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Sitting in the school hall at my leavers assembly back in 2009, I thought I had it all figured out.

I’ve always been quite independent and very head strong. I know what I want and I will work my damn ass off to achieve it. I’m nearly 23 years old now and as people regularly tell me “Your life is only just beginning! Everything will happen when its suppose to” and as much as i’d like to believe this, it’s hard to truly believe it when you feel your life isn’t progressing in the way you’d hoped.

I grew up creating my ‘Life Plan’, my plan of how I wanted my life to develop. I knew I wanted to finish school and go to college to study anything related to achieving my dream of becoming a Graphic Designer for the big fashion magazines. With dreams of moving to New York once I had finished my course to pursue internships whilst living in an apartment overlooking Central Park. Maybe even meeting my future husband in a Manhattan Cocktail bar… Yes, maybe I was thinking of myself as ‘Rachel Green’ in an episode of Friends, but hey, it was a dream and it made me happy.

I started college and throughout my first year the dream still stuck. I enjoyed every Graphic Design class and learnt a lot. It was going into my second and final year that it all changed. To do Graphic Design I had to take a Photography class too and combine the two subjects. I hated the odd Photography lesson in first year and didn’t want to spend my final year wasting time on a subject I didn’t enjoy but I didn’t make the rules and it was something that I had to accept and do. It was a few weeks in that we were given our final brief which we were to work on for the next 6 months. We could do anything we wanted that was related to Photography and Graphics so I decided I would create a magazine cover and photoshoot with the theme ‘Alice in Wonderland’. It was during this time I took THE photo that would create the path to my dream career…in Photography! From hating the subject to loving it all within the space of a few hours was a scary process. I now dreamed of becoming the next big thing in the world of Photography!

Fast forward 4 years and i’ve had job after job in photography trying to get my career of the ground. I have also developed my own business from scratch and had my work featured on Rock N Roll Bride and in the Lancashire Evening Post. It’s been a hard process and a stressful few years but I feel as though things are now falling into place.

It’s the same with my personal life. By now I’d have travelled the world and would now be living in London or New York but here I am still living at home with my parents, still working at the same place I’ve been at since I was 16 and having only visited Ibiza since leaving college. I didn’t realise at the time that dreams cost money.

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(Photo: Thomas Brault)

Although life hasn’t turned out how I’d planned, I believe it has turned out how it should. I’m a big believer in things happening for a reason. Did i still want to be working at the same place I’ve been at since leaving college? No I didn’t but I am. Am I upset that I haven’t had chance to travel the world as planned? Of course I am, but unfortunately I haven’t had the money to do so. Did I think I’d own my own business at the age of 22? No, but I’m proud of what I’ve achieved!

I’ve spent A LOT of time feeling depressed over where my life has headed in the past and not being able to afford to travel the world. Things have happened that I’ve had no control over. I’ve done things I’ve regretted and taken too much notice of the people around me that I have myself. I’ve put myself down when I shouldn’t have and cared too much about what people might say. I’ve worried about the people around me and why have their lives in order and I don’t. I’ve seen myself as a failure for a long time. I’ve stressed over this. I’ve cried over this. It is only in the last few months that I’ve realised that I should be proud of where I am and what I’ve achieved.

I guess what i’m trying to say is that plans change, life changes, YOU CHANGE. That’s the beauty of life. If we had our lives mapped out it would be boring. You need to make space for the exciting, unexpected changes that happen. If you don’t have your life in order by the age of 23 then who cares? I find it exciting that I don’t know where ill be next year or what I’ll be doing! Maybe I will be on the right path to becoming the next big photographer or maybe I won’t? Maybe i’ll be a Police Woman, or an Air hostess or maybe even an Actress?! Who knows? What will be, will be. I just hope whatever I’m doing and wherever I am in this beautiful, unpredictable world that I’m HAPPY! Because at the end of the day being truly happy is the greatest plan of all!

Sincerely, Sophie x

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(Photo: Pinterest)