A new decade, a new chapter…
Here I am, thirty years old today and feeling a mix of feelings about it! For the most part, I feel content about entering this new chapter – I have a life I could only have dreamed of a decade ago. But this year has been tough and I’m sure all my 90s babies can agree that reaching such a milestone birthday during a pandemic is a looooot.
Still, I’m oh so grateful that I can honestly say that despite everything, I’ve had a good year. I feel proud of the way I’ve got on with it, I’ve accepted this new way of life and even worked harder and smarter as a result. I’ve built a life I love, and the foundations feel solid and grounded, even when events out of my hands are thrown in to the mix.
I ticked off more goals that I expected; I visited two new countries, although I missed my ’30 before 30′ goal by just two countries! I bought a car and finally feel comfortable driving, roughly 7 years after passing my test. Scotland’s Home Of The Year series 2 was aired and had the highest viewing figures, not just on the channel, but against other channels in the same time slot too. The show was recommissioned and we somehow, along with a LOT of restrictions, managed to film a third series, and we were nominated for a BAFTA too – which sadly we lost out on, but I’m still feeling shocked to have been considered so early in the game!
We finished renovating our new flat in the midst of a pandemic, and we finally moved in in July. I had given up all hope of getting this place finished but now finally it feels like home!
I shared more of my life, created better content on social media and blogged regularly throughout the year too. My following grew for the first time in forever and I felt more connected to you guys too, my ever supportive audience!
Along with the above, I realised what a wonderful support network I have. I am surrounded by people that would go to the ends of the earth for me, and this year has made me realise what an incredible group of friends I have. We’ve become closer during this manic, uncertain year and they’re truly the reason why I’ve managed to stay sane throughout! I never thought I’d find such a wonderful group of best friends halfway through my twenties, but here we are years later and still just as close as ever.
And then there’s Jordie, my loving, endlessly patient husband. This is the 10th birthday of mine we’ve spent together, although our first was when I turned 21 and we were still very new! To think we’ve survived navigating our twenties together is crazy, we are both entirely different people since we first met. We’ve been through it all; career changes and milestones, the ebbs and flows of life in general, and the loss of both our mothers to long and difficult illnesses.
Despite everything, he makes me cry with laughter every single day. Twice this week I’ve laughed so hard with him that liquid has come out of my nose. I am thirty years old.
One thing that seems different about me in the last couple of years is my positive attitude, I try to find the good in everything and I’m quite accepting of my circumstances. At times the industry I’m in can be tough – there’s a lot of pressure to look your best, churn out incredible content day after day, be relatable yet inspiring, be yourself but hold something back for you, share the highlights but be honest about the bad days too. I know there are people out there making content better than me, and I know how easy it is to get caught up in scrolling Instagram and comparing yourself to everyone else… but over time I do that far less and I actually feel comfortable with what I share online. I do my best, I like to think I create aspirational but achievable imagery that inspires others to have a nice life. I hope no one looks at my feed and hate-follows and feels envious, I want to create a space that feels positive and approachable.
I know there is always going to be someone (quite a few someones, in fact!) with more followers than me, women who create better content or work with my dream brands – but you either let that get you down and do nothing and stay still, or you get on and do what you can. For the most part, I choose the latter.
When I worked on my 2021 goals recently, something I do every year, I looked at my life and personal goals and, for the first time ever, the list contained nothing that included working on my physical appearance. It seems like such a massive breakthrough, and surely something that has come with age.
There was no weight recommendation, no fasting goal, no aims to pick up back at the gym (only my daily morning walk which is like therapy to me!), and nothing about changing my appearance at all either.
I just feel… over that kind of thinking. I have a healthy, functioning body that I, for the most part, look after. I eat well, although I probably drink too much wine but we’ll blame the pandemic for that one eh, and I move often and enjoy it! I’ve long accepted how I look – seeing myself on TV and in photos daily will actually help with that!
It was honestly like having this massive advancement, to realise that I feel comfortable with how I look while still knowing I’ll never look like a Hadid sister. All bodies are real bodies and all that!
There are things I would change, I have personal goals I work towards every day. Some days I feel completely apathetic and want to sleep the afternoon away. I become overwhelmed by putting pressure on myself to make beautiful content, and sometimes when things get too much I am guilty of burying my head in the sand. I neglect WhatsApp messages from my friends when I’m busy, I don’t call my dad as much as I should and I definitely could be a better wife/friend/sister/daughter.
This year I made the big move to start seeing a therapist, at first for grief counselling but now we cover a bit of everything – from feeling exhausted and overwhelmed with the pressures I put on myself, to feeling guilty about my mum’s death and the way I can’t do more for my dad.
I am a proactive person, so when I’m anxious or life is feeling like too much, I need to find the cause or work to fix it. Recently I was diagnosed with PMDD, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which causes me anxiety and depression in the two weeks before my period, lifting as soon as my period arrives. It means that two weeks of the month my hormones send me wild; I feel indifferent, overwhelmed, self-destructive and depressed, and then I spend the rest of my cycle making up for this! Apologising to Jord and my best friends for not being myself, catching up on work I’ve missed because I’ve been feeling too restless to work, as well as dealing with the guilt that comes with it all too. It’s a lot, but at least the diagnosis, along with my period tracking App, has helped me to understand why I feel the way I do and I have been able to manage it a lot better. Hormones are the devil.
My goals for the next decade? To continue as I am, to live well and look after myself and the people around me. To channel a positive attitude and be a little selfish sometimes too. I have worked hard to create a life I love, and it’s a simple life – I feel grateful that I take pleasure from the mundanities of the every day. Morning walks with coffee in the sunshine, new songs from my favourite bands, finishing reading another great book, having sleepovers with my best friends even though I’m married and now 30. Laughing at TikTok and sharing videos back and forth with my friends until we can’t breathe for laughing. Settling in with a wine in front of Friday night TV, cat snuggles first thing in the morning and long drives to Loch Lomond at the weekends.
Most of all, I’m thankful for my sense of humour! I do not know a single other person who laughs like I do; it used to be be something I was embarrassed of – never being able to finish a story because I couldn’t stop laughing, being in tears at a mildly funny tale – but these days I embrace it. I cry-laughing a few times a day, and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
So here’s to thirty; to understanding myself better, to going easier on myself, to finding the positives wherever I can, and to finding joy in the everyday moments. I hope this next decade is kind to me and my loved ones, I have no real hopes or dreams but to feel content and be surrounded by the people I love unconditionally.
And above all else, I hope that somehow my mum is watching over me, proud of how far I’ve come. I hope for that more than anything.
Thanks for sticking with me for this one, let’s hope 2021 goes easy on us!