Life in your 20s vs life in your 30s

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Today I’m going to write about the differences between your 20s and your 30s. True, this blog would have made more sense if I wrote it on my 30th birthday or even in January as we entered the new decade…But, we weren’t in a lockdown during either of those times, so a Saturday afternoon in April, a couple of of months before my 32nd birthday will have to do.

So, there have been lots of changes in my life over the last ten years, prime ministers, mobile phone sizes, Natalie Standley’s hair colour…however, one of the biggest changes from the start of my twenties to where I am now, is my career.

At the age of 20 I’d just graduated university and landed my dream job working as an editorial assistant at a small local magazine. I learnt so much about writing, publishing and I even got to interview Katie Price – some people might find that more impressive than others. But one of the most important things I learnt at this job was what it is like to work in difficult situations, particularly when you have to stand up for yourself.

The first year of this job like I said was a dream ( I interviewed Katie Price, what more could you want?!) But, unfortunately in the second year, my relationship with my boss changed, and what had been my dream job became a living nightmare. Insults and swearing were a daily occurrence, leaving me feeling physically sick and dreading going to work. To see an example of life was like with this boss you can read this blog here.

Looking back as a woman in my 30s, I can see exactly what she was doing, knocking all her employees’ confidence to control them and keep them in line. At the time though, things got so bad I questioned whether I should be writing at all.
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Thankfully, I got out just in time, and now I’m in a job where I genuinely look forward to going in. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some perfect Alana Sugar. I definitely still make mistakes and definitely do get criticised! But, now I know that 1. Criticisms are constructive and should be looked as opportunities to improve your work 2. They are criticisms of my work, not me as a person, so it’s not personal. 3. If they aren’t constructive then that’s just a poor reflection of the person giving the criticism.

Okay, second big change between my 20s and my 30s, has to be relationships. At 20 I was with my first serious boyfriend who I thought was the love of my life. Turns out he was someone I could have done with most definitely out of my life. Luckily, just before my 21st birthday after some typically good advice from mum, I came to my senses and waved him goodbye.

Shortly after my 21st birthday, I then got into my second big relationship with someone who I ended up spending four “happy”ish years with. There was nothing particularly wrong us, the only way I can describe it is that I felt like I was constantly playing a role trying to convince myself, this is what love should feel like, rather than actually feeling it. I played that role until a couple of weeks before my 25th birthday when I had a quarter life crisis and again after some typically good advice from mum I broke up with him.

Being single at 25, living in a VERY poorly heated and I’m convinced haunted, flat was quite scary, but at the same time the best thing ever for me. I had four LONG years of online dating, with some highs and ALOT of lows (again if you want to read these click here)

As a woman in my 30s, engaged to someone, I can honestly say is my soul mate I wouldn’t change a single (pun intended) thing. It took me a long time to find Stuart, but he was more than worth the wait and if I hadn’t kissed the tinder trolls or been hurt by the Bumble beasts, I 1. Wouldn’t appreciate him anywhere near as much as I do 2. Know what I want from a man 3. Be as strong as I am.
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Last and by no means least, the most important difference between your 20s and your 30s is your confidence. Whether that’s in your job, relationship, what you wear or how you respond to negativity.

This week I had my inner confidence tested big time when something I wrote got taken out of context, published and resulted in let’s just say quite a few negative comments about me. There were comments about everything from the quality of the writing to my physical appearance to whether Stuart should even be marrying me!

Reading the comments I went through a few emotions. The first was shock that one little article had caused so much outrage when there was so much other stuff going on. The second was guilt because I knew was getting lots of messages from his friends and while I was fine for me to be put out there, I didn’t want to do anything that could potentially embarrass him. But then finally, once I knew Stu was okay I just thought the comments were funny. Now, at the age of 30 I have the confidence, to know that what I wrote in the article isn’t what they said, I know the truth, if some people that I don’t know write some stuff that doesn’t make sense when they haven’t taken the time to read it that’s their problem, it will be tomorrow’s fish and chip paper anyway!
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