On Valentine’s Day I celebrated my 20th birthday! This means that I am no longer a teenager and that I now need to try and pretend to be an adult.
I spent my birthday with Dan and we were both disgustingly hungover all day. We went for a Nando’s (always my fave) and then we had a chilly walk by the beach. This is where I had the chance to reflect on my teenage years and appreciate the 6 greatest things that happened to me in those 7 years.
1. Heartbreak (16 years old)
This probably seems like a bit of a strange one. When I was just about to turn 17 I went through my first heartbreak. At the time it was so horrendously shit. I didn’t think I’d ever get over it and it seemed like the sadness would never end. But of course it did. After months of wearing unflattering clothes and no make up I was making an effort again, not only with my appearance but with my friends and family also. I’m glad that I went through this because, although it sounds cheesy, I am stronger now and I changed a hell of a lot in those months of pain. It revealed who was really there for me and it made me realise that I didn’t need to rely on a boy to be somebody.
2. Love (17 years old)
I met Dan when I was 17. Neither of us were looking for a relationship but it just happened and I’m so glad that it did because it has changed my life completely. All of the points after this one were all made possible because of the ongoing encouragement that I receive from Dan. Since falling in love with him I am no longer naive and my confidence has rocketed. I feel so incredibly lucky to have someone that is my best friend, lover, house mate, big spoon and just an all-round great guy. He’s someone that I can cry on, laugh with and tell share all the gossip with. He is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
3. Getting A Pet (18 years old)
Enough of all that soppy talk, what about Dexter?! Dan and I decided to get a hamster when I was 18. We went to Pets at Home 3 times in one day to find the perfect one. When we first saw him he was climbing on top of the water bottle and jumping on all of the sleeping hamsters. He’s been full of energy and personality ever since and although he’s just a hamster, I feel so much love for the little guy! He was the first thing to give me a real responsibility. He was also the best company when Dan was away at uni and I was back home, having a cuddle with Dexter was the best way to cheer up!
4. Getting A Job (19 years old)
I got my first job a few weeks after my 19th birthday. At the time I was doing a foundation degree (worst thing I ever did as a teenager) and had money from loans so I didn’t really need or want a job. However at this point Dan and I had recently come to a decision that I would be moving up to Swansea with him for his final year of university, so I needed to save for the move. I got a part time job at Home Bargains and it completely changed me. It wasn’t a glamorous job, tidying the store and serving customers on tills but I made good friends, had a laugh and it boosted my confidence immensely! Although I had many days where I didn’t want to get out of bed and go to work, I am so thankful for my time there. I don’t think I would’ve coped with the move very well without the experience of working, it changed me as a person in a way I never could’ve imagined. Thank you HB crew!
5. Moving Out (19 years old)
When I was 19 years old I moved out. This was a huge step for me to take as a teen. I lived with my mum and sister for my entire life and had only recently learned how to work a washing machine. My mum did so much for me when I lived at home and she still does when I visit (which is sooo appreciated now!). I have to pay for rent, bills, electric and food shopping. I wash clothes, dishes and bedsheets. I sweep, hoover and clean the loo. There’s a crazy amount of things you have to do when you move into your own place but it’s so worth it for the amount of independence and freedom you get from it. It doesn’t matter if I don’t do the dishes straight after tea, or if I don’t make the bed for a few days. FREEDOM!
6. Moving Away (19 years old)
I didn’t just move down the road, I moved to a city 250 miles away. The thought of a new adventure with Dan excited me and I could never stop thinking about it. I was always so ready to move, so enthusiastic about it. I think it only really sunk in when I was saying goodbye to my family that this was actually a really big thing. I only knew a handful of people in Swansea and they were basically all Dan’s uni friends. The first few weeks were so hard, I was unemployed for the first month and it made me feel homesick so I rang my mum constantly. Once I started working and meeting new people it got so much better and I really started to enjoy myself. I’m now going to try and make the most of my last few months in Swansea. I will probably never live here again so I want to spend lots of time with the people that gave me the warmest welcome. It’s only now that I realise how courageous I was to come here. I never thought I’d have the guts to leave Cornwall, especially not as a teenager! I know I will thank myself in the future for doing what I wanted to do instead of what everyone else wanted to me to do; it’s something I believe that everyone should do to be able to be free.
What were the best things you did as a teenager?
See you soon,
I’ve posted pictures of me at each age in my teenage years below. I definitely went through a few phases!