There’s been a lot of hoo-ha on Twitter with stuff like;
there’s only one month left in the decade, what have you accomplished?
And it might not seem so to some but, ten years is a lot of time. Maybe I won’t think that when I’m 80 (if I get to 80), but ten years is almost a third of my life (I’m 27), so yeah, that’s a lot of life lived.
A little while ago I wrote 4 years in 4 paragraphs, which was an interesting exercise to do. I can’t recall what inspired that blog post or where I stole the idea from, but I like the reflective practice of it.
I’ll do my best to remember as far back as 2010, but bare with me because my memory has practically disintegrated after having a baby.
Turned 18 at the beginning of the year. I convinced my mum via PowerPoint presentation that I should be allowed to have a house party with some friends to celebrate. I remember her poking her head out over the banister upstairs, checking in every now and again. I had an inappropriate crush on my friend’s boyfriend. I tried my best to rectify the damage I had done to my A Levels the previous year. I had a lonely summer. I felt lost after A Levels, so I just kept working. I felt very left behind in my hometown as 90% of my school peers moved away.
I passed my driving test after many tears and much anxiety. I was dating someone who lived two and a half hours away, a friend of my first ever boyfriend. He turned out to be a dirt bag, unfortunately for me I didn’t realise this for over two years. I was working at Marks & Spencer’s but trying to find work in an office job, ideally near my boyfriend. My regular socialising consisted of Monday nights at the local pub with a group of friends, drinking too much rosé.
I was still buying songs on iTunes(!). I’d began volunteering at my old primary school for some experience, as I had realised at Marks & Spencer’s that I was pretty good with kids (there was a little girl who used to come in each week to play the ‘Bin Game’, which involved me using the pedal of the bin and pretending the lid was a mouth of a monster). I quickly applied for a local university so that I could study childcare. I got a new job and a new car. I was so busy – working 16 hours a week, studying 16 hours a week, and doing voluntary work 16 hours a week. Plus completing assignments. This was also the year that I started blogging (though not on this blog).
Another new job, this time as a paid daycare worker, so no more volunteering and working. I was studying my butt off, get the best marks I could each time. Enjoyed having uni friends. I switched jobs and became a part-time nanny – I charged them not nearly enough money and was very naive about the whole thing, but I enjoyed my friendship with the 3 year old I was looking after. I started dating someone new, someone whom I had met via WordPress would you believe. As soon as I watched a video message he had sent me, I knew that I was about to fall head over heels and dive into a serious relationship – I was right.
Finally moved out of my mum’s house, out of my home town. I finished my foundation degree in childcare early (I like to give myself fake deadlines). I moved in with WordPress man after a year or so of being a couple. We lived in a house share, said house owned by my boyfriend’s best-friend’s mum (cheap rent, wahey). I got a job immediately at a local childcare centre – complete disaster. The working environment was toxic and I hated going there. That summer my boyfriend and I went on holiday to Dominican Republic, and once we came back, I couldn’t face another day at the day care centre, so I quit. I tried to pursue more creative things, started volunteering at two local charities and enrolled in an evening marketing course at the local college. I got a new job as a proper admin person in a very swanky yet cosy design agency. Very grown-up.
Oh dear, bad year. Broke off things with WordPress boyfriend once marriage was mentioned. Moved out into a tiny shack of a house, had the smallest room ever, but was kinda happy about it. The house was on the grounds of a manor (it was originally the gatekeeper’s house), so I had lots of land to explore and even horses to say hello to. One night the horses actually escaped into the grounds and we had to stand near the gates with our phones as torches. Dated someone new who lived 4 hours drive away over the summer. Started going out more. Found out about the ‘revenge porn’ stuff in August. Things went downhill (mentally and career-wise). Met someone new shortly after and had that ‘oh shit here comes another long-term relationship’ feeling on the first date. And yeah, he turned out to become the father of my future child.
Had quit my cool design agency job thanks to poor mental health thanks to ‘revenge porn’ trauma. New boyfriend and I moved to Scotland to run away from our troubles. Struggled to settle, struggled to get out of the house, struggled to find work and keep it. It was a very sad year. I was lucky to have my boyfriend around me.
Managed to get a job, finally. But of course, on my first day at that job I found out I was pregnant. We had just moved into an awesome new apartment too, in a great part of Edinburgh city. Shock hit us and we started to panic. My anxiety shot through the roof. I quit my job after a month. We decided to move down south, back to my mum’s house, so that my partner could focus on working down there. My mental health took another severe dive, so did my partner’s. It wasn’t a good time. We were both eager to move back to Scotland, and so we did. I drove us up to our new apartment (that I hadn’t actually seen yet) whilst 8 months pregnant. A few weeks later, Violet decided that she wanted to come out into the world whilst we were watching Baby Driver and eating a second helping of paella. Labour was long and painful, and she ended up being cut out of me two days later.
‘Sleepless’ is how I would describe the first half of 2018. We also moved (again) to a small village near Perth, thanks to my partner’s mum having bought a house there for her retirement (and thus, leaving it empty for us to live in and look after). At first the adjustment was really hard, but it got a little easier. We struggled a lot financially, had to use the local food bank a few times, had to borrow money from family a lot of times. Not a great year. Violet’s smile and laughter were the best bits of the year.
Violet is a walking and talking toddler now, so new challenges to face but a lot of fun to be had. I have felt a lot more settled this year, I’ve made many new friends around the village and in the town. Things were not going well with my partner, they had been hard for a while. We decided to have a proper chat in which we answered questions that were written on pieces of paper and drank tequila (see this video series for where I got the idea from). We decided to open our relationship up. After a few months we were happier, but not happier together. We broke up with heavy hearts a few months ago. We’re still friends now of course, and we plan on co-parenting as much as possible in the future.
2020 looks like it will be full of change. I’m scared and excited for it. I think it’ll be a good year.