2006 was a massive year for me as I had just turned 18 years old and had started the year working in Debenhams home department, was loved up with my army boyfriend who was in Iraq and getting ready to travel by myself for the first time to America. I would say it was probably one of my best years of my life as it was the age I became an adult and started to get some freedom and discover who I was.
I packed my job in at Debenhams and flew half way across the world to Pittsburgh to stay with my aunt and uncle for six weeks. Besides missing my connecting flight from North Carolina as I declared that I had bought Branston Pickle with me it all went pretty well. I can’t believe how brave I was looking back to do something so huge, for me to do that now I would be full of anxiety and worry. It was my first time seeing my family in over six years and my first time away from my parents, but I had nothing to worry about as I was so lovingly looked after in those six weeks and had some amazing experiences whilst there that I will never forget. I got to see proper snow that lasts for weeks, see the Pittsburgh Steelers win the Superbowl and got to go to an American house party in a basement for my cousins 21st.
When I returned back to England feeling a little wiser and older I set myself to look for my first proper full time job. Within a week I was working as a receptionist and was getting a full time wage, with no bills to pay. Every night was filled with socialising, going out with friends in my usual clubbing uniform of a boob tube and short shorts and spending the weekends in our much loved local nightclub Oxygen. My relationship with army boy didn’t last and ended up back with my on and off boyfriend for most of the year. That relationship went on and off for way longer than I care to admit, which was extremely destructive and unhealthy. It wasn’t until 2008 when I met my husband that I finally was able to get full closure on the whole heartache.
Towards the end of 2006 I got to meet a guy through Myspace who quickly became a very good friend of mine and through him I got to meet one of my closest friends I have today. Unfortunately he left for Australia in early 2007 and besides seeing him when he came home in 2008 and going to see him in 2009 I haven’t seen him again as he passed away shortly after I returned from Australia. I will always be grateful for giving me one of my best friends and so many funny, drunken memories. He was the first person I told, that I was going to marry my husband (before he had even proposed) and he was so happy for me that I had found the one. 2006 was also a year that I got to go on a fantastic holiday with my sister to Dominican Republic, we spent everyday sunbathing and ever evening drinking, young and carefree with no responsibility.
Things couldn’t be more different from 2006 to now in 2016, but it still only seems like heartbeat ago that I was that young, skinnier and slightly stupid 18 year old girl. I am now happily married, mother of two, have a part-time job for a gifting company, which I really do enjoy and I have my blog which has already grown so much in the space of just over three months. I am a fair bit fatter, older, frazzled and stressed out, but I am more fulfilled. I got to live my life as an 18 year old, carefree, responsibility free and happy. I have some wonderful memories, but I am happy not doing the same thing today. My life now is rich, not with money, but with children who send me bonkers, a husband who loves me for being me, friendships that have lasted the test of time, a job which I care about and I blog which is my own little place to reflect.
I have learnt from many a mistake over the last ten years, but I still glad I made those mistakes to learn from. I understand myself so much more and know who I really am. I don’t try to please people, I understand some people will not like me and I also accept people for who they really are. 2016 you have been hard on me, tried to break me, but you have also shown me how strong I really am and that I’ve actually got pretty big balls.
I’m now in the last year of my twenties and will be starting my 30’s at the end of next year. 2017 I am ready for you….