Someone said to me last year that they thought 2017 would be my year– the year everything would finally fall into place. And how right were they? Not only have we bought a house but we are also expecting our first baby. Being pregnant throws up all kinds of emotions and there’s no denying our lives are about to change incredibly when our little boy arrives. This got me thinking about my life and all the things I’m glad I did before, not only reaching my 30’s, but before getting diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. Because there are a few things on this list I would struggle with now that I have a disease that affects my life on a daily basis.
For me Uni wasn’t as enjoyable as other people seem to find it. I went to Manchester, which not only is very far from home, but also a massive change for someone who grew up around horses and open space. I felt lonely and even though I lived with another friend from Swindon, this just wasn’t for me. However, going to uni meant living alone and being completely independent for the first time in my life. The first food shop I did made me feel like a proper grown up!
Seriously I am SO happy I made this trip when I did. I was only 20 years old and completely overwhelmed when I landed in New York 13 years ago, and for someone who is petrified of flying, it was all a massive deal. To see some of the most beautiful parts of Southern America whilst camping along the way, made me really appreciate how much I love to experience life outside of the every day. Travelling alone and meeting people from all corners of the world does something to a person. It really was a trip of a lifetime for me.
Okay so, I don’t think the lads were all that pleased but seriously, what a holiday that was. I wasn’t meant to be the only girl going but when the other girlfriends couldn’t make it I decided I was going anyway. Aiya Napa isn’t the kind of place I’d like to holiday now, but at the time it really was bloody awesome! Shabby, shared accommodation, boat parties, watered down shots, drunk people lying in the streets… what more could a girl want?
Seeing my favourite band in concert
This was hands down one of the best days of my life. I can’t tell you how excited I was to be able to go see The Goo Goo Dolls live at Brixton Academy back in 2006. But not only did I get to see them from the front row, I also got asked by the lead singer to throw him my pick, which I happened to have with me for some odd reason. (I used to own a guitar.) They were throwing out picks with the band name on so when he saw I had my own, he stopped singing and asked if I would throw it to him. I was so shocked he was talking to me that I initially froze.
This made missing our train and being stranded in Brixton station 110% worth it if you ask me.
Soon after the tsunami hit, my then boyfriend and I decided to go to Thailand for his 21st birthday. We flew on way too many planes for my liking and spent a shit load of money in Bangkok on the first day but what an experience. Bangkok is totally out of this world and Phuket was beautiful. I read The Beach whilst I was there and it made the entire holiday even better. Totally recommend that book by the way. Oh and if you’re heading to Bangkok, do not miss the ping-pong shows. Mind blown.
Buying a house 1st time round
It’s only now that I’m pregnant and living in a brand new home with Rich that I can really look back on this with anything other than despair. LOL. I bought a house many moons ago with my ex right before the housing market crashed. Needless to say things did not work out the way we planned and we were left in a very sticky situation for years. But despite this, I don’t regret it as I learned a lot about buying houses, which meant this time round with Rich, I did things properly. I have some great memories from that first house and relationship that I wouldn’t change for the world.
Owning a dog
Ah yes, one of the things which has held me back in life has to be Sid. Buying him with my ex meant one of us had to take the responsibility of caring for him full-time once the relationship ended. And that person was me. Having a dog meant not being able to go travelling like I wanted to or just generally stay out all night long recklessly drinking and not giving a shit. However, having Sid has taught me that I am more than capable of putting another being before myself on a daily basis. The love and companionship you experience from a dog is amazing and without him I would have had quite a few lonely Christmas’. Although maybe I would have spent one of them on a beach in Bali. Meh, swings and roundabouts right?
Moving back home when I was 27
Obviously this isn’t something I was super proud of at the time but I didn’t have a choice so I made the most of a bad situation. Going back home felt like I was taking a huge step backward in life but in fact looking back now, it gave me a chance to mend after a broken relationship and also gave me time to think about what I wanted from my life. I also had more money to do things and started salsa dancing and teaching Zumba, both of which I really enjoyed. It was then that I was diagnosed with Crohns and I’m glad that I was at home instead of living alone and having to go through being unwell on my own.
I have friends and family members who are online and although I don’t envy them, I’m really glad I experienced online dating for myself. I love meeting new people so for me it was quite fun. Back then Tinder didn’t exist (I literally sound so old right now) so I signed up to Plenty Of Fish where I did meet one guy who took me out twice. I also paid for a months subscription to match dot com but didn’t have any luck meeting anyone worth actually meeting in real life, if that makes sense?