As my fortieth gets closer and so does my friends, the topic of conversation right now is being 40, what we have done in the last 10 years since the last big birthday, where we want to go, how we want to celebrate and then of course what we would have done differently in the past. It’s inevitable to reflect.
Me being the only single person on the planet turning 40 probably has different items on my list to most. Some people have said they would simply of paid off their mortgage quicker… I’m sure there are people out there at 40 who are still saving for that own home thing to be fair. I’m actually not sure how long I even have on mine, but I’m thinking at least 20 years. I don’t even have a pension. Well I do now as the only letter in the post yesterday was from my employer insisting to take hundreds of pounds off me each month for a pension. Usually I opt out, but maybe I need to have it now as I am turning 40. God this is all so grown up.
Anyway I digress… So what would I tell the 21 year old me? Fresh out of uni with big ideas of being a tv presenter, no major experience with boys and big ideas of earning a fortune. At this time my best friend had one child and two of my besties were getting married the following year. I should have told myself to get some boy confidence and don’t always put your friends first. Live a little, stop holding back and thinking of others – like don’t be selfish or go off the rails – just say yes more than taking the easy route of being a people pleaser and stop hiding behind my stomach issues. I was terrified I would need the toilet in front of anyone back then and I should have just owned up that everyone has issues and stop worrying.
By the time I got to 30 – I had lived a lot more, gone out loads, held parties, brought an apartment, obviously slept with boys, but pined over a boy a lot in my early 20’s. If I was telling my 20 year old self anything – I would tell her to get a grip and move on quicker. To be fair I should tell myself that more now. If it doesn’t work, if he doesn’t make an effort or shows no signs of putting you first and you are faffing around them – move on. If it’s meant to be – it will happen.
When I turned 30, my friend and I joined up to online dating. My advice to that 30 year old self would be – be more open minded. Omg I can be so judgemental and picky. If someone doesn’t look like your perfect type but you get on well and have a good convo online – meet them. What is the worse that can happen? You might have a fun night with someone you don’t fancy straight away, but make a friend out of. You might fancy their personality more than their perfectly formed teeth or you just might actually fall in love with someone who you didn’t visualise as the person you would take home to meet you family. I am not saying go out with every guy who messages or every guy who just messages hi as an opener, but if the guy has stuff on his profile which you have in common or his opening message is a good one, give them a chance.
So the things I would do differently as the single me is: say yes more, don’t be such a people pleaser, maybe pay more attention to boys in your 20’s and still have fun (don’t dump your friends for boys though that’s just wrong) and in a professional stand don’t settle in a job. Otherwise I’m pretty happy with my life – I’d even say I’m pretty lucky and I love my life at nearly 40, however I’m a lot more at ease in my skin now. I think you learn as you get older to not give a damn a lot more. Like if you have tummy issues – brilliant that’s life, everyone is different. Some people have spots, some need a poo occasionally and can’t eat certain food groups. That is life.
My only thing now is, If someone could pay half my mortgage and give me cuddles every night, then I think my life would be perfect, but hey who knows that could happen one day or I’m sending the dog out to work and he gives pretty good cuddles anyway. What advice would you give your younger self?