This time last year, I landed in Los Angeles, turning 26 the next day, I spent my 26th birthday being serenaded by a Drag Queen named Sunshine and drinking shots in West Hollywood’s gay bars. The next day I went to an outdoor cinema showing of Purple Rain in the Hollywood Forever Cemetary, I should have known then my 26th year would have been a good one…
So tomorrow, I turn 27 and usually I wouldn’t be so reflective around this time of year, I usually save my reflection for the end of the year when I go “But WHAT did I DO with my year?” but this morning, whilst getting ready, I realised that my 26th year on this planet has been somewhat different from the rest. I did a LOT and I don’t mean “I jumped out of a plane, I cured world hunger, I built a house” I mean, I actually made physical and mental changes that have helped shaped the way I want my life (well, I’m still learning how that goes) to go.. in simple terms, I think I’m growing up?
For example, I changed my job. I went from a job that had amazing people and some great perks for a great company, but made me miserable. Commuting made me miserable, Bristol made me miserable and the job itself made me miserable. On a whim, I saw an advert online to work for a local charity as a fundraiser and applied thinking there was no chance whatsoever I would get it. I got an interview which took me by surprise, and I tell you, when I got offered the position, no-one was more shocked than me. I cried. Seven months later, I’ve not looked back, I’ve done nothing but smile and I’m constantly learning. I can honestly say I really enjoy my job and I’m glad I made that change. I miss my friends in Bristol, but I’m happy and that’s paramount.
With my job came a new positive mental attitude. I’m much more smiley, I laugh more, I’m not horrendously awful to hang around with. The word “brighter” has been thrown at me and I’m flexible, I make time for things rather than wallow in my bedroom. That side of me, hasn’t been seen for a while (and my old job wasn’t to blame for that!) and it’s not necessarily my new job that’s done that either, it’s just the change in lifestyle that’s brought this on.
I actually got off my butt and did something. January 2nd, I went for my first run…in May I ran 5k. That was my goal this year, I did it within the first 5 months of the year. Running isn’t natural, even now I’m struggling to break down a running wall.. but at 21, I had a snowboarding accident which rendered my spine completely frozen. I have good days, bad days and mediocre days. More importantly, I turned 26 and decided I couldn’t let it hold me back anymore. I took up running and decided to eat better, healthier (pizza is healthy? yeah?) and I feel so much better, looking at photos of me from a few years ago, I look better too. I’ll still moan, but I’m onto something – I like the results.
I did more, things. I travelled more at 26.. I went to Ireland, spent my 26th birthday travelling around California, went to a casino for the first time and won $200. Seen Wiltshire in more ways than I care to imagine, booked a holiday to New York (I’ll be 27 when I go there) but I also feel I’ve taken more opportunities. I’ve just got my First Aid certificate – something I’ve wanted to do for ages, I’m given more opportunities to use my camera, get out there and take photos (I’m still trying to gain confidence there), I voted for the first time (yes, I know…) I finally went to Glasto with both Estelle AND Jenny… I got to the front and have the scars to prove it! I persevered with Mad Men (it’s taken me a year), did a charity sleep out and have seen and will see some of my closest friends get married (one of which is tomorrow). Oh and I have blogged more…
I wouldn’t usually do something this personal, not until the end of the year, but 26 has been a good year, and although there are some things I thought I would have done already… I know come 27, I would have done them. No rush 🙂
Here’s to you, 26. You were life changing! 27… get your game-face on!!!
Happy Birthday Eve to me!!!