At 31 there are times when I look back at twenties and fondly remember the many years of perky breasts and fast metabolism. I reminisce over what it used to be like to have a flat stomach, and arms that didn’t cause a ripple effect every time I dared to wave hello. Looking back I feel like I fit so much in to that decade, from university to travelling, working and falling in love. And falling out of love. And falling back in love. Then out. And even though I wouldn’t change the person I am now, there are a couple of things I’d do if I could back in time and live that decade all over again.
I’d travel more. Going to Malia three times isn’t travelling. Going to Malia three times, Falaraki once and Ibiza twice isn’t travelling. If you have the chance to travel somewhere amazing – take it it. So now in my thirties, I’m powering through my bucket list of amazing places to visit and appreciating it so much more than I probably would have done in my younger years.
I’d spend less time in a relationship which I knew wasn’t going anywhere. Sometimes when you’re in love, it’s hard to break the cycle of not wanting each other, but not wanting anyone else. So now in my thirties, I’m waiting for that guy who sweeps me off my feet, bingo wings and slow metabolism included.
I’d have spent more time learning at university. When I look back at the opportunities I could have had during my three years there, I’m a little disappointed I didn’t make the most of them. So in my thirties I’m trying to learn other skills, like SEO and coding. You’re never too old to learn a new trick people.
I’d have been better with my finances. Instead I was the twat who spent everything she earned and more. If you’re in your twenties and you’re reading this, please be good with money. Or if you can’t help but shop, make sure you’re spending your own money and not putting it on store cards or credit cards. At 21 I couldn’t have cared less what APR was – I wanted that top held together by safety pins and I was going to have it even if I had no money. So now in my thirties I’m the girl with the excel spreadsheet and dedicated budget every month. I’m thrifty and I love it.
I’d spend less time worrying about my body. If I could go back and have the body I had in my twenties, my god I’d be a happy girl. But back then I thought I was a giant – bear in mind I was 10 stone for most of that decade. Hardly sumo wrestler status. I’d give myself a good shake and say look at those hip bones girl, you won’t be seeing those past 29 so make the most of them now. So here I am in my thirties, appreciating the body God gave me. It might not be flawless, but it works and that’s all that matters.
I’d have learnt to drive much earlier. Not so I could have had the freedom I have now. Nope. So my car insurance wouldn’t be as extortionate as it is now. When friends say they pay per year what I pay per month, it makes me want to punch them in the face. So in my thirties I’m…well, I’m wishing I’d have passed my test sooner. Next.
I’d have had more confidence in myself and who I was. The thing is I don’t think I knew who I was, or where I was going until I left university. And even then I didn’t have confidence in my ideas, second guessing everything. So in my thirties, I make sure I believe in myself more, speak with conviction and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks. I don’t actually care any more and what a relief that is.
I’d have taken more photographs. I love photography now, but I look back, especially in my early twenties before Facebook took over our lives, and I have very few photographs of all the amazing nights out and laughter-filled weekends we had. I have the memories, of course, but there’s something about sitting with friends and looking back through old pictures that warms to cockles of your heart. So in my thirties I’m snapping away like there’s no tomorrow. Maybe too much sometimes – there’s a balance between capturing a moment and living in the moment and I think living in an age where we share every aspect of our lives on social media, it’s hard to find that line between the two.
I’d have taken more risks. I’d have stopped being so scared of the what if. I’d have said yes more often. So in my thirties, I’m doing exactly that.
I’d have not feared my thirties so much. I spent a good chunk of my twenties worrying about my imaginary timeline. At 21 I thought I’d definitely be married by 30, probably with a house and a baby. But my path wasn’t meant to be like that and it’s only in my thirties that I can truly appreciate that. I feel more comfortable that I ever have in my own skin, I know who I am and more importantly what I want. Here’s to the decade ahead…