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!