What a Difference a Decade Makes

What a Difference a Decade Makes

You know when you were younger and you’d say how quickly the year’s gone and ‘old’ people would say “oh just you wait, they go quicker as you get older” they weren’t bloody wrong were they.

Wow, 10 years in the blink on an eye. 

10 years of ups and down, love, heartbreak, happiness, sadness, anxiety, great shadowing lows, new friends, places travelled and wonderful experiences.

Body Image

I’m pretty glad I’m not 18 year old me any more, she struggled quite a lot, hell so did 21 year old me and 25 year old me. She was stuck in a never ending cycle of self hate… dieting, losing weight, feeling miserable, bingeing and then putting weight back on.

Every meal was a fight, everything that passed my lips created an internal argument. The skin I’ve lived in all my life was pulled at and tugged at, so angry I couldn’t just be “skinny”.

I’d buy control pants that made me feel ill, I’d hide away my body at every given opportunity. I once sellotaped up my thighs because I thought it’d make them look smaller. Spoiler…. it didn’t, it just made loads of noise. 

2019 was the year I promised to be kinder to myself and I have. I’ve been on a wonderful journey of self discovery and Jesus Christ I still feel shitty about myself sometimes (especially over Christmas). I do still look at other body shapes and yearn to be a bit taller or my stomach to shrink, but those feelings aren’t always there and that’s bloody refreshing tbh.

I now eat what I want or fancy, when I want when I’m hungry and try and stop when I’m full. No restrictions, just being a bit more savvy. I rarely eat meat (mainly because I can’t afford it lol) but it means when I do eat it I love it all the more.

Travel

To think I’ve lived in 4 different countries these past few years is pretty special huh… I’ve of course learnt the language in none of them, but I’ve experienced the culture.

I’ve ticked places off my bucket list that I’ve been dreaming of for years, New York, Las Vegas, Bali, Thailand and Budapest to name a few. Australia was never on my bucket list, by the way, but here I am.

I’ve climbed mountains, I’ve learnt (kind of) to surf. I’ve seen the Statue of Liberty and even been on a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon.

It’s pretty amazing when you step back and appreciate all you’ve experienced in such a short amount of time.

Love

I won’t say my love life has been a tale of woe, but I’ll be honest it hasn’t been the best. Some amazing relationships, some real shit heartbreak and some falling in love with myself which is pretty nice.

I think my heart is happy being single and I’m forever scared of being hurt, but I think there’s space in there to love again. Maybe that’ll be something that comes up in my next decade, I don’t really mind either way. Although travelling the world with someone you love would be ace.

Self love will always come first, it has to.

Life

I’ve found a passion and a creative outlet in this little blog and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I’ve had nearly 30,000 blog views and it feels cathartic to spill my often fuzzy brain into a piece of writing.

I found a job I loved, which helped the community. I put all of my focus into learning about domestic abuse, educating others about it and helping victims. That makes me pretty proud.

I’ve been brave and leapt into the world of backpacking at the grand old age of 29 and it feels bloody great.

Sometimes it’s hard to be you unapologetically, but it gets easier, I promise. I can’t wait until I’m 50 (well I can) and not get embarrassed about anything, because I swear to god that must be life.  

I’ve gone on a trip of a lifetime this year and 2019 will always be special to me. I’ve been on a journey of self discovery and for once in my life I choose the selfish route and I don’t regret it, because you simply can’t spend your whole life pleasing others.

I absolutely can’t wait to head into a new decade, eyes bright, ready to take on anything that gets thrown at me, because I absolutely promise you, if I can handle the last 10 years I can certainly handle the next 10. 

6 Comments

  1. Kirsty
    December 29, 2019 / 9:43 am

    Ashleigh this is a great write up. You have really looked into your soul, and you are right about being 50 and not feeling guilty about being a gobshite. I feel grown up enough now to have an opinion and not give a damn, especially if it is about something I fiercely believe in. Please don’t wait until you are 50 to do the same. Love yourself a little more every day and believe in what you stand up for. This travelling you are doing is moulding you into a stronger woman than when you left the UK. Keep on searching and learning but never expect perfection that way you will be able to be proud and hold your head up high like all of us big bellied, not so perfect but lovable lumps that we are. Xx

    • Ashleigh
      Author
      December 29, 2019 / 9:57 am

      Such lovely, lovely words kirsty. Thank you xxx

  2. Juna Butcher Glatt
    December 29, 2019 / 4:04 pm

    Loved this post about self learning. We all need to do this

    • Ashleigh
      Author
      December 29, 2019 / 9:36 pm

      Thanks Juna

  3. December 29, 2019 / 10:35 pm

    This is great! I haven’t seen a decade overview until now and it’s such a good idea – it’s crazy how much goes on, and yes, time is definitely moving a lot faster all of a sudden! Hope 2020 is a good year for you xxx

  4. December 30, 2019 / 12:32 am

    This was such a great read. I loved reading about your body image journey, I’ve always been thin but my relationship with food has definitely been an interesting one over the last decade. So right about the years going faster as you get older too – it’s scary! x

    Sophie

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