So, we’ve come to the end of another year. It’s been a hectic one – and 2015 is already looking even more hectic for me – but I always like to take a moment to look back over the year’s triumphs and (sometimes) failures to set myself up for the next 12 months to come.
Without further ado, these are the lessons I’ve learned this year, and the things I thank 2014 for:
This year has certainly presented me with its fair share of opportunities. One of the coolest things I’m thankful for is finally getting to work for a real magazine (or series of magazines?), as part of my placement with Uni. It’s been a dream of mine for roughly half my life to actually get my name in print, and I’m lucky enough to have achieved that. I’ve also had the opportunity to volunteer again at the Huddersfield Literature Festival, AND joined the English Society at Uni as vice president.
Although I’ve definitely lived a relatively easy life, this has definitely been my most challenging year yet. Nothing too serious, don’t worry! First of all, my boyfriend (to whom I have been attached at the hip for over 4 years) moved to another country in June. It sounds lame, but having to adapt to living on my own at uni and functioning without my right arm, figuratively speaking, definitely challenged me. There were positives – it made me more independent, and I joined a tonne of activities that I wouldn’t normally have done – but there were also huge negatives that anyone who’s been in a Long Distance Relationship can probably identify with. In the end of course everything worked out OK and I’m a stronger person because of it, even if I did lose myself for a little while.
My other challenge comes because of all the opportunities I mentioned. I’ve always been a pretty lazy person, and suddenly having twelve (I counted!) extra curricular activities at one point, plus Uni and socialising, definitely put a huge strain on my mentality. I definitely did not handle all of them as well as I could, and dropped the ball on more than one occasion. I’ve now learned not to say ‘Yes’ to absolutely everything, and to really focus on a few things instead of spreading myself so thin.
I’ve always been relatively ambitious, but before this year they were general ambitions. I’ve wanted to be successful pretty much ever since I left primary school – but successful at what? I’ve flitted between ideas, but it wasn’t until this year that I realised my true ambition had been lurking all along. I began writing for an online gaming/alternative culture website and I suddenly realised – journalism is the thing for me. I’ve toyed with the idea for years, but never really took it seriously. Now it seems so obvious to me that I kind of want to kick myself. I’ve been a huge lover of magazines – especially fashion magazines – since I was a kid. I have a huge pile of GLAMOUR magazines at home, along with some of my old favourites like LOOK and Teen Vogue, and new ones like Harper’s Bazaar. I’ve also been a huge follower of blogs for about six or seven years now. Once I realised that this is what I wanted to do, I started my blog, looked into the career pathways of magazine journalism, formulated a Five Year Plan, and began applying for placements as soon as I could. It feels great to finally have drive, passion, and true ambition in my life and I’m really looking forward to seeing where it might take me.
Due to a very well-made New Year’s Resolution to “Not Give a Damn”, the aforementioned LDR, and really throwing myself in at the deep end whenever I could, my confidence has improved tenfold this year. It’s always been a learning curve over the past five years or so (it’s a cliché High School left my confidence in tatters) and this is the year when I finally got to a good place. I don’t mean that I kiss every mirror I come across, or always own every room I walk into – far from it. I’ll always be an introvert at heart. But this year I’ve learned that what other people think is not the be-all and end-all, and so I try not to hold myself back with worry. Now I can have some semblance of security, know that not everything I do is going to fail, that if I fail nobody is going to make fun of me any more, and if they do then they aren’t important in my life. Confidence has always been my major issue and while I’m still far from my goal, I feel I’ve finally overcome the biggest hurdle in getting there. The rest should be smoother sailing.
And that’s why I’m saying a big “THANK YOU” to 2014. It may have been a challenge, but I’ve definitely grown a heck of a lot this year and I’ll always be grateful. It was quite a personal post, but if you got all the way down here then thank you too for reading it. I hope you had a great year and that the next will be even better.
So long 2014, and thanks for all the fish!