Hello there. It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? I hope you’ve all had a good Christmas and a very happy New Year, however you celebrated – or didn’t.
You may have noticed that my monthly ‘series’ – Moments – has been absent for the last couple of months. I’ve had to take a bit of a step back from blogging, due to being too overwhelmed. With work, with uni, mental health… oh, and not to mention that my bowels exploded in early December (slightly melodramatic, but go with it). I thought it would be slightly amiss to not do a post rounding up my year, as is customary to do around this time.
I had a read of my New Year post from last year, and it was a little… sad. Very melancholic. And it made me all the more sad that my mental health hasn’t really improved over the last 12 months. I didn’t set myself any goals or resolutions, per se, but reading that post did leave me feeling a little downtrodden that 2017 didn’t turn out as well as I’d have liked.
However, as important as it is sometimes to acknowledge the bad, in this post, I’m choosing to focus on some of the brighter spots of my year. Because in spite of it all, I still achieved some pretty great things in 2017.
January was pretty low-key, however in February, I got to visit some friends in Glasgow for the first time. Not to mention that I had a job interview that would lead me to moving to London in March to be a copywriter. Crazy! I finally felt like things were looking up, after feeling stagnant for so long.
I received the best news this week. I've taken a huge step towards my career and I've done it at the absolute perfect time. And I'm doing it in London. In a month's time, I'm being paid to write, in LONDON. I'm so overwhelmed because it feels like only yesterday I was in the pits of despair, feeling stagnant, like there was nowhere to keep going but down. But now I'm so motivated, so full of energy and so ready to take life by the balls. I'm a little bit nervous & a little bit frightened. But a whole lot more excited and grateful to be alive 🌆✨
April was arguably my favourite month of the year. On a high from a change of pace in my life, I also saw my blog gain some momentum. Firstly, I found myself listed as one of the top 10 #InTheSpotlight blogs for Blogosphere Magazine. That’s right, my name (or rather, blog’s name) was seen, in print, in their 13th issue. Wild, right?! This then lead me to be invited to the Blogosphere Cafe, my first proper blogging event, where I met some lovely people, and ate some pretty fantastic donuts.
In April, I visited my mother for my first of two trips to Paris that year. I also went to another one of Laura’s IRL workshops, after loving the first one I went to so much. Laura then very kindly invited me to the launch party of her second book, Ice Cream for Breakfast, where I again met some very lovely people, had lots of laughs, and ate a bangin’ cake.
I'm on the train home from @superlativelylj's book launch (after being on the wrong train for about 10 minutes and not realising, whoops. I might be slightly off my face on prosecco 🥂) and I just… I have no words. I was a pile of nerves all day, it was the first day back at work after Easter & I was nervous that I would have to be in ~networking~ mode tonight. But I needn't have worried. I was with my good friend @victoriaflynn, I got to meet @alexgreen21 for the first time IRL, I ran into so many familiar faces and met so many new friendly ones. It sounds dumb, but I just feel so proud for putting myself out there, for being bold and unafraid even though in my mind I was SO AFRAID. I dunno. Laura just has a lovely way of bringing all these lovely people together, and I'm so grateful. Also did I mention I'm a bit off my face? #sorrynotsorry #gratitude #thefeels PS. I got stopped by an adorable Eastern European man on my way out of the pub. He told me I was beautiful and looked genuinely heartbroken when I told him I had a boyfriend. I felt kinda terrible but it was also a super cool ego boost?? 🌟 PPS. You can tell I'm wankered, this fucking picture is upside down 😂
In May, I realised that my new job wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be, and that actually, it was pretty awful. So I had to figure out what to do next: ride it out and hope that it gets better, or start looking into other options? I did, however, get the chop, so at least there’s that.
I said goodbye to Sheffield properly in June, as I officially moved the rest of my stuff out of my old flat. Even though I had moved earlier in the year, there were still a few months left on my lease that I was contractually obliged to pay for. Which was annoying, but at least meant I had somewhere to stay when I visited. But handing those keys over for good signified the end of a chapter I had loved so much.
At the end of the month, I visited Paris again, this time with Matt in tow. The highlight of that trip was definitely visiting Caveau de la Huchette, the jazz bar featured briefly in La La Land, and dancing the night away.
To say that I had fun last night is an understatement. What initially was checking out the famous Parisian jazz club featured in La La Land became a night of laughter, accidentally getting drunk, meeting new people and dancing with strangers. Nights like these make me happy to be alive and you can bet your ass I'll be coming back here next time I'm in Paris 💃🏽🎷
July was always going to be good, because it was my birthday month. We did a typical tourist day in London, because even though I worked there everyday, I felt like I never really saw it. We went to Madame Tussaud’s, went round the London Eye, and had a fabulous dinner at Brasserie Zedel. Not to mention I did another one of Laura’s writing courses, only this time it was online and stretched out to a fabulous six-weeks of creative bliss.
August was a pretty quiet month, however I did learn that I got into my Masters’ course that I had applied to the previous month. That’s right, I decided that I wasn’t gonna stay at another job that made me unhappy, and instead pursue further education. I had known I wanted to do a Masters since my first year of university, so now that I had a clearer idea of what I wanted to study, I hesitated no further.
I'm not usually super into cooking, but the sun was out and my wine glass constantly topped up, and I wanted to experiment with some sweet chilli salmon. And it more than paid off. We dined in the garden, feeling the sun on our faces, and the seemingly endless stretch of the lazy Sunday afternoon 🌞🍷
Come September, I had quit my job and I was faced with something called… free time?! I wasn’t starting university until the end of the month, so I had a couple of weeks of chilling out and taking things at my own pace. Sure, I had started my new part-time job, but since I was only needed for a few shifts a week, that meant I had the rest of the time to chill out, read, and see various friends.
Been slightly MIA here this week because I've finally started uni! I've been sitting in on talks, picking out modules (or trying to…) and registering for things left, right and centre, all while exploring a new city. The last two weeks 'off' were nice and all, but I'm excited to get going and start learning things again 🤓📓🖋
Over five weeks between September and October, I went to three weddings. THREE, in such a short space of time, after not having really been to any weddings during my adult life. They were all super lovely, where I got to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones, too.
To be honest, a lot happened in the latter part of my year, so October, November and December all kind of blur together. So I’ll hit you with some highlights: I met and studied under Monica Ali, became part of the Scarlet Ladies blogger community, worked damn hard at uni and my new job, attended more blogging events, and read lots of books (but more on that another time).
Upon reflecting on my year to write this post, I realised that 2017 really wasn’t that bad. While, yes, I have struggled pretty consistently with my mental health, and faced some physical health issues towards the end of the year, it was all interweaved with some pretty great moments. I mean, at the end of the day, time is just a construct, and what you did or didn’t achieve in the span on 365 days should not have any bearing on your worth. But it is always nice to look back to how you were then, and how you are now, just to put things in perspective.
I’m not one for resolutions, however I do have a couple of things I want to try and strive for this year. But I’ll save that for another post, perhaps, since this one has gone on far too long already. Until next time! I promise you’ll see me again sooner than you think.