Turning 24 | Reflecting on Who I have Become & What I'm Most Proud Of

Yesterday was my 24th Birthday and I was thinking about doing the ’24 things I’ve learnt in 24 years’ post but I thought that had been a little overdone, so instead I thought of doing the 24 things I’m most proud of in my life so far. Although, there was a slight hitch as I couldn’t quite muster the total 24 things so, instead of scraping the idea altogether, here’s the top 10! 

09.09.2017


1.       Completing A Degree 
If you’ve followed me for a while, you might know that I’ve actually had 2 attempts at University… The first one didn’t go so well and I ended up dropping out within the first few weeks. I was having terrible panic attacks, and anxiety in general and I just wasn’t in the right head space. I thought a degree was completely off the cards for me, something I just wasn’t capable of. It was only at the last minute that I applied to a second university – almost like a panic application just so I could have the option to go if I wanted to. I was incredibly apprehensive to try again as the risk of failure was so much higher a second time around, so to come out with a high 2.1 Hons degree is something I am most proud of. I’m the first person in my family to achieve one and it’s with me for life, something I’ve earned and worked hard for. And there’s no harm in pride of a job well done

2.       Personal Growth
My degree has given me so much more than I could ever explain. I studied Psychology & Counselling for my 3 years at Uni, and I can safely say it absolutely changed my life. I truly believe that everyone, no matter the circumstance, can benefit from counselling. There’s something about accessing your true and authentic self which provides the opportunity for incredible self-growth. As someone who hasn’t always been the most confident (something I’m still working on…), having some time to think about who it is I actually am, what my values are and also to appreciate the lives and hardships of others has provided me with a new perspective on life. Everything in life is valid; every emotion and every thought… anything you feel is true for you and for your circumstances and no one can ever make you feel inferior for that.  Learning to appreciate my truth has provided me with a new sense of strength in my character and abilities.  

3.       Letting Go Of The Past
Again, another which is linked to my degree, but undertaking a counselling degree provided the pivotal moment in my life where I would finally be able to let go of my past. I grew up with an alcoholic parent, something which I have kept private from my online life for the last 9 years. But when you first met me, as my 15 year old self making beauty videos in my bedroom, I was shielding that secret from you. Upon reflection I feel like my teens years were quite messy. It was a time when I found it extremely difficult to process my emotions and I kept them bottled up – often with quite destructive behaviours appearing as a result. I would feel confused and angry, and felt like there was no escape or justice. My counselling studies helped me access and work through my emotions which is had suppressed and disregarded for so long, and in the process, I was able to let go of the anguish I was holding onto. There is no way that I would be where I am today if I hadn’t had this opportunity, and for that I am incredibly proud and grateful. 

4.       Moving To Brighton
After Uni finished, I was quick to decide that I wasn’t going to stick around in my ‘home town’. I thought if I got a job there I’d end up 4 years down the road, setting up a life somewhere I didn’t want to be. So, I upped and left and moved to Brighton (…or the outskirts of Brighton at least!).  While being an exciting time, this was definitely a scary prospect. I was moving in with my boyfriend and I didn’t know anyone living in the area – not to mention I was moving into his family home! I really did struggle with this move, and I won’t lie there were times when I was tempted to run home with my tail between my legs, but I stuck it out and a year down the line I’m happy in Sussex. 

5.       Creating A Life For Myself 
Linked to the previous point, I’m proud of the life I have created so far in Sussex. Ollie and I are now living in a flat of our own, which we pay for entirely ourselves (something we’re both very proud of!) We have our own little home, which I love. Albeit I’m still working on the friend-front, as I haven’t yet managed to really meet anyone, but I’m open to meeting new people. I have joined a group for ‘20 somethings in Brighton’ in the hope meeting people who are in a similar position to me. I’ve also joined a new yoga class to try something new and become a little more sociable. Normally this is something I would vigorously shake my head at, but I’ve realised you have to make yourself a little more vulnerable and put yourself out there if you want to gain anything back. 

Elan Cafe, Park Lane
09.09.2017


6.       Raising Bingo
You have probably seen countless pictures of my fur baby Bingo. He is my 8 year old Corgi who I have had for the last 4 years. I had been desperate for a Corgi for years before Bingo became a part of my life, and it seemed to be fate that his owner was putting him up for adoption just as my mum was looking online for a pet (actually for some cats!). Bingo is the first pet which is solely mine, and I’ve been looking after him since the day I got him; feeding him, walking him, taking him to the vets, etc. And I’m incredibly proud that I’ve been responsible enough to provide him with a happy life full of love and care. His previous owner didn’t really value him, but I treasure him and I’m proud to call him my own. 

7.       Rediscovering my YouTube & Blog
My YouTube channel has honestly meant more to me than you will probably ever know. Starting it at a time when I desperately needed an escape, it has provided me with so much love and reassurance. I had a blip in my year 20s, around the time I went to Uni, when I lost a lot of the confidence I had for my content creation. I decided to take a total step back from my ‘online life’ while at Uni, and in some ways I really regret this but at the same time I’m glad I could just be Charlotte and not ‘the girl who makes videos’.  I saw the world of YouTube a blogging make a huge shift and when I came to making new content I felt totally intimidated. There was a period of about a year or so when I would wish I could go back to being on YouTube, I just didn’t have the confidence to start over. It was actually Ollie who helped me realised that if this was something I really wanted, I should just do it. It was something I had done before, and been successful with, so why not again? So I bit the bullet, and while I’m still on the road to rebuilding my confidence, I’m so happy to have YouTube and blogging back in my life.  

8.       Sticking It Out In A Job I Hated
My first job was not an easy one; there were lots of ‘unwritten’ rules in the small office, which meant I had to deal with a boss who didn’t particularly like me. The work wasn’t pleasant; I was originally out in a dark, dirty warehouse lugging boxes. The pay was pitifully low, and not justified to the amount of work required. Every day presented a problem, issues with the most god-awful customers who would make the other girls cry by being vile on the phone. There were countless days that I would text my boyfriend saying I’m quitting and I’d find another job.  I would constantly find myself in such turmoil as I was desperate to leave – but at the same time, I worked with such a lovely bunch of girls and, what with them being my only friends in the area, it was a really tough decision to leave. Despite hating the job, I stuck it out for 11 months until I found my new role, and I’m so proud of myself for sticking with it. 

9.       Applying For Job I Was Convinced I Wouldn’t Get…
My new role couldn’t have come at a better time, I had been applying for SO many jobs, hundreds and getting nowhere, and then I came across a Research Co-Ordinator role for a Clinical Trials Unit. The unit assists on human medical trials, working at the forefront of medicine. I thought there was no way I’d get the position… In fact, after the interview I texted my boyfriend “well I messed that up!”… But low and behold, later that evening I was offered the job! I guess it goes to show you never really know how an interview goes! I’m now in a job where I’m encouraged to better myself and learn new things, working on medical trials which can contribute to really making a difference. 

10.   The Person I Have Become
Bit of a more ambiguous one, but I guess I’m just proud of the person I am today. Of course there are plenty of occasions where I say and do the wrong things, but I have to say overall I’m happy with the person I have become. I truly believe I have a kind heart, and I care about the world and the people in it. I pride myself on having good values and trying my best to be a decent human being. I’m a great believer that you never truly know what goes on behind closed doors, and you never know what impact your actions or words may have on someone. And while we can all have our grumpy days, I like to think that overall I am kind. 

It’s easy to be our own worst critic, which is why it’s so important to take the time to give props to ourselves for the things we’re proud of in our life. We all have things to be proud of, and we all have things to be grateful for. While we might not have achieved everything we want to, there are lots of amazing things we can acknowledge and celebrate. And as for the rest?  There’s still plenty of time… Maybe ask me again at 25.

09.09.2017

4 comments

  1. Lovely post. I watched your videos a few years back, before you went to Uni. Reading this post made me reflect of my own development. It's amazing how much has happened since then, even though sometimes it seems as it was only yesterday.

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    1. Hi Theresa, thank you for taking the time to read my post and leave a comment. Isn't it crazy how fast time flies! I can't believe its been 8 years since this all started! I'm glad to hear this post gave you some time to reflect - it's so easy to overlook your successes! xx

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  2. I remember finding your YouTube channel years ago when I was looking for a curling wand tutorial of all things! Your content was always so genuine, & it felt like watching a friend share makeup & beauty tips. It was so nice to read this post & see how positive you are, & all the wonderful things you've achieved over the years, despite going through challenges others may not have been able to overcome. & happy birthday!

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    1. Hi Kirra, thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment on my post! I know the tutorial you are talking about - wow! thank you for sticking with me for so long! That is the most lovely feedback, I'm really glad to hear my personality came across and you felt like I was a friend talking to you! I really appreciate you continuing to support me :) xx

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