Despite always being mistaken for being older (and whether that's due to being wise or wrinkled, I'll never know), this month I turned 24! I spent my weekend with my family and friends (and dogs) just switching off from what has been pretty crazy few years in getting my life set up. Now I definitely won't say I'm all sorted in life as I don't think anyone in their twenties is, stressing over whether they should be travelling, popping out babies or being a career woman (or, god forbid, all three). However, I'm actually pretty proud of the things that I've achieved so far, as well as wanting to keep going onwards and upwards to keep finding ways to do the things I want. So here are 12 of each that I'm both proud of having done, and want to do in the future!
12 things I'm proud of:
1 Worked at my dream magazine Cosmopolitan
Even now, I still can't believe I worked at the iconic magazine that is Cosmopolitan. Being a magazine that even my Grandad has heard of, and being such a legendary publication that paved the way for so many amazing things since the 60's, it's something that I'd been wanting to do ever since I started writing. Six months there will probably always be one of the things I'm most proud of.
2 Had some amazing relationships
I've lost old friends, had break-ups, gained new friends, as well as had a great network of colleagues along the way, and whilst some may have been pretty shitty at the time, you still learn something new every time, even if it's not to take crap from draining people or to admit to a friend when you've been a bit of a dick.
3 Visited New York
What woman doesn't love New York? Okay so maybe not everyone but ever since I went for my 21st birthday (three years ago, good lord) I've never been able to get it out of my head and became that place that I always think about and miss on a daily basis. Whilst London is my home, New York is definitely still a calling I want to answer.
4 Saved £10,000 to go travelling around Asia
Working a menial and boring job for a year meant I managed to put money behind me and see some amazing things, experience amazing cultures and travel such a beautiful part of the world, which wouldn't have come without me struggling to save nearly all of my paycheck for over a year in a job that pretty much sucked.
5 Busted my butt to intern and get a job
Nothing comes easy, and on paper, it looks like everything was handed to me on a plate. But what in actual fact happened was £5000 of savings used up, living out of a suitcase for 6 months, having anxiety attacks about where the next internship would come in and being out most evenings and weekends networking the hell out of events. But all that short-term hardship eventually equalled to getting a job a love, which wouldn't have happened if I'd have given up.
6 Writing my blog for over 4 years
Gone quickly hasn't it? What started as simply rambling about my life as a student, has changed a lot in the past year by meeting fellow bloggers, getting me various jobs and gigs, and getting to amazing events such as Boohoo Christmas parties, champagne baths and five star hotels.
7 Been around the world for iconic events
Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai; having been at certain places in the world at the right time meant being there for amazing annual celebrations that really can't come close to being compared to anything else. And even things like Inter-Railing for five weeks around Europe, and road tripping around France and Italy meant we saw things we never expected and experienced some pretty cool stuff along the way.
8 Played badminton for 24 hours for charity
This is going far back to my university days, but even now I'm amazed at myself as to how I not only stayed awake for 24 hours but worked with a team to play badminton for the full 24 hours whilst raising money for charity.
9 Graduated with an English degree
Whilst degrees aren't exactly hard to come by now (and who even knows if they give you much of a headstart anymore), what with most of us choosing to go to university, struggling through three years of very little teaching to come out with a degree that meant I will forever over-analyse any book I read, is always something that will be a great period of my life.
10 Decorated my entire childhood home
What started as a 'shall I paint my bedroom?' became just about single-handedly redecorating my three bedroom childhood home for my mother was something that, whilst led to two days off work with exhaustion, something I'm pretty chuffed with having done not just for me, but for my family as well.
11 Bungee jumped 134m
If you ever asked me what was the most exhilarating, terrifying, vomit-inducing, stomach-dropping moment of my life, then it will always be bungee jumping 134m in New Zealand. That's longer than most football pitches. Words can never describe the feeling of falling at that speed and height, and even now get that feeling when I remember having made the jump.
12 Stewarded for Oxfam at Glastonbury
Not only did I get to go to one of most wonderfully weird festivals in the world for dirt cheap (having spent about £50 for the entire weekend), but doing it for Oxfam meant you could see where your time was going into helping people get clean water or a house for a month. And of course seeing Haim, Kasabian and Blondie were all perks too.
12 things I still want to achieve:
1 Improve my blog following
Whilst I'm very happy not being a full-time blogger, I'd love to see some more progression from it, as I do let it take a back seat quite a lot, so will be working to make it much more successful as the months go by.
2 Get a promotion
I've never had a job that had some level of progression in it and was forever jumping between short-term contracts. Now I'm in one that I love, I actually want to work up the ladder and progress, and earn a good amount of money, something which was never an option when I was pursuing journalism.
3 Be happy with my figure
I've always been averagely fit, but as I get older/give into my chocolate problem, I do find it hard to stay in good shape. Alongside the other hated bits that everyone has with their body, from getting grey hairs to having cellulitey legs, means it's hard to not nitpick at all your flaws. But by doing my bit to get back into shape will help me feel that bit more comfortable in myself again.
4 Meet someone amazing
Whilst some might take this to mean a guy (wouldn't that be nice!) I mean one of those people who just pop into your life suddenly and is just so awesome, that you click with them straight away and think 'how was this person not in my life before?'
5 Save some money as a backup
Having no money scares me. Have you read the Fuck It Fund? Read it and then you'll understand why. 'Nuff said.
6 Keep travelling somewhere new every year
I never understand how people say they can't afford to go travelling. Living in London with a low wage and high rent, it's tough for sure but having found flights to Copenhagen for £14 or had a weekend away in Europe for under £150, I want to keep seeing new places every year.
7 Get into a martial art
Despite having a kickboxing champion dad and a Tai Kwondo Black Belt baby brother, I shamefully have no self-defence skills whatsoever. Be it kickboxing or Krav Maga, learning the basics of a martial art is something I want to add to my list of things I've done.
8 Be on the internet less
Now, having a job in social media as well as having my own blog and own life, means coming away from the internet can be hard. However, my best nights out are the ones that I have no photos or tweets about because I was having such an amazing time, I didn't need to brag about it. So more of those nights are exactly what's motivating me to step away a bit more often.
9 Go to a wedding
Having a lack of married friends may be good for nights out, but not so good for wedding envy, when everyone I know has been to an average of 4 weddings already. Having not been to a single one, all I can say is; FRIENDS, GET MARRIED.
10 Have a place of my own
Now I don't mean to buy a place, as I am very much aware of how I will never be able to afford one in a very very long time. And to be honest, being tied into something expensive fills me with the fear of not being able to just up and go travelling if I wanted. But a place that I rent, that I can do to make my own with people I care about is something I'd love to aim for. Until then, I'm very happy in my new flat of course!
11 Explore London more
You know that old phrase, 'When a man is bored of London, he is bored of life?' I honestly believe that there is so much to do in the way of parks, festivals, cafes, events and god knows what else. I've been in the city for just over a year, yet I'm still in love with everything here so I'm currently creating my Top 100 things to do as can you ever truly say you've seen all of London?
12 Go to a random festival
Having been to Glastonbury and Reading, and have Wildlife and SW4 lined up this year, I definitely want to keep going to festivals both in the UK and around the world. Hideout in Croatia and Coachella in California are most definitely on the list, but with so many to pick from, who knows?
Either way, whilst being only one year away from the dreaded 'quarter life crisis', I'm doing everything I can to remember the good crap, and aspire to achieve even more of said good crap. Basically? To not compare myself to other people and to just be happy, as I don't want to end up regretting my twenties by being miserable over things I can't control. And having achieved so much in the past six years, who knows where the next six will take me?