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A QUARTER OF A CENTURY OLD | HAPPY BIRTHDAY ME



I am twenty five, twenty five! How has life gone by so fast? It feels like yesterday I was playing with Barbies, pretending to be a Mummy to a baby Annabelle and dreaming of the days I'd be a wife and what job i'd have. I wanted to be a teacher at one point, I remember spending hours writing registers, setting my Barbies and teddies up as my class and pointing to a pretend white board and telling off "Emma" for  talking to "Jessica" and asking her to listen and asking "Lily" to go and stand outside the classroom. Now, this is something I was mimicking as if you replace "Emma" or "Lily" with Nicole it would be a typical day at school for me. I was always a chatterbox, I was also always incredibly stubborn and still am. I remember being told to stop swinging on the table and to sit on the floor nicely and listen and Mrs Buckley sending me out of the classroom because I would not listen. I remember being in year R and Mrs Stanley asking me NOT to pick at the scab on my knee after Jacob had ran me over on his bike as my Mother had told me that it would scar and I picked it until it bled and looking back now I bet Mrs Stanley and Mrs Buckley wanted to slap stubborn Nicole around the head to knock sense into her.


It's strange to think how many career changes I planned as a child, vet was up there as a strong contender, doctor, nurse, dance teacher, a dancer on the stage in the west end or a backing dancer for the spice girls and looking at my life now it's crazy how little I have achieved in the career sense, I mean, I don't have any career goals, I am not working towards my career, I don't even truly know where I want to be in five years time, let alone ten but then I really think back to little Nicole's thought process and I have actually achieved exactly what little Nicole wanted.

Little Nicole spent hours playing with her baby Annabelle, she spent forever playing Mummy. I think back to when I would put baby Annabelle up my top and then say "I am having a baby" and (cringe moment) i'd lay on my bed and pull the baby out and say "I am a Mum, I've had a baby." and i'd give her a bottle, change her bum, feed her and let her sleep in my bed to keep her safe. I have achieved exactly what little Nicole wanted, she wanted to be a Mum.
I always imagined my life with children and as I grew older and learnt that sometimes woman can't always conceive a child, that frightened me as I knew that is all I ever wanted. I wanted children with the man I was going to marry by no older than twenty five and we would have two children a boy and a girl and as I grew older I thought maybe i'll have three. Little Nicole had life plans but no career plans really, she never truly stuck to anything. Little Nicole always wanted to be a wife and a mother within a happy family unit to a lovely, handsome man and i'm pretty sure little Nicole would be very satisfied if she could have seen the future.

As I grew older I hated school, I hated college and I dropped out and went to work. I batted between jobs in retail, care, childcare, care again, retail again because in all honesty even now I don't truly know where I am destined for in the career world. I hope that one day it just clicks or something makes me realise the career path that's meant for me. Bigger Nicole loves photography, she loves being creative, she loves writing and actually little Nicole loved writing too. Not as little Nicole scored her only A* in a creative story piece in year 7.  I wrote a story, that I can no longer remember what it was about but I remember spending so much time working on it and loving it, I remember thinking, maybe I could write a book one day? It was amazing and I was so proud of it.
Then I think back to junior school and writing a story and drawing a rainbow and the sun and the rain at the top of the page and realising I liked to write and be creative and to draw.
I have always loved to draw and was semi good at it until I was 15 and I woke up one day and was temporarily paralysed on my right side and having to learn to use my arm again meant that my handwriting changed and my ability to draw seemed to disappear and I have never really picked up a pencil and sketch book and actually enjoyed or liked what I produced since - not since my nightmare before christmas piece I drew and painted before this happened in my graphics class.

I am incredibly humble due to my upbringing, I grew up in a small, two bedroom council flat with my brother and our parents and we didn't have flashy abroad holidays every year so now at the age of twenty five this year we're doing things differently. Instead of making babies, having babies or planning a wedding (never, ever, ever again) we're going on adventures, we're going abroad and i'm facing my fears. I will get on a tube again and I will go to Manchester and face a busy city centre and I will make little Nicole proud. One day I may figure out my career goal but for now, working as a healthcare assistant, being a self-employed blogger and a freelance photographer and video creator, I am content. It pays the bills, it pays the rent, it puts food on our table, it funds our travels and most importantly I feel happy and i'm finding myself.

Not as little Nicole may be disgusted in how, four years on she's gained 3 stone and she's not fitting into size 6 clothes from TOPSHOP anymore and she's also gained 2 children and a husband and little Nicole didn't care about weight or looks and actually little Nicole was a bad-ass inspiration who wanted to have a job, a husband and two kids and actually I have achieved that. I have three paying jobs and one non-paying job that's the most important and that is keeping my beautiful children alive and my husband happy. Little Nicole shaped Big Nicole to be the person she is today and that may be 3 stone heavier than what I was at 16 but i'm doing blooming well in all the other aspects of my life.

SO HERE WE GO BIG NICOLE! A QUARTER OF A CENTURY OLD! HAPPY BIRTHDAY ME.