Well that went by in the blink of an eye, didn’t it? It seems like only a matter of weeks ago I was ringing in 2019 with a pint of Prosecco and wondering what the next twelve months would hold, only for it to hold a bloomin lot and pass by at lightning speed. Maybe it’s a sign of getting older, time moving faster and continually recognising that fact out loud, or maybe it’s just because we all seem to fit so much more into our days, weeks and months; but it’s somewhat frightening to find ourselves once again in a brand new decade – and still no sign of any hoverboards.
The last ten years have been revolutionary for me personally: transforming me from a London-based social butterfly who spent her weekends feeling incredibly lonely (and her weeks feeling incredibly stressed,) into a married countryside-loving home owner, freelance consultant and dog mum. Honestly, it’s more than I could have ever dreamed of – even if it wasn’t necessarily the dream I would’ve admitted to anyone (including myself.)
Although the years have been full of lessons, struggles and successes, what I can reflect on is the way I’ve finally come to love and respect myself both inside and out. And that’s the one achievement of the last decade I’m truly proud of.
As a now 37 year old (honestly, how the hell did that happen?) I wish I spent far less of my time and energy trying to mould myself into something I thought the wider world wanted me to be, and more time just embracing the joys of youth.
Too much of myself was given to yo-yo dieting, wearing uncomfortable shoes, pretending to like sport and impressing people that I wouldn’t even remember a few years down the line; too much of myself was given to putting on a brave face, into crafting an impenetrable exterior, to proving myself worthy and over-analysing every encounter; too much of myself was given to measuring my value by the size of my jeans and looking for approval from the opposite sex.
Not enough time was spent just laughing, enjoying the energy and wrinkle-free complexion of youth. And boy, what I would give to have the liver / figure / face of my 27 year old self!
Partially driven by age, partially driven by love and partially driven by the fact I make my living posting photos of myself on the internet, my own self acceptance brings with it peace. I no longer feel like I need to conform to an ideal, because I’ve come to learn it’s an impossible feat to attempt: I know I’m fabulous just the way I am, and I don’t need anyone else’s approval to cement that.
So as we start a new decade, may it bring you the confidence to love and celebrate your best self – in whatever form that comes, overdressed* or otherwise.
*you can truly never be overdressed!
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