2015: A Summary

2015 was definitely a year of growth for me. With a slightly bleak start to the year, by springtime, the fog started to lift as I finally got out of the worst depression I have faced in my young adult life. Everything started clicking into place: a promotion at work, making new friends, reaffirming old ones, a viewing of a beautiful new flat (which I now live in)… The future seemed brighter and further possibilities endless.

While nothing ‘big’ or ‘life changing’ happened last year, 2015 was the stepping stone I needed to find myself again. It’s definitely paved the way and given me confidence to make 2016 “My Year”. It’s such a strange turn of phrasing, isn’t it? My year – as if one sole person can take ownership of a whole calendar year, with 7 billion (and counting) people in the world.

I guess what I’m trying to get at is, 2015 was the year that I rediscovered who I was, and started to like myself again. So, without further ado, here are a few snapshot of the year…

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From bottom left, clockwise: July, May, June (all done by Joseph Bryan at Tenacious Tattoo, Sheffield), and December (Oliver White at Crooked Claw, Sheffield)

This was the year I reclaimed my body in a majory permanant way, by getting four tattoos in the space of seven months, which is a big deal when your first two tattoos were done two and a half years apart! I knew even when I got my first tattoo in 2012 that I wasn’t going to be the kind of person with only one or two tattoos. When I got my mandala in October 2014, my first ‘big’ piece, I was well on my way to starting a beautiful, illustrative journey with my body. With each tattoo I get, it makes me more comfortable in my own skin, as I get closer to the person I envision in my mind.

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Top right, clockwise: Barmouth beach (Snowdonia, Wales), a botanical garden in Paris, Twelve Oaks estate (Windlesham), Bryn Adda cottage (Dolgellau, Wales)

I also travelled to some new places (albeit, within the UK) and rediscovered hidden gems in an old favourite. In September, I visited Wales for the first time as me and fifteen other friends (yes, you read that right) stay in a very beautiful and very large cottage in a small village in Wales. It was a great weekend for many reasons, and it was so nice to spend a weekend with all the ones I hold most dear, and amoungst gorgeous surroundings.

I also got to revisit Paris, one of my favourite cities in the world. I used to love going on holidays there as a child and in my early teens, so now that my mum lives there permanatly, it’s great to have a reason to keep going back.

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Top: S Club 7 doing their thing at Sheffield Motorpoint Arena. Bottom: Me and Iliza Shlesinger being models

This was also the year of seeing some idols, old and new. In May, all of my childhood dreams came true as I got to see S Club 7 perform in their reunion tour. It was a really amazing experience, that happened so spontaneously; someone I knew was no longer able to make it, so sold me the tickets at a reduced price. I honestly had such a great time, and the seven year old in me squealed with joy as I got to see all of my favourite hits played out before me.

A more recent idol that I got to see (and meet!) in August was American comedian Iliza Schlesinger. A seriously funny lady, and if you’ve not come across her before, I definitely recommend watching some of her stand up on YouTube, or if you have a couple of hours to spare, search for her two specials on Netflix, War Paint and Freezing Hot. A couple of us made our way down to London to see her perform at the Soho Theatre, and she did not disappoint. She even stayed afterwards to meet and take photos with the audience, and it was great to discover how sweet and down to earth she was behind that loud and boisterous persona.

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Fast forwarding to Halloween, I thought my costume deserved a special mention. I had the idea of doing a spooky, skeleton/zombie Pocahontas, and it really paid off! After tiring a little of fancy dress after my three years of university (I was part of the Drama society, need I say more?), my past few Halloween costumes have been a little lacklustre. So this year, I decided to pull out all the stops and do something capital C ‘Cool’. I ordered a dress online, some red paint, and found a kick-ass make up tutorial. The makeup took nearly  TWO HOURS (!!!), but I think it paid off rather well!

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Selfie central: the highlights

With new-found confidence comes only one thing: lots of selfies. While I have always been partial to a good selfie, this was the year where I could look at a picture of myself and say, “Yes, I look hot.” And yes, it’s true while every one selfie has two, three, four others tat didn’t quite make the cut, this year I saw myself concentrate less on my flaws as I posted shameless selfie after shamless selfie. A lot of people think taking selfies come from a vain, conceited place. But I say, so what? One day, I’ll be old and wrinkly, my tattoos will have faded into black and grey splotched, but I’ll be able to look back at these photos and think, “I was beautiful, and I’m glad I came to realise that before it was too late.”

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And finally, 2015 was the year a casual aquaintence became my boyfriend. Matt and I met through mutual friends two years ago, and this year we took the plunge and started dating, despite the fact that we have nearly 200 miles between us. He’s a northen boy living in the south, and I’m a southern girl living in the north, but we’ve found each other, and we’re making it work. It’s still in the early stages of the relationship, but I can honestly say that I couldn’t be happier. Though the distance is hard, everything is made easier with his sunny disposition. I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store for us.

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I don’t have much in the way of resolutions, just more general things I’d like to do in 2016. Eat a little healthier, go to the gym a bit more often, pass my driving test, get back into blogging and creative writing, and be a bit more open to all possibilities. I hope you’re all ready to join me and see what my journey has in store.

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