It’s been another huge year, and again, no one can quite believe it is January tomorrow. The month of dreary weather, exams and not a lot to look forward to (unless your birthday is in January), however it is also a month of change. Many people will become dedicated to the gym and their diet, become vegan, participate in Dry January, go cruelty-free, start a new hobby, or just generally try and be nicer people.
I’m spending NYE massively hungover already, with my boyfriends family, chilling out, having a couple of fireworks, a few drinks (not for me lol), and going into the new year in my snowman slippers. In retrospect, it is a brilliant way to spend the evening.
I never really bother or think too much about what the new year could bring, however it is going to be the biggest one ever for me this year. For the first time in my life, I have no idea where I will end up next year. Where I will be living, whether I will be studying or in a job, graduate scheme, anything really. It’s the most exciting and terrifying year so far, and I am completely unprepared. I became vegan last january, the first time I have ever made a new years change in my life that wasn’t ‘go to the gym more’ and lasted longer than 2 months. This inspired me to reflect on the past year and realise how amazing a year it was for me.
For the world as a whole, it has been a truly shitty year. The Manchester arena attack, the Las Vegas massacre, natural disasters, London bridge van attack, Harvey Weinstein, Los Ramblas attack, the NYC fire, Donald Trump, Grenfell Tower. We lost John Hurt, Joni Sledge, Chester Bennington, Robert Hardy, Bruce Forsyth, Tara Palmer-Tomkinson, Leon Bernicoff, Peter Sallis, amongst thousands of other people. However this year has also showed how people can come together to make and encourage change for the world. The One Love concert, Grenfell Tower single, the Women’s March, #MeToo, relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey etc, the Royal Engagement, the birthday wishes on twitter for a little boy who was bullied, and loads more.
Personally, it has been quite a good year for me, and I would like to reflect upon what I have achieved this year and try not to be so hard on myself in 2018, as a lot of people are. These are in no particular order.
- I went Vegan in January, and have really tried to educate myself on food. I don’t think I will ever go back to normal dairy products again.
- Me and Matt managed to put up with each other for a whole year in September.
- In June my contract ended for the HR position I had, and I was offered another job in IT on my last day in HR. The guy who offered me the new job had heard I was leaving and that I was good at my job, so didn’t want me to go. I got myself another job because I had a good reputation at work, and I am very proud that all my hard work was recognised.
- I got 78 in my last piece of language coursework!! I’m not one of those people who have a natural flare for essays, I have to really work to get good grades, and I don’t often get First Class marks. I am usually frustratingly close with like 68-9, (70 is a First, 60 is a 2:1), and I have never heard of anyone getting over 72, which one guy who is a super smart mature student got in first year. It is so difficult to get a First in an English degree because it is so subjective, and since I do language modules as well I don’t often have to write essays. I worked so hard on this essay, and still can’t believe my mark. It makes me a bit emosh even thinking about it because I am so proud of myself.
- I managed 2 years of safe driving with no points! I can now get up to 12 before a ban lololol. I am proud of my driving because I do a lot, I drive literally every day. I am up and down between Chesterfield, Leamington and Liverpool all the time. I have been to Leeds, Newark, Sheffield, and experienced countless tw*ts who can’t drive or don’t know what an indicator is, so having another year of successfully driving my boyfriend and baby sis around is really important to me.
- I passed all of my January and June exams.
- I became a Brand Ambassador for JustStrong, a women’s fitness clothing brand. This is important to me because I used to be a lot bigger, and terrified of the gym. Being an Ambassador for a fitness brand gives me confidence in myself and pushes me out of my comfort zone which I need. I love what the brand stands for, and the clothes are super good quality as well.
- I started my blog! I have had a couple of blogs over the years, all embarrassing attempts, so this year I decided to really commit to writing. I write a lot, however it is all for uni, so finally being able to write for me and having my own little space on the internet means a lot. I also love my blog layout.
- I changed my style. Clothing has always been super important to me, and is directly linked to my self-esteem. I am not one of those people who can throw on joggers with my hair up and go to my lectures, every day I think about what I will wear, put on all my jewellery and my eyelashes and go. I am obsessed with Lydia Millen-Gordon’s style, so when I shop I ask myself, ‘would Lydia wear this?’ and I really think I have found what suits me this year. I like to dress more on the smart side, and I am finally embracing that rather than feeling embarrassed about it. I also got a coat I have wanted for years so high-five to me for that ‘cos I looooove it.
- I had an operation on my nose – I will write a full post on this later.
- I broke down in Warrington on my way home from Uni and survived hours on the side of the motorway with dodgy men walking past every few minutes, 2 AA men, and a long journey home with a mechanic. Longest evening of my life, but I am proud of myself for keeping it together and not having an emotional breakdown in the breakdown truck.
- I went to Majorca and it was the first family holiday I have been on where I didn’t feel terrified and upset every time I put a swimsuit or pair of shorts on. I went to America in 2014, and the photos of me were so awful that I haven’t been on holiday since. I’m not totally happy with my body, but being able to wear size 6 shorts instead of 14 is the best feeling ever.
- In Majorca, I went snorkelling! I am absolutely terrified of the sea. I won’t even paddle. However my boyfriend is a qualified PADI diver, and my brother likes snorkelling and diving, so I went with them on a dive but sat in the boat and watched Joe snorkel around the boat. This was when I realised, I get horribly sea sick. I felt so ill in the little boat that risking sharks and barracudas in the sea seemed like the better option, so when Matt came back up, I braved it and got in with them. I borrowed Joe’s snorkel and looked around a bit, saw tonnes of fish and a starfish. It is such a weird feeling knowing that you are literally in the same water as these weird creatures! While I still nearly had a panic attack when the snorkel tube-thing filled with water, and was amazed at what I saw, I have no desire to ever do it again. But i’m glad I tried. (It didn’t cure my sea-sickness and when I got back on the boat, I threw up all down the side.)
- I discovered I like gin! Not really an achievement, but I have always thought there was something glamorous about people who order a G&T, it’s such a cool sounding drink. My boyfriends family are big gin-drinkers, and I finally appreciate and absolutely love gin, and I make a nice one if I do say so myself. Bit of fruit and some juniper berries? Yes please, I even have my own special gin glass.
- I convinced my sister to come to uni in Liverpool, which I have always wanted her to. I don’t see or speak to her every day, we don’t live near each other, and we don’t even go to the same uni, but having her in the same city as me is great. We both know that it’s only a quick uber/drive to each other if we need anything, and as it’s my last term at Uni I plan to take her to do some of the cool things Liverpool has to offer.
- WE WON A HARRY POTTER QUIZ! Absolutely smashed it, we won a £100 bar tab, a round of Ghetto Golf, loads of Harry Potter merch, and the honour of being the winners. Our team name was ‘Granger Danger in the Manger’, and I still could kick myself for not naming it ‘Granger Things’.
- I made gift bundles for rough sleepers. I didn’t publicise that I did this for my own ego, but in order to encourage people to do the same, or even to just look at homeless people differently. Yes I am proud that I did this, as I know it will help people, but I tried to raise awareness and will continue to do so in 2018.
I learnt a lot this year, and I am so excited for the year to come. I hope I end 2018 the way I have ended 2017 – happy, healthy, and still with Matthew
Happy New Year xxx