# 6 (2014) Inside The World Of Twentysomething Women – What I Wish I’d Done
I have read this article ‘Sex, love, work: inside the world of twentysomething women‘ on and off with more than a hint of jealousy.
When I was in my twenties, although I knew what I wanted to do with my life, I was never strong enough to stay focussed because I always put other people before me and always felt as if I was tied to an emotional millstone that wouldn’t let me put myself first. I would get entangled in undesirable relationships and then struggle to get out of them. I was bad at confrontation, wracked with guilt whenever I left someone high and dry (because ironically I was always the main earner and they often ended up in dire financial circumstances once I’d gone) and then annoyingly I’d go and make the same mistake all over again.
I am now in that place (finally) where I am in control. But it has come late and at a high cost. Although I have never been afraid of being single, it just never happened. I lived alone once for a year, and I loved it. But I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t keep up the place I rented and ended up back with my parents. It was a failure, a regression that was worse than anything I could have imagined.
And I think that was the added attraction of my younger days ‘attached’ – it meant independent living. It meant having my own place and own rules. I lived all over London, Buckinghamshire and into the Midlands. I was an independent person even though I was living with a partner. It was crazy really. I had no intention of ever really settling down, so why relationships have been such a centre point of my life I have no idea.
Had I been single in my current situation I’d have been stuck living at home well into my 30s. And if it happens again I will be back on houseshare status. But equally it was my relationships and those emotional millstones that held me back at crucial times – accepting university places, moving away for jobs.
My partner status in my late teens and twenties held me back. More than anything else, that is the regret, and I firmly blame my inability to take control of bad relationships and put myself first early on for that.
Unfortunately those things are done and I am now in a different place. Choices were made and time wasted. All one can do is make the best of new situations and keep pressing on. Because regret over the past is a useless waste of energy.