Two years ago I was working out my notice at LOOK online. I’d resigned with nothing lined up because it had got too much. I was miserable every day, my mental state was rapidly declining and my job role had become so far removed from what I’d set out to achieve as a digital journalist. And so, one day, I just Googled resignation letters and printed one off. It was rash, it wasn’t planned and I didn’t tell my parents for about six weeks.
I had London rent to pay, a cat to feed, and I was – soz about the loud swear – FUCKING terrified.
But I felt free and giddy and something in my gut just knew. It knew that I had made the right call, that I was destined for better, destined for a happier way of life, that everything would be OK in the end.
And even on my last day as I waved everyone off with a big ol’ mouthful of Prosecco, and people were like YOU LITERALLY HAVE NO WAY OF PAYING YOUR RENT? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ON MONDAY, JUST SIGN ON AT THE JOB CENTRE? I was just shrugging and like meh, I’ll be fine.
What happened next is that my blog blew up, I got a job at Metro – left six months later to move to Ipswich and take this blog full-time, and the rest is, as they say, history.
Don’t get me wrong, there was the month last year where I only earned £400 (HI, TO PUTTING ON A I’M NOT STRUGGLING FINANCIALLY FACE ON SOCIAL MEDIA), there were all the times I cried in the bath because of mean comments and there has been a shit ton of loneliness – but y’know what, life couldn’t – it couldn’t – have turned out better.
The point of my story is that you have to chase what you want in life. You have to take the reins and decide that you deserve more, that you want more and you gotta push on forward.
You can’t let fear and negativity hold you back and keep you trapped in a life you’re not happy with.
Because, and please give me a cute lil punch in the face when I say this, you only get one life – live it.
My ex-flatmate actually used that quote with me when I couldn’t decide whether I should go out for drinks in Shoreditch one Friday night in 2013 or not. I did. And I met a boy named Christopher Coleman. Just sayin’.
At school I had a reputation for being a cry baby – I was always on edge and anything and everything set me off. Getting told off for forgetting my PE kit could have me in tears until I looked like the victim of a medical trial gone wrong.
I had a lot going on, a lot I don’t talk about on the internet and it left me feeling constantly hard done by. I constantly questioned why my life wasn’t like my friends’. Why I’d pulled the short straw, why my life was so miserable and unpredictable.
But to live a woe-is-me-life is to die a woe-is-me-life. Bad things happen to good people every single day. We can’t control it, but what we can control is how we tackle life and the decisions we make.
I have spent most of my adult life chasing happiness like it’s some sort of distant destination I’ll one day arrive at, and at some point over the past year or two I did arrive.
I’m not sure if it was finally finding stability – a stable home, a stable boyfriend and a semi-stable bank balance – or if it was because I changed my outlook on life.
You cannot let your past and the bad things that have ever happened to you, weigh you down. Everyone has shitty baggage, some worse than others, but you’ve got to walk through life like you haven’t got any. Like you’re as light and free as a pretty little autumn leaf just drifting through the air.
I hope future generations have to study my poetic lines for GCSE English Literature in the future.
But what I’m basically trying to say is that life and your happiness is exactly as you make it and it’s absolutely A-OK to walk away from the things dragging you down.
You are the only person who can control how happy you feel and who can carve yourself a sparklier HOW IS THIS EVEN MY LIFE future. The sort of future that present-you would be squealing over.
So stop with the negativity and the self-pity, you better than that girl.
Pull on your sassy pants and go get the world, it’s yours.
(P.S. soz about the mega old photo, I couldn’t help myself…)