languages and living in any country other than where I was from.
On my trip to Paris I remember being sat in a restaurant with my mum in Le Marais district in the 4th arrondissement. We were enjoying some fruity cocktails and were talking about everything we’d seen that day. At the table next to us there was a woman writing, I remember looking at her and trying to peek at the papers on her table. I turned to my mum excitedly and said to her “omg mum! I think that woman is a translator, it looks like she’s translating something”.
I immediately pictured myself in that woman’s seat. In my mid 20’s, with a glass of wine making the final edits to another translation ready to submit to the European Commission, before flinging my designer bag over my shoulder and sauntering home back to my Paris apartment.
When I was 16 I knew exactly what I wanted my life to be like. I stopped at nothing to make my dreams a reality. I applied to study languages at university and saw myself getting closer and closer to my Paris dream.
Things didn’t go exactly to plan but I did graduate. I decided in my third year that I no longer wanted to be a translator but ever since I’ve been a bit stumped about what I actually want to do.
I’m so grateful that when I was 16 I was so focussed on a dream as it has meant that now at 25 I’ve realised one path I don’t want to go down. I also lived and worked in Paris for a bit so somewhere my 16 year old self probably feels like her dreams came true.
To finish off, I think it’s fair to say that I still don’t entirely know what I’m doing but I trust that I have ambitions big enough to aim for. I need to channel my inner 16 year old and believe that whatever I want to do with my life is possible – I just need to focus on what I love! It’s no longer Paris, but I’m loving writing this blog so maybe there’s something there!
What was your life goal at 16?? I’d love to know and maybe steal ideas for my next decade!
I love reading these kinds of posts. We didn’t know better back then and it is great to think about some of the dreams we had. I totally feel you. I didn’t go down the path that my 16YO self thought of either. Glad you got to do some reflections! 🙂
Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me
Thank you so much for your comment Nancy. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Adulthood is hard. I can relate to this post on different levels. We start dreaming big since we are children but the realise the hardships that need to be faced while achieving our goals as we age. This is a great post. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you so much for your comment! It’s exactly that, the reality that life isn’t always what we plan for ourselves. Plans change and so do we 🙂
Love the post! It really resonates with me. I’m in the middle of getting ‘there’ and I’m already noticing I’m going in a different direction than I thought I would . And I’m not disappointed that my plans didn’t work out. In the process we just change and therefore our decisions change. I’m trying my best to achieve what I want now but it’s not guaranteed I’ll get there nor that I’ll still want to get there in a matter of time. Life is a journey
Hey Veronica! Thank you so much for your comment. And very true words! It’s all about the experience and I suppose if we’re happy with where we’re going and where we end up then we’ve done the right thing 🙂
Matt (Two Tickets To)
Such a lovely post, thank you for being so open! Things don’t always turn out the way we planned – especially plans from before real life, bills, commitments etc. get in the way!
We like to keep a few principles/passions in mind when making decisions about the future, but it’s always about finding the right balance with reality and with our changing selves! Blogging is a great place to start!
Hey Matt, thank you so much for your comment! Great points as well. I think as long as we have the right intentions we will always end up exactly where we are meant to be 🙂
This was such a lovely read. I’m sure whatever you decide to do you’ll love
Thanks so much for your comment! Yes, I’m sure 🙂 you too!
I really love these reflective posts – I completely get where you’re coming from too. I turned 28 this year and I’m starting to get a bit nervous because I feel I’ve achieved virtually nothing that I was hoping to when I was 16! I keep trying to remind myself that the things I wanted changed between now and then, but even so it’s a difficult thing to make peace with. Thank you for sharing 🙂 x
I’m so glad you enjoyed it! The past couple of years I’ve been very reflective on getting older and what better place to let it out all but my online diary haha. I think it’s so important to remember that we’re still so young and as long as you’re happy with how your life is now you’re definitely doing the right thing :). There are definitely times I have mini panics though that I’ve made mistakes, but i think that’s all part of life! x
This was so much fun to read! I honestly had no idea what I wanted to do with my life at 16. But if I’ve learned anything in life is that it’s never too late to want to do something new and exciting!
I’m so glad you liked it. Thank you so much for your lovely comment. That is very true! I like to think we have the option to live as many lives as we want during our time – we can do anything and change our situation at any point!
I really love this kind of post, to know more about you and so happy to read your story 🙂 happy that you have a plan even though it’s not going with what you want, but I can feel the same, and so glad you understand and learning from the past.
Thank you so much for your lovely comment Jess! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. It’s important to remember that your plans can change but whatever you do will be right 🙂 xx
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Thank you so much for your lovely comment 🙂 xx
I felt the same when I turned 25 back in March, but now I’ve realised that everyone goes at their own pace and there’s no right time to do anything – I’ll just do things when I’m ready and able! Despite that, I get what you mean entirely, it felt like time had run away with me in terms of life goals etc.
At 15/16, 25 seems so old, so much so that you think you’ll have your life together by then! Don’t get me wrong, I have a career etc but some life goals just don’t work out the way you think they will, especially if you set those goals ten years ago. Either way, this blog post is wonderful, thanks for sharing something so personal and also relatable 🙂
Thank you so much for your lovely comment Lorna! Yes, I agree. When you’re 15/16 you don’t even realise how much life you can fit into the next 10 years. It’s been good to take time to reflect but now it is definitely time to focus on the next 10 years and see where I end up.
I’m so glad you related and relieved to know another person feels the same way!