Ahh New Years Eve. It’s funny looking back on my Facebook memories shows I have always hated this day. I’m a big ruminator, and naturally a pessimist, so this time of year always has me sitting and reflecting on everything that went wrong, rather than all the joy that was brought into my life. That’s why this list will be a good mixture of them both. It would be a lie to say that this year went swimmingly; it was in fact the most challenging and possibly the worst year of my life (tying with 2015), but there was other goodies that came along too.
1) I moved…twice.
I started the year in Ipswich, Suffolk. It was probably the happiest I’ve ever been but things went south (see number 4) and so did I. I spent 6 months living with my parents in Southampton to recuperate and get back on my feet, before moving on to Bristol.
2) I reconnected with old friends.
Life often gets in the way, and friendships can fall by the way side. I was very fortunate this year to reconnect with not just one old friend, but three. Moving back to Southampton meant I got to spend a lot more time with my oldest friend, Hollie, with whom it was like we never separated. October brought around the opportunity to see my oldest school friend, Yinka, marry the love of her life in a lovely ceremony before they started their new life in Sweden. And finally, in November, my old university housemate, Heather, came to visit me in Bristol, and had a good catch up after years apart.
3) I went into therapy
Years after being diagnosed with depression and anxiety and sitting on the waiting list for therapy in Ipswich, my move back to Southampton gave me the opportunity to finally get the therapy I needed. I had a course of CBT therapy for my anxiety, a few telephone appointments on my depression, and a handful of sessions to help me get back to full time work. It was so helpful, and along with the best healer, time, I am in a much better place than I was in spring this year.
4) I had my heart broken
Alluded to in my first point, this heart break was like nothing I have ever experienced in my life. It wasn’t the usual relationship break down, it was very sudden and even more unexpected. It was so bad that my therapist said I wasn’t just heartbroken, but I was actually in mourning. My brain wasn’t processing it as a break up, but rather it was thinking of it as a death. Ten months on and its still very sore, but I’m getting through it, and I hold no ill will to the other party.
5) I partied hard at weekenders.
This year was the fourth time I had attended the Rockabilly Rave and I think it was my favourite yet. My sides had split with laughter with my chalet buddies, Eeva, Katie and Becki, and my brain was fuzzy with the amount of cider consumed. August brought Atomic Vintage Festival, and then finally the Rhythm Riot in November sealed my year of weekenders.
6) I went back to modeling
The last time I properly modeled was in 2015 with Wake Up Little Susie. Since then I had done one fashion show (in Las Vegas of course, darling!) but never any photo shoots. But this year I had my arm twisted twice, once by Miss Jessica Holly for Outerlimitz whilst at the Rockabilly Rave, and the next was by Eeva who made me the face of Splendette’s winter campaign.
7) I became pescetarian
I have been pescetarian on and off for years, but since moving back to Bristol I am making a much more conscious effort to stick to it. I’d like to be fully vegetarian eventually, and cut out a lot of dairy too, but for now this is me trying to do my bit for the environment, my wallet, and my diet.
8) I dyed my hair
If you knew me a couple of years ago, you’d know I was the sad girl with the happy hair. But soon, my hair was not very happy at all. The bleach had taken its toll so I took a year off and let my natural colour grow through. Turns out I’m still a dirty blonde! June rolled around and my hair was much healthier; two doses of henna later I was a red head once again!
9) I started a new YouTube channel
I have been making videos on and off for my main YouTube channel for eight years now, but this summer started a new project: The Handmaid’s Ale. It’s slightly on the back-burner right now until I sort out lighting (damn dark house and winter months) but I love creating videos on something I really enjoy expanding my knowledge on. My bartending days are over, but I still enjoy learning and trying new drinks.
10) I ate a lot of pizza.
It’s no joke that I love pizza. It’s most definitely up there in my favourite food category. I enjoy everything about it, from the crust, to the cheese, to all the different toppings. Whether its from the supermarket, from the takeaway or from a restaurant, I cannot resist. Flour & Ash provided my favourite pizza of this year, whilst I’ve been exploring the vegetarian options from other places. Which pizzas will 2019 have in store for me?
11) I gave up my career.
Heritage and archaeology was all I ever wanted to do since I was a teenager, but this year I realised I am just not cut out for it. I hate to burst the bubble of what most people think archaeology is like, but I shall. It’s a grueling, unstable, underpaid and insecure industry. As someone who suffers with anxiety, and needs a home to go to every night, I knew that there was a strong chance commercial archaeology would do some serious damage to my health and mind. So, I got out. Sure I miss the digging and the discovery, but I am so happy that I’m not wondering every month if I’ll have a job in the next few weeks.
12) I got a new girl gang
Okay, well they’re not exactly new, but moving to Bristol gave me the opportunity the really cement together a top bunch of lasses who will always have my back. It’s such a good feeling to have that after years of being a little bit of a social wanderer going from group to group. It’s been a year of changes with friendships, many ending but not for the wrong reasons, but now I have my Gurt Gloria’ls, I know I am loved.
13) I started socialising again
Moving to a new city meant that I had to start meeting new people. It’s not easy for me, but thanks to the Gurt Gloria’ls and a lovely gang of other people, I’ve been introduced to so many new people. I actually enjoy going out at weekends (and sometimes midweek…shh) and know that there will always been somewhere I will be welcomed.
14) I danced a lot more
I’m not the best, I’m not the worst, but this is the first year I have felt confident enough to say: I can dance. By dance, I mean I can jive in time to the music and don’t shy away when being asked to join in. I’m still not confident enough to be have my photograph taken whilst dancing, or even worse be videoed, but maybe that is something that 2019 will bring.
15) I led the Atomic Bombshells and it didn’t go horribly wrong!
I’ve been an Atomic Bombshell plenty of times in the past, but this time was the first I was the mother hen, ferrying the girls back and forth where they needed to be. I made sure I was super organised, creating colour coded timetables for all my Bombshells, and kept everything in order uniform wise. I was super proud of the ladies involved, and very pleased with myself for not getting into a flap.
16) I video’d a second every day for six months
Well almost every day, some of them were skipped and forgotten about. It’s a little project I did a couple of years ago too, but this time I did it for double the time. Every month I post the videos on my Instagram, and tomorrow (hopefully) I shall upload the full 6 months to my YouTube channel.
17) I started saving
I’m not entirely sure what for, but having a little bit more disposable income has meant that I can actually save and not just live pay cheque to pay cheque. It has also meant that I can plan for next year. I’d really like to go and see my sister in Australia, or go and see my friends in California, or just go and explore Europe a little more. I haven’t been on holiday since Las Vegas, and I have such a wanderlust stirring up inside me.
18) I grew.
Not physically thankfully – 6 foot is quite enough! I mean I grew in myself, I became more comfortable in realising who I am rather than trying so hard to be someone else. I realised that I pick my fights carefully and wisely, I can shake off toxic people who are no good for me, I can get through the tough days, weeks and months. Even when I wanted to give up, when I was hoping to wake up every day and be someone completely different, I got through it. And here I am, seeing in 2019.
Whatever you are doing this New Years Eve, be merry and hopeful! I hope 2019 brings you all you require, and a little of what you wish for.