So. There are a lot of firsts that every person goes through in their life. First smile, first steps, first day at school....
Then a just a few years later there are your first exams, first jobs, first driving lesson, first relationship....
And then you reach your 20s and your firsts become less and less. Well, for some. For others there's the first wedding (yes, I'm only about 65 words in and the cynic shows its face), first home, first child. And that's all great. For them.
Hi, I'm Hayley. I'm in that group of 21st century 20-somethings that seem to be forgotten by society. Single, childless, and I don't own my own home. And I'm OK with all of that.
This blog will be a space to make people like me, and the way we live our lives known. We need a voice. We're not hopeless and useless. Far from it.
OK, so I'm not married, or in any long-term relationship. But that doesn't mean I spend my days sat alone on a park bench, buying single pork chops and only lighting one candle at the dining table.
I don't have children. I'm not entitled to any government benefits, credits or subsidies. I do however, work full time and struggle to make ends meet, but because of my "circumstances" I am apparently able to fully support myself while paying every penny of tax I'm expected to.
I don't own my own home. But I want to. However, I have no opportunity to save, especially when buying a loaf of bread Tescos causes me to whip out the calculator and decide if I really need sandwiches this week.
I know I am not alone. I belong to a forgotten and split generation of 80s kids, born under the Thatcher regime, and will be left to pick up the pieces of our broken society by working all hours under the sun, never earning enough to have all we want, and bitching about those who do have it all and still aren't happy.
Despite all of that though, I do like my life.
While I'm not entirely satisfied with my job, I have been there long enough to appreciate that I am looked after, respected and have met many good friends and acquaintances through the company. I have a boss who does her best to make sure I am happy, and is helping me to slowly climb the ladder. It helps she is also very funny and can pack away as much wine at the weekend as I can, a fact that will make the grape-squishers in Italy very pleased indeed
I moved back home last July after ending a 5-year relationship. In the last year I have learned to be more happy with life in general. I am less stressed, I smile more, and for the first time, I have been able to say that I am halfway through the year and I am still fulfilling my New Year's Resolution of "saying yes more". While it means I have less money, I have had more fun and created more memories in the last 6 months than I ever thought I would. OK, I am living in my mum's spare bedroom, but there are plans afoot to change that - watch this space.
I have fantastic friends, which will all get mentioned as my blog continues. Some have only been in my life since last summer, but now I couldn't imagine what this year would have been like without them.
So there you go. I intended this first blog to be a quick rundown of me and the way I think, to give you a taster and hopefully have you stick around for future installments. I have realised that I haven't even scratched the surface, so maybe this was a better idea than I first thought....
While this blog was being written, I listened to:
REM: Losing My Religion
Take That: Million Love Songs
Diana Ross: I'm Coming Out
Coolio: Gangster's Paradise
Kriss Kross: Jump
Velvet Chain: Strong