So, in typical Shayla fashion I have decided that I want to move to London. Why do I want to go there? Because of the history, the opportunities and the adventure. It’s also because I’m getting married in 3 months and I’ve owned my own home for a few years now.. I don’t want to spend the rest of my “youth” in my hometown when we have the perfect chance to experience a new life overseas. I’m terrified that one day I will wake up in my forties and regret not seeing the world before surrendering my life the usual 9-5, white picket fence and 2.5 kids. I can’t do that to myself.
My husband to be is onboard which is half the battle, however this decision has become somewhat soul destroying because as he’s pointed out, we literally cannot leave NZ for nearly 2 years. TWO. FRICKEN. YEARS. I am a reckless person. I love to make rash decisions but due to the current state of my house and the impending wedding – I have to hold my horses and just wait it out until we have enough savings to achieve all that we need to next year. Having a sensible other half comes in handy but it also means facing reality head on when all you want to do is run away.
We have to replace our bathroom thanks to the previous owners neglect (goodbye $15k) and we also need to finish our outstanding renovations such as the office that we 75% completed back in 2015 and then just left it because we couldn’t be bothered anymore – who does that?!
Hint: We do. We suck.
Not only do we need to save around $20k to actually move, we also have to find the funds to finish off old projects and get the house ready to sell (or rent) so we can confidently leave.
It’s so hard having a long term goal when you’re impatient and crave instant gratification. The rough date we’ve picked to head off is December 2018 (two years was a slight exaggeration) and we’ll have to live like paupers for the next 20 months to make it happen. Unless I change my mind, which is stupidly common in this household.
UPDATED 03 October 2017: We’re doing it, bitches!
How do you find long term goals? Are you impatient like me or do you enjoy having the time to plan? I’d also love to hear about your experiences with moving overseas!
The risk I took, I never told.
A few years ago I let go of my biggest fear of my life. As a child I had a traumatic experience that involved a cliffe, rocks and deep cold water. You are going to think I am crazy. I did the one thing they tell you not to do- trigger bad memories on purpose. I fronted up to my fear and to my memory.
I went back to where it all happened. Some days it took me time to get out of the car. Some days I forced myself out and others I did a circle and drove home again. For those days that I made it out of the car I walked up to the edge of the cliffe and took a seat. With no-one around me all I could hear was the sound of the waves crash against the rocks. Talk about triggering a memory. There was mini panic attacks, loads of tears and some screaming but I did it. At 20, going on 21, I was able to walk up to that cliffe and breathe normally. The fear was gone. The memory, not so much, but hey least I was not afraid anymore.
Would a councillor have told me to face my trauma, no. Would my family and friends support you, probably not. Did I take a risk, yes.
Lesson learnt: They will call themselves experts but the councillors, parents and friends in your world do not understand you like you. Make your own decisions for a better you.
Lots of confusing and stressful things happen while you’re growing up. Here are 10 pieces of advice I wish I was given:
- Some friends will come and go. They’re going to stick around for the parts of your life where they’re needed. You will learn many lessons from them, including how to get hair dye off of your bathroom sink and the importance of keeping your nose out of other peoples business.
- You’re about to meet some people that will be your friends for the long haul. You will go through almost every experience together. You’ll sneak out and go to parties, you’ll try new things together, you’ll make mistakes, you’ll fight, but oh how you will laugh. Cherish the good times. One day you will see them get married, reach their goals, and you’ll know that they’ll always be there for the important moments.
- Sex should always be consensual. You shouldn’t be forced into doing anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, and you partner should respect your boundaries. Losing your virginity at 13 is something you will learn to accept, but you’ll never stop regretting it. One night stands aren’t really your jam either, you care too much about feeling loved.
- University is not for everyone. While you are more than intelligent enough, you are a bit too flaky to commit to a long term goal. You should save your energy for your career, as you won’t actually end up needing that degree for a successful future.
- It’s okay to cry yourself to sleep if you need to. Life is fucking hard, and sometimes crying makes you feel better. When it feels like the weight of the world is on your shoulders, it’s nice to be able to release those feelings. However it’s not okay to cry yourself to sleep every single night. A constant state of sadness could potentially point to mental health issues, depression being one of them. Antidepressants and counselling can really help you to overcome your obstacles, talk to your doctor asap.
- Be a fucking kid. Don’t be so eager to grow up. One day you will wake up in your mid twenties and realize that you never went to a school ball because you were so determined to be an adult and earn an income. If you prioritize and idolize “growing up,” you won’t stop to be a teenager.
- Orange foundation doesn’t look good on anyone. You can skip this stage by visiting a make up counter at the mall and getting them to match you to one of their products. As awful as you think you look in retrospect, keep all of your photos. They will bring you so much joy as you get older.
- Drinking on an empty stomach will fuck you up. You’ll behave in ways that you will regret, and it’s completely avoidable by eating something before or while you get boozed. You will push your friends away because of your behavior and it will take a while to regain their trust. Maccas is open 24/7, there is no need to be an asshole.
- You’re going to fall in love many times. Each boy will teach you something new about yourself and your limits. No matter how hard you try, most of these relationships will crumble. Insecurity and jealousy will be your worst enemies. They’ll creep up on you on both sides of the relationship. You will be accused of things you didn’t do, but that’s not your problem – it’s theirs. You’ll try and get out as soon as you can (but you won’t, you’ll stick around a bit longer even when you know it’s wrong).
- Know when to give up. There will be a guy that embodies everything you think you want in a partner, but he won’t be. You will sit and wait for his texts or his calls, and one day they’ll just stop. He’ll use you for a lot of things, but this will define what you will accept in a relationship moving forward. You will never let yourself be wrapped around someones finger again. You will learn to speak up if you’re unhappy. You’ll never be afraid to express your feelings again.
What advice do you wish somebody had given you when you were younger?
I struggle with wanting to do everything, all at once, with no real sense of direction or consistency.
Some days I will wake up and decide that I want to travel overseas, explore the earth and grow because of my experiences. Other days I will crave a family, children of my own that I can teach and learn from. My dreams never quite align with each other, you can’t really travel the world while raising children. Renovating a house isn’t possible without a stable income, so being a full time student so I can get my degree faster won’t happen. Studying full time for 3 years will prevent me from being able to travel AND have the family I desire. You see what I mean?
I try to envision myself in so many different scenarios, yet none of them truly feel like they’re “me” enough. It’s an awfully confusing situation to be in. I second guess so many life choices and wonder if I’m even on track to end up where ever I want this life to take me. My goals change daily. My bar is set a little higher as each moment passes.
It’s really weird going through life wanting so much while also knowing that it’s probably more than the future will bring. I want to do so many things, yet I know that I’ll only achieve a handful because of my overlapping priorities. I definitely believe that the grass is greener on the other side. I want to have an amazing life but I genuinely don’t know how to make it happen when I don’t really know what I want to do.
I’m not sure if my feelings are normal for my age or if I’m just a complete mess, but I do know for sure that all I want in the end is to be happy.
If you could have told me six years ago that this what I would have achieved by the age of 24 I would have laughed at you. At the age of 18 I was determined that I would own a house, have a long term relationship, a rewarding career and potentially even a child. Here I am, only just hitting my career off the ground and making decisions based on maybes and the unknowns.
Many of my friends are engaged, married, pregnant or are a parent already. Your’s might be too. I used to question if I was moving to slow and if I was ticking the right boxes for a 24 year old. Over time I accepted that I am where I am because I did what I did to get here.
My story as a twenty something is not what I anticipated it to be.
For me, establishing a career is alot harder than I thought.
For me, getting this far in my studies to only want to study more was never on the cards.
For me, having a home and being a mother is not a priority right now.
It is so important to be proud of what you have achieved. Give yourself time to reflect. Give yourself some time to be in the sun and under the stars. Life moves so fast and the people who go with it. Your friend may move in one direction and you may move in another. Put your heart into the things you love. Distance yourself from the people who bring you down.
Turn one page at a time.