Turning 29, the things I would love to tell my younger self.

My age is just a number but happiness is priceless. So don’t count how long you have to live instead count on all the happiness you can have in this life. -unknown.

This Sunday the 5th I turn the big 29. Yes I know what you are thinking! ” you don’t look a day over 21″lol! I wish. I know 29 is not old and I am still only a baby but the twenties bring a certain amount of pressure that I think no other decade brings. Pressure to have your shit together, to successfully adult each day in a world full of noise. Mortgages, marriage and kids ( well maybe mortgages, cats and teacups for me ) Agh the twenties, I was feeling kinda meh about getting older and then I realised that we don’t have control over it and why was I feeling that way? So I wanted to write a post about the things I would tell my younger self. 

Your going to lose people you love so tell each person you love them and say sorry. 

When I was 20 I lost my Father to cancer. I remember that summer well. After what seemed like a short ilness my Dad passed away that June. So my twenties started off pretty shitty. Life had burst my innocent bubble and I had gone from raving after work every other night to helping arrange my Fathers funeral and living in a broken house hold. If there is one thing I learnt from my twenties it was that I need to make sure the people I love know how much I love them and say sorry.
Relationships wether romantic or friendship need love and time to grow. If you don’t work on these relationships their not gonna work. I feel nowadays one of the norms of society is disposable relationships. Tacky reality tv programmes promoting cheating and hoping from one partner to another just isn’t me. Love with all your heart, you might ( probably will) get your heart broken but its worth it. 

Don’t let other people pressure you to do things and stop comparing.

“When I was your age I was married with two kids”, Yep and aren’t you the fountain of happiness from it, I muttered under my breath! 

Yes people like to say things, compare you to others, throw their two cents in on your life and they are just their opinions. Not facts! Your gonna get people telling you to get a career, people telling you to settle down, people telling you to travel. A lot of people telling you what to do. “Oh your 22 now, you should have a career”. What I found is that it was conflicting. One person telling you to settle down and another person telling you your too young and go travel, you would drive yourself insane trying to please people so don’t! Follow your gut and do what is right for you. 

Take these people with a pinch of salt and do you. If you live your life on the opinions and advice of others and not your own you will be really unhappy.
I remember having the “mid twenties crisis”, that horrible feeling of comparing yourself to others and what they were doing. Yes we all know them people who seem to sail through life but please listen when I tell you nobody sails through life some people are just better at hiding it. Social media lets people ( including myself) show the nice sides of our lives. The polished sides, Im sure that friend who seems to have the fab career in New York and seems to have their shit together has the same insecurities as you and also questions where they are in their lives.
So bleeding what if that young one you went to school with just bought a house and is on her third child and your still in your Ma’s eating reheated dominos of a Sunday having the Sunday night fear! Honestly just do you!

Don’t be putting a time on things. 

Remember being a kid and thirty seemed so old and now that it is rapidly approaching your like shit! Remember saying by thirty your going to be married, in a home with kids and a career? Yep, I don’t know many people by thirty nowadays who’ve ticked all of them boxes. 

Biggest learn and advice to my younger self is stop putting time on things. I will not be running down the aisle just because I am heading to thirty! I will run down the aisle for love, not to tick a box of things to do before I am thirty. 

Why so serious?

Mid twenties I worked so hard to save up and buy my home, blind determination and hard work saving every penny I could get got me my home at 25. Although I am grateful of my home and I wouldn’t have gotten it without working so hard I wish I had of let my hair down a little more. You don’t need money to have fun go and make memories. 

Your never to old to change direction!

” You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” – c.s lewis

We should never stop learning and it is also okay to find new passions and have new dreams. Life is for living and learning so get discovering. In my early twenties I done evening college. I learnt a load of business shite that I couldn’t tell you now. Why? Because I wasn’t passionate about it. Then at 26 I picked up a paint brush and a needle and thread and my passion for interiors, creating and making exploded. We are never too old to learn something new. 

Never stop learning because life never stop teaching. 

Collect more memories instead of things. 

I think this is something we all do when we are young. Spending half of your pay cheque on Asos and having nothing to show for yourself only to dispose of it in the charity shop a year later. I wish I had of spent that money more wisely and explored the world instead of exploring the new in section on Asos. 

This year I am using the phrase above as my mantra. Tea dress or a flight? Explore more is my mission for 2017.

Stand up for yourself.

Wether its professionally or personally you need to not be afraid to stand up for yourself. Wether its an issue in work, colleagues, frenemies or family you need to practise being assertive and not be so nice and afraid to upset people. In my early twenties I didn’t stand up for myself in both work and personal situations. Feeling walked all over I started to not give a fuck and if something upset me or I felt something wasn’t fair I voiced my opinion. I also cut out people who were toxic, this took time and I wish I had done it sooner but its a lesson I learnt the hard way. 

The days are long but the years are short. 

They most certainly are, don’t wish your life away. Get out there and explore, explore the world and explore who you are as a person. I remember turning 19 like it was yesterday and now I am turning 29? where did that decade go! I am excited for the next decade. Armed with my knowledge from my twenties I am excited to see what the next decade has in store for me. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. There is lots of pressure these days to live a certain life and by a certain time. Don’t get caught up in it and just do you! Do what your passionate about with the people you are passionate about. 

Thanks for reading, 

Chat soon,


*I purchased my cake topper from moss.ie and they kindly threw in the confetti and garland for my birthday, thank you guys x 
Happy birthday cake topper €16.50 moss.ie

Tassel garland €10 moss.ie

Pink Confetti €6.50 moss.ie



  1. kerstinix
    February 5, 2017 / 3:25 pm

    Such a beautiful post! Especially agree with the one about changing directions. Happy belated birthday 🙂 Love, Kerstin http://www.missgetaway.com/

  2. linda chapman
    February 5, 2017 / 4:16 pm

    Beautifull topper, Happy Birthday Lovely Lady hopeing your having a fabulous day, sending best wishes too, xx

  3. Catherine Carton
    February 5, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    Thank you so much for reading and commenting Kerstin x

  4. Catherine Carton
    February 5, 2017 / 4:43 pm

    Thank so much Linda x thanks for reading.

  5. Anonymous
    February 5, 2017 / 7:23 pm

    Wow this actually brought tears to my eyes. You're such a lovely girl Catherine, this is really inspiring. I never knew about your Dad. So tragic. You have so much to proud of. I totally get what you mean about having your shit together and wising up and telling people to eff off. You've a great head on your shoulders x

  6. Karen Constantine
    February 6, 2017 / 11:01 am

    Ah I loved this post bridie! Future you is very wise altogether and younger you deffo would've learned loads!

  7. Catherine Carton
    February 9, 2017 / 6:01 pm

    Ah thanks Rebecca! Your so kind. Thanks for reading and commenting it really means a lot.

  8. Catherine Carton
    February 9, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    Agh thanks pal! Excited for the future and what it brings x

  9. Victoria
    February 12, 2017 / 11:00 am

    A very belated happy birthday Catherine. This is a great post, particularly about not comparing yourself or putting pressure on yourself to do things a certain way. It's so important we're allowed to carve our own path but the older I get the more the "so when are you getting married? Having kids? Buying a house?" questions pop up and they are annoying but just remembering I'll do it all when I am good and ready and not when people think I should! X

  10. Unknown
    April 21, 2017 / 3:27 pm

    I lost my Dad to cancer, just approaching 21, it was like my world had fell apart.

  11. Emma
    January 27, 2023 / 3:40 pm

    Thank you for this post. I am in my 50s and I am finally learning this and practicing these lessons. Thank you! It is true you’re never too old to learn!

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