21 Aug 2014

Looking Back

2014 so far has been a bit of an odd year. 

On the one hand, it's been a year of negatives. 

I've struggled (and if I'm honest am still struggling) to get over Melbourne and adapt to life back in the UK.  The fact that I may never live in Melbourne ever again is a thought I haven't even come close to facing yet, it's too upsetting!

I've lived at home for far longer than originally intended (sorry mum and dad, don't forget though I'm the favourite child!) (sorry siblings #notsorry). 

I have ended up doing a number of jobs I'm not happy in. I've worked in the bar industry which, while I really enjoyed that job, is an industry I once said I'd never work in again (oh how things change when you need cash).  I've had to swallow my pride and work hard quite a few times this year.

I've had to let go of friends in Melbourne, accepting that I can't talk to them every day like I used to. 

I've had to accept the end of a budding relationship, cut short as my visa ended and I flew back home, and also had to learn that sometimes things like that happen for the best.  This was particularly hard and confusing.  I don't fall easily into relationships, so it was very upsetting that the one time I suddenly found one I felt comfortable in it was snatched away from me.

My relationship with a few of my friends back in the UK has been put to the test.  A year away changes a lot of things, and as you grow and evolve in life so do your friendships. 

On the other hand though, it's been an incredible year up until now.

My friendships have survived the tests they were put under, making them stronger and teaching me some valuable lessons about self-respect, compromise and tolerance.

I've moved out in to a great flat with an old friend from Uni who I get on well with, in a great part of Sheffield.  Worth the wait.

I've grown to love parts of the UK that I used to hate with a passion - including my hometown, Doncaster.

I've stumbled into a lot of unpaid side projects that have and still are giving me invaluable experience.  Most notably writing for The Daily Touch and working for Social Sheffield.

I've saved a lot of money.  At the start of the year I was working in an office Monday to Friday and then a bar at weekends.  I kept this up for three months.  I saved a lot in that time!  I also got incredibly exhausted and ill - like really ill, spent about six days in bed.

I've stopped worrying about body image.  I'm not entirely sure when or how this came about, it might have even been when I was still down under.  All I know is now when I look in the mirror I like what I see and I see no benefits to be gained from being negative about myself.  It's a waste of time, life is short and I want to spend mine liking every aspect of myself.

I've dipped my toes into the romantic pool again and while it unfortunately didn't work out, I've learned that it's possible to move on.  It's also forced me to take my rose tinted glasses off  - now when I look back to that short time in Melbourne I see big cracks, whereas at the time I was literally on cloud nine and thought life was perfect.

My blog has grown at an incredible rate, purely because I've been focusing so much energy into it. 

I've achieved goals that I set whilst still in Melbourne, such as completing an online journalism course, saying yes to things I haven't done before (like interviewing people), saving a good chunk of money and, the one I'm most proud of, travel blogging. 

'I want to get in to travel blogging'.  I said those exact words to my then boyfriend over a glass of wine at a rooftop bar in Melbourne, probably around this time last year.  And I've done it.  I've done two travel blogging trips this year already, hopefully there will be more before Christmas.

In the past few months I've interviewed three people.  Three total strangers.  I've started writing for local publications.  I've stopped worrying about what might go wrong or what people might think and kept my eyes firmly on my goals.

I've become, and am still becoming, what I've always, always wanted to be: a writer.  But I'm also discovering that I can be more than just that too. 

I've met countless new people through blogging, networking and just generally charging way out of my comfort zone at full speed.

Things are finally falling into place.  I'm learning, growing and getting better at what I do a little bit each day.

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