I like to live my life with no regrets, and I'm happy to say that up to this point in my life, I genuinely don't regret a single thing. Everything that has happened up to now had led me to this point, and I'm pretty happy with my lot in life. I've got a great job, amazing friends and family, a pretty special boyfriend and big plans for the future. I may have struggled along the way to getting to this point, and I may have had some tough times - but that makes me value what I have more than ever and I can't help but be grateful for that. Throughout my life I have always strived to be the best version of myself as much as possible, whether that means going out of my way to help people or working hard for my degree or job. I have to admit, putting my all into everything does mean I've turned into a bit of a perfectionist and my high standards have meant that I've been left disappointed by others over the years. But I've learnt to accept that I have no control over the actions of others, that I can only focus on my own actions because they are the only thing that is within my control. Trust me, that's not an easy thing for any perfectionist to deal with - I'm sure there are those who know and are nodding at the screen right now.
Regret is a funny word. It can be meaningless to a person, or it can be everything. With phrases like "carpe diem" and "live for the moment" tattooed on peoples' extremities, plastered across inspirational images posted on Instagram and engrained on our brains - it's no surprise that everyone says they live a life of no regrets. A conversation with a friend really got me thinking about this, whether I would do anything differently or whether I am actually really happy with the way things have turned out. I've always been very much of the viewpoint that things, to a extent, happen for a reason. I think if we don't feel a certain drive to act in a certain way, we can't really regret it, we can only learn from it. We can always wonder if things would have turned out differently, even though we know we can't change things. I guess my regrets come more in the form of things I would love to tell my younger self, glimpses into the future I would have liked to have shared and to have known at the time. You've got to admit if you could go back in time and warn about a nasty boyfriend or a bad haircut, you would definitely do it...
So what would I say to my younger self?
Advice to Lucy, age 5-10
My favourite spotty dress
- Really revel in staying up past bedtime reading books under your covers, and building whole cities for your Barbies. Soon will come a time when you don't get to do either any more.
- Persevere in maths - it's hard and it's horrible, but it's better to learn it all now than having to catch up and I promise your hard work will pay off before high school.
- It's not nice to fight with your sister, but soon a time will come when it's considered GBH and she won't find it quite as funny. Make the most of it while you can.
- Don't breathe in when that teacher comes over to read your work over your shoulder. Chugging instant coffee and chewing gum is a combination that will make you gag.
Advice to Lucy, age 10-16
At a film premiere in my acting days
- Friendship groups change more often than your socks, but identify the keepers and hold them close. Stick to the ones who have been there through think and thin, you'll be fine.
- Don't be afraid to work hard, what's not "cool" is living off benefits for the rest of your life and not getting to go to university because you didn't pass your exams.
- Boys are great as friends, unreliable as boyfriends at this age. Flirting is fun, but don't waste your time - you'll have more fun with your girls and someone very special is on the way.
- GCSE's don't actually matter!! All that work and they don't actually amount to anything past a pass in English, maths and science to get into Sixth Form - still make sure you do well but don't stress yourself out.
Advice to Lucy, age 16 to 18
Before the Sixth Form leavers do
- Don't be afraid to speak up sooner. Those friends who have let you down repeatedly, been nasty and contribute nothing - they don't deserve to be in your life.
- Don't listen to the haters and the worriers - they know nothing about your relationship and you're still going strong over seven years later! Dive in heart first and enjoy it.
- Don't be pressured by your parents and others into choosing a university you know isn't right for you - you're making the right decision and you're going to have the time of your life!
- Think about other options for careers and do some more research - think about journalism and media as an option instead of just teaching.
Advice to Lucy, aged 18-21
On my 21st birthday
- Partying hard will never stop you achieving your goals - enjoy, you deserve it after working so hard and no-one should stop you.
- Stop wasting time and accept that no matter how much you want to save friends, you can't. They have to save themselves and all you can do is be there to pick up the pieces.
- Not taking a dissertation module will not affect you, but getting more journalism experience will only benefit you. Get involved with the student newspaper.
- Start a blog. You're going to do really well in a few years, but that will only make you regret not starting earlier when you had more time on your hands.
Advice to Lucy, aged 22-present
Before a night out aged 22
- You're making the right decision to come home and take the job at the paper, but don't expect to finish that journalism qualification - some big changes are coming.
- Save, save, save, save. No matter what you think you're saving for, understand that at some point you will want to escape and you need a fund behind you. No matter how little you earn, you can always save.
- Don't be afraid of a big change - you can live in denial for a year or you can make a snap decision and face up to what you have known all along - travel is the way out.
- Becoming editor of This Festival Feeling is one of the best things you will have done up to this point - enjoy it and really squeeze everything you can out of it.
After a request from a fellow blogger, I'm turning this post into a blogging tag! My first one, and I'm hoping you'll all enjoy writing this post as much as I have. I want to all to share the advice and things you would say to your former self - then nominate five bloggers to do the same. My nominations are:
Charlie Holly Jasmine Aftab Antoinette
What advice would you give to your younger self?
PS. Don't forget to vote for me in the UK Blog Awards travel and lifestyle categories!! Click here and here to cast your votes xx