What I would tell my 16 year old SELF?

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Happy Monday everyone :) Hope you’ve all had a nice day. I didn’t have the best start to the week as I am currently tucked up in bed and had to go to the doctor this morning. I have bronchitis which is not ideal at all as it’s extremely painful but I will rest this week and hopefully I will be fine for the weekend.

So I asked you guys a while ago what you wanted to see more of on TSO and it was more personal posts. I totally agree sometimes it’s nice to read posts personal to the person and ones you can relate to yourself. I was thinking about blog posts to do over the past week and I thought that I would do a new what I would tell my 16 year old self blog post? I done one of these a good few years back and it went down really well. Now I am 29 so being 16 seems like a LONG LONG time ago now. A few initial thoughts that I would have said to myself would be, not wear so much eyeliner as you can barely see your eyeballs as it is Aoibhe (I wore SO MUCH back then), don’t drink vodka mixed with WKD ever as it’s the devil and lastly don’t let that best friend go when you are 18 as you will really really regret it later in life.

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FRIENDSHIP

Don’t worry about not being friends with everyone. Everyone is not going to like you and you just need to know that. Having a small group of friends and close pals will mean more to you than you think. You’ll make great new friends along the way so don’t panic. Always stay true to yourself and go with your gut instinct on people like you always have. I do that all the time now and I’m usually right. Most recently I had two incidents with girls I ‘thought’ I knew but I didn’t know them at all. They acted as if they were so lovely to my face but I later found out it was the complete opposite with my back turned. We all learn the hard way I suppose.

16 was a great year for me. I actually think one of my favourite years ever in school and with friends when I look back on it. I was in 4th year in school and as you all know it’s such a fun year. I was one of the lead characters in my school musical, My Fair Lady and I was helping direct my first ever school fashion show with one of my teachers Miss Lennon & my friend at the time Rebecca. It was such a great year for me. I was in Billie Barry at the time, had lots of friends and in all different circles too. What I am saying is, I really had a big friendship group. I recall a house party I had for my 16th birthday in my house. It was just a normal house nothing spectacular or big. It could at most hold about 40-50 people comfortably at a party. At my 16th birthday, I had over 150 people and all were friends and friends of friends. It was such a good party. My mum was there to supervise but she is a cool cookie so didn’t mind at all once nothing was broken.  Smashed mayonnaise & eggs on my back wall, neighbour complaints and a callout from the Gards (police to anyone outside of Ireland) meant the party was over. I made a very good friend when I was 16. She had just joined our school and was a bit of a crazy gal, actually she still is. We became the best of friends and was attached to my hip. We had a fun few years and I’ll always remember it. We unfortunately fell out a few years later over something silly which I can barely remember however later made up and still keep in contact now. I am so happy we made up as she was such an important part of my life. We actually keep saying we will meet up so we have to do it. She’s a fabulous girl, who will always be there and likewise me for her.

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Don’t get me wrong I absolutely loved having so many pals at the time and I don’t regret it for one moment. Many of them were in school and we merely drifted apart. You can read my blog post on friendships HERE. One thing I came to learn later in life was that it didn’t matter how big your circle was. It was more about close loyal friends rather than lots of fake friends or friends of friends. I came to realise over the course of the next 2-3 years who my real friends were. I made another friend in Shereen when I was 18 and we have been best friends ever since. Shereen was a friend of an ex boyfriend of mine & we become so close. She’s always there for me and can count her as one of my true best pals. She’s tells me as it is and sometimes I need just that 😉 Shereen and I have been through so much but I adore her. Vanessa has been there from the start (4years old and won’t go away :D) and never left. She has never left my side and for that I will be eternally grateful. She is a beautiful person inside and out. It’s crazy to think that she’s having a baby next month and we are both pregnant together. We keep saying we need to get a photo of our bumps together so definitely before the end of the month we will.

So what would I tell my 16 year old self?

Don’t worry about not being friends with everyone. Everyone is not going to like you and you just need to know that. Having a small group of friends and close pals will mean more to you than you think. You’ll make great new friends along the way so don’t panic. Always stay true to yourself and go with your gut instinct on people like you always have. I do that all the time now and I’m usually right. Most recently I had two incidents with girls I ‘thought’ I knew but I didn’t know them at all. They acted as if they were so lovely to my face but I later found out it was the complete opposite with my back turned. We all learn the hard way I suppose.

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LOVE

Ahhhh love. Sure do you even really know what love is when your 16??? Kind of right? No? Well regardless I was in love with a guy when I was 16. His name was Keith. He was really such a nice guy and literally would have done anything for me. We were only young though and I ended up breaking his heart. It’s always the nice guys hearts you break right? I look back and regret it, but I was 16 with not a care in the world. I had another boyfriend for a very short period so we’ll just forget him and then had another douche bag boyfriend who I actually don’t even want to name for fear he would sue me. Anyway let’s forget him too. He actually broke my heart so I was even. I had got my heart broken and I had broken someone else’s. Then I spent nearly ten years on and off with a guy. We were engaged and everything seemed fine. But as time went on, life was different. Arguments, cracks, it just wasn’t the same at all. We both wanted different things and I fell out of love with him unfortunately. I would never ever for a second look back and regret my time with him. Sometimes things don’t plan out how you once wanted them to and that’s ok. It took me a while to physically admit that to myself but I eventually did. It was hands down the hardest decision I have ever had to make. You can read my post on it all HERE. Shortly after I met Sean. Sean was in the same industry as me and we instantly just clicked. It was like talking to a male version of ME! He liked the same things as me, he enjoyed everything I did, he had similar ambitions, it was WEIRD! His mum said within the first few weeks of meeting me, it was literally like having two Sean’s in the house. We became inseparable and have been ever since.

So what would I tell my 16 year old self?

Aoibhe, Keith isn’t the one, even if you think he is (cause at the time I thought he was). We actually made a promise when I was 16 that if we hadn’t met anyone by 30 we would marry each other for the fear nobody else wanted us :) Luckily I’m ok now and I am happily with Sean. I would tell myself to not give ‘the guy who I won’t name’ any more chances as he is a complete D**K. I would also say don’t make any stupid mistakes as sometimes you can become careless and be an idiot. I would probably say not to just stay with someone to keep other people happy. I would tell myself not to say yes to that proposal as it may make things worse which it unfortunately did. And lastly I would say when that hot guy (Sean) asks you a MILLION and one questions, realise that he’s actually flirting with you. You dope!!! I know you’ve been out of the dating game for a while hun 😉

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HAPPINESS

This is actually a touchy one and something I’ve only ever briefly spoke about on my blog before. When I was 16, my parents were going through a nasty breakup. We had a massive holiday in Disneyland the year before which was one of the best holidays I’ve ever been on. Little did I know at the time that it would be our last family holiday together :( From when I found out (well I kind of knew all along) and from the day I got told, I changed. It was something inside me that made me feel so upset. I never showed this over the next few years and nobody would have known. It was only when I turned 20 that something hit me. I went into a dark space and felt so upset at the fact my parents would never love each other again. Our family was broken. Now some of you reading this will totally understand and others just won’t as you are the lucky few that still have your parents together. It’s literally probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. Watching your parents divorce is heartbreaking. Anyway my fun jolly self had disappeared and I just wasn’t myself anymore. I suffered in silence for a few years and it never seemed to go. I spoke to someone about it and it did help but only to an extent. I remember what it was like and how much it affected me. My mum or dad don’t read my blog that often, maybe they will read this, I don’t know. I still to this day thank my parents for that holiday and even though they have went their separate ways, 14 years later I still think about what I’d do to be 15 again and on that holiday of a lifetime.

What would I tell my 16 year old self?

I would tell myself that it does get better and you won’t feel that way forever. Things will change and you will grow up. It’s not ever going to be the same so just remember IT WILL GET BETTER. It is however actually a difficult one as there was nothing I could have said to myself that would make me change how I felt about the whole situation. It was a very difficult time in my life, continued on for years and even still into the present day hurts to think about it. There is one thing I would tell myself and that’s to treasure every second of that holiday in Florida because it will be your last ever family holiday ***(this part definitely made me cry as it’s such an emotional topic)

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CAREER

Your career Aoibhe. Well when I was 14 I was a swimming instructor in Gormanstown College Co.Meath. For those of you that don’t know, I’m a trained lifeguard. I then went on to work as a cashier in Supervalu when I was 16 (great job I loved it) followed by a summer as a Style Advisor in River Island and then I worked as an Assistant Manager in Claire’s Accessories. I actually started a full-time college degree which I later dropped out of. So I decided to leave and went to work in the airport. I worked in my first job in luxury which was a makeup artist role for Yves Saint Laurent where I stayed for 3 years. In my first year working there, I decided to go back and do a degree part-time at night for four years so I went Dublin Business School where I studied, Marketing and Event Management.

I really really enjoyed working in the airport. I don’t know what it was about it, I just really liked the atmosphere and I had one of the best managers I’ve ever had there too. I hope she won’t mind me mentioning her. Her name was Nikki and what she might not even know is, that I learned so much from her. She was truly a great manager and thought me a lot. When I was in my first management roles, I  definitely thought ‘what would Nikki do’ when I made decisions. She was a lovely person, mentor and a manager who made working for the L’Oreal Group somewhere I will always love and remember.

I then continued with my luxury roles and went to Kurt Geiger (Europe’s largest luxury shoe retailer). Louise was my Area Manager there at the time and she was another dream to work with. I had my first big management role at 18 in Claire’s but this was luxury so there was a lot more pressure involved. I have her to thank for the guidance she gave me at the beginning. I then moved into manage a bigger department in the main store in Dublin where I never wanted to leave. I was managed by another great lady, Donnine and I really didn’t want to leave her. She was and still is someone I would ask advice from if I ever needed it. You know when you look at someone’s career and think, fair play to you. She worked up the ranks and has a very senior role in Kurt Geiger now.

So once I finished my degree, I left Kurt Geiger and moved to Oz to work for the Prada Group. I spent a year there, managing their Miu Miu store in Perth so I was continuing on my luxury experience. I loved it at Prada too and another place I didn’t want to leave. When I got home, I worked briefly for Lidl Ireland as an Area Manager then moved back to work for Brown Thomas directly. After a while there, I knew I wanted more work/life balance and living so far from Dublin was difficult so I left that too. I got a job as cabin crew with an Irish airline and I was so excited. Fast forward two years and I have never looked back. I have also never enjoyed a job more. Granted I took a MASSIVE pay drop from my Area Manager role in Lidl and my Brown Thomas role, but I have never been happier.

So what would I tell my 16 year old self?

I would say don’t bother going to do full-time college, that it’s not going to work out. I would also tell myself to do more courses in makeup during my time at YSL because after you leave YSL you won’t be half as good as you once were. I would tell myself to stay in Australia a little longer and give it a bit more time than you did. I rushed home due to a situation and I could have just came home for a brief time, but chose to leave permanently instead. It was a rushed decision because I panicked so I would tell myself to stay another six months at least. Other than that I am actually quite happy with my career to date and wouldn’t change a thing about it. I’ve learned so much from so many different people along the way. I have had some great mentors and people guide me throughout the years which I will always be so grateful for.

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I really do hope you liked this post. This quote above is one of my all time favourite quotes. It really sits with me and makes me think. Read the quote again and really think about what it says…………

You really need to love your job and what you do. I promise that if you find a job you love as crazy as it sounds, you’ll never work a day in your life. I adore what I do and I don’t feel like it’s a job at all. It took me time to find it, but I’m so glad I eventually did. I chose happiness over a big pay salary and I’ve never looked back ever. Just because you are on 70K or 90K won’t guarantee you happiness. Big paying roles requires a lot of your time and if you are willing to devote your life to a role then GO FOR IT. You will most definitely end up working long hours for the job and come out with way less per hour than you initially signed up for. Not just that but you may not have any work/life balance. For example in an old job, my day off was never ‘a day off’, I was always on call. Now when I have a day off, it’s MY DAY OFF.

Let me know your thoughts and what you would have told your 16year old self?

Love Aoibhe xxx

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