I reckon I might just be a bit of a Peter Pan ( why there isn’t a female equivalent to the youth-chasing PP I don’t know, but that surely requires a whole other post)- essentially my point is, I refuse to GROW UP or more so, I don’t feel that different from the 21 year old girl I was erm, (Googles a calculator)-14 years ago (case in point)- despite two kids and 2 c-sections (ouch) and cement thick concealer to hide my my eye bags.
You see, up there *taps noggin, I’m still 21 (pretty much).
And the good news, despite the eye bags, stretch marks, recent sciatica dancing to Justin Bieber (damn you 21 year old brain, 35 year old legs), I’ve at least upped my hair and eyebrow game since the bigger and bushier days of my early twenties.
I’ve also never let the years kill my joie de vivre or passion for the arts, a creative career or my love of the Kardashians.
Here are my cousin Georgia and I channelling Kim and Kourtney on Georgia’s 21st. I totes fitted in with all the twenty-somethings natch. I actually want to punch myself for writing ‘totes’ and ‘natch’ in a sentence.
If you’re still reading (I wouldn’t blame you if not)!-I won’t lie about the escapist things in life which make me happy either.
You see my 21 year old cousin and I have so much in common. Our mutual loves include fashion (Topshop, River Island and Miss Selfridge on the high street with some designer thrown in-Hello! Louis Vuitton, Valentino & Mulberry), beauty (yep EVERYTHING beauty), snapchat (a recent addiction for me-all Georgia’s fauly), emoticons (life would be boring without heels and crying with laughter emoticons, let’s be honest now), and all things KIm and Kanye.
When THE Kim Kardashian tweeted Georgia two years ago, it was me who screamed the loudest.
Mutual love for LV below which basically makes us twins-just one of us spawned 2 kids.
And why shouldn’t I love popular culture like the erm, next, 21 year old!
Life should be fun whatever your age, right?! Inserts dancing emoticons.
And what’s more and CRUCIAL to note is that my kids have injected so much FUN into my life. Plus feeling young means being a real fun mum too.
Yes, they’ve made my house messier, me tired-er, the hairs on my head grey-er but they’ve allowed me to relive my childhood again through them- to once more, dip my toes in to the river, to bounce on trampolines, push kids off swings so I can have a go (sorry kids) and dance to Bieber’s ‘Sorry’ until I couldn’t no more (damn you sciatica)…
Having kids has kept me young (even if my eye bags tell you otherwise).
Work-wise, those little people have made me more ambitious than ever.
I want to succeed for them. They’ve given me purpose while grounding me- as I just need to look at those doe-eyed cuties to know what matters in life.
And my twenties weren’t all about reality TV and experimenting with make up. 21 was a pretty life-changing year for me.
I was studying for an MA in Screen Drama at Goldsmiths, University of London at that point and was mid way through making my first short film ‘Rifts’, a comedy drama about warring Cypriot kebab shop owners in London.
Such was my passion and steely determination, I’d managed to raise £12,000 to make the film, with so much more raised in kind to help me complete it.
I gained a distinction in my MA and ‘Rifts’ proceedeed to win awards at film festivals all over the world, proving to be the catalyst to my directing career which followed.
That drive, tenacity, love and deep respect for filmmaking- and simply getting s**** done has never left me.
In fact it’s been the foundation upon which everything else has been built, this blog in point.
Plus, those 15 hour days on set definitely came in handy when my first sleep-raiding off spring came along- the long hours plus the endurance gained from working in the most demanding of industries made the baby and toddler years more bearable, no doubt. My own little divas were no match for the bigger ones I’d dealt with in the industry, daarhling!
And let’s be honest. Parenthood does inevitably change you-mind and body, you’re put through your paces and pushed to your limits- but the upside, you experience unconditional, all consuming love and ultimately laugh more (which keeps you young)!
FYI, it surprises me quite how many people who meet me without my kids, seem genuinely shocked that I have any. It must be that cement thick concealer. Max Factor’s pan stick if you’re wondering ladies!
Despite the changes, the sleep-deprivation, the overhanging tummies (nice), it’s crucial you don’t lose sight of that 21 year old you once were-you must still hang onto YOU.
Hang out with friends when you can, do date night with your partner, go a bit wild once in a while, even if that just means booting kids off the swings in the park so you can have a go, once a while. Just do a little of what you did pre-kids, post-kids every so often so you can reconnect with your old self. You know the YOU who didn’t have to worry about bills and what goes in the pack lunch and if you missed the school assembly parents were invited to-that YOU.
Now I realise I’m lucky that I get to escape parenting duties every year for a few days with an annual girlie trip to Cannes for the film festival. A chance to glam up, eat gorgeous food, watch fabulous films and parrrty!
I’ll always be a mum, of course I will- and I’m proud of that but I also like to let my hair down even if it’s only once a year (in the knowledge my kids are safe and happy).
Aw good times!
What’s more, I don’t feel guilty about it having ‘me time’. With Cannes, I have great fun, relax and return a more re-energised (and slightly hungover) mum.
A happy mama=happy kids, huh?!
So, go knock yourself out with a night out, weekend or even a holiday with the girls or simply make a promise to keep up with those Kardashians a little more.
You’ll feel better for it. So much better in fact, you might just feel like you did at 21 🙂
This is a commissioned piece for #BISS: Good to Know’s ‘Because I Said So: The Honest Voice of Parenting’ feature.
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