As 2019 rolled on in, so did the start of the 10 year challenge, a challenge in which we would post photos of ourselves from 2009 and then from 2019 to see how much we’d changed or how much of a “glow up” we’d been through. Now, as someone who is deeply unhappy with her life choices, has lots of regrets and also has self esteem which resembles dog shit smeared on the bottom of your shoe, it’s safe to say, I didn’t enjoy that challenge.
I avoided it for as long as I could but curiosity got the better of me so I started digging through my old Facebook photos from 2009. There I was, 16 year old me, looking back at me. Deliriously happy. Not a care in the world. Whole life ahead of her without the worry of mental illness, anxiety and endless regret. That girl didn’t have a freaking clue. And she was all the better for it.
But it’s not just that. I have a huge issue with self esteem in the way I look. I always have, probably always will and honestly it doesn’t matter what you say to me, this low self esteem basically block out any compliment I receive.
So looking at 17 year old me, when I was fitter, healthier (apart from the amount I drank but that’s another story), skinnier (just personally here, I’m not at a weight I’m happy with right now) with platinum blonde hair and tanned skinned which made me feel the most like me I’ve ever felt, well, it wasn’t something I enjoyed doing.
It just reminded me of how happy I was, how confident in myself I was and how much my life had so spectacularly been flipped on it’s head to the point where sometimes, I genuinely feel like I’m not living the life that was destined for me and someone else out there has mine instead. Jesus, that got deep.
Anyway! I was thinking about this 10 year challenge and how it’s focused mostly on appearances but then I asked myself why does it need to be? A lot happens in 10 years. Yes, we all look different. We might be bigger or smaller. Our hair colour may have changed. We might have new tattoos and piercings or wear glasses where we didn’t before.
But 10 years is a long old time for a lot to happen in. Both good and bad of course. So I wanted to try and attempt to turn the 10 year challenge around from something which brought up some pretty negative emotions, to something which made me feel proud and accomplished as much as possible and feeling positive.
So here are some things that I’ve achieved in 10 years, the big, small, insignificant but ultimately, things that have made up my life for the past 10 years of it:
- I passed my GCSE’s with 5 A’s, which was better than I ever hoped
- I went Skiing in the French Alps
- I also visited France a further 3 times; twice to Disneyland and once to Paris for an Art trip
- I also visited Bulgaria, The Norfolk Broads, The Lake District, Shropshire, Great Yarmouth, Snowdonia National Park, Suffolk and Lincolnshire.
- I made it through Sixth Form and had the time of my life doing it. I drank far too much, made too many mistakes, didn’t focus enough on my studies but I had the best years of my life
- I got a dog, who’s the love of my life
- I had two serious and long term relationships: My current one and my previous one. Luckily, I’m still very good friends with my ex and my boyfriend and I often hang out with him and his now girlfriend!
- I battled through the hardest and most desperate years of my life when I was suddenly hit with extreme anxiety and diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder. This was the turning point in the last 10 years of my life and the thing that separates the ‘before’ and ‘after’. My mental illness has been so complex and I never thought I’d go through what I have and I never thought something could change my life that much. But it has. And it did.
- I had private therapy which was life changing and I’ll forever be grateful to dearest Pam for helping me understand my mental illness in a kind, compassionate and caring way.
- I met my boyfriend. And have been lucky enough to be welcomed into his family, spending time with them, bonding with them and attending his cousins wedding last year.
- I found a few new loves of my life: Yoga and Motorsport
- I attended my first Motorsport event, the DTM race weekend at Brands Hatch. But I also saw the Formula 1 testing in 2016 and the 40 Years of Williams event in 2017.
- I went to my first (and probably only) Yoga retreat. I learnt a lot from that.
- I started my blog. Which started as a small book blog at a time when I so desperately needed something to keep me going. My blog will always be the thing that ultimately saved my life.
- I started my own small online book touring business. I closed it last August but it was a valuable learning experience.
- I released an eBook, my Beginners Guide to Blogging, in October 2018.
- And I managed to turn my blog into a business and earn significant money from it. Which I think will always be my proudest achievement.
- I’ve had incredible opportunities from my blog, including a stay at the Brooklands Hotel in Surrey, a trip to Paradise Wildlife Park and have had plenty of fantastic products sent to me, which I’d never thought was possible for me.
Wow you’ve achieved so much! I think my biggest achievement is probably graduating from uni. I’d never really planned on going to uni growing up so to say I have a degree is still a bit weird to me, and I’m quite proud that I made it through despite mental health being a bit of a nightmare at times!
Abi | https://whatabigailsays.co.uk/
That’s amazing. Not going to uni is one of my biggest regrets so thats a huge achievement x
[…] I’ve personally taken part in myself, mainly because of insecurities. I saw Jenny write a 10 year challenge blog post which gave me the inspiration to write about my own achievements that I’ve […]
I love how positive your approach is! you are an inspiration to me 🙂
Thank you 😚
[…] 10 year challenge: Things I’ve achieved in 10 years […]
I’m constantly being inspired by you, missy!! Another post idea to add to my list! Haha. I think the best thing I’ve achieved in the last 10 years is graduating from university with a 2:1!
Daisy xoxo | TheDeeWhoLived
That’s an amazing achievement! I’d love to see your full list 😌
[…] post is a little different, but when I saw it over on Jenny in Neverland’s blog I knew I wanted to do something similar. Earlier this year, so many people, including myself, took […]
My biggest achievement was moving to Berlin. It was the making of me.
That’s a pretty big achievement!
I loved reading this Jenny. You’ve had some great moments to look back on x
Thank you 😌
Well done for achieving such fantastic milestones! 😀 Hope 2019 goes well for you! 🌺
Thank you 😌
I’m so proud of you! Also that photo of you is amazing! I love your short hair!
Love, Amie ❤
The Curvaceous Vegan
Thank you! I couldn’t pull that off now 😂
Really enjoyed reading your achievements – of which there were many, which is awesome! 🙂
I don’t usually do these sorts of challenges. Ten years ago I was still able to get out and about. In 2011 I became housebound & bedridden. I had to literally go through a grieving process to come to terms with it. I think that has been my biggest achievement because it was really bloody hard to do right before my 40th Birthday. The next thing would be my blog, which I started as a way to distract me from constant pain but also so I felt like I was actually contributing to something. I just felt so defunct before I started my blog. 🙂
Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip
Thank you 😌 Our blogs really can be life savers can’t they? Yours is fab and you’ve done so well with it and I’m so glad it was a welcome and successful distraction for you!
I’m so proud of you as I read this, and can super relate to so much of it! I to have self-esteem issues and ran away from the ten year challenge, but you taking it on has inspired me!
Thanks so much!
I never really take part in those challenges that seem to do the rounds every so often, as nothing in my life has gone to plan and sometimes it’s hard to reflect on that! I loved reading about your 10 year challenge though, it’s so easy to find the negatives isn’t it and not notice actually there’s so much we’ve achieved and so much good to come from certain situations which we might not have originally thought xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
I feel the same, I never do them either!
This was really good! You seem to have done a LOT of things in the last 10 years! You should be proud of yourself. I am even proud of you on what you’ve been able to do. 🙂 ♥
Thanks so much Meghan!
Wow. You have accomplished SO much! I’m so happy for you. I love how you are so close to your ex, the schooling, and all that travel. Congrats on everything! I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years will bring you.
Thank you 🙂
What a brilliant post to see Jenny! The ten year challenge was something funny and you turned it into something inspirational! It is so important to see how far you’ve come and compliment everything that you have done! These are some great achievements well done you! Love this post so much!
Thanks so much Alex 😌
What a bloody amazing post!! It’s so easy taking part in the 10 year challenge and personally feeling like a looked much better and thinner 10 years ago. But I’m so proud of how far I’ve come in my career, I’ve worked my socks off and had some amazing experiences along the way. I much prefer your 10 year challenge, thank you so SO much for sharing this and getting others to reflect not it only on our appearances. 💖
Laura at Palette of Thoughts//
Thanks so much! We’ve all achieved so much more than just our appearance changing 😌
This post hit SO close to home for me that I thought I had written it at one point. I had to look around and remind myself that this was not my post, and not my blog. Wow. Anyways, I LOVE this idea so much more than the “glow up” posts that have been going around. You’ve done so much in the past ten years and you deserve to focus on the positive, rather than remember that will which mentally weigh you down later.
With that being said, 10 years ago I was 15, and similar to you at the best place in my life, until I wasn’t. Pictures of me back then, I am indeed slimmer than now, but little did I know the inevitable shit that would hit the proverbial fan was really only just a short car ride away. From that point, I have accomplished a lot, and I do wish that I could have accomplished more, but looking back I’ve come a long way and would not change that for anything.
– I’ve visited New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Providence, and multiple other random places on my bucket list.
– I survived my spouse leaving for boot camp with a toddler around, worked my ass off in his absence, and managed to bring us back on top of our finances.
– I cut off so many toxic people, and left terrible relationships, as well as jobs that were detrimental to my health.
– I began writing in earnest again, finished the outline for my novel, which I am currently writing.
– I began posting to my blog again, which is something I missed so much in the time I dealt with everything else I had going on.
-I’ve written and posted fanfiction stories that are close to my heart, and continued to write because that is where my passion is, regardless of genre, etc.
– I’ve read some books that have piled up on my TBR over the years of struggle.
– I’ve admitted to myself it’s time I request testing for the autism spectrum, which given who I am, was HUGE in terms of personal growth.
– I’ve tried and experienced things that if I hadn’t forced myself to leave the state I grew up in, never would have happened.
What I’m most proud of is the mental fortitude I’ve exhibited through each of the challenges that I’ve been met with. It’s been a long road, but I’m finally doing what’s best for me as well as my family.
Thank you so much for this post! It made my day!
Thank you so much for such a beautiful comment and I’m so glad you can relate so much! You’ve achieved so much that you should be so proud of!
Love this post, I feel it’s a lot more meaningful than the photo one. You’ve achieved lots of awesome stuff in the past 10 years too! x
Definitely 😌 and thank you!
I love this type of 10 year challenge as opposed to just focusing on a ‘glow up’ in appearance. It’s incredible how much you can achieve over a 10 year period! You should definitely feel proud of yourself for everything you’ve achieved!
I might also have to borrow this idea myself!
Go for it! I’d love to see your full list 😌
This was lovely to read. You’ve inspired me to maybe do a ten year post later this year 🙂 x
Go for it! I’d love to read it!
Love this post idea. I might borrow it!
French Alps is on my list to go and I’m glad you took the time to get therapy. I wish more people would do so because it can help!
S .x https://samsramblings91.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-rustic-brush.html
Go for it! Therapy was a life saver for me.
This was a really lovely post to read, it’s so amazing all the things that you have achieved in the last 10 years! Especially finding out what your passions are, motorsport sounds really interesting! Great post x
Thank you 😌 it is! Something I never thought I’d get into!
Oh wow, you’ve achieved so much in ten years.
I love this post to take time think on achievements.
This is such a wonderful idea and it’s amazing to see what you have achieved! I’d have been quite young 10 years ago but for sure in recent years I’ve done more than I ever imagined I would x
Still worth acknowledging! 😌
Like you, I avoided the ten-year challenge because I found it potentially too depressing. But reading your post here, it’s made me realise that in fact, I have a lot to be proud of. And I know it sounds sappy but the thing I’m most proud of is how my daughter is turning out because that is in no small part down to how we parent her. I loved this post, Jenny, and I hope you’re rightly proud of yourself and your achievements of the last ten years. Bring on the next ten! x
Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com
Yeah I found it depressing too! That’s why I wanted to turn it into something positive. You should be so proud of everything you’ve achieved, from what I’ve heard, Flora is an amazing kid! I wish I was more like her at her age! 😌
You should be so proud of yourself! You achieve so much! And I am sure you’ll achieve many more! hard work pays off! In the last 10 years, i have got my masters, started this blog, moved in different countries, got married. and many other things but not sure they are big enough to be qualified as accomplishment.
Oh they definitely are! Getting a MASTERS?! That’s amazing!
This is such a highly positive post! You should be so pour of yourself – I think ours would be living our full potential of travelling and going to all the places we want to and still aiming for more in the near future!
Jessica & James | http://www.foodandbaker.co.uk
Thank you! You definitely should be proud of all the places you’ve travelled and how you’ve followed your dreams 😌
You’ve achieved a crazy good amount of things in the last 10 years!! I really hope you can look back on them proudly.
Thank you! I can 😌
So many amazing achievements in this list! Here’s to many more! 🙂 x
Thank you! Here’s hoping 😌
You came up with a way better 10 year challenge!
I thought about my last 10 years, and actually I think I already did that a few years ago. Around my 30th birthday I realized that my life was exactly the same as it was 10 years before, and I became afraid that I would wake up 10 years after in exactly the same position! So if you ask what I did the past 10 years, well, my list will be filled with things I did the past 3 years and I am very proud about all I achieved!
Thank you! I hate the original challenge tbh 🙊 Ah that’s fair enough. Tbh, I have a lot of the same worries. I’m dreading waking up at 30 (4 years away Christ!) and realising nothing has changed.
Wow – you have achieved so much in ten years – what an inspiration for all young women out there!
You’ve done really well – and it proves that even through hard times you can come up at the top 🙂
thanks for this very inspirational post!
Thanks so much Lena. That means a lot 😌
What a great twist on the 10 year challenge! I can relate to a lot of points on your list. Thanks for sharing! I hope to get a dog soon as well, but our flat is too smal.. What kind of Yoga are you practising? I might do the challenge myself 🙂
Thank you! 😌 how about a small dog? I use Yoga With Adriene on YouTube! And go for it, please link to my post if you do. I’d love to read your full list.
Of course!☺️ No, unfortunately there’s really no space. My bf & I have a 50square meter apartment and we even have to share one desk to work on😂 but hopefully we’ll get a better flat soon. I love YinYoga with Melissa West, also on YouTube
Oh wow that’s quite a ten years! Xx
Thank you, sure has been!
You’ve achieved so much – I’d love to visit the french alps x
Thank you. It’s beautiful!
I loved reading this blog post darling, thank you for sharing such a personal open post. I’m currently having private therapy sessions twice a week and after two years of doing so, they’re finally helping me, reading that they helped you is so wonderful. I’ve very proud of everything that you have achieved. Sending you all of the love! 🌻💜
With love, Alisha Valerie x | http://www.alishavalerie.com
I’m so glad to hear they’re starting to help you too. My private counsellor was a life saver. I honestly dread to think where I’d be if I hadn’t had sessions with her. Obviously she wasn’t a miracle worker but I genuinely believe she’s the one that stopped my anxiety spiralling to a point of potentially no return. It’s a long old road but 2 years of work for a potential life time of better mental health is all worth it 😌💖
I couldn’t agree with you more beautiful. 🌸💞
In my 10yrs, I’ve had 2 triple pelvic osteotomies, then 2 lots of metal hardwork removed, 2 femoral Osteotomies, then 2 lots of hardware removed, 4 steroid injections in hips alone, 1 Arthroscopy which removed the cartilage entirely and shaved the femoral head, an finally 1 3D custom made hip replacement!! But Also in that time 2 daughters left for uni, 1 daughter left and started a family. We’ve visited York and Cornwall numerous times, Ibiza 8 times, done countless raves, 1 gran canaria, 1 Portugal, 1 Rhodes trip too. And I’ve met Jasmine Becket Griffith twice
That’s quite a 10 years you’ve had Debbie!
It’s definitely been eventful, I’m looking forward to not visiting hospitals or clinics for a few years now x I hope x
Amazing achievements. To come through all that and be able to acknowledge the struggle is so important.
10 years for me, I was a single parent to a one year old, unhappy in my body, moving from one job to another thanks to the recession and 10 years later I’m 7 stone lighter, moved to life with my Fiancé and I’m the proud owner of an 11 year who I have managed to grow in to a fairly wonderful dude!
Thanks so much 😌 And that’s a pretty solid achievement right there! Congrats!
I think you should be proud of your achievements, and remember that 10 yrs goes more and more quickly. And that you can always do something that is new at any time!
I am proud. Thank you 😌