Something shit happened? Here’s proof life is about to get better…

There have been three huge catalysts in my adult life that at the time seemed the worst thing. Where I cried too much and thought life as I knew it would never be the same. I was right on that last point…

how to be happy

1. Redundancy from my first journalism job

The magazine company I worked for in Manchester went bust. I can picture us now, me and the two designers, escaped to my (newly purchased) car crying in disbelief at the Deloitte bankruptcy people’s news. What would I do? I had my rent to pay for, I’d only been there six months and it had taken me about 50 unsuccessful applications nationwide to get that job.

We all went to the pub and cried into our lemonades; via the bank to cash our final pay cheques as soon as possible. I moved back home the next day, after paying another month on my room where I wouldn’t be living.

I signed up as a temporary staff at job agencies. I asked around for jobs at the local pubs. I thought my career in journalism was over.

That was February 28th.

March 28th and it was my first day at my new and exciting magazine job in London – exactly where I wanted to be in Camden.

2. Getting fired from that ‘magazine job in London’

It was the recession – they’d pissed off a client and tried to pin it on poor old innocent me. I’d put a ‘smiley emoticon’ on an email, in reply to a clients’, and they said I was unprofessional, or some rubbish like that. I was told to gather my things and leave right away.

I remember sitting on the wall outside dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe how unfair it was. My line manager was on holiday and I didn’t know what to do.

Later that night she phoned me and said we were in it together.

“How could they do that to you?! They’re lying!” – her

I phoned her again on Monday and her story had changed. “No comment” apparently.

Eight months later and all of us were in court. I sued their asses for unfair dismissal and won. Took that cheque to the bank and it paid for my four-month trip round Europe. My trip to Europe, and too much time at home on LinkedIn, enabled me to get a freelance contract writing for Rail Europe as I went. My work with them got me my Content Editor job at HostelBookers, which inspired me to start this blog.

Now I travel where and when I want, making money, friends and memories as I go. I’m the boss of me.

3. The cheating boyfriend

Five years of loyal service I gave that boy but some people are just born wrong. When he dumped me it was distressing, of course. Eight months later when I found out he was a scumbag cheater and I’d been blinded by love it was distressing all over again – for about 48 hours – until I womanned up and realised what a sad and unfulfilled life someone like that is destined to lead.

And how awesome mine had become.

The dumping had meant I was now free to really make a go of my own business. I had no ties, obligations or love induced responsibilities like the house we were going to buy, or the living in his mum’s house to do it. All the sacrifices I made to make him happy and to create a life together were no longer necessary. I looked back and realised what an absolute mug I’d been. I’m embarrassed in front of myself.

I hear about things he does with the girl he cheated on me with – some person from work I’d met that previous Christmas – and they’re basically just living out our relationship going to the same places and doing the same things we did. He’s got what he wanted – the chance to go back five years and not think about anything but follow a path already trodden where he doesn’t need to grow up – and I guess in a way I’ve got what I wanted, the opportunity to live life differently and see what I’m capable of.

He’ll do the same to her again one day. I’m so glad I got out of it before we shared more than a DSLR camera!

“Thank god you blew it,
I thank god I dodged a bullet,
I’m so over you,
Baby, good luck getting out”

Beyonce, Best Thing I Never Had

In the last year I’ve visited Central America, travelled Europe and spent four months in Asia. I’ve found new connections, met new people and felt more excited by life and the people in it than ever before. I’ve also had the time to dedicate to my blog, and to be honest, I’m really proud of it!

A catalyst for the future

Never underestimate the power of adversity. It’s these catalysts – even the ones that seem like the end of your world at the time – that will drive you forward and ensure you lead the life that you’re capable of.

No one ever got anywhere worth being with a smooth ride. 

Times like these are when you feel you have less to lose, like you want to do something crazy and change your life as much as possible – ride those feelings and go for it!

READ: A Year of Travel by Myself

7-Point Action Plan for Travelling After a Break Up
A Year of Travel By Myself: It's Been Sad, Mad, Crazy and Ridiculously Fun