Sometimes we all need a little guidance in the decisions we make in life and at times, advice is given without being asked for. I feel like I’m becoming more indecisive as I get older. Gone are the days where I can rely on fearless youthful confidence and make judgemental calls with total abandonment. With every passing year, decisions hold a little more weight to them and I find myself calling on those close to me for their input on the next step.
Although another persons perspective can be just the inspiration you need, sometimes it can have the opposite effect. While it remains to be seen whether some people have your, or their, best interests at heart, it’s equally as acceptable to not take their advice as it is to follow through. Whether we’re stuck on a decision or are in search of a new angle, there’s a lot to be said about also going with your gut instinct and ignoring those ‘words of wisdom’.
There are a lot of pieces of advice I wish I’d taken and even more I wish I hadn’t but these are five times where I’m glad that little inner voice won…
Don’t move out of London
This was one of those monumental decisions I was faced with so early on in my career that I struggled with for a really long time. For as long as I can remember I always envisioned myself working in fashion and living in the city. So when I graduated university and was suddenly faced with two options for my future, I lost a lot of sleep. Although 21 years old is adult territory I feel like that was an impactful decision to make for someone still very much trying to figure out who they were.
Those close to me were slightly bias and wanted me to come home to Suffolk and those in the industry hinted that it would be career suicide. But with a then-boyfriend at home and a toddler sister who was forgetting who I was, I let me heart rule my head on that one. And there were lots of times that I regretted it – the FOMO, the missed opportunities and that unshakeable feeling of not being where I ‘should’ be.
But in hindsight, I don’t think it damaged my career, it just took me in a different direction and I appreciate being in London so much more when I’m there, which is on a weekly basis sometimes. Ultimately, your work/life balance, health and overall wellbeing is more important than fitting the mould. It might not be what everyone else is doing but making it work for you regardless is where you’ll find your happiness.
Don’t quit your job without a plan
OK, this is slightly my own advice as well as that of others! Although it is preferable to have a plan before you quit your job, there’s also nothing like not having one to motivate you to work it out. I left my job about a year sooner than I had planned to but it became so unbearable working there that my day-to-day life was being impacted (side note: NO job should make you feel like this!). But when I was agonising over what to do with that “don’t do it!” advice from everyone around me in my ear, I heard a saying that I have repeated many times since.
“Jump and a net will appear.”
So simple yet SO effective. Sometimes, fear of the unknown and the what-if’s will always win when it comes to making life-changing decisions but there’s nothing like taking a risk to make you feel more alive than ever. Plus, it’s that risk that will make you work your arse off! I’m so glad I left my job because in my first year I have worked with some amazing brands, written for some of the UK’s best glossy magazines (read about it HERE) and I have this incredible freedom to carve my own future. THAT makes me very excited to wake up every morning. Yep, even on Mondays.
Don’t gamble on love
When it comes to matters of the heart, people love to dish out advice. We pass judgement on strangers love lives in the tabloids on a daily basis, hell, some people have made a career of it! It’s very very easy to do so. But the fact remains that we never really know what goes on behind closed doors or in the minds of those individuals. While everything may look filtered and perfect on the outside, we remain in the dark about the struggles or issues they could be facing.
I’m not a gambling woman but if there’s one thing I do think is worth the risk, it’s love. Finding it, changing it, settling for it, seeking it somewhere else – it’s an emotion that’s complicated and wonderful and deserving of your full attention. Whether it’s uprooting your life for it or moving on because you no longer feel it in the same way, sometimes the unknown and the possibility of finding it in its truest form is worth the heartache because, frankly, life is too short not to have it.
Don’t buy an old property
When my now-husband and I decided to buy a house together, I couldn’t have been more relieved that we both wanted a character house. One with lots of quirks, open fires and cosy nooks. Unfortunately, a lot of people also want the same thing in a house so we lost out time and time again. But when our house came on the market, we fell in love with it. It had wonky rooms, beamed ceilings and potential by the bucket load.
But the resounding advice from everyone we told was less than optimistic. While I admit, it needs far more work than we anticipated, when we have friends over with the fire roaring, candles lit and talk about what could have happened over the 400 years it’s stood here, I wouldn’t swap it for the world. Keep up with our renovation story HERE.
Save. Don’t travel
2018 has been an expensive year. From getting married and renovating our house to starting a new business, there have been some challenging times. And if I had taken the advice of others over the last 5 years and did the sensible thing of saving our pennies, we might have had a slightly less stressful year. But if there’s one thing I prioritise in life, it’s experiences.
I caught the travel bug when Toff and I first got together and decided to run away from life for a few years! We were going away every month, sometimes twice to Europe, weekend staycations, LA road trips and exotic winter getaways. We had the time of our lives and it was exactly what we both needed. When we got engaged in America, we should have saved for the wedding, but we ticked off a few more countries on our bucket list before we settled down!
While saving for the future is sensible, you can never put a price on seeing the world and having something to talk about when you’re old and grey.
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