If I knew then what I know now….

So on Friday night I raced home from work and literally threw myself into the shower, forgetting to take my socks of, thus almost sliding to a shocking yet comedic death. The reason for my hysterical rushing I hear you ask, well I will tell you what, a party and not just any party but an 18th Birthday party for a rather wonderful girl who it saddens me to say I have known since she was about 5!

As I stepped into my floor length dress and amazing jewelry I was reminded of how excited I was before my 18th birthday party. The thrill of the new outfit, the call of the bar and all of my wonderful friends, because lets face it I was at my most popular during 2004.

Once home following one of the most unexpectedly fun nights I’d had in forever I sat on the sofa with a slightly wobbly head and got to thinking about all the things I know now compared to then and what I would have said to my 18-year-old self, if I knew then what I know now, if i had the chance this is what I would have said….

For the love of god Emma be kinder to people, in years to come you will need your friends more than you have any realisation of at the moment and if you continue the way you are then you will wake up one day and realise they are no longer a part of your life. Although you go on to have the most incredible friends,  who are hilarious, supportive and make your life inexplicably better, you will miss the friends you had as an 18-year-old.

Appreciate your body, stop moaning about your thighs, you have no idea how much you will put yourself through 8 years from now to try to get those thighs back. And all that long dark curly hair, leave it alone, stop dyeing it please or when you are 26 you will curse yourself the years of dying and straightening. You know those boobs of yours that get you all kinds of attention from boys, try to be a little more discreet about just how much you love the attention as it will get you a nasty reputation that 5 years later will really ruin a friendship. Oh and finally stop biting your nails, its grim, you look gross doing it and you will save a fortune on acrylic ones!

Boys, now this is a big one, cherish them, all of them. The dates, the sex, the heartache the butterflies, all of it. Love never feels the same as it does when you are in your teens, it never has that all consuming can’t breathe feeling. Oh and the heartbreak, god Emma the heart-break, I know you think its awful now. Those awful break ups, the hours spent crying about love, listening to Westlife and hating your life. Appreciate the heartache as a teenager because once kids, homes and money all get included in the mix it all gets so much harder to deal with.

Forgive yourself, that thing you did, that you think now looking back on may have ruined your life, it hasn’t I promise, it does alter your whole outlook on life and marriage and kids but you did the right thing, you made the right choice. You were way too young. And please forgive him too, he was young too, he didn’t know any better than to go out and get drunk with his friends and ignore your texts. He didn’t mean to break your heart.

Appreciate your parents, you have no idea what a small amount of time you have with your dad, those arguments about whose right or wrong don’t matter, pick your bloody shit up off the floor when he asks you too, its his house and his rules, be respectful of him, he’s earned it. Do ever belittle the love that he has for you, there will come a point when you will feel your heart-break into a million pieces as you realise that you can’t talk to him anymore, ask his advice or have a proper Geordie hug.

But most of all 18-year-old me, I beg of you do not regret anything that you chose to do, at the time it was exactly what you wanted to happen. You wanted those tattoos, you wanted to go home with the guy from the band, you wanted to dance on the piano in just a shirt and heels and all those nights you don’t remember all that well, definitely don’t regret them.

On the flip side there are some things that you at 18 could really teach 26-year-old you

1 – Believe that love will happen again, believe it with almost entire abandonment

2 – Have faith in yourself that you are as great as people say that you are

3 – Throw yourself into things without worrying what anyone else thinks about it

4 – Tell your friends how much you love them as often as possible.

So that’s it, that’s all.

18-year-old me really thought she knew it all……

If you could tell your 18-year-old self what would you tell yourself

E x

Love?

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“it is better to have love and lost than never to have loved at all” or so said Alfred Lloyd Tennyson’s poem In Memorandum from 1850

However i can only imagine that he would not feel that way if he was a single guy dating in the year 2012.

I have been single for 3 years, now most of the people in my life are in couples, my family, my close friends so to me being a part of a couple is the norm’. the thing that i find so strange about being single is not my thoughts on the matter but the amazing right others feel they have to inform me about how i should feel about it – any one who is single will join with me in the palpable hatred of sayings like “oh you will find someone” or “stop looking and he will turn up” or the worst of all comes from married couples usually and it goes a little like this “oh you are so lucky, what I wouldn’t give to be single again!” to the single girl in the room that seems as sincere as a lottery winner saying “urgh if only i could be skint again” sorry but just does not fly with me.

my last relationship, went pretty much as predicted. started off amazing, romance, flowers, dinners out and nights in….but then as is always the case with me things start to change, the balance shifts and in my case he cheated, i found out, he talked me out of leaving, he started lying, drinking and cheating more and finally one sunday dinner over a roast dinner i had spent hours making i realised i was 24 going on 54 looking after a grown man and his two children and completely neglecting myself.

now i love my friends and family dearly and they fiercely defended me and stood by me, told me how awful he was and most of the time i agreed – then i read an interesting article about adultery and how when couples are in therapy to deal with this, the therapist asks the individual who has been cheated on how “they are culpable in the situation” something that most people would not wish to answer. but as i sat there i really thought to myself “what did i do?” “how could i have changed things” this has in fact become a method i use in all kinds of scenarios now, from my friendships to my relationship with my mum. I have learned that I am responsible for my behaviour and how that affects others in my life. Now I am not saying that it is easy, but then nothing in life worth obtaining comes easily.

After 4 serious relationships and too many to mention flings ending & all of my ex’s going on into serious long term relationships, 3 of whom they are still with, it begs the question “whats wrong with me?” when i posed this question to my friends the responses ranged, although most of the time is “you’re just too great you intimidate them” now I love my friends but even I am aware this is bullshit!

If I, and they, were really honest then they & I would see that it is my doing that has lead me to the single life, I build walls up, I come across as brash and at worst rude. I expect the entire world from someone I date. Incredible looks, hugely intelligent, great job, great car, cool friends and all round perfection.

But who am I to ask for perfection in another when I am unwilling to search for perfection in myself? How can I expect to find the perfect mate, when I myself am not one to others? I have to really look at what I want from someone, but more than that I have to look to myself and say “what do I bring to the table”

So this has lead me to the “List” not a list of what I want or do not want in a mate, but what I do and don’t want in myself.

Rather than going through my dating life saying “he wasn’t right” I am exploring why “I” am not right.

Its not a matter of being down on myself or changing myself, it’s about highlighting the great parts of me (learning to spot them is tough at times for me) and learning to curb the less appealing attributes (and not beating myself up for having them) So although I won’t be listing them on here as such I have taken a picture of the list and here it is…. It isn’t exhaustive or set in stone but it’s a start.

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Oh and I lost another 4lbs so that’s 11lbs in 2 weeks! Yay me! Mini Mexican wave in celebration!

I continue to “notice” life I hope you do too

E x