With mounting speculation that the famous group of six are going to be reunited for their first filming in twelve years, (has it really been that long) it’s got us reminiscing about the good old days. Like many, I grew up with the Rachel and Ross, ‘will they/won’t they’ story, laughed at Joey’s weird and wonderful thinking and for the first time, in the real world, saw what addiction to prescription drugs and alcohol can do to someone – although of course never once did that overshadow Chandler’s performance on the show. I (incorrectly) never worried about getting a job because if all else failed, I could just do what Phoebe did; learn a few chords and get paid to play terribly in the local coffee shop. I always thought Monica had it all; the sense of humour, the desire to clean and cook as well as an insane apartment in the most sought after area of NYC. Do I think Friends should reunite for their ‘The One With The 12 Year Break’ film? Of course! The final episode of the series in 2004 was watched by just over 52.5 million American viewers so surely this would be a mammoth success. Take marriage and kids out of the equation and it’d be interesting to see how Crane and Kauffman could develop each of the character’s and the overall concept of the series to make the new film. Could it be the same as it was back then though? We’ve all grown (as have the characters), so I see no reason why it wouldn’t be but think about exactly what can happen in twelve years.
It got me thinking about my own life. Twelve years ago I was just 17 years old and things have changed so much since then that I’d barely recognise my teenage self. I’m not just talking about moving from Wales and having a few jobs in between, I’m talking about the learning and evolving that’s happened as a human being. When you reach 29, it’s not only what you’ve learned but it’s how you deal with what society tells us. Where you are in life, what you’ve achieved, what your future holds… there’s a lot of pressure on both men and women when they turn 30. Right now I can’t say I’m not drinking without someone asking ‘why not, are you pregnant’?
There are lot of things that the media and family don’t tell us as we approach 30. That’s because there are certain experiences that we find out for ourselves. Values that we learn, the principals that we hold dear and even how things can shape us an individual. From the age of 17, I changed from a child to an adult. I’ve since had the time of my life – partying, holidaying, meeting new people. I’m still amazed at how many photo’s we used to have taken in nightclub toilets (haha) but what’s clear is that my time growing up through my twenties has allowed me to grow into a responsible adult with still so much more to look forward to. So with that in mind, here’s what I’ve learned in the past twelve years and what I’ll take with me going into my 30’s:
YOU MAKE PLANS THEN LIFE HAPPENS
You plan, prepare, have your five years written down on paper but guess what, life doesn’t work out that way. Finding the right person, the right job, equality, having a baby… each have their struggles and I’ve learned to never underestimate the ease of either one.
BULLIES DO EXIST
Online, in the supermarket, at work, on your street… bullies exist and it doesn’t matter how strong you are or the amount of reasons you have to not be bullied, they do exist and they don’t care who they target. I’ve seen it happen online and it’s enormously upsetting. It’s important to know how to deal with it – often it’s just jealousy so do not change yourself.
KNOW WHEN TO PERSEVERE
I’ve learned to persevere on only what’s important and believe me, it’s tricky to work out that priority. It comes with practice. I usually know when it’s appropriate to quit on something – be it a class, a job, a flat, even a relationship but it is worth spending the time working out whether to persevere. I like to keep on going which is why I love my job in media so much – you need patience!
As a teen I never worried about what was going on in my head, truly keeping things on autopilot. Throughout my twenties however, I really started to understand the importance of mental health as well as physical health. I’ve seen so many people suffer over the years and it’s crucial to give your mind a workout as well as your body.
FILLERS ARE OKAY!
Ok, ok, I’m not talking about injections (I faint with needles) but whatever you decide, I see nothing wrong with filling those tiny little wrinkles if they bother you. My fillers of choice right now are Estée Lauder’s New Dimension Firm & Fill Eye System (£55) and their New Dimension Shape & Fill Expert Lip Treatment (£29). The eye system gives a noticeable change to my eyes, literally transforming them. The first part tightens, tones and smoothes and the the fill bit kind of fills in the wrinkles like poly filler. The lip kit works by literally filling and then plumping.
YOU CANT CONTROL OTHER PEOPLE’S BEHAVIOURS
No matter how how much you really really really try to sell yourself (translation, erratically bombard people), you cannot control other peoples thoughts, feelings or behaviours. Similarly, you also can’t force yourself into a job nor can you make people be nice to you. Fact. Personally, I’m a true believer that everything happens for a reason.
INVEST AND DO IT WISELY
As I near further towards 30, I understand why people have always told me to invest wisely. That £150 Karen Millen jumper? Yup, still have it four years later and it still looks brand new. That super warm coat from Maje? That beautiful silk blouse? Those ridiculously expensive Jimmy Choo’s? Oh no, broke that heel on a curb coming out of a cab. Note, some things may only be designed for curb to cab only but there are still pavements ready to trip you.
GET EXCITED, EVEN WHEN NOTHING IS CONFIRMED
People who are pessimistic and refuse to get internally excited about anything really annoy me. I believe that happiness and excitement are what drives the good life so smile, tell everybody and look forward to celebrating!
ONLY DEAD FISH GO WITH THE FLOW
I wish I knew now what I did five years ago but similarly, I’m glad I still have to much more to learn about the world, relationships, love and life. I’ll continue to be myself, I won’t change and I’ll always be entirely up to me. Happy birthday to all you almost 30 year olds.