So, last weekend was my school reunion. Slightly terrified by the thought that it has been just over twenty years since we left school, a couple of brave souls organised a get together for our (legendary) cohort. It was like returning to the scene of the crime as we all headed to a local sports club that had been the scene of some pretty spectacular (and often messy) school parties. Or discos as they were in those days.
However, what struck me most about the evening was the fact that you absolutely can't go back...
No indeed. You can never go back because, as Alice so rightly says, you were a different person then. And my goodness, how we get better with time.
Our 'Class of 1994' reunion taught me that people change and the passing years make us better, nicer, more rounded and interesting people. We might have thought we were great when we left school but now, we are actually truly brilliant.
We can chat about topics other than ourselves and our own tiny little part of the world, we can share experiences, be kind, be funny and be a damn sight nicer, friendlier and more inclusive than we ever were before.
People who'd fallen out at school made up, people who were never in the same group talked and laughed, people who'd broken up weren't awkward or angry and people who I can be very sure had never had things in common before found they did.
It was, frankly, amazing.
But what, I think I can hear you ask, does this have to do with work or the wedding world? Well, only that I'd like it to serve as a little reminder to keep your mind open to the idea that you're a different person to the person you were yesterday. You're smarter, more experienced, wiser and well, just different.
Things you found challenging a while ago might not be so tough after a little more life experience so don't be afraid to try again. If the thought of standing up and speaking out at an event would have made you quake with fear when you started out in business, give it a go now because I can guarantee that you've got lots to say that people would want to hear. Should you feel like an industry newbie, an outsider or anything else even slightly negative, just check and see if that's actually the case and not just a big bundle of feelings.
You can't go back to before and you shouldn't want to because you've got so much to more to offer now. OK, some of your life-baggage might feel a little heavy from time to time but most of what you carry with you is actually brilliant. Perhaps you just need to stop and have a look at what's really in your suitcase.
So, you can't go back. Just keep on going. Forward.