When I grow up, my life is going to look like this…
One day, I’ll have that…
If I work hard enough, I’ll be able to achieve this and afford that and I’ll get everything in between….
I had big plans for my future. As a distinctly awkward teenager, too cool to admit how desperately tragic I considered myself to be, I would give the impression of not giving a shit, all the while spending hours, days, weeks. fantasising about my future.
The big kitchen I’d have, the plush carpets, the ludicrously expensive and exciting wardrobe, the hair, the work, the exercise routing, the good friends, the fancy wine, the glowing skin.
Adulthood was going to be the place in which I thrived. It had to be. Surely. Anything had to be better than my pre-pubescent hell at any rate.
I’ve written extensively about the crushing blows and realisations that adulthood brought with it, both my book (this is literally the recurring theme), and in a blog post I wrote last year called “Being An Adult Is Absolutely Nothing Like I thought It Would Be.”
So adulthood let me down. Growing up wasn’t as easy as they made it look in the movies. I was not going to hit eighteen and suddenly morph into Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen, I wasn’t going to hit 20 and magically have the wardrobe of my dreams. In reality I was going to find myself hurtling towards 25 without a fucking clue what to do with myself.
I still revel in the fact that if 13 year old Em could see me now she’d be ecstatic; the wardrobe, whilst still a little scruffy is home to some seriously-grown-up shit, the kitchen, whilst not open plan with a big glass door, a ceiling light and an island, is still MY kitchen. And the skin and hair? Well whilst I still harbour a spot every now and then and am yet to wake up without a birds-nest atop my sleepy head, have come on leaps and bounds since their adolescent days. (Read more about the skin transformation HERE).
But even though things are infinitely better than they used to be, it’s all too easy to forget how far you have come and how amazing what you have actually is.
When you’re busy striving for the next big thing; working your arse off, constantly comparing yourself, vigorously dreaming of the next big thing, it can’t come as a surprise when you look around you and realise you’re not only regretting what you have (the stuff that you adored five minutes ago BTW) but mentally calculating how to upgrade it, transform it, leave it all behind.
Do you know how many times I’ve dreamt about the day I’d start writing blog posts from coffee shops?
How many times I’ve told Alex that we can’t go away for the weekend because I’m not sure I’m earning enough right now?
How many time I promise myself that I’ll finally be satisfied when I get to the next mile stone; hitting 10k followers on Instagram (a pipe dream) or writing blog post upon blog post that the world cannot live without.
Why can’t I just go to a coffee shop right now? I have legs, I’m not in 2001 borrowing my mum’s enormous but still exhilarating office PC, I can see a coffee shop from my sitting room window. What am I waiting for?
Why can’t I just bite the bullet and go away for a weekend with Alex just because, accepting that really, I’ll probably never be able to afford it but I’ll do it anyway because I’m young and spontaneous and there has to be more to life than another salad on the sofa.
Why can’t I start rewarding myself for the work I’ve already done? The work I’m doing right now? The badass work that saw me write a book last year and be my own boss??? Why do I need to wait for yet more validation from the world before I crack on with my life?
Where I am right now is great. It’s wonderful. It’s unbelievable. Literally. I would never have believed my future would look anything like this.
And yet for some reason I cannot be happy with where I am, ever, because I’m too busy hunting out the next big thing, trying to smash the next target, obsessing with waiting and working until things are just-the-way-they-should-be.
Dreams are critical, wanting more is essential, passion is the most beautiful thing in the world.
But when I’m so consistently busy planning this and waiting for that and dreaming of all things big and beautiful so obsessively, time and time again I miss all the fabulous shit that is right under my nose.
So for me, as much as for you, here’s a list of things in my life that are totally great but that I take for granted all the time because I don’t have 12000 cashmere jumpers and a house that smells of Jo Malone everything.
- I ate a whole bag of haribo to myself last night.
- I don’t have anything physically wrong with me.
- I have a puppy that totally adores me.
- Even though it hardly ever works I have a dishwasher in my kitchen.
- I’m working my dream job.
- My nails look nice.
- I’m going to the pub tomorrow.
- I can go to the pub whenever I want.
- There are like five pubs within walking distance at any given point in London.
- I have friends.
- My family are great.
- The battery in my iPhone is lasting longer than normal at the moment.
- I’ve found The Greatest Showman soundtrack and it’s the best thing in the world.
- I did my first brand collab with Debenhams last week and I LOVED it.
- I have a real life boyfriend.
- He’s really great.
- It’s sunny and spring is coming.
- I’m alive.
- There is no one stopping me from eating chocolate this afternoon.
- The Good Place is on Netflix
- I smell delicious because I’m wearing Jo Malone Basil & Neroli and I love it.
- I did well in Popmaster this morning.
- My future is bright and exciting, but it isn’t going anywhere.
There’s loads more. Loads. But you guys have places to be, so I’ll stop there.
I want to be the best that I can be, I want to work harder than ever before, I want to be the best, I want my Jo-Malone-smelling-open-plan-kitchen-and-long-lovely-hair, but more than that, I really want to enjoy where I am right now, for a change.
I told my mum I couldn’t wait to have kids the other day.
Don’t wish your life away, she told me.
(note-to-self: she’s not as ready to be a grandma as I thought, good to know…)
So this weekend, for the first time in a long time, you can catch me living in the right here and the right now.
You’ll find me sitting on my sofa rather than cursing it because it’s not as nice as the one that my mate just bought and put a photo of on Instagram. You’ll find me eating a fuck tonne of chocolate and not caring about the spot that I may or may not growing as a result tomorrow. You’ll find me doing what I want right now because life is wayyyy too short to wait for the right time.
There is no a right time.
There will never be a right time.
There is just time. And there is right.
So you can catch me now doing things that are right, at whatever damn time I want.
I’m where I need to be right now and I’ve gotta be OK with that.
Am I on my own with this insanity are you constantly waiting for the right bloody time too???