*Tries to resist beginning this blog post with ‘well…’*
Well…well, well, well. What a year. You can already hear the choruses of people everywhere reflecting on their year and beginning with that sentence, can’t you? But my oh my, what a year. I’m currently sat in bed with a cup of tea in my new favourite mug (the bottom one – I bloody love it) watching Bedknobs and Broomsticks – the chances of me having a cuppa, who would’ve thought it? – and I’m excited to write this blog post. I’m excited for it to make me think and I’m excited to reminisce and reflect, and also to eat something delicious for tea later on. (Bedknobs and Broomsticks is also making me think about the questionable comments Angela Lansbury made recently regarding sexual harassment and assault on women – bloody hell, Ang’, as if 2017 hadn’t let us down enough.) So I guess we should just jump straight into it.
How was your 2017? Do you feel accomplished? Defeated? A little weary? Still alive but barely breathing? I feel ya’. Pretty sure there’s been points in this year that we’ve all felt a little ‘meh’, but we’ve come this far, and that’s what matters.
If by some miracle you have read any of my other babbles / posts, then you might be aware that the start of this year was quite rough for me. *Yawns from hearing myself talk about this again.* A long term relationship break up set me off on a new path and in all honesty, one that I really didn’t expect to be heading down. It was a challenge. I did a brave thing and now, well, only now, do I see myself reaping the rewards. January was bloody hard. But thankfully, when January was ‘bloody hard’, I had the troops rallied around me ready to hold me up and damn, they did a good job. My uni pals did a spectacular job at keeping me alive and motivated and I owe them so much for all the time they put into helping me over those first few months. Walks on the beach – near the sea, aka my favourite place – in brisk, chilly (af) January were not quite what they had in mind, I’m sure, but they didn’t moan for a minute. Particular showers of love need to go to my best pal, Eden, who let me cry and moan for days on end and never once tired, even if she was going through one of her happier times, when I was going through one of my shittest. Another fabulous pal was my friend Will, who, being that slightly more brutally honest friend, made sure I kept my head in the right place but let me cry when I needed it, whilst also giving some fantastic hugs. My friend Beth, a gal who I sadly don’t really speak to anymore was also amazing throughout this month and throughout many years of my life, really. I think one of my new year’s resolutions is going to have to involve our friendship because I miss her like mad. I guess that’s just an example of how much can change in a year, though. I never imagined my life without her (we’ve been best pals since we were 12) and now, I only speak to her on special occasions. I’m going to try and let that not be the case, if I can, in 2018. But nevertheless, January destroyed me (never dramatic) but pretty much gave me all the tools I needed to be where I am now, and for that, I appreciate the struggle I had to go through. (I watched a film recently called Collateral Beauty – it’s got Will Smith, bloody Helen Mirren, Kate Winslett and Naomie Harris in – and that talked about seeing the collateral beauty (the good, I guess) in the shit things that happen. Although that’s quite hard to do, sometimes, I appreciate the fact that I can see it now.)
February was just a bit more of a struggle, to be truly honest. I’d fallen knee deep into the dicksand with a guy who didn’t deserve me nor deserved any of the time or effort that I put in to trying to remain in his life and in his goodbooks and NOW he has the cheek to work in the Boots store in MY town. *Resists writing terrible reviews about his customer service.* Nah, I’m over it now, but man, I wish my first experience after my ex hadn’t been with that arsehole. But then again, I guess even that shitty time taught me a lot about myself, so maybe I don’t really wish that at all. I was also working in retail in Feburary and my God, I pray I never end up doing that again. I met a lot of lovely people working in Warehouse, both customers and colleagues but I was so bored. The days went so so slow, and having worked at a kid’s play centre for nearly the last 2 years of my life, with little humans who I was basically paid to play with and entertain, the days just felt like a waste. Being at university for the whole week and having fun with my pals and then having to miss out on my days off to go there for what felt like a million years, felt shitty and so, just a PSA, if you’re not loving your job and you have other options, take them! If not, then I feel you because for a while, I had to stick at it just to make amends, but my oh my, try your best to find something that makes you feel at least a bit happier. Our nights at uni became a bit more frequent in February too, which had both its advantages and disadvantages. I wasn’t feeling too fantastic about myself so I wasn’t really up for getting all dressed up knowing that no one would show interest in me – I think I was pretty much at that ‘I am the ugliest thing on earth and no one else will ever love me’ phase of the break up at this point – but then once I actually went out, we had a fab time and I bonded with my uni mates even more. Good times, even if they didn’t always feel like it.
March was a bit of a turning point. I’d managed to get out of the dicksand, so that was good and one night, when I was walking home from uni with my pals, I got a phone call. It was the area manager of Warehouse. I shit you not, I don’t think anyone has ever been happier to be made redundant in their life. My god, I screamed and bought a £5 celebratory milkshake afterwards. In all honesty, I think it was fate, me losing that job because I really wasn’t happy there. It meant that I didn’t have to worry about booking my birthday weekend off, it meant that I could go out with my uni pals and it also meant that I didn’t have to waste my days praying for the day to be over. When my birthday weekend did roll around, my pals and I headed off to Liverpool and hired out one of the signature living apartments and danced the night away – I was such a happy drunk that night and didn’t even wake up with a hangover #winnerwinnerchickendinner. What made it so special was that everyone came and it was just a fab night. I felt such love and I just thought…damn, I got a good bunch. I went home that day to find a Millie’s cookie from my ex and well, I guess that set me back a little bit, but who knew that March would be the start of me getting my shit back together. More ventures out to some of my favourite places with my pals also made the days a little sweeter, with trips to Delamere forest and charity work at uni filling my heart with love and gratitude. March began to heal me.
April was rough; probably the roughest. It was when I truly accepted things were over with my ex (I’d sort of been hanging on, scared that I’d made the wrong decision, hence the cookie) and had let go, I guess. The loneliness and real, hardcore, night time to morning time shittiness had kicked in. It also didn’t help that I’d sort of started to drift from my home friends at this time and I just felt generally awful a lot of the time. You know in a break up where you just don’t see yourself feeling any better, like, ever? That was pretty much the reality and April was the month that all properly hit me. It was also the month I was due to start my 2nd 8 week teaching placement and I’d been placed in a school that I was quite apprehensive about going to. I was terrified and pretty emotionally unstable and no amount of ‘I’ve got my shit together’ work clothes were changing that. The first few weeks of waking up at 5:45 everyday were pretty shitty, and the two hour commute home through the M6 traffic was never fun but man, I didn’t know what was coming.
May, although stressful, was the first month where I really started to feel like I could get through the shit in my head. I was in a routine and was fully focused on my teaching and the kids I was teaching all day everyday. I was loving it. There were shitty days, don’t get me wrong, putting everything into a lesson and it not going how you want it to go, having negative people around you and still feeling a little alone wasn’t always wonderful, but I needed those days to make me realise that there were often more good than bad. My sister and I had started spending a lot of evenings at our older sister’s and husband’s house, sitting for hours watching all the soaps and cuddling Vinnie and Joey, our little dog brothers, and also having chats about the new addition my sister was preparing to bring into our lives and family. Those evenings, from 7-10, sprawled out on the sofa with my 3 favourite humans are some of my favourite nights of this year and I am so glad we went round there and refused to leave as often as we did. I also started taking more time truly to myself around this time. I started to go for walks by myself and just give myself a bit more of a break and I felt so much better for it, especially on the shaky days. My older sister and brother in law also took a trip up to West Kirby in May to attend a Labour rally and saw the big man, Jeremy Corbyn speak so passionately to the many, many of us who attended. I was inspired and things were good, the days were getting brighter. At the end of May, I headed up to PGL in the Peak District with another one of the classes at my placement school, and although I spent 3/4 days absolutely shattered and full to the brim of snot, I made some wonderful memories with the kids and teachers there and felt lucky to have been able to go in the first place. A day in the lake district also brought me back down to the earth at the end of May, with the chilled out vibes of being near the lakes giving me the break that I needed to power on through to the end of placement.
With a strong May under my belt, I headed into June with a positive mindset. I was ready to smash my final few weeks of placement and I was feeling good. I got to see my little class of Year 6’s absolutely smash their performance of The Lion King and was swimming with pride as they beamed at me from the stage. I was gutted to leave them by the end. Those kids and those 8 weeks healed me. They gave me the final bit of love and stability that I needed to emerge like some kind of reincarnated little swan that had been working her legs at some speed underneath to keep afloat. I said goodbye to my wonderful mentor – who I had indepth chats about Love Island with and was just generally wonderful – and my wonderful little kids and walked away with a warm heart. I went back about 3 times afterwards because I missed them so much and it was so lovely to be back with them. I won’t go tooooo indepth about the general election that occurred that month, not wanting to put a downer on everything and all, but that day was a little ‘meh’, but on we march. An end of placement night out with the uni pals topped it all off, giving us all the chance to wind down and celebrate our hard work, before finishing uni for the summer.
After chilling out for the remaining few days of June, I headed back to the play centre in July and made some more dollar before I went on holiday in August. We had some lovely days out to Southport, the beach and nights out in our uni town and I was finally getting to be myself again. Placement had brought me back to me and my uni pals brought me even more back to me – if that makes sense. One of the days, I drove my little sister and one of my best pals over to New Brighton to go crabbing for the day – in the rain, lol – and that was another fabulous day, spent with good people. My sister’s prom was also in July and she looked cute af – she even went to an after party! (I went canoeing at 7am the next day after my prom?????) The summer days were good to me, this year.
August was an exciting month. I was so ready to get a real tan in France with my family and to just escape the UK for a little bit, just to read and well, just to get a real tan, to be honest. I’d told myself at the start of the year that I’d finish all of the Harry Potter books by the end of 2017, too, which I nearly did (I’m on the 6th!) but I’m not gonna’ lie, I wasn’t thrilled until the 5th one – please don’t kill me for saying this. August was also the month I joined tinder and well, if you read my last blog post then you’ll know that that was an interesting experience. I was shat on quite a few times throughout my time on tinder but to be honest, I’m glad I did it because of what I learnt from it. August was an awkward time with my home friends, too. Their holiday – that I wasn’t going on – was approaching and my holiday with my uni pals was approaching too. I didn’t know how they would react to this and the distance between us sort of made me afraid to approach it with them. I’d definitely handle this differently, now, but I guess at the time, not telling them seemed like the safe option – safe yet worst, eek. But nevertheless, I headed off to France with my family and had a generally wonderful time, despite a few things. Spending 2 weeks with my Nana made me see how confused she was getting and how she was showing the early signs of Alzhimers or dementia. It was hard to watch, but even harder to not want to bury your head in the sand and pretend like this was normal, and that the non-confused times outweighed the confused times. Not only this, but a trip to Barcelona the day before the Barcelona terrorist attacks also shook us all up quite a bit. It truly made me realise how tomorrow isn’t promised.
September was an even more exciting month, as it was the month of my holiday with my uni pals, moving out to uni and also going back to uni. I was so ready for it all, so ready to live the uni life once again and just to be back with the people who made me feel at home. Our holiday was a barrel of laughs and one sprained ankle away from being rather chaotic, but it was the best and I’d relive every moment. Although, at the time, I was in the dicksand with a tinder bae – of which, I genuinely wish hadn’t happened because it left me crying on the toilet in Greece one day when I could’ve been drinking and just living life for myself – it was a fab holiday and even if I came home with a sprained ankle that has never quite been the same since, I was pretty bloody happy. Yet, with the holiday came a little bit of backlash from my home friends, who weren’t quite aware that I was going – had they not been going to Malia too, I might have been a little less concerned, lol. Words were exchanged and I guess since then, we haven’t spoken, which makes me sad but perhaps it was what needed to happen. I’m going to try my best next year not to hold onto friendships that don’t bring positive things to my life and maybe cutting ties with my home friends was the start of that. After Malia, I moved out to uni and well, what a whirlwind that has been! The best whirlwind, though. My God, have I loved the past three months. Can confirm I have made some questionable decisions and cried a normal amount in the past few months too, but I’m pretty sure that the mixture of all that is why it has been so good. I gained confidence in myself, had some good sex and well, woke up with quite a few hangovers – you’ll never know the value of a cheap full English breakfast until you’ve been a poor uni student. Yep, each day was a learning curve and I’ve loved mostly every second. Third year has been intense so far, I won’t lie. Things haven’t been easy and I’ve had to work super hard but hopefully I’ll be rewarded in the future. But like I say it wasn’t all work. We had loads of 21st birthdays in September and October and plenty of opportunities to drink the nights away with the people we loved. Even if our bank accounts suffered, we had an amazing time.
November was another spontaneous celebration month. My best pal was going through a shit time with her boyfriend and with our other uni pals wanting to chill out for a little bit – we should’ve been doing the same, really – we started going out as the dynamic duo. We loved it. We danced and drank the November nights away and bloody hell, guess who met a boy. I’d been making some questionable decisions up until this night, but this kid just seemed to do something to me. I hadn’t even expected him to text me, to be honest and then out of the blue, there it was. I was excited. Things were different with him. The week after, we went out with him and his friends and I guess the rest is history up to now. We went to Ghetto Golf in Liverpool and have also been bowling – we love a competition – and there isn’t really anyone else I’d rather stay up till 4am with chatting absolute shite with. I’m truly lucky that recently he asked me to be his girlfriend and well, I guess I’m ending the new year completely differently to how I started it. Ya’ gal is in love once again and it’s bloody wonderful.
And well, December. As well as it being full of love and a whole lot of kissing, we had our regular squad Christmas meal and night out – ended up in bed by 12, was a little too far gone – which was lovely, and we all begin placement in January, But the best thing that happened in December – alongside me somehow finding someone who can tolerate me for more than 5 minutes at a time – was that my beautiful nephew was born! I am so full of love for him and he is the cutest little thing. I can’t wait to see him get bigger and grow and just constantly hug and love him throughout life. Looks like someone was looking down on us and wanted to give us something special to end the year on (thanks Gran ❤).
And there it is. 2017. 2017 you were pretty big. You taught me a lot about myself and gave me a lot to work with. I’ve learnt that I can face the things that terrify me and I’ll continue to do that into 2018, the year of graduating and getting my first teaching job. You taught me not to settle and that to bloom, sometimes you have to let go of the things that are holding you down. You taught me that I can be confident and that I should be. You taught me that perhaps summer isn’t all that bad. You taught me to take more pictures and be in (and fully in, not just half of my face) more pictures. You taught me to spend time with people who appreciate me for me and who fill my heart with love. You taught me to love again. You taught me that you have to sometimes break in order to move forward. You taught me to take risks and to live with the consequences. You taught me that I can actually keep up an exercise routine. You taught me that I can stop eating crisps if I want to. You’ve still failed to teach me that I should probably try to not overthink but the 3 books I got for Christmas on mindfulness might send me in that direction. And finally, you taught me that the stupidest thing I ever did – so far – was to not believe in myself and bloody hell, I will try to not do that again.
So, onto the next year. Let’s fill it with love wherever possible and face what is coming. And of course, we’ve got to make some new years resolutions.
- Spend more time with the people I love
- Work on myself further, work on the things you don’t like
- Be more positive
- Write more
- Read 10 books
Happy new year to you, whoever, if anyone is reading this! Celebrate or bring it in however you do best and make the most of the time we have ☺!