So what happens when life doesn’t work out the way you thought it would? Embrace it.
When I was at school, I had a ‘plan’. A plan for my work life and my love life. You never get taught about the different things that happen along the way, about the good and the bad. I am in a completely different place to where I was anticipating I’d be and I could not be happier. Life is about living, not about being disappointed in your circumstances or the way things have turned out. Embrace them, challenge yourself and grow from your experiences.
I’ve done so much, even by 26 years old, that I never even considered was an option when I was sixteen. Moving to Manchester at nineteen to go to university was one of the things I’m most grateful for. Originally, my plan had been to go to Norwich or Nottingham and stay close to home. I fell in love with Manchester as soon as I moved there. It’s the place I consider as ‘home’ in the UK and will always go back.
Working at Apple for almost four year brought me together with so many amazing people. I realised the kind of people, culture and company that I wanted to work in. Never in a thousand years would I have thought I would be working at one of the most incredible companies in the world. If you had told me that when I was at school, I would have laughed. Some of my best friends were originally work friends from the various stores that I’ve worked in. It’s one of the funnest jobs I’ve ever had and opened my eyes to business and culture ideas that I had never even thought of.
Growing up, I was always the girl at school that had a boyfriend. I hated being alone and just assumed that I would marry my longterm boyfriend eventually after university. Things went sour and that never happened and I am so incredibly lucky for that. I think a good solid heartbreak helped me become the woman I am today. Limits and standards were set for me and I broke through them afterwards. There were no feelings of helplessness, I felt that I could do anything I wanted if I put my mind to it. I didn’t need anyone to help me get there, I could do it independently with my head held high.
Of course, I can’t get through a post like this without mentioning Disney. Working at Disney World changed my life. I know I must frustrate people when I talk about it but I’m at a point where I’m not too fussed what people think about it anymore. Working in the UK pavilion is something I’m incredibly proud of. Hundreds of people apply for every year and I managed to get a role there. After visiting Disney for the first time when I was seventeen, I fell in love with the Disney bubble. If you told younger me that I would be living out in Florida when I was 25 and 26, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Moving back to the UK was heartbreaking. I always thought that some how, I’d be staying in Orlando one way or another. I cried the entire way home on the plane, not because my program was over, but because I was forced to leave the place that felt the most like ‘home’ to me. Chester became my new home and gave me a fresh new start and to take my mind off how much I missed Florida. Managing to get back into digital marketing after more than a year out, Reckless took me on as a PPC Executive and I feel like I’m in a career that I will always love now.
At 26 years old, I never thought I would be single but I am and I’m happy with that choice. My friends are all getting engaged and married and I thought that I wanted the same thing as them. I was bothered that I had no ‘other’ but I’m happy being by myself. One day I’m sure I will settle down but for now, I love my weekends, going for wanders and seeing my friends and family.
So no, my life didn’t turn out the way that I thought it would. I didn’t marry a childhood sweetheart or end up living where I thought I would be. My journey has been a whirlwind since leaving school ten years ago. It’s had its ups and downs, highs and lows and I’ve changed immensely. Don’t worry about what you have or haven’t done, just enjoy your life in the moment. So, if life doesn’t work out the way you thought it would, brush it off, pick yourself back up and push through your boundaries. Life is about living and loving every minute of it.