On Reflection

Life has a funny way of creeping up on you, reminding you of how quickly time passes and of how people and situations change, seemingly in the blinking of an eye. I am currently reading William Maxwell’s breathtakingly brilliant So Long, See You Tomorrow, for the second time in two weeks, alongside The Poisonwood Bible, which the lovely Claire kindly sent me to replace the copy I left on the subway. Both books are to do with mistakes, with the past, with regret, and with failure, and they have put me in a rather reflective mood.

It’s a bumper birthday week in my family; today my gorgeous baby nephew Freddie is 2, and on Friday, I will turn 25. I spoke to Freddie on the phone this morning; he can now carry out a perfectly sensible conversation. Before I left for New York, he couldn’t say a word. He was a tiny little thing, still able to be hoiked up on my hip and carried around, clinging on like a limpet. He was my baby. In four weeks, a new baby will arrive, and Freddie will be a toddler, and George, whose arrival when I was 20 was the most beautiful thing that had ever happened to me, will be going to school, and he’ll disappear into a world we can’t share with him for the first time. And so, life moves on.

I remember turning 17, and rejoicing that I was finally ‘grown up’. I was in the Lower Sixth at school, working hard towards my A Levels, and everyone was convinced I would go off to Oxford or Cambridge and become a phenomenal success. I imagined that by the time I was 25, I’d have a wonderful career as a famous writer, be happily married, have a lovely house, and be thinking about having children. Well, so much for that. I may have got the top grades out of my school year, but my interview at Cambridge was a farce; I turned up in jeans with a South East London accent and found myself in a room full of be-suited private school pupils. I have never felt so out of place in all my life. They were all perfectly lovely, and I remember having command of the floor with my Buffy the Vampire Slayer impressions, but the interview itself was a disaster and involved me spilling water everywhere. I knew instantly that that dream had well and truly died, and so off to a less illustrious university I went. I didn’t meet the love of my life at university, like my sister had done before me; those I did meet didn’t last very long, and I was far more interested in being a feminist than someone’s girlfriend, anyway. When I left university, I wasn’t catapulted into an illustrious writing career; my morals having developed to bleeding heart liberal proportions while on campus, I decided to work for a charity and make the world a better place instead. So I became a fundraiser, and while I raised silly amounts of money to save the children, I took home just enough to feed and house myself. Buy a house? I could barely scrape together the rent on my damp, freezing room in a shared flat! Loves came and went, and no marriage proposals were forthcoming. I no longer had time to write, and the more wonderful literature I read, the more I realised that I’d never make it as a writer anyway. I drifted from one cheap rented flat to another, one mildly satisfying job to another, and here I am, on the cusp of 25, wondering what happened to the 25 year old the 17 year old me thought I’d be.

What I didn’t realise at 17 was that I wouldn’t feel any different inside at 25. I still feel just as useless at navigating life as I did then; I’ve just got better at forcing myself to be responsible. I also didn’t realise how much I would grow and change as a person, and that the things I thought I would want by this age are no longer as important to me. A satisfying career, marriage, babies and a home that isn’t falling apart at the seams and furnished with other people’s cast offs, are all wonderful things I very much hope come to me at some point, but I’m not really quite ready for any of them yet. I’m still working out who I am, what I believe, what I want, and what I can offer. I have my regrets, but if those things I regret not happening had come to pass, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I wouldn’t be me, and I wouldn’t be here in New York, living a life I never imagined would be mine at 25, but one which fulfills and delights me nonetheless.

The early twenties are a confusing time and I have certainly had my share of heartache and disappointment. On paper, I am a highly unsuccessful young adult, and have nothing of value to my name. I don’t have a spectacular writing career, I don’t have a handsome husband, I don’t have a home of my own, and I have absolutely no money in the bank. Oh, well. Tant pis, as the French would say. Instead, I have a spirit of adventure, the most magnificent family and friends a girl could wish for, a fantastic New York apartment with a fire escape that I share with four fine, funny people, and an award winning ability to make ends meet out of very limited means. I have thrown plans out of the window and instead approach life with a mixture of gung-ho carelessness and optimism. I am not afraid to move to foreign countries by myself. I am an expert at living with difficult people. I am excellent at small talk. I am an auntie soon to be three times over, and as such I can change disgusting nappies without hesitation, entertain bored children and make pureed mush look attractive enough to eat. I am, compared to the general populace, pretty well read. I know how to cook three course meals and have a vague appreciation of which wine would best suit each course. I get drunk after one glass of wine and dance on tables. I have learned to be a good listener. I fall head over heels in love with someone or something at least once a day. Small children make me feel misty eyed and maternal. I get ridiculously excited by blossom and autumn leaves. I like to skip through parks. I cry my eyes out in cinemas when watching films that aren’t supposed to be sad. I am always seeking to become a better person. I love life, and all its variables and delights and challenges, with all of my heart, and I am so excited to see what the next 25 years will bring. While I may have failed on every level to become the 25 year old I wanted to be at 17, I have become a 25 year old that I very much enjoy being, and am proud of, regardless. My life isn’t sorted, but I am happy.  I don’t think I could ask for much more than that.

In other news, one of the great joys of wordpress is the ability to see your statistics and who is visiting you from where. It is through this that I have found many people’s blogs, who list my blog as one of their favourites, but they have never come by to tell me so in person. It is ever so flattering to find yourself listed as favoured reading material by someone who is intelligent, witty, and tasteful, as all these bloggers tend to be. One I found last night was Chuck’s Miscellany, which I think is brilliant, and I encourage you to go and have a look.

Also, I particularly enjoyed the marvellous Jane Brocket’s post today, and if her new knitting book is anything like her magnificent quilting book, I suggest you all get your orders in now.

74 comments

  1. Rachel, if you consider yourself poor at navigating life then there’s little hope for some of us. I’m glad that you are happy with what you have achieved so far. Your optimism, willingness to move (continent if necessary) and ability to get by with small means all sound like very useful attributes for navigating the tricky years ahead for us Brits.

    Do you ever look at the brief biographies of writers on the back flap of book jackets and wonder how it is that so many people seem to have managed to launch a successful non-writing career, start a family and write at least one novel before their mid-thirties?

    Have a very happy 25th birthday.

    1. David, you are very kind, thank you very much. You flatter me!

      Yes! I think they are far too high achieving for their own good and are best ignored. I always feel very cross when I read about another author with a perfect life and a successful career! Not fair!

  2. oh Rachel – thank you for sharing your thought and feelings. One of the things I love about blogging is that we have no idea how old or anything else the person we’ve now ‘come to know through reading’ is. I don’t think that I became the woman I am today until I was in my late twenties, now that makes me sound old!
    Happy Birthday and here’s to the adventure of life and strengthening friendships which remain with you forever.

    1. Thank you, Rachel – it’s always nice to find out a bit more about people, isn’t it? Thank you for your birthday wishes – my day is turning out quite well so far and I’ve only been at work so the fun is yet to come!

  3. Oh how I love your blog Rachel!! I can relate to it so much and yet at 53, I am childless, jobless (for health reasons) however I have a wonderful kind and supportive partner and great friends and family……..at the end of the day that is what matters not wealth or “qualifications”. In my previous job in management some of the worst candidates I ever interviewed were very well quaslified but could hardly string a sentence together. Empotionnal intelligence….SO importnat, I am sure you will be happy if you keep up your current thinking, go girl!! Jenny xx

    1. Thank you so much Jenny – I’m glad you know the true value of happiness and can rejoice in it too – it’s very freeing!

      I’m so glad you love my blog as much as you say you do – it means a lot!🙂

  4. Once again, I am feeling very close to you after reading this post……I, too, am certainly not the person that I thought I would be….I wonder if anyone ever really is. I do know that if I had experienced half as much as you have at your young age, I would be different today. I see such a bright and lovely future for you. You seem to have far more together than most 25 years old I know. I have no doubt that you will be all you ever wanted to be–more than likely more than you ever dreamed. Godspeed!!!

  5. Hy from Ireland again. This is a wonderful entry on your blog. Happy birthday too you. I could so identify with this even though I am 52 and happily married for 30 years. But I remember back to when I was 17 and my expectations etc. Your entry is so wonderfully honest and refreshing. As you love writing and cooking three course meals etc you might be interesetd in my sons’s blog. ‘anygivenfood. by Ken McGuire. Its really cool. check it out or pass it on to your friends. Anyone with a food interest would like this.
    keep up the good work and really enjoy your birthday and continue to celebrate how wonderful life actually is.

    1. Hi Nora, nice to see you again! Thank you so much – I’m glad you enjoyed it and could related to it as well. I will check out your son’s blog, it sounds wonderful!

  6. Rachel, this is wonderful. My daughter is 18 and preparing for university in the autumn, filled with all the hopes and dreams that you expressed. I am sure her path will be different than she expects, in ways big and small. I can only hope that at 25 she can say, as you did, “I have become a 25 year old that I very much enjoy being, and am proud of.”

    1. Thank you so much, Laura. I hope the same for your daughter, and that she has a spectacular time at university – what adventures she has coming her way!

  7. What a wonderful and heartfelt reflection as you turn 25 Rachel! I hope you enjoy your day on Friday, and many happy returns.

    At 61 and a granny, I can tell you that I never imagined the life I would have; the happiness, the tragedies, the challenges, and, here’s the important thing, I’m still growing and learning and testing the waters and, though celebrating 38 years of marriage in a few weeks, still learning about myself.

    You may feel you have failed in becoming the 25 year you thought you would become, but, remember, you are ALWAYS becoming the best you can be. There is plenty of time to be a professional writer or whatever wonderful things will come your way. You are already a writer extraordinaire, with a diverse mix of readers here on your post whom you inspire and challenge and teach each and every time you put thoughts here.

    1. Thank you very much, Penny! My day is turning out very well so far and I haven’t even left work yet, so the only way is up!

      Penny, that’s wonderful – I hope I can say the same thing at 61! I bet you have had a magnificently fulfilling time, and 38 years of marriage?! Wow! Good for you!

      Oh Penny, you are far too lovely and generous -what a wonderful thing to say and you have certainly made me feel very successful today! Thank you.

  8. I love your list of all the things you are! It’s wonderful to be able to highlight all the great things in your life, to be able to appreciate and be excited about them even if they weren’t necessarily what you expected to have at this point. And, honestly, being happy is the most important thing, regardless of age or what you think you should have accomplished. As you know, I’ve struggled with a lot of the same issues you discuss here. I’m not sure I ever had a concrete image of what my life would be like a twenty five but I am sure that what I have now was not it! I went to the ‘right’ university but didn’t really enjoy it, travelled (but not enough), found a great job after graduation and worked my way up at the company, and put away money but I was pretty unhappy or at least apathetic most of the time. Since I moved home in December I’ve definitely been a lot happier but I’m still finding it difficult to make the big changes. It is easy for me to work hard and I enjoy it but I need to get a similar mastery of my social life, to go out and make new friends and get involved, to find things I care about doing, things that make me happy. I think mostly, at seventeen I just thought being twenty five would be easier but really it’s much, much harder!

    1. Thanks Claire! I think the same – you have to celebrate where you are and not worry too much about where you thought you’d be.

      Oh yes – I thought the same. I thought I’d know it all at 25 – ha! Yeah right! I think it’s always good to have challenges and things we can improve upon. I’m so glad you’re much happier now, and that you have identified areas in which you can try harder and improve your happiness levels even further. I wish you every success with your own challenges – someone as lovely as you won’t have any problems finding a fantastic social circle, I am certain of it! One of the greatest gifts in my life are my friends – I adore them all, and without them, I’d be lost. I hope you find ones as fantastic as mine – they’re such treasures and add such joy to my life.

  9. Reading your blog always makes me glad that you exist and that you value everything around you in the enthusiastic and generous way that you do.
    It’s tempting to tell you how I was at 25 – let me just say I wish I had been as brave and amusing then as you are.
    Only the other day, assessing my life, I felt I had wasted it – or, at least, not taken up some of the opportunities that came my way. Now, dear Rachel, I see that I could make a similar list to yours (which includes children, grandchildren and husband I am immensely proud of). THANK YOU!

    I felt quite tearful reading your post this morning. It moved me. You should be very proud of yourself. And please be sure that you have plenty of time to achieve wonderful things.

    Have a brilliant day tomorrow. 25! Such a lovely, lovely age! XX

    1. Oh, Chrissy, what lovely words. I am so touched! Thank you so much. I am glad that I have helped you to see that you most certainly have not wasted your life – I think your life is wonderful, and inspiring – I’d love to have the talent to be an artist like you!

      Thank you – I am about to leave work and head off for a fantastic weekend of fun – can’t wait! x

  10. It’s difficult for me to add much to what everyone has said ahead of me – I especially like David’s comment. But I can repeat the sentiment – Happy Birthday!

  11. Oh this is too weird. Just yesterday I listened to a podcast about terrified kids having those interviews and feeling so out of place. One woman said her son thought everyone looked like they were from a Brideshead Revisited novel and here he was, a young black boy from uneducated parents.

    You have such a fabulous spirit, Rachel, that I refuse to believe there is not at least a handful of fabulously exciting things in store down the road for you. You’re just in a rush to get there!

    Happy Birthday to you, Rachel! Enjoy your special day and wondering what the next twelve months hold in store.

    1. Serendipity! Gosh, it is scary walking in to those institutions when you have no idea of what to expect and already know you’re going to be in the minority – it was the strangest experience I’d had up to that point and it made me feel very small. Which no one should ever be made to feel!

      Thank you Darlene – you are too lovely to me!

      Thank you – I can’t wait to see where I end up this time next year! Who knows?!

  12. I laughed when I read your line about being an unsuccessful adult with nothing of value to your name. Au contraire, dear Rachel! The hallmarks of successful adulthood are self-reliance, the ability to build healthy, loving relationships with others, the ability to integrate your inner self with your outer self, discovering your avocation and learning to make it your vocation. (None of those are contradictory, though they may seem so). By all those measures, you are wildly successful right now and I do not doubt for a moment that you will continue to find success, both in your career and your personal life. As for “nothing of value”? What you have given to yourself is marvelous experiences (lucky for you that you have the ability to live them with gusto), and no matter what financial disaster threatens, nothing can take those away from you. That is the wealth we should value – but too few of us do.

    Congratulations on achieving adulthood before your 25th birthday. I bet your mother is very, very proud of you.

    1. Oh Mumsy, you are so lovely and wise!!! Thank you so much, you have made me feel fantastic!🙂 You are quite right – it’s not what we possess, but what we carry within us, that makes us a success in this life and I need to remember that!

  13. Yours is one of the blogs that makes my smile a bit bigger when I see a new post from you in my reader! And I just want to say thank you for always being open, honest, and forthcoming about both books and your life. As someone who is about to turn 23, it’s kind of nice to see that there are still those ahead of me who don’t have it all figured out, either. I don’t mean that cruelly, but rather to mean that while my life may not look as I wanted it to when I was 15, 16, 17, it doesn’t mean that my life has failed or that I’m not happy in it. Your post was wonderfully reflective, and I can’t thank you enough for sharing! Looking forward to another great post!

    1. Oh Chelsea, how lovely are you?! Thank you so much. My head will grow so big that I won’t be able to fit in my door in a minute! Absolutely – there are plenty of us who haven’t got it all worked out and it doesn’t matter – we are happy nonetheless! Life rarely works out as we mean it to but something I have learned is that the alternate routes we end up taking tend to be far more satisfying and enjoyable than the ones we thought would make us happy. I hope you find your early twenties just as wonderful as I have done, even though they haven’t been as easy as I had hoped.

  14. I have commented before on what wonderful writing you do of New York. I really think you should consider your self a writer, you have something to pursue!
    Have a wonderful New York Birthday!
    Elizabeth

  15. Rachel, you most certainly are a writer. Never entertain the notion that you are not. Happy Happy Birthday dear girl and I hope to see you in a week or two.

  16. Happy Birthday Rachel. You give your readers a lot of pleasure in so many ways. I can only echo what has already been said – a big Thank You for being honest, thoughtful and kind. Warmest good wishes to you.

  17. You ARE a writer, Rachel! Your book reviews are erudite, interesting and very well written. I’m always in awe of how you express yourself and am sure you could make a career change to book reviewer for a newspaper or magazine if you wanted.

    You may not have what you expected, but you’ve made other interesting things happen. Could you have expected that you would be working in New York? Could you have expected that people all round the world would love your blog and look forward to finding out what books you’d been reading and what sights you’d been seeing? Our goals change from time to time and there’s still plenty of time to realise your earlier ones, if you still want them. In the meantime, you’re a wonderful auntie to your wee nephews!

    Happy Birthday for tomorrow! I hope you have a wonderful day!🙂

    1. Oh Penny! You are too lovely!

      You have made me feel fantastic about myself – what a lot of stuff I have done!!

      Thank you – I did have a lovely time and I am sad it’s all over!

  18. Firstly, happy birthday for tomorrow from sunny SE London. I hope you have a great one, even (especially) away from home, and that you get/got to do some of the things you’ve done on birthdays since you were tiny and some amazing new things too.

    Secondly, I think this is a great post – its warm and personal and reflective, and it’s obviously struck a chord with lots of your readers (me included). Earlier this year I posted about ten things I’ve learnt in the last ten years – and it was a great experience, to sit back and think about who I am now, how I’ve changed and what are the things that have helped me get here.

    Your list of things you have, and things you can do is a marvel and source of some jealousy for me. I hope it’s a source of pride and joy for you. Have a great day tomorrow.

    1. Thanks Rose! I had a fantastic time thank you, and went away for the weekend too, so my birthday was very extended!

      Thank you so much – and I’m glad you had a similar experience this year and can be satisfied with what you’ve achieved, even if it wasn’t necessarily what you wanted/expected.

      Thank you – it has helped me to see that I haven’t done too badly with my 25 years.🙂

  19. Happy Birthday to you Rachel! I remember writing a similar journal entry for my 25th birthday about what I wanted and where I was at the time. My 35th is this year and I could not have imagined the adventures in life I would have. I have a lovely house, and a lovely husband, and only hope things go on like this, but life lies ahead and our expectations will either fall away, be met head on, or exceeded in the wildest ways. Let’s all keep fingers crossed for the wildest ways! Wishing you the very very best. And if you haven’t read it, maybe QuarterLife Crisis is calling your name?

    1. Thank you Heather! I am glad life has been wonderful to you since your 25th birthday and that you are happy with your lot. I shall indeed hope for wildest ways, thank you! No I haven’t – I shall check that out!

  20. *sigh* I knew my mother was going to say everything I wanted to say but way better than I could possibly hope to say it. So I will just say, happy happy birthday to you, and I am so pleased you moved to New York so we could be friends IRL. I really admire how you get the most out of your year in America, and gad about doing all sorts of adventurey things and managing to love every minute even when everything goes wrong. One day soon we’ll have cake. I have candles.🙂

    1. Mothers, eh?!😉 Thank you my dear, I am very glad that we got to be IRL friends too, and I admire your ability to find cultural fun things to do and restaurants serving food I never tried before! You are too lovely, and I can’t wait for our cake and candles!!🙂

  21. Happy Birthday today! I share your mood as I’ll be 29 tomorrow. It’s a journey and it’s ever-changing; but you sound like you have a good perspective. Keep up the good work.🙂

  22. I think you are very brave to write (so well!) about where you are just now. I don’t know if this will scare you or console you but being 38 years on from 25 years old, your words could be mine. My philosophy – what I’ve always told my now, 28 and 26 year olds – is that life is the day we are in. I’ve never been a planner. I’ve never made 5-year plans or had long-term goals. And I look back with nary a regret. Mostly I am just who I was at 25. A reader, a gardener, a movie/tv lover; Tom and I still together. What I didn’t expect at that age is that I would have children, and love them so very much. There are always surprises, and may yours always please you. And happy, happy birthday dear Rachel. You are a joy in my world.

    1. Thank you, Nan – and you are incredibly wise! I think planning is something I have increasingly realised is largely pointless – life will do what it wishes and you have to learn to go with the current and just enjoy the ride. I’m glad you have had a fulfilling life and been so pleasantly surprised – I hope the same for myself. Thank you for your kind, lovely words – I appreciate them immensely.🙂

  23. !!! Aww, shucks. Thank you – so sweet and such a great post to be mentioned on. Simultaneously so jaded and so content for 25! I’m half way through a very similar process of realising that my life is probably going to be quite different to how I imagined it as a teenager. But your life sounds lovely – I hope I am as happy on my 25th birthday. Anyway, we might both be great novelists (or any other kind of writer) yet. We’re just gathering material. You can’t write until you have lived, or so they say…

    Promise to try and be a more active commenter from now on.

    1. Hello Chuck, so lovely to see you over here! Thank you – all of us twenty somethings have the same stuff to go through, which I find reassuring at least. I hope you manage to achieve as many of your dreams as possible, and I have no doubt you will be a writer yourself! Indeed, gathering material is DEFINITELY what I am doing!

      Fantastic news – I look forward to hearing from you!

  24. Hallo Rachel
    I have just read your reflections and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed it. It is very uplifting. You have navigated your life so far quite brilliantly and I hope you continue to enjoy it and meet its challenges and treats in the same way you dealt with your university interview.
    I hope you had a wonderful 25th birthday.
    Regards
    Patricia

  25. I was far more interested in being a feminist than someone’s girlfriend, anyway

    Good for you! Don’t settle down too soon, find out who you are first; you never know – your views on what would “complete” your life may well change.

    I don’t come over to read your weblog often, but when I do it is always interesting. Enjoy your birthday; at 25 I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life (career wise anyway) and I have been very fortunate to be able to pursue it in the following two and a half decades.

    Best wishes for your next quarter century from Dark Puss

    1. Thank you, Dark Puss! I certainly won’t be settling down any time soon – I’m far too restless just now!

      I’m glad you managed to find fulfillment so early and so consistently – I hope the same for myself once I get myself on a proper track.

      I hope to see you around soon!

  26. Happy Birthday, Rachel! I echo those who have pointed out that you are already a very good writer. You write from the heart, and there’s nothing better than that. Try to hang on to your adventurousness and your flexibility. I think the happiest people are those who can accept what life brings to them and who are open to change. I think you are one of those lucky people.

  27. This did almost make me cry (the good, emotional crying, not the bad, weeping kind). Go you and I hope life continues to take you to all the places you don’t know you want to go yet.

    And happy late birthday wishes. I hope this weekend is full of fun. I feel like I should have some older and wiser observations to make about being 25, now that I’m 26 but…’don’t attempt to diet, it makes you miserable’ and ‘experimenting with your hair is awesome’ are probably the best lessons I learnt last year. May they be of great use to you😉

    1. Oh Jodie, you are so sweet! I’m sorry I almost made you cry!

      Thank you – I had a terrific weekend and I shall blog about it in due course! Thank you for your life lessons – both very useful and I shall stow those nuggets of wisdom away!🙂 Enjoy being 26 – another fantastic age!

  28. Oh, Rachel, even though I’ve only met you once, quite briefly, and we only seemed to talk about cats – I feel I really know you, and love you as a friend I care for! This post is so beautifully told (and dismisses, by the way, the idea that you’re in any way not a great writer.) I think the mid-20s are a very introspective time. I’ve spent most of mine trying to come to terms with the fact that I won’t have, and can’t have, the things I want most in life. And I spend so much time lamenting that that I have to shake myself sometimes and remind myself that I have a family I love and can be friends with, wonderful friends, a great church and a relationship with God, millions more possessions than anyone could need, and (usually) the ability to laugh at things. Thanks for the inspiring post! Your blog is so often such a blessing. x

    1. Oh Simon! You absolute darling! What lovely things to say! You are wonderful.🙂 I think counting our blessings is something we all need to make sure we do on a regular basis – introspective is the perfect word for us twentysomethings and I know I can often allow myself to wallow in a mire of self pity when really I have so many things to be grateful for and rejoice in and I am being absolutely ridiculous! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and I’m glad we are not alone in our introspective journey through our twenties! Without you I would never have discovered book blogs in the first place so thank you for being an immense blessing to me! x

  29. Happy Birthday for Friday Rachel – hope you had a lovely day and are having a wonderful weekend. What a beautifully written, honest post. I find your thoughts and the way you choose to live your life really inspiring 0:)

    1. Thank you so much Tracey – I did have a lovely day and a lovely weekend, it was a fantastic birthday! What lovely things to say – I am touched. Thank you🙂

  30. You are a greater writer! Your writing is so reflective and you easily make anybody relate to what you are saying!

  31. I’m so glad I finished reading your blog, at almost 18 myself, I have such big dreams and goals. It’s so nice to read that even if you are unable to reach your initial goals, that you can and will still be happy and continue to try and live life to its fullest. I’m very pleased to see that all of the things that maybe I don’t see as important now, may change and I wll be able to appreciate so much more that life has to offer.

    1. Thanks Breeana, and I hope what I wrote has given you encouragement! You will definitely change as you get older and want different things, and you will find yourself growing braver and more able to cope with the changes life brings. I wish you every success!

  32. Hi Rachel, I love your blog, and though am not brave/imaginative/wise (!) enough to have one of my own, I am hugely inspired my the ones I read. I loved this post, I suppose that’s life, it never quite follows the path you originally intend, and we do start out with such big dreams. But well done you, for enjoying the steps you have thus far taken, and the place that you are in now. I suppose that is what it is all about, hey?! Loving the place that you’re in. Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. Hi Vanessa, how lovely to hear from you. Thank you for your lovely words – I really appreciate them and I am honoured to be considered an inspiration. I hope you will rethink starting a blog – I am sure you are all of those things!

  33. I have to concur with everyone else that this is a marvellous piece of honest writing Rachel which I envy you for. I don’t know if I could have even tried to write something so honest on my blog… I would be pedantically checking and re-checking it non stop and worried about all sorts of eventualities.

    Wonderful post on a wonderful blog.

    1. Oh thank you, Simon. Maybe I just don’t have enough inhibitions! I appreciate what you said very much – thank you for being so heartfelt and supportive!

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