This photo of me was taken exactly 30 years ago this week. I know this because it was taken on my 18th birthday while at a works Christmas party. 30 + 18 = 48 and that is the age I turned this week. I don’t tend to get too hung up about age but every so often I take stock and milestones seems to be a time when I do it. The 18 year old me has skin that is flawless, my eyes sparkle and my teeth are in much better nic than now. Somewhere in between 18 and 48 my hair and makeup routine has gone from two hours to two minutes. As I sit smiling into the camera I have no idea the twists and turns life will take me over the next 30 years.
It was 1988, the only people with mobile phones were the super rich or ‘yuppies’ Selfies didn’t exist. We took photographs and then waited days for them to develop.
The internet was a million miles away. (We were on the cusp of fax machines and that was high tech!) No Facebook or blogs. Social media was yet to be invented and we all survived without seeing what each other had for dinner.
30 years on Gail would still be whining in Coronation Street despite ample opportunity to kill her off.
I would move to a place called Orkney, which at this point was a place I’d never even heard of, fulfilling a lifelong dream to live by the sea.
I had no idea as I sat there how much I would survive over the next three decades. Heartbreak, childbirth, single parenting, serious illness in both parents, the loss of a brother, the near loss of a husband.
Times would be great, times would be hard and the 18-year-old smiling at the camera had no idea how strong she was. No idea at all.