Next Tuesday is my Birthday and for the first time in 3 years I plan to really celebrate.
As a child, a teenager and throughout my twenties I absolutely loved my birthdays, they were the perfect excuse (not that I really needed one!) to get together with friends and family, to do fun things, eat great food and as I got older enjoy lots of good wine.
But as I approached ‘the big three oh’ something changed.
Suddenly I was entering a new decade in my life, but I felt I had little to show the 10 years that had come before it. I wasn’t married, I didn’t have children, and while I had a great job, I was still working for the only company I’d been at since leaving university. I felt like my life was going nowhere fast and the thought of celebrating the fact I was turning 30 absolutely filled me with dread.
So while my friends hired cottages for weekends away or organised lavish parties to mark their latest milestones, I spent my 30th at a small restaurant with a handful of family and friends wishing I was at home instead.
Now though, as I look back to that night three years ago, instead of feeling depressed I realise it was turning point in my life. Sometimes we have to feel down before we can get ourselves back up again.
Granted, it hasn’t always been easy – ending a relationship of 5 years is really hard, even if you know it’s not going anywhere, and I cried enough tears on my last day at ITV to fill as small reservoir – but making huge changes can have huge rewards.
Who would have thought back then that I’d now be working on various regional and network programmes with the likes of Huw Edwards, or that I would have been on the front cover of a magazine to promote my monthly column?! And my personal life has flourished too; I have a beautiful new home and a lovely new dog to enjoy it with, plus I’ve experienced some great adventures, like travelling on my own for the first time and getting up close to elephants. It sounds like a cliché but I really do wake up every day with a smile on my face now.
So on the 2nd July this year I’ll certainly be celebrating in style, looking forward to the year ahead.