People always say how quickly the years pass by, ‘Where did that year go?!’ and ‘How is it almost 2018?!’ but when I look back at 2017, it seems to have lasted a lifetime, due to the many different things that took place.
Without a doubt, this has been the best year of my life (so far). I would be lying if I said every day of that year was stress-free, or without troubles, as no life is perfect, and although mine may look so on Instagram, I can assure you that it most definitely is not. No one’s life is perfect, no matter how great it may look on social media.
However, I want to take a look back at the highlights of my 2017 and remind myself how lucky I have been and that I have so much to be grateful for.
I hope 2017 was just as good for you, and I wish you continued success and happiness in the year ahead!
Determined, driven and focused
This time last year, I was given the #GirlBoss book by Sophia Amoruso. It flipped a switch in me that made me hugely focused to succeed in life and to not waste a day that I was given.
I threw myself into my blog and my personal ‘brand’ if you like. I was in the best shape of my life, hitting the gym every day (sometimes twice), I was eating healthily and life was just going swimmingly.
I was reading, learning, bettering myself, looking after my body and felt great.
January began with so much to look forward to in the year ahead. I knew I would be moving to London in June, starting my placement year in July and had no idea what was to come, but I was extremely excited, and most importantly I was so motivated.
However, fast forward to now and I’m most definitely not in the best shape of my life, drink way too much (PR life), eat all of the wrong foods and can hardly remember what the inside of the gym looks like. But I’m ok with it, because things changed. I moved to London, have a full-time job and haven’t fully adapted to a normal routine yet.
I’m going to try to get myself together in 2018, cut out the alcohol (try Dry January again), stop drinking Diet Coke (I’m serious), eat healthy foods and make myself go to the gym.
I just need to get my mojo back. Tips welcome.
Work work work
One thing that took over 2017 was part-time jobs, full-time work and internships.
At the start of the year I had two part-time jobs while at university, working in a bar in the evenings and as an Internal Communications Assistant on my days off. Once I finished university in March, I left the bar to work full-time in my Internal Comms job. In May, I started a four week internship at Bold Management, working full-time.
Once I finished in June, it was straight down to London where I spent a week at London Fashion Agency before starting my placement the week after. From then on it was full-time work for me.
Weirdly, I felt much more energised when I had the two part-time jobs and university going on than I do now. Along with uni classes, my two jobs, hitting the gym all the time, I still managed to post twice a week on my blog.
However these days, I wake up after 8am, in work for 9am, finish after 5pm and come straight home (which takes all of seven minutes), get into bed and often have a nap before waking up at 8pm to watch TV. I’ve also been neglecting my blog, and haven’t posted anywhere near as much as I wanted to.
But this will definitely be changing in 2018. I will be going to work as normal, but I will be spending more time in the gym and more time on my blog. I just need to get motivated.
What I can take from all this is that I now have a lot of work experience on my CV and overall, I am very happy that I did it.
I MOVED TO LONDON
This was most definitely one of the biggest changes to happen in 2017. I found a room in a house right beside where I work and it’s incredible. It’s like a sauna 24/7, polar opposite to my room in Liverpool. I have an ensuite, a flat screen TV and so much space for all of my beauty products and goody bags. I really don’t think I could’ve found a better room if I’d spent months looking. The girls I live with are amazing and thankfully we get along so well.
I’ve just had my first Christmas in London which was magical and have had my mum and dad over a few times for some sightseeing. Some friends are coming over in the new year and I can’t wait to explore more of the city with them.
I never actually realised how big the city is until I lived in it. It’s probably about the same size as three counties in Ireland, if not bigger. Belfast and Liverpool are tiny in comparison.
Next year I’m going to aim to see more of the city and do as much touristy things as possible as I only have seven months left and I need to make the most of living in London!
My new job
I think I’ve made it quite obvious how much I love my placement. If you follow me on Instagram, Twitter or read my blog, you’ll know all about the amazing brands I work for, the events I’ve been to and that I’m enjoying my everyday work so much.
I am forever grateful that I was given this job and count my lucky stars every day that I live in London and work at a placement I never even dreamed of, as I didn’t think it even existed.
I’ve met so many celebrities, drank so much free alcohol, had some of the most amazing food and been given a mountain of free beauty products and been to parties that I will remember for the rest of my life. If you had told me at the beginning of 2017 that I would be attending the GQ Awards, London Fashion Week or the OK! Awards, there’s no way in the world I would have believed you. The first six months have been absolutely incredible and I have no idea what the next six months will bring but I’m extremely excited for them.
I really don’t want to leave next year, but I must go back to Liverpool and finish my degree. Who knows where I will end up once I graduate. There is plenty of time to worry about that but for now I’m focused on excelling in my placement so that who knows, maybe they will want me back some day.
New friends for life
Along with the huge number of new people that I’ve met this year, I know that I will remain friends with a lot of them for a very long time, even when we go our separate ways. It’s crazy to think I have friends dotted all around the world now and who come from very different backgrounds to myself.
It’s very easy to live in a bubble when I’m at home, only being friends with the people you’ve grown up with, who know the same things as you and have seen the same things as you.
But when I live in different cities like Liverpool and London, I meet so many different people from other walks of life and it’s so refreshing to learn about them and the things they’ve seen and done.
It may take them a few weeks to get used to my accent, but they always manage.
Trips to Europe
I should just label this as Spain, as realistically that’s the only place I traveled to. Unfortunately I don’t visit as many places as I would like to. I would love to hop on a plane and spend six months seeing as many countries as I can. I have a long list of countries and cities I want to visit, but I know I am still young and some day this may be possible. For now, I’m too busy with work and university and also don’t have anywhere near the amount of money I would need to go on these trips.
Before 2017, the last time I traveled outside of the UK and Ireland was probably 2012, when I went on a family holiday to Lake Garda, Italy. Before then I had only ever visited Europe once when I spent four days at EuroDisney.
But this year, my best friend and I took a spontaneous trip to Barcelona. My first time in Spain, and it was such a beautiful city. So much to see and do, it is definitely a place I would recommend. Our flights were £20 each way, there was no chance of us turning it down.
Fast forward to November and I was back in Spain, only this time on an island just off Africa, called Lanzarote. Taking a sunny holiday in November was exactly what I needed. There was no TV or Wifi in the room which meant I could totally switch off and fully relax. We spent most days walking around the island, the old town and the new, drinking cocktails, soaking up the sun and eating great food.
I absolutely love being in the sun and really hope that in the future I live somewhere that is warm all year-round as it just gives me such a boost of energy, waking up to the sunshine and the heat.
Hopefully in a few years time I’m sat in a café, on a beach-front, with my laptop, living a sun-filled life.
2017, you were a blast
Although most of my year was spent working, I’ve had some of the greatest nights of my life because of it. I wouldn’t change a thing about the year past and hope that 2018 continues just the same.
I have a few concerts coming up at the beginning of the year, my 21st in March and moving back to Liverpool. Compared to this time last year, it doesn’t seem that I have that much to be excited for but who knows that the year will bring.
I will be making some New Years Resolutions this week, as the New Year is one of my favourite times to get re-focused and try to stick to what I’ve set out to do.