December 2017 marks my last month as a teenager. Daunting over the fact that I am nearly half way to 40, it got me thinking about how fast all these years have gone and looking back, would I do anything differently?
This week I found my year 11 leavers book, where my friends and class mates wrote lovely notes about me, and probably not what they really thought. Many of the messages in this book were written by my closer friends. There messages always had the same sentences in them: “whatever happens I know we’re going to always be best friends”, “I can’t imagine you not being my friend”, “we will always stay close”.
I couldn’t say a particular moment when it happened, how we drifted, how we stopped talking everyday, but I can’t say that even one of the people who wrote these messages are now a close person in my life.
It’s strange growing up, because you don’t see it happening. You wake up everyday just thinking it’s another day and before you know it you’re leaving school and off to college, you blink again and you’re at university starting a whole new chapter in your life.
One of the big things I look back on and question if I regret, is growing up with a boyfriend. From the age of 14 until I was 18 I was in a relationship, so thinking about all those years, most of my memories are attached to that person. It’s a weird feeling, sharing a life with someone who now doesn’t exist in your life anymore. They’re people you meet throughout life, who will know you in ways that no one else will ever know you again.
But, if it wasn’t for meeting a boy at the age of 14 and growing up together, I wouldn’t be the person I am today, I wouldn’t have experienced the things I have, and my life would be completely different. And for that reason, I don’t regret it. I can’t imagine what my school years would’ve been like without us meeting. I suppose it’s that question of how different would your life be if that one thing never happened?
Another thing that really hits me, is that people I went to school with are now engaged or pregnant. If that doesn’t show growing up, I don’t know what does. It’s scary to think that 3 years ago we were getting drunk and going to house parties, sharing drunken secrets, even still having sleepovers and now these people are creating their own family.
After year 11 finished and we had the choice of sixth form or going to a sixth form college. I, being me, decided to be different and move away from all my friends. This is one decision that always stays in my mind, if it was the right thing to do or not. Moving away, made me lose lots of close relationships I had in school. I went to college for better education, and to make new friends. But the reality was that I only really made a handful of new friends, who I don’t even speak to anymore.
So, in a way I do regret moving away. But in a much bigger way, I am always grateful I went to college or me and my best friend wouldn’t have become close. I’ve had many ‘best friends’ throughout life, but I’ve never met such an honest, true friend as Alicia. Although I didn’t come away with bundles of new friends, I came away with one real friend, and that means much, much more to me.
Growing up has also taught me that my mum is the most amazing person in the world. As cliché as it is, she is my best friend. The first person I ring when somethings gone wrong. The first person I ring when I have good news. The first person I sit and ring for hours on end to talk about absolutely nothing. As I got older, I really realised how much she does for me and how remarkable she actually is.
Looking back, I don’t think I can say I regret anything, although they’re many moments that I wish hadn’t happened. But if they hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t be the me that I am now.
Here’s to turning 20 and hoping my 20s are good to me.