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We’re All The Boss – Take control of your life.

  Being a boss, or more specifically, the boss, brings up images of men in suits barking orders to their superiors. The phone company, giffgaff, are…



Being a boss, or more specifically, the boss, brings up images of men in suits barking orders to their superiors. The phone company, giffgaff, are doing a campaign that aims to remind people that they can be the boss of their own life, by asking people to share stories about ways in which they have taken charge of a situation, done something inspirational or done something to change their life.
I’ve had the idea to write a similar post for a while, it’s been sat in my editorial calendar for a month or so but keeps getting pushed back. But now I’ve written it. 

How I took control over my life.

When I was in my second year of university I was going though a pretty hard time. I was focusing all my time and efforts on self-destructive behaviours, I don’t want to get too much into the detail off it, but it was taking a massive toll on my physical health, mental health and university work. I was a train wreck and things were snowballing down hill very fast. It’s a be scary to think back about how out of control I was. I’m almost embarrassed to admit it (hence the lack of detail).
I studied French and Philosophy at the University of Bradford. It wasn’t a requirement to spend a year in France, but I was at breaking point so decided I needed something more drastic than prozac and therapy. That shit did nothing for me anyway. Something needed to change. 

Out of fear of what I would do to myself if I stayed in the same environment, I applied to be an language assistant in France. I didn’t hear anything about the application so thought I had been rejected. 

Then, in August, I got a phone call saying they had a place for me in a small down called Saint Avold, right next the boarder of Germany. 
I had 4 weeks to prepare. I was a meek little thing, I mean, I’m still a bit awkward now but gosh, back then I was CREEPILY awkward. I was terrified. 
I was to move to a different country completely on my own and teach English to French teenagers. Completely on my own. I’d have to get a French bank account, find my way around France, register with a doctor COMPLETELY ON MY OWN. No friends, no family, no nothing. Just me. Corinne. Completely on my own. Did I mention that I would be on my own?

I flew to Paris, took a two trains to my small town and was met at the train station by one of the teachers at the school. She drive me to the school. She gave me the keys and showed me around the apartment at the top of the boarding school and left me there. I wasn’t really sure what to do, there was no internet but luckily I had picked up some wine in Paris (always prepared, ha). I drank wine, stuck photos to my wall, read a book and spent my first night in France alone.  
That was the start of a very difficult, exciting, scary, interesting and life changing 9 months. 
To stand up in front of a class of thirty 15 year olds isn’t easy at first, but it’s so surprising how you get use to it. I met new people, too. Other assistants around the area – we got together from time to time and had a few parties, trips to Paris and to Germany. 

Here are some of the pictures of my time in France. 





When I see family now, they all say how much I’ve changed since coming back from France. I wouldn’t talk to anyone, I would stay in my room and I felt like I had no social skills – it was so difficult to talk to people and be myself. 

I felt like a monotone mess that could only answer questions in a yes or no manner. My confidence and self esteem was terrible. It’s like showing myself that I could do something so big helped me to find my personality. And bring it out. Which in turn, really helped with the problems I was having being myself. Instead of trying to run away from myself, to destroy myself, to numb myself – I learnt that I’m not so bad and I even sometimes embrace myself.

When I returned to England, I went back to my part time job during the summer at a petrol station at Tesco. I took a trip to London and meet a friend who lived down there and I remember a lady at work telling me how brave I was to get the train all the way down to London on my own. I thought to myself ‘that’s nothing, I moved to a different country’. And I felt empowered. 

What taking control of me life taught me.

Moving to a different country taught me the following things:
  • Thinking about doing something scary is a lot more daunting than DOING the scary thing. 
  • It really doesn’t matter if someone thinks you are stupid, awkward or not ‘cool’ enough to be around. It’s more their problem than yours. 
  • Not everyone will like you, but those people aren’t important.
  • There is nothing you cannot do.
  • Generally, people are nicer and more accepting than you expect them to be. 
  • You should put your own happiness above almost anything else, you only have one chance at life so enjoy it. 
  • Letting silly things hold you back will give you nothing but regret. 
  • Fear is just an emotion and cannot hurt you. 
  • There is no point in worrying about things that you cannot control.
  • If you are not happy with your life, only YOU have the power to change it.
  • You shouldn’t let somebody else dictate your happiness.
Have you ever done anything that has made you feel empowered?


  1. This is a really inspirational post. Such a brave thing to do, moving to another country for 9 months! I’m speechless.

  2. Fantastic post doll, it’s really important to take control of our lives. I’ve moved to another country as well. I’m originally from America, but I moved here to the UK at the end of 2000. I was just 20 years old. Best choice I ever made. Have grown and learned a lot since then!! xx

  3. Great step in taking charge what an experience, I know what you mean I move to NC from NYC all by myself no knowing no one here and so far I took charge and I enjoy that I was able to do it there is someday I do miss home. I have to agree there is nothing you cannot do.

  4. Well done Corinne! Lots of people in the uk are scared to holiday outside of the uk, let alone move to another country by themselves and you did all that by yourself! Looking back, I wish I had moved to Italy when I was 19/20….although I never would have met my husband and had my two boys and I’ve ended up spending part of my life there anyway! I think spending time in other countries is something more brits should do. We need to improve language learning in schools and start learning spanish or french at preschool age though. xx

    1. Yeah, it would have been a lot easier if my french was better, didn’t start learning until we were 11!

  5. I spent two months in England and I will never forget this experience. I learnt a lot and I agree with many of the things you wrote about it in the last part of the post. Kisses:)

  6. Such a brave thing to do. I really wouldnt be able to do that. Last month when I went to paris with my boyfriend we both jumped on the metro to go to disneyland. I sat down and went to speak to him and he wasnt there. I looked everywhere in the small carriage and he was no where to be seen. I panicked like you wouldn’t believe. I didnt feel like I had to grips enough with the metro in order to navigate my way back. What was worse, he didnt have his mobile on him so I hadn’t a clue what to do. I got off the train at disney and he casually walked off onto the platform from the next carriage along. Tears started streaming down my eyes cos I was in such fear that I was alone in this strange city with no great knowledge of anything. This alone tells me i wouldnt cope in a different country. Haha, it weird cos a large part of me is massively independent, ive got on flights alone before and dome other things, that, like you, people are in shock that I’d do such a thing by myself. I really do take my hat off to you though, and its even better that you’ve come out a changed person. X

    1. Aww, but you wasn’t expecting to lose him so that must be scary! Esp if you have no way of contacted eachother!

  7. Brilliant post Corrine 🙂 I went out to Spain for 3 months and it was one of the best things to do after college! It gave me freedom and a chance to grow up independently. I went over with a group of friends though where as you went by yourself, which I can’t imagine! My post about working abroad is here if you fancy a read –

  8. This would make a great autobiography. I love the life lessons you learned here Corienne and I wouldn’t have guessed any of it, thanks for sharing. Rachel xo

  9. Exemplary Corinne! That’s the best thing you could’ve done for yourself. You learned so much and the experience helped you to grow. I’ve never been out of the country, but I’ve traveled extensively state to state within the United States. It can be scary to explore but so exhilarating also.

    1. American is so big and there are so many different climates, I’m not surprised you’ve never been out of America!

  10. Thank you. Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I really want to move out of state to go to University after I get me AA, but I’m so terrified. Of the amount of money, of what my family will think, and of not knowing anyone where I live. But this post inspired me so much. I feel like I could move right now!

  11. this is such an awesome, inspiring post! i wish i had studied abroad in college, but i’m trying to make up for it now by traveling as much as possible. i lived on my own for almost 5 years without any family nearby, which i guess was pretty empowering. love your list of life lessons 🙂


  12. Such a great and inspirational story Corrine! I’m glad you did this and its amazing to see how much an experience can give us confidence and empower us if we decide to take up a challenge/risk and break out of our comfort zone! Great going 🙂

  13. So proud of you standing in front of thirty!! That is scary and I would definitely not be able to do that! Glad you enjoyed yourself and thank you so much for these amazing tips!! Yes we shouldn’t just imagine ‘the boss’ as a man in a suit! 😉 Haha great post xx

  14. ah, i loved reading about your france life, it seems like it really was an important phase in your life and it’s time’s like that that mean a lot as well as build character. i can sort of relate as i’ve done a similar thing twice myself, as in moving to a different country and taking control of your own life:-) and all the things you learned are so true! xx

    1. It’s such a great thing to do, you don’t only learn about yourself, but about different ways of life and cultures.

  15. Cornnie i have never ever moved out to live alone, I have lived with family all my life so I don’t know jow it feels but I am
    Planning to move to another country , so I am scared to death.
    Reading your expletive I am both scared and satisfied . Scare because I will feel as lost as u did and will loose my personality but happy that it will reach me a lot about life.
    I am 25 and in these trees I have realised that if we don’t keep our happiness on no. 1 priority then we can’t make others happy too
    And results agree, not everybody will love us , well in my care people hate me as I am way too upfront but now I just don’t care. I have realised that I am not going to die if all people around me don’t like me
    Great post girl
    Keep in touch

  16. Brilliant post everyone at some point in their life has not fitted in, been awkward or been destructive towards their own happiness, I am glad that you found the strength to challenge yourself and move to France. They say to do what makes you most afraid often this is the right decision. For you it clearly was Lucy x

  17. What a great post! I am so happy that you were able to turn your life around and start a new journey for yourself. You should totally think of yourself as inspiring because this IS inspiring!:) I hope the best for you in your future endeavors.
    xo Olivia

    1. Thanks very much! It’s something I like to think back to and remind myself of what I did when I’m not feeling so good.

  18. Thanks for sharing this. The way you describe where you were at in your second year of university is exactly where I am at now. Maybe you are one of the few people who can understand. I am the most depressed and miserable person in the world. Everything you explained is what I do now. I have tried everything to feel better but nothing works, so much of my life has been wasted by being depressed. Therefore, I can understand how huge it must have been for you to make changes in your life and what courage that takes and I also am so happy that you don’t have to feel like this any longer because it is truly awful and life destroying.

    1. It really is life destroying and I’m sorry that you are currently going through it. Is there a trigger to your depression? Maybe a lifestyle break may help you. It really gave me a better image of myself and really helped me stop feeling like such a boring, pointless person as it made me feel a lot more.. experienced in life, I guess. I hope you are okay. x

  19. I enjoyed this so much. Thank you for sharing. I’m so glad you are okay now..I would have never expected. I love the lesson that no one can dictate your happiness but your own. I learned that the hard way during my senior year in high school.

  20. Great write-up! Writing is a talent, and it must not be wasted. As with everything that we had been entrusted, we should

    let it grow and share it with the world.>how to

    motivate yourself to write an essay

  21. Amazing post and what a fantastic opportunity, it came right when you needed it! I’d have loved to do something like this, it really changes you and makes you a much stronger person! Over the last 12 months I’ve really been trying to push myself out of my comfort zone and say yes more and its opened so many doors for me, I feel like a completely different person these days!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  22. This has got to be one of the best posts I’ve ever read, I’m so happy I came across it! I’m off to university this September and think it might just be time to stop being so self destructive and be more positive, I feel so inspired and motivated 🙂 Thankyou!

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