To accept and understand your past enables you to accept and understand your future
From getting married at 21, to planning my first cherub who is now 12, to losing my father (who brought me up), to my son living abroad from three years old, to getting divorced, to jet setting all over the world as a way of escaping from it all, to unsettled family relationships, to falling out with close ones to…… now (and breathe). Settled with my first son who is now home and my second cherub who is to my new partner, to building new special relationships I would never have found otherwise and to becoming a better version of me – sounds exhausting right? Well it sure has been. I will extend on some of my journeys in future blogs.
Being 20 is a time where the majority enjoy life and get to know themselves – well that’s what society tells us – not me. I was married at 21. I say never have regrets but, in hindsight, it was too young and to be honest for this era, the end result was inevitable. On reflection there were too much pressure for a 20 year old – a business, a baby, a home, a husband and there was also ‘keeping up with the joneses’ (at this age material things were a priority). I worked a full time job, then home to continue with the new venture, but deep down I didn’t truly know what I wanted other than I knew I wanted to be happy – happy being the operative word. I feel that immaturity, naivety and lack of positive support and guidance led me to making some negative lifestyle choices – or was I just being Twenty?
In my Twenties I thought I knew it all. I was confident, extravagant, an extrovert and dare I say it; always right. When I reflect I just exhale and think ‘what a transformation’. I don’t even remember some of my Twenties’ – it was so fast paced. There was always a drama may it be a positive or negative one. There was never a sense of calmness. I know I had fun, loads of it, but many bumpy rides along the way.
The point of this blog is to say we all make mistakes; jump into things with our eyes closed. We sometimes please others not realising the impact it has on ourselves. We sometimes make a decision without thinking twice or allowing any input from others. I advise anyone so young to remember being twenty is still the beginning. Don’t think you know it all, don’t want it all too quick, don’t expect it all. Smile, love, venture, laugh. Take your time to enjoy and embrace each experience you take. Don’t assume or guess a reasoning, try and understand it – learn to develop your mind and learn to listen to those more experienced than you to learn from their mistakes. Life experiences are invaluable – you want to be able to remember them all.
During my self-reflection and development I was taught Self Care. This is an action I took for myself to enable me to develop, protect and maintain and improve my health and wellbeing. Self-Care is something I advise everyone to practice. If you don’t feel settled in your life how can the people around you feel settled in your life?
I felt alone and one thing that got me through my unsettled years was my job; the place I currently work. I put all my upsets, all my pain into my job which led me to develop and build some really positive relationships. I call my place of work my family. Sounds silly but without my place of work I don’t think I would be as solid as I am today. The tears in the bathroom, the calling in sick, to pushing myself to support the clients who I understood needed me.
If you don’t have positive support networks or you don’t feel you can rely or confide in the ones you do have it doesn’t mean you still have to face tribulations by yourself. Build a network; may it be via your place of work, the web, social media, reading, my blogs, support organisations. Never feel like you have to face anything alone – no one should have to. Pain is real – pain hurts. Never feel ashamed for asking for support – venting. Never feel ashamed for being you. We are all unique human beings who have been given different paths – we just have to learn how to take each step and sometimes even start again.
What stops people from access support or opening up?
- Proving a point
- Living in denial
If you do find the confidence to reach out
- You can exhale/breathe
- Build positive relationships
- Receive positive guidance
- Increase in confidence/self esteem
- Clearer vision – enabling you to build on your future
- Bring positive energy to those around you
Consequences of not reaching out
- Building up a resilience to pain
- Not expressing how you truly feel
- You find it hard to trust
- Take unnecessary blame
- Unable to build relationships
- Mental Health at different levels
- Has a negative impact on the ones you love
SteveMarch 10, 2017
Very good read and I wish you all the bet in this. I remember my twenties what broke me but actually made me.
Your support, advice and patience at such a you helped massively to get me back on track.
I will always remeber and appreciate and NEVER forget
admin_elj612March 13, 2017
Hi Steve, thank you for your positive support. We support and help people in life not to receive anything back but when you do receive such appreciation it makes you feel real good – you have just made me feel that way. I would not have done anything different. If I know or see someone who needs some support i will give it especially to those i love. You are an inspiration to all young black boys – you are an inspiration to black men. Keep doing you you.
NadeneMarch 11, 2017
I LOVE this. For me personally i made so many ‘mistakes’ in my 20’s. At the same time had i not made them mistakes i wouldn’t know how strong i am. Would i want my children to make the same mistakes in their 20’s.. Hell Naahhh.. But it’s all a blessing in disguise as long as you learn from it.
Having a supportive network always helps! For me personally you was that for me… Thank you x
admin_elj612March 13, 2017
I agree i think we need to make mistakes to know what not to do! And NO i don’t want my children to make the same mistakes as me either, i want them to learn and always do better. I am glad that i was your support network Nadene as you are mine. Its so important to bring each other up and not judge as no one person is better or worse than another. Each person has their own journey and struggles in life – like you said its the support network that helps you get through.
SaskiaMarch 29, 2017
Currently in my 20’s such good advice, very good read!!! Please do more can’t wait to read them!!
zoeApril 4, 2017
I love this! I am in my 20’s but i have made many mistakes already, As you say we all make them. I am definitely taking your advice on self care. I need it a lot right now so thank you & Thank you for sharing with us x
admin_elj612April 4, 2017
HI Zoe, Yes we do make mistakes and we can feel bad for them we can only learn from them. Self reflection is definitely something that helps me honestly, good luck and thank you for your comments it means a lot . x