When I was younger I had all these big plans for when I grew up. They developed and changed over the years, as I did - but hopes and aspirations were always there. And I always believed I'd achieve them.
But life doesn't always turn out, actually it probably rarely turns out, how you expected or planned. Real world example of this happened just this week, in Manchester, when 22 people went out to have fun, to go about their lives - many of which had barely begun - and someone snatched all that away from them.
I had always planned to travel the world, I wanted to be a writer. I'd planned it since meeting a guy called Duncan in my first job who used to tell me tales of his adventures across the globe and help me plan my future endeavours. I wanted to eat amazing food and see the wonders the world had to offer and get paid to write about it (after 4 years of journalism school I realise how naive that was, but a dream is a dream). And I did travel. Not quite as much as I wanted, but I'm only 26 there's time yet.
The one thing I was certain I didn't want was to go into the family business. There has always been pressure on me to do so and by instinct and youthful rebellion I pushed against that pressure with all my might.
But life happens, not always how you want it to. I had to give up the job I'd been happiest in and go into the dreaded family business after health problems with my dad. lo and behold, this wanderer now has a mortgage, a puppy (as close to a child as I'll get) and a family who depends on me (and my dad, whose health problems are improving, thankfully) to keep our business booming.
It's not what I expected, or dreamed of, but I'm grateful for it because some people don't get a chance through no fault of their own. Through the actions of others or misfortune or illness. So I suppose the message of this is make the most of what you have because some people aren't so lucky - whether it's the victims in Manchester or the 68 poor kids who were taken too soon in the Middle East this week too.
You can probably tell I had no idea what to write here and just went with it, I definitely didn't expect my Listserve lottery win. But, on a lighter note if anyone has any idea how to stop a jack Russell puppy from chewing please, for the love of god, email me. My furniture, socks, shoes, arms - they'll all thank you.