I was going to write this post last night, after I got in from Koh Pha Ngan’s infamous Full Moon party, but I quickly realised that although some of my best words come after a fine glass of red, they *probably* don’t come from a place where I’ve got a bucket of frozen strawberry daquiri sloshing about my tummy.
So instead, I’m sat up at a dining table in the reception area of the beach villas we’re staying at, watching the sea lap at the shore whilst a fresh thunderstorm rolls in. Laptop at the ready.
It’s a pretty blissful Monday tbh and I’m feeling pretty at one with myself, y’know?
But yeah, back to the purpose of this post.
It started some time around 9pm last night, whilst I was scanning a drinks menu at a bar not far from where the beach party was kicking off.
The menu mostly comprised of buckets – which, if you’re not familiar with, are essentially beach buckets filled with dirt cheap spirits and mixer and a couple of straws – as well as beers and shots.
The purpose of buckets is to get you as fucked out of your face for as little money as possible. You can easily sink more than your recommended weekly alcohol allowance for as little as £3. But in doing so, you’ll have to deal with putting something in your mouth that tastes a lot like rat poison mixed with nail varnish remover mixed with a splosh of Coca Cola. It is absolutely not the one.
It was at that moment, as I settled on the strongest Campari Spritz known to man (I had to top it up with a bottle of mineral water I had in my bag FFS), and watched drunk teenagers dotted in neon body paint stumble towards the beach, that I realised how much I’d changed.
Because I do not physically remember the last time I drunk alcohol to get drunk. I do not remember the last time I winced as I forced something cheap and nasty down my throat in order to escape my reality, my life, my world.
Sure, I like the rush and the giddiness that I get after a couple of glasses of prosecco, I like drinking fancy cocktails on a rooftop bar in a city and letting that feeling of sugary happiness run through my veins, but I don’t drink to run away from my own inner monologue.
I like my life, I like my people, and, well, I like me.
But it’s taken me a long time to get here. A long time to feel stable and happy within myself. A long time to be in a position where I can sit on my own and think ‘fuck yes, this is perfect. this is good’.
I used to cling on to a quote I read in a mgazine as a teenager. Because it assured me that this day was coming. And omg you’re going to die because I’m *pretty* sure it was a quote from someone from Atomic Kitten, but it was a line that said something like ‘I wish I’d known that life gets easier and better as you get older, and that the way you feel at 16 isn’t the way you’ll feel forever.’
That quote, cor that quote gave me some serious strength when I needed it, I’m telling you.
I know that you shouldn’t spend your waking life wishing for the future, but I also that know some of you will be old Hannah, now.
You will be waiting for life to ease up, waiting for life to cut you some slack, waiting for things to get a bit more like a Disney film, and so I just wanted to say, that it will.
It absolutely will.
But you have to let it.
You have to be ready to fight, to work on yourself, to take risks, seek adventure and challenge yourself. But you have to be honest with yourself too. I spent so long building up this fake version of who I was – this party girl who didn’t care, who didn’t have boundaries. When all along, that was never me.
Alright OK, it was a teeny tiny bit me because lol I have no boundaries when it comes to over sharing. But actually, all I ever craved, all I ever needed was stability. Stability and an ability to talk openly about who I was and how I felt and what I’d experienced in life, so that I could digest it and pull it apart and learn about who I was deep down.
And so I reckon that the two biggest things that took me from LET’S DRINK ALL THE BUCKETS to let’s drink iced coffee overlooking the beach and write about life, are Chris and this blog.
My stability and my therapy.
I guess what I want you to take away from this post, is the knowing of how far you’ve come already, without even realising it.
That you have conquered greater accomplishments than you give yourself credit for.
There are moments when I question everything and I wonder why I haven’t done more by 26. I wonder why I don’t own a house or why I don’t have kids or a husband or a proper savings account. And it’s so flipping easy to do that isn’t it? Compare your life checklist against other people on the internet?
So just take a minute to appreciate how far you’ve come as a person. And how much more you like yourself now than you ever did before.
And just remember that life isn’t about ticking off the obvious things like marriages and mortgages, it’s about evolving into someone who you love. Evolving into the sort of person you’d want to surround yourself with.
You’ve come so bloody far and things are only going to get greater, so I say let’s have a little Monday cheers to that. Now, where’s my mimosa at?