7 things I’m glad I did this decade (and 3 I’d still like to do)
We’re starting a new year soon and it feels like time where you inevitably reflect on what you’ve achieved over the past 12 months. This time around, though, we’re entering a whole new decade, and that makes it even more scary. What have I done? More importantly, what have I NOT done? Do I still have time to do it? *Insert mid-thirties panic* When I started thinking about this post, though, there were plenty of achievements that I actually felt quite chuffed about, particularly travelling and starting freelancing. Have a read of my decade in review and see what you think…
7 things I achieved in the the 2010s…
- Lived abroad. I was never really that fussed about travelling until my late twenties, and I’d turned 29 by the time I decided to go and do TEFL in Shanghai for six months. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life and absolutely lit the fire in me to travel more. If you have any doubts or worries or concerns about living abroad then my advice would simply be: go do it. I didn’t even like teaching that much, but I absolutely LOVED the overall experience.
- Left a job that wasn’t making me happy anymore. I just got sick of the bullshit. But I also got sick of myself moaning about it, so I made it my mission in 2018 to get out by the end of the year. I was out by May. I now have a new job in marketing that has enabled me to learn so many relevant, transferable skills (email marketing, Facebook advertising, social media strategy) that I’m now able to apply to my blog. So it’s all worked out rather splendidly really.
- Started freelancing. I only started freelancing about three or four months ago so I’m still very new to the party, but I’m loving it. For years I always thought freelancing was for other people who were smarter / funnier / better writers than me, but it turns out that’s not true. I’ve since secured a handful of regular clients, and while I’m not making much £££ at the moment I’m hoping to keeping on evolving and increase my rates and client base over the next year.
- Met my boyfriend. I know right, so yuck, so cringe, so I’ll keep this one short. I started going out with my boyfriend when I was 27 and I’ve never looked back. When the rest of my life is like a washing machine of bullshit he’s the one that stops the cycle, at least momentarily, and I’m so grateful to him for that. And also he’s really handsome, so that helps too.
- Wrote a book. Actually, I tell a lie. I have two finished (ish) manuscripts and two half written novels on the go and lots more dross besides that. I sent the two finished ones to publishers and I was wholeheartedly rejected. But it’s OK. I just see it as part of the process. Writing a book has always been my biggest dream and I’m just glad I did the thing and I put myself out there. Now I just need to keep on going, refine my writing, and send them again.
- Bought a flat. I spent the early half of this decade in countless flat shares and I did that so I was able to put away a little bit of cash every month for a flat deposit. I wasn’t earning huge amounts so it wasn’t easy, so I was really proud to have been able to buy my own place in my early thirties – even if it was a shit tip when we moved in. It’s now slightly less of a shit tip and I really enjoy spending time in it, especially in winter when it’s so cold and dark outside.
- Started a blog. I’d dabbled in a little bit of blogging before 2019, but this was the first year I started doing it properly – and as soon as I did I realised how much I loved it. In some ways I wish I’d started years ago. But, and I know this sounds a bit stupid, I think I needed to be ready. I’m ready now, and I’m perfectly happy to put my face all over it, I just hope that other people like it as much as I do. They probably won’t, let’s be honest, but I’ll be doing it anyway.
3 things I want to achieve in 2020…
- Re-learn how to drive. Yeah. I’m one of those people that passed their driving test and then never drove, and now has The Fear of driving. Although, to be honest, I was never a particularly confident driver and I only ever started lessons because I thought I might need it for a job I never actually ended up doing. Now that I’m in my thirties I do think it’s getting a bit silly, so I would like to try and get back behind the wheel at some point. But I just hate driving.
- Travel more. Of course this was going to be on this list. I already have India booked for February and I’d also really like to go to Rome for the first time in 2020 – I can’t believe I’m 34 and I’ve never been! Aside from that I would also love to see more of Scotland. Since getting the puppy last year we’ve had a few Airbnb trips in Scotland and I’ve surprised myself by how much I’ve enjoyed them. So yes, India, Rome, Scotland, and hopefully a few other places too.
- Create a comfortable lifestyle for myself. I’m talking money, and maybe some people won’t like that, but I want to create a comfortable lifestyle for myself – whether that’s through my job, freelancing, blogging, or a combination of all three. I’ve always been ambitious, and I’ve always wanted to a life where I can enjoy myself and not have to worry about my bank account. I’m not there yet, but maybe I will be by the end of this new decade… fingers crossed!