This post was written for a wonderful lady called Miss Evelyn Jo. She is an beautiful Vintage loving friend, and an ambassador of Dames for Dreams and Pin Ups against Bullying. She published an article including several ladies “Advice to their 16 year old self” including me. Here is my article in full, and you can read everyone else’s story here – Miss Evelyn Jo
Being asked to write a blog post giving advice to my 16 year old self has been in itself very tricky. Obviously no-one can turn back time, and certainly there are a few things I would do very differently. However, like a chain, you can’t get rid of one link without losing some of the others.
It’s been a long while since I was 16. In fact, 25 long years and a lot has certainly happened in that time. I’ve had a career, become a wife, become a mother and now my children have “flown the nest” and like one big circle, it is now my time again.
When I was 16 I had one massive dream and that was to become a courier. Now, for many of you that means the delivery driver who drops your parcels off, but back in the day, before plane travel was affordable to all, there were thousands of coach companies that drove all over Europe to holiday destinations. These coaches always had a travel courier onboard. Someone to help, show you the sights, take you to the most popular places and help with language barriers.
As a child, I went on several of these holidays to the Costa Brava. 36 Hours on a coach, with an overnight stop in France. On one of them, the courier took me under her wing. I was about 8 or 9, and I immediately knew that is what I wanted to do with my life. She took me around Paris, spoke the language, we ate the local food and I fell in love with what I thought was a glamourous, wonderful, exciting job.
So, I geared my studies, and my classes to that. I took Geography, French and German. I passed all my GCSE’s and went onto College to study Travel and Tourism. I started Italian lessons and excelled in my college classes.
Then it happened……
At the age of 16 and a half, I met a man and fell in love.
Within months were were engaged, buying a house and planning a wedding. I finished College at 18 and decided travelling all over Europe every week would not be conducive for a relationship. So I gave up the idea of the job I had spent nearly 10 years pursuing.
Thankfully, I did go into the travel industry and cultivated my German, travelled to different places and saw the sights, just in a different way.
I went on to become a Mother, changed careers and watched my children grow and leave the nest. This means the time I have now is my own, for new adventures. And You are never too old for new adventures!
Now, as I have said, I can’t change somethings without losing others. If I hadn’t fallen in love, then I wouldn’t have my amazing children. On the flip side, I might have had a career that I absolutely loved. Or I could have hated it!
Who knows, and certainly I wouldn’t change the way things happened. What I would change is me giving up that dream so easily. I could have given the job a go. For a few years. If our Love was strong enough, it would have survived. If it hadn’t survived, then it wasn’t the everlasting kind of love. But I will never know.
No-one asked me to give up on my dream. I did it without even giving it much thought. I never even took into consideration all the hours and years I had put into studying, and learning. The extra tuition, the revision, the studying an Atlas, the learning Capital Cities.
What I guess I am saying is that you should never give up on your dreams so easily. If you want something badly enough, then you can achieve it. Whether that is to be a hairdresser, or an astrophysicist, it is within your grasp.
More people than ever are going to University. The World is literally your oyster, and there are so many opportunities out there. Technology is travelling at alarming rates, and the World has become a much smaller place thanks to the phones, tablets, laptops and other mediums that we can all access.
If you have a dream, go out there. Reach for it and get it. It might be the best thing you ever did. But you will never know if you don’t try.
Don’t let anyone or anything make you think that you can’t achieve it. Or ask you to give it up. Once an opportunity is missed, it is difficult if not unlikely to get that chance again. Life is too short to live with regrets.
For many years I regretted my size and my looks. I detested them. I was a fat and unhappy person. I went on drastic diets and lost weight, yet even smaller I was terribly unhappy. I just didn’t like me!
I let my size stop me from taking part in life. I would sit on the sidelines and watch others having fun, bowling, in the pub, learning to dance, desperately wanting to join in, but too self conscious to do so.
That all changed around two years ago when I decided that life was too short, and I had wasted too much of mine not taking part and living it to the fullest. I now do everything I want to. I don’t let anything hold me back, and I have had more fun, more experiences and adventures that I ever thought I would have. It really has been an amazing couple of years, and I intend for it to only get better and better.
I have catwalk modelled, wore a bikini, learnt to dance, taken sign language lessons, had a photoshoot in my underwear for a lingerie company website, sung karaoke, started my own blog and been involved in advertising campaign for a large fashion company. All because I said yes when the opportunity came my way.
As I previously said, I can’t regret the decision I made, in not reaching for my dream. I have a most wonderful family that I am so thankful for. I would never think about giving that up, in order to have a career.
Thankfully, I am now at that age where I am having those adventures of my own, The World, is again becoming my oyster and I am taking every chance and opportunity.
Make sure you make the choices you need to, in order to succeed in your hopes and dreams.