It isn’t hearing someone chat away about last night’s dream, or listening to David Cameron speak that bores the hell out of me – it’s when someone trills on and on about how unfair life has been to them.
Really, really? You want to play that game?
Life isn’t fair, we’re all old enough to understand that. We’ve all had weeks where getting out of bed and facing the world seems like the hardest thing in the world, and times where our luck is so desperately horrible that you ask yourself what the point of even being alive is, but we move on.
We push forward, we pick ourselves up. We continue onto the next day.
People often ask me how I got so far in my career so quickly. People say I must have been lucky, people assume I must have had good contacts, or just been somewhere at the right time, but the truth is that I knew no-one else would help me get to where I wanted to be, no-one but me and so I kept pushing forward.
When my Dad was diagnosed with late stage 3 bowel cancer in 2011, I was sure he would die. I’ve never had a close relationship with my mum, and I believed I would be left essentially parentless at 22.
Yes, I couldn’t drink more than two glasses of wine without a spontaneous burst of tears, but I didn’t make my friends listen time and time gain about how unfair my life had been, how unfair it was. I didn’t moan like a spoilt child, because as horrible as the situation was, life has to go on, and dwelling on the negatives that you have no control over will never improve your future.
I was on the dole when I got the call to say they’d found a tumour. I was at a low point in my life. But I set about to make sure that I could be the best that I could be. I did the food shopping and the Christmas shopping, I helped my step mum and Dad where I could, I started blogging, I applied for jobs that were loosely related to journalism, I just kept going. It paid off, because only a few months later I ended up as online assistant at LOOK.
My summer of 2012 was spent commuting four hours a day to and from London, heading straight from the train to the hospital, going from the hospital to the supermarket, cooking my dinner at the same time at making a homemade broth for my Dad that we could take to him, and then going to bed and waking up at 6am to start again.
We were one of the lucky families, he beat the odds, he fought hard and we still have him today to watch us graduate, have babies and succeed at life.
If you spend too long telling yourself (and everyone who will listen) how unfair life has been to you, if you broadcast it on social media, if you make yourself honestly believe that everyone else has had it easy, you will never truly be happy or successful.
Everyone loves the saying ‘Be kind always, everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about’ and it’s entirely true.
I’ve got to where I am today because I’ve also kept looking forward, seeking improvements, not stopping long enough to dwell on the negatives to have them hold me back.
We have to accept that most of the worst things that will ever happen to us will be out of our control – it is up to us whether we find the strength to move forward and keep on going, or whether we sit around and believe that we are the only ones suffering.