Another Sunday blog post, and here I am, sat post-run wearing my teeth whitening shields and a face mask – looking like Michael Myers’ lovechild. Oh, the glamour. My desk is scattered with oddities; my camera, products to review, unopened packages, and my to do list (which never seems to go down). There’s also a pile of receipts, a selection of dog treats and a deflated beach ball I used as a prop in my Jack Black skincare post. It looks chaotic – but it’s my life.
I’ve said it before, that working from home gives you a different perspective on things, and really tests your commitment and passion for what you do. I couldn’t do it if I didn’t love my job – and I’m lucky to be in the position, at 22, where I can do what I love. But, if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it, because what it’s also taught me is that you’ve got to do what you want to do – and not what other people want you to. And that’s something so many of us – including myself – seem to do over and over again.
I remember the shocked looks from my family when I told them I was applying to university in London. “London, why? It’s so far away…” And I think in a lot of ways that was the point – I didn’t want to be bound by what other people wanted me to do. Not that my family would have done that, but there’s a sense of duty, I suppose, that you’re supposed to do what’s best for them, as well as yourself. It’s a tough one, and I remember – despite my determination to follow it through – feeling conflicted.
I will say, though, they were all great, and – with a little persuasion – an incredible support. I’d always been close with my Grandma, who was battling emphysema at the time, and in a way that was the hardest thing. But once I got her approval, I knew it was the right decision. Approval, I might add, that was conditional on me FaceTiming her every other day so she could check I hadn’t gone off the rails, I was eating well and – most importantly – my bed was properly made.
That was 2015. And 4 years on, I know it was the right decision, and it’s only inspired me to live even more selfishly, and make no apologies for it. That’s not to say it’s all me me me – far from it – but I definitely make the decisions I want to make and do the things I want to do. That can be a double edged sword, of course, and there have been times that the wrong decision has landed me in hot water. Living on £100 for the best part of a month isn’t easy in the city – but, you know what, I’ve not been in that position again, because it was a lesson.
Like this post? Check out…
As I round this off, I’m trying to think what the message really is here. Because, of course, it’s not all down to me. I have a great support network of friends and family – both here in London and back home – and an amazing boyfriend who’s helped me through some tough times over the 3 years we’ve been together. But I suppose what I’m really saying is: take charge. It’s not a cliche to say we only get one life – it’s a fact. And it’s something I’m so glad to be aware of sooner rather than later.
If you can own your decisions and take the wheel where your life’s concerned, I think it’s the biggest blessing. Celebrate the good and accept the bad – if I wasn’t fired and left unemployed for 4 months last year I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. I think, really, I’ve always done my own thing, and I’m not going to stop now. So if I want to go out and party, I’ll go out and party. Or if I just want to sit in, drink a bottle of wine and listen to Lana Del Rey I’m gonna do that.
Because, if doing what makes you happy is selfish – then I’m not one bit sorry about it.