Let’s just remember that success isn’t a race, and none of us really have our shit together.
Let's just remember that success isn't a race...
I was sat on my windowsill the other day, drinking my tea and looking out to the docks, people watching and thinking just watching the world go by for a little while. I was thinking about how lucky I am to have such a diverse network of friends. Most of my friends are a few years older than me, but each one of them is from a different background, on a different path, with different experiences, at different points in their life and each with different goals.
I have one friend who's 30, single, and just returned from 3 years of travelling & seeing the world and now wants to set up her own business. She's incredible and inspiring and I massively look up to her. My best friend from school is 24, in a long-term relationship with a house of her own and most recently, the most gorgeous baby boy who melts my heart a little bit every time I see a photo of him. She's also incredible and inspiring and I massively look up to her. And then, I have another friend who's 27, rents a flat in the city and is chasing her career and promotions up the ladder in a very similar way to the way I'd say that I am. Her work ethic and determination and outlook on life is something I wish I could match.
All of these women are successful. All of these women have taken different paths in life and are making lives for themselves that make them happy. And surely, that's what success is, right? It's creating a life for yourself that satisfies you and makes you happy, no matter what that may look like.
Then, when you leave college or university, it's always a race to see who can get themselves a job first and who's landed themselves the best grad scheme placement or first career role. And then this 'race' continues. Who gets promoted first? Who buys their first house first? Who gets engaged first? And the list goes on for all of these 'landmark' points in life that supposedly point towards our ever-growing success.
It's so easy to get sucked into this race and constantly feel that old comparison demon looming over your shoulder and telling you that you're being left behind by everyone around you. But, let's just remember that success isn't a race, and not least because we're all on such vastly different paths to vastly different goals, it should be pretty impossible to compare your life to someone else's in the first place.
... & none of us really have our shit together.
I've had two people in the last week tell me that I've clearly got my shit together, and I can't even tell you how much I laughed at the first because it couldn't feel further from it. There are a few things that have happened in my personal life over the last few weeks that I guess has overshadowed everything else and feels a little bit like my life is actually falling apart. But then I took a step back, and realised how from the outside looking in, it may actually really look like I do.
I've recently moved back to somewhere that makes me the happiest. I have a job that I love and have made a move into a new role to further my career. I have my own flat that I've been able to make all pretty and just how I want it to be, and as well as holding down my full-time job, I'm also running this blog as well as Girls in Work and keeping something of a social life going too by making time for friends.
Before last week, I hadn't been to the gym in two whole years. I have cereal for dinner more times than I care to admit and I'm attempting (and failing) to navigate the world of online dating again and all of the highs, lows and anxieties that comes with that. I barely have the energy to make my bed in the morning, I've neglected all self-care and I'm having a huge bout of imposter syndrome creep in at work and make me question how the hell anyone thinks I'm good enough for this job. I'm failing miserably at replying to text messages from friends who probably need me around a lot more than I am and can't even tell you the guilt that comes with all of the social anxiety. I'm letting toxic people make me feel like crap and only just learning how important it is to let these people go. And, just this week, had to make the decision that we needed a break from posting on GIW - we've been posting consistently three times a week and working on plans since we launched - and taking this break is making me feeling like a massive failure. I should be able to keep it going and keep all of these plates spinning... shouldn't I?
And then it clicked. None of us really have our shit together. You only have to chat with your friends who you think are smashing it to realise that we all have things we wish we had or were better at. There are always things that we think we could do better. We all have people we look up to and wish we were more similar to. And actually, we've all just gotten really good at pretending we have our shit together.
Featured in this post.
I love everything about Autumnal fashion, but mainly the colours and the cosy jumpers. Which is why I picked out this lovely burgandy button-up blouse (along with the exact same one in white below - they're super versatile and perfect for work!), and this really cute, cropped jumper that goes perfectly with a good pair of jeans.
Speaking of these jeans, they're from the Topshop outlet in Debehams, they're like the perfect amount of 'ripped', and they fit my bum/waist perfectly. Would 100% recommend Topshop jeans if you're after a good pair (I actually already have 3 other pairs but let's just skip over that bit...).
And finally, this monochrome jacket (similar linked) that is perfect to throw on with my jeans to get that little bit more of a smarter look for the office. All three of these looks will be featured in seperate blog posts that are coming up, so keep your eye out for those!