Throughout the early years of Jemma in the making, right through to my teens; I went along with the crowd quite easily I reckon. I’d never say I followed the crowd exactly, because I never felt that absolute necessity to do what others were doing, or that pressure to fit in to a certain mould. But I would say I found it convenient to just ‘go with the flow‘ and not ruffle any feathers.
Even then, I’d say I was quite lucky in many ways during my teens and very early twenties. I was never pressured to smoke or try drugs, I didn’t feel like I had to change who I am, I never cared about designer labels, and I’m grateful that I got through my teens feeling relatively alright about myself. I know not everyone has this experience.
However during the last ten years, having gotten through my twenties and now starting my thirties; I can honestly say I’ve gone through a massive transformation. I no longer feel like I’m wading through the crowd, not bothering to step out of line or cause a fuss.
I feel like I’m walking in my own lane completely. Like my life is my own and I define every single step I take.
I think it helps massively once you’re out of school, and you meet more people and begin to get your own ideas about what you like and don’t like, and about who you want to be. Then even more so when you finish education completely, and you’re out in the big bad world of work. Maybe it’s because life comes at us fast, and it’s so bloody hard being an adult that we realise we don’t have time to keep up with what everyone else is doing. We start to focus on ourselves, and of course then you start doing whatever the hell you like.
I think this is probably the best change I’ve gone through so far, for my own well being.
I stepped away from really great job opportunities that I KNOW some people thought was foolish; but I also knew myself well enough to know it wasn’t what I wanted. Money or status are not everything to me. Sure they’re nice, and certainly helpful when you’re struggling to get the pennies for the electric bill – but happiness is where my heart lies. I’m happy doing my own thing, and creating a small business I love; even if it’s a struggle.
I see similar experiences even now while pregnant. I’ve had loads of people tell me things I should definitely do, or not do, I’ve had people expect different things from me. I’ve even already had people tell me what life will be like when baby is here, and honestly? The people who have done this have been talking out of their arse. They have already decided what I’ll want, if I’ll miss work or not, if I’ll be stressed or not, and basically told me how I’m going to FEEL. Isn’t that just ridiculous?! Now to be clear, I’m not talking about the well meaning babes who warn me to take time for myself as it’ll be overwhelming – or something of that manner. That’s a generalisation that can probably be expected, and something I expect they wish they they had been told. AND it’s advice that’s been given to me with pure kindness intended. So don’t worry – I don’t mean these sort of comments!
I’m talking more of the judgemental Jessica’s out there who have said, ‘You’ll not want to go back to work at all!’ – or something or other. Firstly Jessica, you’re making a sweeping generalisation about every mother ever there hun. Secondly, I MIGHT find it hard/not want to. But I reckon I know myself a bit better than you, and what makes me tick. So I don’t need you deciding for me, thanks. Also goes for the people telling me I HAVE to join baby groups. I don’t actually. They tell me I’ll be lonely if I don’t – but I do wonder if they’ve taken my situation into account before saying this? I imagine baby groups are AMAZING for people who have left a traditional job, and they’ve gone from seeing loads of people everyday; to seeing just their babies face for 9 hours until their partner gets home. Or perhaps people who don’t know any other mothers? Brilliant solution for them! But I work from home and I’m alone 95% of the time anyway. And I really hate forced social interactions, which makes me sound awful. but I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse. I’m not saying I won’t need help, or I won’t feel lonely. I’m not even saying I won’t join any groups or whatever – but I am saying, for the love of GOD can everyone else stop telling me what I’LL FEEL?
Phew. Got a bit tetchy there didn’t I?
Anyway, my point is this. I’ve noticed more and more that I know myself so much better at age 30, than at any other point in my life.
I know what I want, I know what I like, and I’m really not afraid of voicing it.
So whether it’s what I’m wearing, juggling career and family, the latest must-have trends, or just putting up with people I shouldn’t have to – I now just do my own thing. I cut out toxic people, I do what I want, and I don’t hesitate to put my needs first. And I couldn’t recommend it more!
Because life is too short to be stressing over what others will think, or if you’re doing it all right. You might not be, but that’s okay.
Just follow your gut, not the crowd, and you won’t go too wrong.
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