I’m often very guilty of focusing on stuff that I haven’t done or that I’ve failed at. I hardly ever look at the things I’ve achieved and I think that’s partially why I’m always so negative about myself. Most recently, I was looking through my 30 Before 30 list and it genuinely depressed me because the reality of actually achieving them all seemed minimal as hell. So, in the spirit of attempting to be more positive, I’ve put together an alternative list. Instead of stuff I want to achieve before I turn 30, I’ve come up with a list of 30 things that I’ve managed to do over the years.
Update – November 2021 – I’m reviewing this post at the age of 29 and having rewritten my original 30 Before 30 to a few more doable tasks. To be honest, reading this through once again has made me feel that little bit better and that I’ve actually accomplished something.
Admittedly, I did it on my 4th attempt. Despite that, at one point it seemed like it would never happen. I still consider it one of my biggest achievements to date.
2: Held down a job while my OCD was at its worst
2014 to 2016 were the years when my OCD was at its peak. Some days I managed to distract myself through keeping busy at work but other days I was just a zombie trapped by my own thoughts. On several occasions I felt like I should get a sick note from my doctor so that I could take some time out, but I knew that if I did this my chances of actually going back to work again would be very slim. So I despite numerous public breakdowns on the shop floor, far too many days of being late and generally being snappy AF to my colleagues, I kept going.
3: Got a degree
It’s a sore point given that I don’t have a job even remotely related to my degree and that despite working myself to the point of exhaustion, I still didn’t get the first I was aiming for. My thoughts on it change depending on my mood. However, the bottom line, I still got a degree. I very nearly dropped out on multiple occasions, but I stuck with it. And as my Dad has always said, they can’t take it away from me.
4: Travelled to Barcelona
While this wasn’t my favourite holiday – high anxiety and tummy issues, obvs – I still see it as a milestone. This was where I travelled to for my first journey on a plane. It was stressful AF, and the flight home was scary as hell (I’ll tell you about it soon), but I did it. I got on a plane and I went abroad. Plus, our hotel was dreamy.
5: Saw Steps live in concert
Steps were my favourite band when I was growing up and I never got the chance to see them live before they split. So when they announced their tour in 2017, I was buzzing when me and my Mum got tickets. The venue was overcrowded as hell, but the concert itself was AMAZING. So much nostalgia.
6: Got married
People are still shocked when they find out I got married at 23. While my OCD made damn sure that the planning was ten million times harder than it should have been, there’s no denying that the day itself was the absolute best, and I genuinely wish I could do it all again.
7: Completed a course of high intensity CBT
After numerous experiences with the mental health service over the years, this was the only course of treatment I actually completed (due to moving away, useless organisation from my GP surgery etc). As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve definitely slipped back a few steps since, but at the end of the day, I still completed it. My discharge letter showing my OCI (obsessive compulsive inventory) scores for before and after is still one of my most prized possessions.
8: Got a tattoo (3 actually)
I spent a lot of my teenage years wanting a tattoo but I was always too scared to get one. Then this year, I took the plunge and got my first one in April 2019. It obviously sparked something, because in June I got two more. Still thinking about a fourth.
9: Ran a 5k
As someone who hated any kind of exercise with a passion, I never expected to run a 5k. But, when Lillie and I took up Couch to 5k, we decided to really commit and we signed up for the Bubble Rush fun run. It was a good laugh and I don’t think either of us thought we would manage it. Not only that, but we raised over £300 for our local hospice – funnily enough, I now work for that very same hospice!
10: Moved out of my Mum’s house
Okay, so it’s basic adulting, but I definitely didn’t expect to have moved out of my Mum’s house at the age of 18.
11: Got a cat
I had my priorities sorted. As soon as we finished uni, adopting a new fur baby was top of the list. Just a few months later, our gorgeous little Tilly arrived.
12: Went to Disneyland Paris
This was one of my bucket list priorities, and I finally did it in 2019. It was amazing and I’d love to go back and have a little longer there.
13: Saw a lot of comedy gigs
Comedy gigs are mine and my husband’s thing. We went to our first gig in 2010, which was Dara O’Briain, and since then we’ve been to loads more. My favourites have been Lee Evans, Russell Howard, and most recently, James Acaster.
14: Saw Michael Bublé live in concert
I was genuinely not a fan of Mickey Bubbles until I saw him live. My Mum had tickets to his concert for her birthday one year and she asked me to go with her. I’m so glad I did because it was amazing. What a showman. It’s safe to say I’ve been a Bublé fan ever since.
15: Went on a rollercoaster
When you have emetophobia, rollercoasters are not the best way to spend an afternoon. However I didn’t let it stop me from tagging along on a trip to Thorpe Park with my friends. I’m rather proud of the fact that my first rollercoaster was Colossus, which I later discovered had 10 loops. I did however draw the line at The Swarm.
16: Travelled to Gran Canaria
We’ve been to Gran Canaria twice now and each time it’s been amazing. The scenery is so pretty and the weather is just gorgeous. It’s a slightly longer plane journey too, so it’s gradually building up my tolerance to flying.
17: Held a parrot
This is a bit of a random one, but this was magical AF. When we were in Gran Canaria, we went to Palmitos Park where they had loads of photo opportunities with the animals. My particular favourite was where they take your picture with a bunch of parrots.
18: Stroked a dolphin
Another memory courtesy of Palmitos Park. It was expensive to get a picture with a dolphin but I was determined to do it. No regrets.
19: Travelled to Madeira
Madeira was our main holiday for 2019 and it was so pretty. We had some amazing food and we went on some great day trips, my favourite being the Botanical Gardens.
20: Rode toboggans in Madeira
While this kind of comes under the category of the previous one, it was one of my favourite parts of our trip to Madeira!
21: Ridden in an ambulance
Okay so not an achievement and the story behind it is nothing to be proud of, but remember when kids think it’s cool to ride in an ambulance? I think there’s always that connotation no matter how old you are. Anyway, the story behind it doesn’t paint me in the best light, so I’ll save it for another time. It of course involves alcohol, and I am very sorry for wasting paramedics’ time. I was however, slightly gutted that I remained unconscious for the whole journey to A&E.
22: Seen Avenue Q
I was obsessed with Avenue Q when I was 16. The music and the sweary puppets were just awesome. So, one year for my birthday my husband bought me tickets to so it. It didn’t disappoint. We went to see it again last year when it was performed by an amateur dramatics company and it was even funnier the second time around.
23: Won a competition
I was always a sore loser, and to be honest I still am. However, when I was 8 years old and realised I’d won tickets to the Cartoon Network Roadshow, I was BUZZING. I won VIP tickets and a bagful of goodies too. I went with my Mum, my Dad and my Nan and it was one of my favourite childhood memories.
24: Met a celebrity
We’ve been lucky enough to meet a few comedians at some of the gigs we’ve gone to over the years. We’ve met Jimmy Carr a few times (he smells REALLY good), and we’ve met Chris Ramsey, David Mitchell and Ed Byrne.
25: Been to a black tie event
I was lucky enough to be one of ten invited to the Opticians Awards in 2016 when our store got nominated. It was a big black tie party with free booze and food, and it was a really fun evening – any excuse to buy a cocktail dress too!
26: Started a blog
Self explanatory. I genuinely didn’t think I would have kept it up for this long!
27: Had a professional birthday cake
I always wanted a professionally made birthday cake, and for my 21st, my Mum got me one. It was AMAZING.
28: Tried on a big poofy wedding dress
I think even if you have no desire to go for a big puffy princess dress, when you go wedding dress shopping, it has to be done. I tried on the Cinderella dress and it was so pretty! While I considered it for a few minutes, I could hardly walk in it, so I think not getting it was probably the right decision.
29: Passed my maths GCSE
I hated maths. I was not good at it and it used to majorly stress me out. Towards the end of exam season I didn’t think I’d pass my GCSE, but thankfully, I just about scraped a C. I’m still not entirely sure how it happened.
30: Passed my art GCSE
Don’t worry I’m not going to go through all of my GCSE subjects. However, I think art deserves a mention. I chose GCSE art because I loved it, however when we were given a new teacher in Year 10, that love was destroyed. She was not a nice person and she genuinely made me cry on a weekly basis. However, despite her telling me constantly that I was not good enough, I still passed. Albeit with a C, but I’ll take that – especially seeing as she told me at one point I wouldn’t even get an E grade.