Twitter informed me this morning that a topic entitled ‘2006 vs. 2016’ was trending.
Oooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhh I thought, I LOVE shit like this. Here’s yet another bandwagon I can unashamedly jump aboard on.
I love seeing how people have changed over a period of time, it lends itself ever so well to my incredibly nosey nature. There were some hilarious photos other Twitter users had uploaded. Time had been kinder to some and less than kind to others. Bitchy? Me? Never!
However, it also got me thinking. Or should I say regressing. I often spend a great deal of time looking back on my life, I wouldn’t say living in the past, moreover I like to see how far I’ve come, how I’ve changed and what I’ve achieved.
I turned 20 in 2006. Working for a large insurance company, I’d loved the first proper full time job I had since spending my late teens dipping my toe into the hairdressing industry and leaving then re-joining 6th form more times than I’d care to admit. I certainly went through a period of unsettledness.
I’d been in my job for 2 years when my feet began to twitch. I wanted more money, more responsibility and a bit more of a challenge. Thus, I decided to resign and find out what the world of law was all about. IT BORED THE LIFE OUT OF ME. My personality was not suited to working for a law firm and I only lasted 3 months before I quit that job and turned my attention to the recruitment industry – much more me.
The week before I left the insurance company my boss who was also a dear friend died suddenly. This was heart-breaking. I’d encountered death before with family and with someone I’d worked with previously but this felt different. This shifted something for me and made me realise how short and how precious life is. Time waits for no one. I still often think of my lovely friend Lou and visited her grave a few months ago to leave some flowers and pay my respects. The first time I’d been to the church since her funeral. Losing people close to you makes you appreciate life all the more and indeed those you hold close.
I was still living at home in 2006, splitting my time between there and my then boyfriends flat. At the age of 20 I decided I wanted to leave the family abode I’d resided in since birth and set up home with my boyfriend. That didn’t last, but more on that another time.
2006 was the last year I can remember before the inception of social media. Well, I say I didn’t discover social media until 2007 but does MySpace count? I recall having an account towards the end of 2006 but did I know how to use it? Don’t be daft.
With no Instagram, Facebook or Twitter the amount of selfies I took were few and far between, however, I did find this in the archives. Taken in July 2006, why didn’t anyone tell me hair straighteners shouldn’t be used to flick ones hair out Farrah Fawcett c.1977 style?
Yes I actually thought this hair looked good 10 years ago.
I went to Paris and Italy in 2006. The latter a holiday that almost caused me to be dumped at the top of Mount Vesuvius. The combined joys of heatstroke and the inability to procure menthol cigarettes in the beautiful city of Sorrento led to an almighty tantrum. Visual aid below.
THE FACE ON IT.
My 20th Birthday in 2006 was spent undertaking a treasure trail throughout the streets of Bristol that was organised for me by my then boyfriend. The end result was tickets to Paris that were waiting for me in my then favourite restaurant; Pizza Express. Now, I don’t mean to be ungrateful and it was a lovely gesture and all but that trip to the city of love taught me how much I HATE coach holidays. So you can imagine the look on my face when I was presented with tickets to Disneyland Paris for my 21st Birthday that involved me having to step foot on a coach for the second time and remain seated for hours upon hours on end. Not my idea of fun it has to be noted!
There was no Reality TV for me to obsess over in 2006. No ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ or ‘The Real Housewives of Cheshire’. We had The X Factor (won by Leona Lewis – remember her?) and of course we had Strictly Come Dancing but that was it. So, I spent the majority of my free time watching all of the soaps. You name it, I watched it. Even Neighbours!
The aforementioned free time made me smile. Something I don’t have a huge amount of these days. Being a Mum and all. Aside from watching the soaps, I can’t really remember what else I did with my free time back in 2006. Eating a lot of pizza was probably a hobby of mine since I didn’t actually drink alcohol back then. Were I to go out of an evening then it would be a bottle of sparkling mineral water and a packet of fags. After all, we were able to smoke indoors back then. The very fact people were ever allowed to have a cigarette in a public place seems so alien to me now.
For me, life was certainly much simpler back in 2006 but it was nowhere near as fun as my life is now. Becoming a Mum has brought so much joy to my life.
Yeah, so I have a few more grey hairs than I did in 2006. I’m in more debt and the many responsibilities I now have often overwhelm me. However, I am a million times happier now; aged 30, than I was aged 20.
I have nicer hair, I weigh less, I have my own house, a better relationship, my little boy and of course this website; something else that brings unbridled joy into my life.
Who didn’t love a pair of boyfriend jeans back in the day?
I also have so many incredible memories to reflect on. I have more stories to drone on about. More anecdotes to bore people with.
I also have experience. Both good and bad. I’ve learnt so many lessons since 2006, some painful but many incredibly valuable, lessons I’ll take with me into my thirties and reflect upon. I’ve discovered, through various experiences, how strong I am, how I can weather many a storm and that makes me proud. I like to think it would make 20 year old me proud too.
I’ve said before, life doesn’t come with a manual, we all have uncharted seas we have to swim through and we’ll all make mistakes along the way.
Learning from those mistakes is the most important lesson of all and will mean those mistakes; no matter how awful, weren’t made in vain.