I spend a lot of my time telling myself I haven’t made it, that I’ll be forever bitter for missing out on *that* job, for not being super fit and healthy, I don’t have long glossy hair or a petite nose and the right amount of freckles. I can’t drive, or swim or speak another language.
But I have a lot….a lot I probably take for granted. At 16 years old I’d been bullied almost consistently for 8 years, for being too smart, too fat, too freckly, for trying too hard, anything that was slightly different I was picked on for. I lived in a council estate, went to a school that was rated the third worst in the country by OFSTED and my career advisor told me I should forget about a career in the media and focus on nursing or teaching (?!) Both amazing careers but neither had I expressed interest in, her words being “It’s hard to work in the media as a woman, it’s mostly for men”
I look at my life now and I think 16 year old me would be astounded. I live in London, in a lovely 2 bed flat. LONDON! – I have walked and worked on many red carpets, attended world premieres, I have worked with everyone from Salma Hayek to the Avengers, from Google to Diet Coke. I have been paid to write. I have been headhunted (more than once) I have an amazing partner who is a real grown up, who treats me with the upmost respect. I have a good relationship with most of my family. I have the best friends, people who will support you when you need it, who will send you postcards, who will offer their bed/their sofa/their homes when needed. Who will have you for Christmas, who’s parents will make you the BEST pasta and the BEST tea. Some of their family may even become part of your own (I’m looking at you pseudo nephew Callum). I’m still good friends with my two best friends from school. I have been to 23 countries and visited countless of cities within them. I have lived in America, I have worked for the Walt Disney Company (twice), I’ve been nominated for awards, I am able to eat out and go the cinema when ever I want. I am loved and have loved.
I may not have THAT dream job, I may not be THAT size 10 I may still be the things I was bullied for, but when I compare my life to those that bullied me…well lets just say the cliches about peaking in school are true.
And comparisons aside, I think if 16 year old me knew where 27 year old me would end up, she’d be pretty damn excited
And may I suggest, if you come upon this, to have a think about the things you’re proud of, the things a teenage version of yourself may have been shocked to see you achieve! Everyone’s successes are different and should be measured as such xx