Today I turn 25!
I guess this is considered somewhat of a milestone in life? I never really reflect much on age, or really talk about my age much, so this kinda crept up on me. I suppose it's because I've felt a lot older for some time. Whenever anyone I know in "real life" finds out my age, they always seem surprised and say that I seem a lot older. I take that as a compliment.
I don't really understand the obsession with youth. When you are young, you aren't taken seriously (at least, that's what I found). You go through the drama of school, college, university, and finally getting a job. I'm always somewhat glad when people assume I'm older, because I equate that to being more headstrong and confident. Hopefully more cultured and informed, too.
When discussing this theme with a colleague recently, they mentioned that I seemed "accomplished", which, I guess, is right. I never really thought much about what I'd want to do or where I'd want to be in 5 years from now. I didn't set myself any goals when I was 20. I take things as they come, and if something isn't right in my life, I work on it to improve it.
Me at 19 or 20 in my University bedsit, shortly before going out.
I do recognize that I've been incredibly privileged in my life, but I have also worked hard. I've had a middle class upbringing with loving parents, I'm an only child, I went to a good school (although it was a comprehensive/state school, not private), a good college and a good university. I had some level of financial support once I left university and got any retail job I could. I learned very quickly how to look after myself and others, leaving home at 18 to first stay in a bedsit, then with 4 other girls and finally in a 2 bed flat with my boyfriend.
Back to the work aspect; in the 2 retail jobs I had prior to my current job, I tended to "move up" (albeit with little financial movement) in my position and responsibilities. In one of the jobs I ended up training people who were twice my age, while still doing all the other tasks that were expected of me, with a topping of rude customers. Of course there were times that I felt stuck in a rut, with little chance of moving up in the company, and few exciting opportunities coming by.
Luckily I did eventually see an opening, and it was an advertisement for a Shop Manager role at Playful Promises. I went to the interview, and I can't remember exactly how the events happened, but the brand director, Emma, saw skills in me that would be better suited to a different role in the company. So, I became the Marketing Assistant. All those years of "wasting time" on the Internet had translated into skills that are actually valued in the Social Media industry.
That was in 2011, now 3 years later I'm the Brand Manager. It's my idea of a perfect job. I do all the things that I love doing, such as marketing, photography, social media; and working on skills that I feel I could develop further, such as selling B2B and managing other people.
Along with a full time job, I've also co-developed, marketed and worked as part of a DJ duo called The Roustabouts. This includes putting on our own club/cabaret nights. One of them being every week DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON. Not only was I tackling the xmas retail customers and preparing for the January tradeshows at work, but I was working every single weekend (of course there was gin involved but can you blame me?). And then there's the occasional photoshoots I'd been fitting in there as well.
So, yes, I suppose what I'm saying is that I am somewhat accomplished, but it hasn't just fallen into my lap. And despite my rather dry and sarcastic humor, I am happy and comfortable with what I've achieved so far. I've even booked my boyfriend and I a 5* holiday in Prague in August (the first REAL holiday I've been on in years and years)!
Although I would like a nicer flat to live in. New goal for the next 5 years ;)