Reflections on Turning 23 | Jasmine Talks Life


Today is my 23rd birthday and, unless something goes catastrophically wrong, in just a few hours I'll be in New York City! (Apologies in advance for the delay in replying to comments for the next week or so whilst I'm away!) I feel like it's the perfect time to sit down and gather my thoughts on how I feel my life has changed in the past 12 months and my plans, hopes and fears for the future.

Looking back on 22

I feel like so much has changed in the past year, and honestly it was all for the better! I feel like I'm becoming the adult I'm going to be, if that makes any sense whatsoever. All the silly little things I used to worry about even a couple of years ago when I was at university just don't seem to matter any more and it's a liberating freedom. I feel so much more confident in and accepting of myself and just having a lot more self-belief. 

I can't deny that a lot of that was down to getting on a graduate scheme and escaping what felt like a dead-end job. Whilst your self-belief should never be reliant on the approval of others, it has been such a boost to my confidence to have people think I am capable. I find it so much fulfilling when people set the bar high to push me to work as hard as I can to reach it than when people have zero expectations or no faith in me. 

It has definitely been tough to factor in all the studying for my professional qualifications (to put this into context, most people take 5-6 years to achieve what I'm working towards whereas on the graduate scheme we are expected to do it in 2!) However it's affirming that I've managed to do that so far, along with the job, my boyfriend, my friends, my blog, my family and everything else. And failing something doesn't phase me as much as it did before - it's almost inevitable when you're doing so much at once that you will drop the ball on something eventually. It won't be a good feeling if/when it happens but it isn't going to feel like the end of the world.

Overall I feel in a much better place and I'm excited for the future and where it might lead. Yes, there's uncertainty but it isn't tinged with fear or anxiety about my career right now.

The future: the bad parts

One of the things that has really struck me now I'm at the ripe old age of 23 (!!!) is how fast life goes by. Being 18 feels like yesterday, but it wasn't - it was 5 years ago. Whereas when I was 18 '5 years ago' was 13! I don't want to get too weird here but I've always had a bit of a strange anxiety around time slipping by. The thought of blinking and being 50 terrifies me more than anything in the world. Cheesy as it sounds, it has definitely made me want to 'live in the moment' more and appreciate the good in every day instead of wishing for the next. I'm really trying to drum into my head that life isn't a series of milestones, so I need to stop obsessing over the 'next thing' and just enjoy what I'm doing right here, right now.

One of the things that does scare me is that we aren't living in the same world as our parents did. You grow up being taught to work hard in school, go to a good university, get a graduate job, buy a house and all the rest. However our generation are facing the very real prospect of working hard, doing all the right things but not getting what we feel we were promised at the end of it. A large chunk of us will probably never own our own home; especially young people in London, as house prices continue to inflate disproportionately against even a 'good' salary, whilst it's easy to argue that the standard of living is in decline. I was lucky enough to go to university whilst tuition fees were 'just' £3000 however they have now trebled and many young people are facing that impossible decision about whether it's worth it or not. Ironically, a measure implemented by people who went to university completely free of charge...

I'm also concerned about where I'm going to 'end up' in the country and what kind of opportunities will be open to me there. Myself and my boyfriend can't go on living 200 miles apart forever but he's from London and I'm from Manchester so there has to be a compromise somewhere but how much of a compromise will it be?

The future: the good parts

Although there are certainly a lot of fears for the future, there's also a lot of hope. I feel extremely grateful for all the people I love in my life and how we've supported each other through thick and thin.  I'm especially super-lucky to have my boyfriend; thank goodness I went to the Student Union night that Saturday (or I'd never have met him!)

I'm excited about everything I have to learn because I'm honestly one of those people who really enjoys a new challenge and won't really rest until I've found out literally everything about a topic! It's kind of perfect for a career in Underwriting and I feel like after a lot of confusion, I've found a career path that really suits me; it's challenging, interesting and engages all the different interests I have. 

I feel extremely fortunate to be in the position I am. I've worked hard but there's always that little element of luck to every success you have in life and for that I'm grateful.

I hope you enjoyed this really honest post from me. I've just let everything that's in my head spill out onto the keyboard!

What have you learned in the past year and how has it changed you?



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59 comments

  1. Have fun in New York! I'm so jealous!
    Cloe X http://clxelouise.blogspot.com

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  2. Happy Birthday Jasmine! Hope you have a fantastic time in New York - what a lovely way to celebrate! This post has made me nostalgic and made me remember turning 23. That was the year when I moved to the UK from Spain after graduating and my views on life changed a lot. I had a 5 year degree from a very good university in Spain, yet recruitment agencies kept suggesting I go for unqualified roles. So I started working in the gift shop of a stately home and worked my way up in a different industry and in a different country, speaking a different language. I am now 35, on my way to 36 (eek!) and I also think: where has time gone? But I look back and amongst all the really tough times that adulthood comes with, there has been so much fun. Your youthful character is something to never let go of... it doesn't matter what age you are, you are only as young or as old as you feel.
    Have the most amazing time!

    Inma x
    sunshineandglow.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, we had such a lovely time :) it's frustrating when you graduate and can't get a job in line with all the work you've put into your studies! This was a really nice comment to read xx

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  3. Happy birthday Jasmine. Have a lovely time in NYC and wish u wonderful times with beautiful memories always! You took me to my 23 which was 7 years ago. I will be 31 (!!!) in September lol (I am quite old then!)
    May you always feel young and have wonderful birthdays each year. Stay happy and cheerful x

    Ash | www.mstantrum.com

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    1. Thank you lovely and the same to you :) xx

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  4. Happy birthday lovely! I have found the further into my 20s I get the more I realise I am growing up, don't get me wrong, some days I want to be 18 again, but I have swapped longlies for early mornings (I actually enjoy waking up 8-9 now, I would sooner go for coffee than drinks, I just find myself becoming mature, how scary!

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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    1. Haha I'm the same! If I go for drinks I'm usually in bed for 11, I don't think I've stepped foot in a nightclub for a good year or so! Xx

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  5. Happy birthday, lovely lady! Hope you have the best time in NYC and I can't wait to see your snaps. Speaking from a fellow 23 year old, I would also like time to slow down please <3

    Laurzrah 

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    1. Thank you! It's scary how fast things start to move xx

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  6. Happy birthday! I hope you will be having an amazing time in NYC! Age is just a number and it is all about how you feel yourself, you can be 50 and still feel like 20, it is all about having a young soul. Time is getting rougher and it is really hard for younger generation who are planing to go to university, why can't they just make universities free or just keep it at the same fee instead of raising it all the time.
    Being in long distance relationship is hard, I was in one for over two years and we are still together. It is all about wanting the same thing, when you do you will always find a middle way where both of you are happy.
    Have fun! xx

    Ela BellaWorld

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    1. Thank you! I completely agree with you on all of these points xx

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  7. Happy birthday! I think you are doing super well to do alllll the things you do in your life, hoping this year is good to you. Enjoy your time in NYC, I'm super jealous! x

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Student Lifestyle Blog

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    1. Aw thank you so much! It was amazing xx

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  8. I also turned 23 this year, and I agree it is so weird to think 18 was 5 years ago when really it feels like maybe half that time! We have the same problem here in Sydney, Australia - owning a home one day is slowly becoming something harder and harder to do, which seriously sucks. I agree with you, I am also scared time is going too quickly for my liking but I am really trying to live more in the moment and try not to worry about things I have no control over (like the housing market!) Great post! x

    Chantalle | www.ceceandgrace.blogspot.com.au

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    1. Agree so much with everything you said! And I know what you mean about not letting things you can't change affect you so much xx

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  9. Happy Birthday!! <3 This is such a great post!

    Amelia | http://amelia-g.blogspot.com.au/

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  10. Happy birthday! Hope you have a lovely time in New York.

    Roxie | The Beautiful Bluebird

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  11. I loved reading your post!
    I'm 22 years old and when i think about 5 years ago I'm like "Yeah, I was about 14.. Omg, actually I was 17!"
    Anyway, I hope you enjoy NY and.. Happy birthday! x

    www.britishmilan.co.uk

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    1. Scary, right?! And thank you so much xx

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  12. Happy Birthday!! I just turned 33 last week :) Have an incredible time in NYC! xo

    -Jen

    www.vibrantbeautyblog.com

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    1. Thank you so much, it was amazing! xx

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  13. its kind of scary getting older! happy birthday and have fun in New York!

    http://claresloves.blogspot.com/

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  14. Happy Birthday sweetheart! Have a great day! I hope youre having a nice holiday too!
    Life really does go by fast and I'm scared of getting older too! It really does make you want to live every day to the best you can! Happy Birthday! xx

    Leah And Rachel Goth | Alternative beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog

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    1. Thank you so much and I completely agree! xx

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  15. Happy birthday! 23 will be your best year yet! you are such an inspiration to a beauty blogger like me!

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    1. Aw thank you so much! That's so kind of you to say :) xx

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  16. Happy 23rd birthday! I hope you had a great time in New York! Also this is the first time I've read one of your posts and I'm so glad I came across your blog! X

    Amyx Makeupwithmissa.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Amy :) I hope you enjoy reading it! xx

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  17. Happy Birthday! Your achievements are so inspiring.

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  18. First of all, happy birthday to you, Jasmine and have tons of fun in NYC! You seems to have your life together which is pretty impressive for someone at your age. You're wise beyond your years and I think you'll have a very bright future ahead of you.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

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    1. Thank you so much, you're too kind! xx

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  19. Oh babe I wish I was turning 23, I'm not too far though, I'm 25 but years do go faster in our 20s. I hope everything goes perfect for you in this new year! Happy birthday! X

    | www.noirettediary.com |

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    1. Yeah I feel like it was only yesterday when I was 18/19 - time has flown recently xx

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  20. BELATED BIRTHDAY WISHES! You're such an inspirational person I have to say!
    Charlotte // www.charlottespicks.com

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  21. That's amazing, lovely! Happy birthday! I'm sure everything will turn out just fine, since you are a very hard-working person and you know what you want from life.
    It's not easy to survive in today's messed up society, but maybe that's the charm of it. We have to live in the moment, to enjoy every single minute of our journey.
    I'm turning 25 this year and I think of it like "my first quarter of life is now over", which is scary, but also quite exciting. I'm better than I've ever been so far, so I have to learn to be grateful for what I have.
    P.S. Have fun in New York, I bet it's an amazing place!
    Kisses,
    www.bloggerissa.com

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    1. Thank you so much, and I completely agree with you :) New York was amazing too! xx

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  22. Happy Birthday! I just turned 23 too! I can't believe that it's been 5 whole years since I was 18, I really don't know where the time is going! It's pretty scary almost half way to 50 :| I can 100% relate to this post, very interesting to read! Sophie x

    https://stylestarsandsparkle.blogspot.co.uk

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  23. Happy birthday! I completely understand where you are coming from when you say that it feels like time is slipping away and you might be 50 in the blink of an eye, I had the exact same crisis when I turned 22... Time just seems like it goes forward faster than it used to...

    Kez | acaciasdreams.com

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    1. Yeah that's exactly how I feel too :( xx

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  24. Happy Birthday! I feel I really need to start living in the moment more, and actually enjoying what I'm doing now rather than dreaming about what I want to be happening in five years. Hope you're having an amazing time in New York

    Emily x | emilyclairewrites.com

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    1. Completely agree with this! New York was pretty incredible - thank you :) xx

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  25. It's crazy how quickly life flies by, I've just turned 23 too. I feel like I should have my life in some form of organisation by now ha. Hope you're having an amazing time in New York!! xx

    Tamz | http://www.throughneweyesx.com

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    1. Haha I know what you mean - it's hard not to feel like you 'should' be at a certain place xx

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  26. Belated birthday wishes. What a lovely way to celebrate your birthday. Hope you had a wonderful time. This was such a refreshing post. When you said you were 18 five years ago, it kind a punched me right in the face and made me think I was 18 freaking (almost) ten years ago. That's absolutely insane! Though I still feel and act like a 22-23 year old but time is flying by ridiculously fast.

    Sam || Beautydetour

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    1. It's crazy - when I get asked my age I always almost say '19'! xx

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  27. Thank you so much for all the lovely comments on this post <3 xx

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  28. Happy Birthday! I can totally understand where your concerns about the future is coming from - it frightens me no end as well! My dad was saying just yesterday about the property ladder in England (he was brought up there but we now live in Canada) and how things have changed so much that there is a whole generation that just cannot afford to buy property.
    I really hope the future holds good things for you - I always try to stay positive so I'm sending some of those good vibes your way! Have a lovely time in NYC.

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    1. Thank you so much! And yeah that's pretty much the position I'm in and I'd say I have a pretty good job too :( xx

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