What WAS I thinking?!


I'm 18 years old, still a teenager and barely out of school, never mind sixth form. I started my full time higher apprenticeship as a Nuclear Trainee in the September of last year, one minute I was a teenage student and the next I was a full time employee in one of the largest companies in the world all whilst still studying part time, learning to drive and working/living 9 miles away from home with my boyfriend and his family. Being thrown into the ‘real world’ of early mornings, work stresses and responsibilities has been hard to adjust to but for the first time in a very long time I feel comfortable and happy in my own skin.
At 18, we are legally classed as adults – we can drink alcohol? We can get married? We can gamble? We can take out a loan? Just because I have now lived a certain amount of years this makes me an adult, right? Wrong. I turned 18 whilst still studying for my A-Levels at Sixth Form and I feel like I’ve aged about 5 years since then, I’m not saying you don’t grow up until you begin working full time, but working around adults, being treated as one, managing your own money (ish), taking on work commitments, studying part time – all of this seems to have helped me mature just that tiny bit more and I’ve become more positive, happy and comfortable.
We all go through those experiences in life don’t we, the tough break-ups, the fall-outs with friends, the bad grades you weren’t expecting – and at the time it feels like the end of the world! I sound like my mother here or any other adult who told you that same statement. However, those same people told me that ‘school days are the best days of your life’ but I wouldn’t go back! Sure I miss the later starts, the buckets of time I seemed to have and seeing my friend’s everyday but as a young teenage girl surrounded by other teenagers I feel like I had such a negative and distorted outlook on life and people.


What I’m about to say might make you think I’m an awful person, but sometimes we never really truly look inside at ourselves and address our thoughts. I have been guilty of judging someone I have never met solely on how they look, what they tweet, what I’ve heard about them – I probably had a negative thought about someone I didn’t know 3 times a day, every day – a fleeting thought or comment that just passed through without even thinking about it. We all make assumptions about people, it’s an evolutionary protective instinct – but where did it go so wrong that I got hung up on how other people looked, judging my own friends behind their backs, what other people were saying and doing? On paper that sounds bitchy and horrific, but I know sometimes that’s how groups of girls can be, because I’m guilty of it myself and because we’ve all experienced it first-hand haven’t we? That sly glance followed by giggling from the group of girls opposite you in the pub on a night out, those indirect tweets where you’re left wondering if they’re about you. It’s taken working and becoming part of such an accepting blogging community for me to realise how negative and judgemental I really was.


I’ve taken a completely different outlook on life and I feel like I have been freed of something that’s been burdening me for a long time – that sounds dramatic but it is completely true. I have never felt so relaxed, comfortable and positive. I feel no pressure now to please those people who I barely know or don’t know at all, only those who are close to me and those who deserve it. If I ever get a negative and judgemental thought about somebody or something someone has done, I stop it in its tracks and ask myself, why am I making that judgement and how would I feel if somebody thought this about me? I then turn that thought around into a positive one, so I have no unnecessary negative thoughts or worries about what other people are doing, let them get on with it if they’re just having fun and nobody is getting hurt, right? We all gossip and hear those stories about people and take them for the truth when really they could be complete bullshit or someone else’s assumptions and what if we use these assumptions to judge somebody before we have even met them? If I have learnt anything it’s that I could have the totally wrong idea about somebody until I meet them and realise I had it totally wrong and we really get on, then I feel guilty for thinking or saying such things.


I’m not perfect, I try to stay out of other people’s conflicts and not judge or bitch about somebody, the odd negative thought still passes through but I try to turn it around. I’ve felt extremely bitter and hateful since I had a rough time in sixth form, I think hoarding all that resentment and hate turned me into a really ugly person and people can really see it. If you’re feeling bitter or resentful, try letting it go and taking a more positive outlook on life, nobody sets out to make your life miserable – you do that to yourself by harbouring negative thoughts. By letting all of this go and giving absolutely everybody a chance without making any judgements I feel like a completely different person and I think it really shines through when you meet people like this – they stand out. I try to be the most helpful I can be and be the friend my friends deserve, because at the end of the day – they’re the people who’ve stuck by me for the past 10 years.

I’m not sure if this was a confession or some advice, but please take something from this post because I wish I had somebody to tell me to just let it all go and relax, stop worrying about what other people think – because if we all thought like this, we’d have no reason to worry about how we dressed or how we looked because nobody would judge us on how much we weight or how our skin looks. I’ve learnt to notice the good things in everybody and how complimenting someone not only brightens a person’s day but helps their confidence from then on, because we shouldn’t hate ourselves because of what other people think – they obviously have some issues they need to address personally. I know I sound like a complete MAKE PEACE NOT WAR hippy and most people who know me will wonder what happened to the old me, but I’m so happy with the new me.

12 comments:

  1. I read every bit of this post ans enjoyed every word. Really honest aswell. I joined work straight after Sixth Form just last September and working honestly changes your whole perspective on life. When you're thrown into the "real world" it totally affects your outlook on life. I don't miss education at all and really enjoy working in th adult world even if the early starts and longer days do tire me out. You've given great advice- was great to read x

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, I'm really glad that other people feel the same!
      xxx

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  2. Such an inspirational and true piece of writing! Adult life is completely scary and suddenly such a shock, but it definitely makes you grow as a person! Really interesting read! xxx

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  3. This is such a lovely post. I moved cities last year and I was stared at, talked about and completely and utterly judged for the way I dress. To me, my friends and the blogging world I dress totally normally, but to a university of track pant clad teenagers I was the odd one out. As much as hated it, I learnt a lot from it. I'm now working full time and it really has helped me to take a step back and view things from a better perspective xx
    Cupcakes And Cocaine

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    Replies
    1. Wow, sounds intense, but youre right - things like that are a learning curve!
      Glad you're more settled now
      xxx

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  4. The Chanel quote is so lovely, definitely love that one the most x

    http://whatisinherwardrobe.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. Absolutely love all these quotes :) x

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  6. I love how honest this is! We need more people who are okay with being themselves :) (ps I had to google what a-levels and sixth form are... American problems haha)

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  7. truly excellent post. i stumbled upon your blog today by accident and am slowly making my way through all posts :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, hope you enjoy them!
      xxx

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I love to read every one of your comments and I will always reply to any questions, so please check back for replies! thank you!! Alternatively you can tweet me @rileyjayde or pop me an email at jayderiley@hotmail.com

Jayde / 22 / North West England
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