Tuesday, 3 January 2017
Bye 2016, Hello 2017 | Year in Review and Setting Goals
Well, Happy New Year everyone!
It's the beginning of a new chapter, quite literally, for me as with 2016 I leave behind many things so I thought I would share with you what my year has been about and how I plan to make 2017 even better! I love to ready posts like this so if you've written one yourself leave me the link in the comments!
The Final Year & Finishing University
It still feels weird saying it - and it's been almost 6 months. I don't know a life without education as every September I had something to look forward to. Finishing uni was great on many levels, the final year was beyond stressful and there were days, almost every week, where I would cry because I was feeling so overwhelmed. Sometimes I didn't understand why I had to write endless essays and don't even get me started on finding all those damn references! But now from a relaxed perspective, I realised just how much I learnt from being in that constant state of pressure and I'd like to think I have grown to almost enjoy being always busy. My lecturers weren't always the most helpful and I feel like during my time there I really learnt how to fend for myself and get stuff done on my own without anyone pointing me in the right direction. I also made some great friends, one of them was my rock during my time there and we literally became like sisters, sharing everything - including wine when we deserved it.
In 2016 my blog got nominated/shortlisted in three different awards which was so mind-blowing to me and a huge boost of confidence. I have been blogging for 3 years now and I really put lots of effort into my little space on the internet. Somehow I managed to blog regularly despite all the uni workload and I'm pretty proud of that. From around March I finally decided to add more and more fashion into my regular content and so far I've been happy to see that many people have enjoyed it. I also re-designed my space a couple of times and Pipdig has killed it as usual, I'm in love with the new look and I hope you are too. I also can't explain how thrilled I was to work with some of the most amazing brands and PRs out there - I even got some overnight stays in London with my best mate and attended great events like Fashion Week and the Glamour Beauty Festival. I hope there will be more of all that this year!
Graduation was so weird - great but weird. I've always seen it on movies but I wasn't quite mentally prepared on the day. I thought I was going to get emotional as it's such a milestone but it felt like a dream and I didn't quite process it. My family was there and of course my boyfriend. After all the hat-throwing and photo taking with my uni friends we parted ways one last time and man it felt so odd thinking about the fact that we'll never share a classroom again. I think my highlight was seeing how proud my nan was as she's pretty much been the reason I even went to university in the first place. I'm the first one in the family to achieve a degree and seeing how happy she was just made it all worth it.
By the end of the ceremony I gathered my best pals and we spent the rest of the afternoon and evening eating, A LOT and drinking EVEN MORE. It was honestly one of the best days ever because I got to see everyone and celebrate the next step. On the flip-side, I ended up waking up at 5am the next day, after only getting 2 hours sleep, to find myself thinking about life, which takes me to the next point.
What the hell is the next chapter? Who am I and what am I going to do? Do I want to be a career girl or do I want to just focus on living a simple life surrounded by the people I love the most? Do I really need to move to London? What if I hate it? Shit.
I'm at a crossroads now and I HAVE to decide something...everything. Can I just hide under the blanket and watch netflix forever?
There's a lot of pressure to prove yourself once you graduate. Sometimes it feels like you're under a microscope and everything you do gets judged by people so I had to get my arse in gear and work towards something I wasn't even sure of in the first place.
This would cause me a lot of anxiety but I learnt to control it, breathe in and tell myself to take it day by day. What's meant to happen will happen and it's worth trying everything in order to decide what actually works for me. Of course this is easier said than done but my self-motivation speeches sound so good sometimes I can actually convince myself that everything will be fine. I'm not used to not having my shit together as usually I'm one of those people who has a schedule and everything planned for the next 6 months, including deadlines. Right now I feel more like I'm in a limbo and late in the summer my anxiety had gotten so bad that even my immune system suffered and I ended up with bronchitis which was just...great.
I've had a few internships this year and let me tell you - they tested me on all sort of levels. New environment, new people with different personalities, loads to learn and limited amount of time to get your shit together and also prove yourself. I will talk about it more on uni-related posts in the near future as I think those might help lots of people but yeah, interning whilst at uni and just after has been essential for me. I was so scared to just introduce myself and go to places on my own, but after being thrown into environments with lots of pressure and weight on your shoulder I can actually say I managed to navigate it and finish it successfully each time (not without a few tears along the way).
Friendships - The good and the bad
For the past few years, I have been slowly but surely come to realise who are my real friends. Bit by bit I have distanced myself from them and moved on with life with not many problems at all. Even in 2016, I have been so much more critical with who I decide to welcome into my life as I don't see the point in wasting time with individuals who are fake, two faced or who just don't care about me at all. It feels good to actually KNOW who you can trust and to have a solid bond with a few people who you know won't let you down. This applies to bloggers too, I have met quite a few but haven't really found any that I can feel comfortable with just yet, which is fine! This is by all means not throwing shade at anyone, there are lovely people I talk to on twitter and instagram but I wouldn't call them friends as there's still some sort of wall that we haven't quite broken yet. Sometimes I think that my odd sense of humour when you meet me can throw people off, as on my actual blog my quirky personality doesn't always show since I talk about shoes and lipsticks. I mean how many jokes and funny remarks can you make about a pair of boots really? I'd love to have a blogger pal though as it'd be nice to know someone who shares your same hobby.
On the last day of December I worked my last shift in retail and at Topshop. Now that might not sound like a big deal to some but working there was like having a second family, full of people who I love (and some annoying second cousins who make you roll your eyes but that was the charm of it). I had my own little group of gals, and as we all slowly moved on to different things in life I knew it was time for me to leave as well. It became kind of weird showing up to work knowing less and less people, to the point that there was just two of us left from the old gang. I'll miss a few people who are still there but I know that soon enough they will also go and anyway we'll meet outside of work as usual. It's just weird having free weekends again and you know, moving on from the last thing that was tying me to my old student life aka my retail job. I'm an adult now, damn.
2017 - New Beginnings
This week I'm starting a new full time graduate placement for three months based around an hour from home so I'll be commuting. I'm excited as it's in PR and social media which is what I love so it will be great to get started and gain more experience. After that? We'll see!
This year I want to travel. James and I have a city break planned and I am more than sure that FINALLY 2017 will be the year I'll be visiting Japan which has been my dream for the longest time. I was meant to be going last year but my passport went missing for months and when I finally found it, it was December! *massive face palm*
Figuring it Out
I know I will not know for sure what I'm doing by the end of the year but I will take steps to get to now myself even more. I won't let anxiety stop me from achieving things and I'll work hard to achieve goals - whatever those may be.
I really want to learn to cook some simple and quick meals. I literally eat the same 3 things every week and it's getting boring! I got Lean in 15 as a present and I will definitely make the effort to use it and change my diet picks a little.
I mean every year I can make the good old GET HEALTHY AND TONED promise so far this past couple of years it hasn't really worked. I have a problem with GETTING STARTED so my goal this year is actually making the effort to start a work out cause once you're in it, you'll work hard and finish it.
As I start a full time job it will be hard finding the time to balance it all again but knowing I have weekends off I'll do my best to get photos done on that day and then the writing in the evenings.
I have a couple of blogging events and a few concerts on my calendar already which is really exciting! I actually miss going to gigs and seeing my favourite bands so I can't wait to jump, sweat and sing my heart out. Does anyone like A Day To Remember or Green Day? Gimme a shout!
I started getting rid of clothes I haven't worn in a long time - or ever. I can get sentimentally attached to things but I'm going to try and be brutal with what I keep and give away. I'm becoming a more conscious buyer now and I truly only pick items I love and want - no more impulse buying and following trends for the sake of it. In the sale I only bought 2 jumpers this year which, compared to past years, is pretty impressive for me. It feels good to give to charity too and clearing my closet in general since I share it with my boyfriend so I don't actually have that much space.
Know when To Switch Off
This is going to be a hard one but I really need to learn when to turn off that phone and be in the moment. I get told off about this often as I always have my iPhone in my hands and I'm kind of addicted to it but I've already started making a conscious effort to put - it -down, and it feels good!
I hope the new year brings you lots of happiness and that your wishes come true. Let's make it happen! xoxo