Yesterday afternoon, I went to the dentist – because, yeah, that’s the kind of rock n’ roll lifestyle I’m living these days: one in which a trip to the dentist constitutes a “day out”,  and, oooh, look, it’s even inspired an entire blog post, too! Living my best life over here fo’ sure.

The thing is, you see, I’ve spent a lot of hours in the dentist’s chair over the last few years – and I’ve spent a whole lot of money there, too, on work which was purely cosmetic. I have absolutely no regrets, though – in fact, I’m currently contemplating having even MORE work done – and that got me thinking of some of the other things I’m glad I did, even although everyone told me not to. Things like..

01.

Getting “cosmetic surgery”

OK, so “‘cosmetic surgery” is a bit of an exaggeration here (Hey, made ya look, though!), but a few years ago I did have a couple of moles removed from my face, for reasons that were purely cosmetic. The thing about those moles, you see, was that they were both perfectly round, perfectly RED, and -worst of all – (almost) perfectly symmetrical. I had one right in the centre of each cheek, and although one was just a tiny bit higher than the other, to the naked eye, they looked absolutely symmetrical, and that fact made me look… well, it made me look a bit like someone had snuck up on me while I was asleep, and drawn two dots on my face with a red Sharpie, to be completely honest.

Well, I thought so, anyway.

For years, the people closest to me assured me that the moles were perfectly fine, and that, no, they didn’t remotely look like a couple of zits that just never went away.  In fact, when I first started talking about having them removed, my family tried quite hard to talk me out of it, telling me that it was a waste of money (I had to have it done privately, and I had to have it done twice, because the first time I just had them shaved off, and both of the suckers grew back, which meant I had to have them cut out instead), that it could leave scars that I’d hate even more than the moles, and that I should just learn to be happy with myself the way I was, instead.

The thing was, though, I WASN’T happy. Actually, I was really self-conscious about them, and while I totally get the whole, “You should learn to love your flaws,” argument, my mindset has always been more along the lines of, “If you’re not happy with something, change it.”

So I changed it.

I had the moles removed (twice), and honestly, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I know it sounds vain – and it IS – but it did so much for my self-confidence that I have absolutely no regrets: other than the fact that I didn’t have it done sooner, that is.

slogan sweater and jeans02.

Quitting my first job

My first job after university was as a reporter on the local newspaper, and, two years in, the parent company announced they were closing down our regional office, getting rid of all but one journalist, and moving production to the Edinburgh newsroom of the much larger daily paper the company owned.

I guess to a lot of people, this would’ve seemed like a great opportunity to work in the city (Which, to be fair, I would’ve preferred…), and possibly get a foot in the door with the broadsheets, but… er, not me. I’ve always got to be the awkward one, hey?

In this case, it wasn’t JUST me, to be fair. As soon as we were given the news, the editor of our paper said he didn’t want to continue working for it given the proposed changes (He didn’t believe a local paper could be effectively run without reporters in the area they were covering…), and it took me about two seconds to decide I didn’t either. The editor of that paper was the person who’d convinced the publishers to create a job for me when they hadn’t even been considering taking on another reporter: he’d taken a chance on me when I rocked up with absolutely no journalism experience, and he was very involved in the local community the paper served. I knew it just wouldn’t be the same without him, and I’d also started to realise that journalism probably wasn’t the right career for me – so, without even giving it a second thought, as soon as the HR person who’d been brought in to break the news to us stopped speaking, I said I’d like to apply for voluntary redundancy, and how could I go about it?

My parents were absolutely aghast at this. I was leaving my job without having another one lined up, and while there was no guarantee that I’d have been kept on anyway (I’d have had to re-interview for my own job, basically, competing against the paper’s other reporter, who was a friend), if I HAD stayed on, it could’ve been a great opportunity for me.

It wouldn’t have been, though.

Because, the thing was, by that stage I already knew I didn’t have what it takes to be a news journalist, and had also started to realise that, actually, I didn’t want to stay in traditional employment AT ALL. It took one more office job (this time in public relations) to push me towards becoming self-employed, but that journey started with me quitting my first job with nothing else to replace it – and, once again, I have absolutely no regrets..

03.

Moving to a small village

Five years ago, Terry and I moved from a large, busy town, to a village that USED to have both a post office AND a general store, but which now only has a general store with a post-office counter in it, so… yeah. It’s not large. Or remotely “bustling”. Or even the kind of quaint, picturesque little village you’re probably picturing right now, so get that village green and duck pond out of your head right now – it’s SO not like that.

Now, it would be a complete exaggeration to say that EVERYONE told us not to do this. Actually, I don’t think ANYONE said that, at all. Because that would be a bit weird and intrusive, wouldn’t it? Even so, when we announced where were moving to, a lot of people were openly surprised, and kind of puzzled, really – and, I mean, I can see why. On the face of it, our village doesn’t really have a whole lot going for it (WAIT! WAIT! I’ve just remembered we have a chip shop! And it’s quite a good one, too, actually. *SmugFace*), and the place we moved FROM has almost everything you could really need.* So, why move to the middle of nowhere – a place where people would have to go out of their way to come and visit us, and where there isn’t even a decent coffee shop or bar we can take them to when they do? Why indeed.

(*I say “almost”: there is no ZARA. Or Mango, even. So, I mean, WHY STAY?)

The reason we moved, though, was pretty simple: it allowed us to buy a much bigger, much nicer house than we could afford in a larger town. Because we both work from home – and can therefore work from anywhere – we spend a lot more time at home than most people do, so the house itself was actually more important than the location, in this case. Not that the location is all that bad, I hasten to add: it’s close to my parents, it’s a nice, friendly street (We already knew two sets of neighbours when we moved in, and have gotten to know the rest over time. Every single one of our neighbours came round with a gift when Max was born, and it’s the kind of place where kids play in the street and everyone goes out and helps clear the snow in the winter.), and, we weren’t thinking about this when we moved, but the local primary school is excellent, and just a short walk from our house.

So, regrets? I’ve had a few… but nope, that wasn’t one of them either.

And the point of this post? Er, there is absolutely no point to this post: sorry if I gave the impression there was. I’d love to hear your stories, though, so tell me : what do you not regret doing, even although people told you not to?

9 Comments
  1. Getting a divorce shortly after getting married. I was so unhappy, actually had been for years, and shouldn’t have married him in the first place, but everyone kept telling me what a good guy he was (He really is, just not for me).
    I felt so much better after I had moved out, even though I went from our own home to a single room in an apartment block.

    Anne – Linda, Libra, Loca

  2. Having my daughter! When I found out I was pregnant with my surprise baby I was 22, had not been with the dad very long, was renting a tiny flat and was not the most responsible person ever (partying being my main priority back then!). Not everyone said it out loud (some did though) but people implied there were other options to think about, that I wouldn’t be able to handle it! 8 years later I have a fabulous daughter who I love so very much, I have never once regretted my decision!

  3. Giving up a settled job to train as a nurse. Apparently it was unwise, I was too old, I wouldn’t manage the academic work and the NHS is going down the toilet. Well I qualify in September with a job in an area of my choice. There are people on my course who are older than I am and I have passed all my assignments first time (so far, one more to hand in next week!) Sadly the NHS is still going down the toilet but you can’t have everything.

  4. are you talking about the west end fryer? Because if you are, it’s is definitely brilliant! It was a tough choice moving back here after being in London *but* the lifestyle is much better plus we’re so close to Glasgow and Edinburgh, and the Highlands a stone’s throw away! xx

  5. Leaving London to come to Glasgow! I was crazy to even consider it, said a friend. What about somewhere to live, the weather, a job, finding a partner, my family and friends? And what would I even do with my life in Scotland? Well, first of all we have jobs, homes to live in AND there are men here in Scotland too (they don’t just grow them in London). My mum is Scottish anyway, and even though she’s down south she really wanted me to come “back” here. And I hide from hot weather anyway (like today!).

    But oh no, said my friend. If you leave you’ll never come back (yes I will, it’s a five-hour train journey!).

    Two years since leaving London and no regrets at all, although I do still love the city itself and look forward to visiting. But I’d lived a life of tube journeys, constant traffic and ever-increasing expense.

  6. Mine is a little soppy I’m afraid! My partner broke up with me around 2 years ago while he was suffering from severe anxiety and depression – which I didn’t know at the time, he literally just called things off completely out of the blue. Most of my friends and family found it hard to understand and begged me to cut my losses and try to move on, but something in my gut just told me something wasn’t right. It was like he had changed over night and I just couldn’t believe I could have misjudged someone so dramatically. So I stuck it out and tried to be there for him despite everyone telling me I was an idiot who deserved better, and thankfully it transpired it was the illness talking and slowly but surely we got things back on track. I couldn’t be happier now and I hate to think what we’d have missed out on if I had given up on him like everyone told me to. Sometimes you just know and have to go with it! I think I would have regretted and wondered forever if I hadn’t given it a shot.

  7. Mine is a little soppy I’m afraid! Around 2 years ago my partner broke up with me while suffering severe anxiety and depression – I had no idea this was why at the time, he just declared he didn’t love me anymore completely out of the blue. My friends and family found this really hard to get their heads around and begged me to cut my losses and try to move on but I something just told me that something was very wrong. It was like he changed over night and I couldn’t accept that I could accept that I could have misjudged someone so dramatically. So I stuck with it and tried to be there for him, despite everyone telling me I was an idiot who deserved better. Thankfully it transpired that it was the illness talking and slowly but surely we got things back on track, and I hate to think of what we might have missed out on if I’d listened to everyone else and given up on him. Sometimes you just know! I think I would have regretted and wondered forever if I hadn’t given it a shot.

  8. I can’t think of a single regret, everything I’ve done has resulted in learning and experiences I wouldn’t change.

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