Lesson #1:There are no rules

unexpensive-travelingI like to put everything into little boxes so that I know exactly what’s happening in my life and that I’m in control. In reality though I’ve learnt that the only thing I am in control of is my career, and sometimes that sucks.

Growing up you’re taught the rules of the school playground, how to make friends, what clothes to wear to fit in, what music is coolest to listen to and now for people half my age, what pose to do to get more likes on Instagram.

Your late teens are no different and so the repetitive cycle continues, increasing with intensity as you age, amplifying the feeling that you need to conform…or you’re out.

Amidst all of the havoc, I learnt something special: the very moment you don’t conform – the moment you forget the rules and go your own way – that’s when life becomes exciting. If you can step outside the mould and follow the path you want to take, generally you’re still in one piece and come out the other side a better person who is both more aware of themselves as well as how it feels to be truly alive.

For years I’ve been afraid of heights and flying in particular. It’s that feeling of being suspended in mid-air with no control whatsoever. I’m the person who has to sit at the front because I tell myself  ‘it’s just safer’ as I wipe the sweat from my palms. So to get on a plane is no luxury for me and without fail I always text my mum to tell her how much I love her ‘just in case’ before I board.

Breaking my own, mental rules and feeling quite frankly shit scared for hours on end has meant that I have seen the world in just a few years… And I can’t stop. To conquer my fears I’ve been to India (twice), South Africa (twice), Brazil, Russia, Europe (a million times) and America, and I’m due to goto Stockholm, Barcelona, Rome and San Francisco all before the summer ends. You see, if I listened to my rules, I’d be sat at home looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, Table Mountain, the Christ Reedermer and the Statue of Liberty in a book. Instead I’m breaking the mould, I’m following a different, more uncomfortable path, and it’s paying dividends over and over.

That being said, I also learnt that to step outside really is an incredibly difficult, emotional and seemingly relentless thing to do, But take it from me, you have got to try it at least once 🙂

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Where do I begin?

I find that most days I surprise myself unintentionally. I’m curious about almost everything. I always have been and as I get older (and some would say wiser) I realise this more and more. What’s most interesting of all though is that I’ve finally recognised that it’s this exact behaviour which is setting me in great stead for what’s to come: my glittering all singing all dancing future (or so I hope).

At work people often describe me as a sponge. I’m a 20-something (the wrong side) who enjoys nothing more than reaching the office to join the ‘unofficial’ early morning club with the few others who share the same goal as I do. I count myself as very fortunate as to how far I’ve come in my career, although it never quite feels like I’m moving at the pace I would hope for and I sometimes wonder if it ever will?

I spend my time living in London and pinch myself every time I say that. London has been my home for four years now and I’ve loved every minute. Ok, that’s a lie. Some moments have been painstaking; the kind where you can’t quite believe you’ll get through it but you always do because you have a 30-something friend to guide you.

In London I shop (a lot), eat in trip advisor’s top 50 restaurants and have a fantastic circle of friends who never seem to be available because they’re triple booked to see the latest westend play everyone is talking about. I spin and do yoga in the hope that one day I too will become a ‘Yoga bunny’ and am the proud owner of a juicer and spiraliser. If that’s not enough (it never is) I also have a very handsome and funny boyfriend who I’d class as ‘the one’. Yes, it’s serious and yes, he’s an extreme version of handsome – definitely not the type only a mother would love. He even has a six pack!

So why am I telling you all this? Well it’s simple. I feel that I have achieved all of the above (my American dream) only by the life lessons I continue to learn. The ones I mentioned that continue to surprise me. I fast tracked my career and got what I would class as the perfect life through some horrendously ugly mistakes I made and challenges I had to overcome up until this point.

And so, I’ve decided to share some examples of those life lessons through a blog with you simply because when I think about what I’ve learnt and what Im learning everyday whether it be through inspirational bosses, friends who go through the unthinkable and come out the other end, or situations you never thought you’d find yourself in, I want to share them with you in the hope you’ll take something from it too.

So, let’s see how we get on…

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