2016- What. A. Year. Never have I known a year boast so many fantastic highs and devastating lows, personal achievements and challenging hurdles- as well as so many scary worldly goings on that it’s sometimes almost unfathomable to wrap my tiny head around them. It’s not easy tapping into everything that’s gone on during this year (we’ve seen plenty in the news and online)- so I won’t try and summarise it in a fleeting sentence. All I do know is that it’s made me realise how fortunate I’ve been. How it’s so (more than ever), important to look out for others, support people where you can and ultimately try and make an effort to understand and learn- because I’m pretty sure that’s how change begins.
Anyway, I won’t try and summarise everything in one chunky paragraph- but instead I’ve broken my year down a little (more so as a personal momento of the last 12 months)- as it’s always wonderful being able to come back and see what I actually managed to tick off and what went on (especially as I first did this in 2012, which is very surreal to look back on)! Anyway- let me take this moment (before I end up typing up a serious storm) to say thank you. I have had more support this year than I could have ever have hoped for- and have honestly achieved more than I could have ever have dreamt of when I first started this (which I always think is so important to remember when in the comparison trap)! Anyway. Thank you. You’re the best. (I mean it). Anyway, on with the show (or ginormous essay)!
Life: So- LIFE. What did it hold in 2016? Apart from plenty of pals, travel and lots of blogging (which I’ll definitely natter more about in a mo)- I definitely felt marginally more grown up this year. Most importantly I FINALLY passed my driving test! It was my main goal for this year, and after learning for well over a year (and then my instructor retiring)- I booked myself an intensive course and got down to business- THE RELIEF. This gal also got herself her first tattoo (hopefully the first of a…couple), saved up and up (so next year things can get REALLY GROWN UP) and also saw The Last Shadow Puppets with Rebecca after about one hundred years of fangirling. It was well and truly worth the wait.
Blogging & Youtube: In terms of the internets, it’s been a pretty big and surreal year for me. Let’s start with the. big. one. This year I was signed to the agency of my dreams, Storm (!!!), which I never in a million years imagined could happen (and still can’t). This was all down to my friend Estée, who I properly ‘befriended’ this year and am constantly amazed and impressed by her kindness, success and determination and her support has been endlessly appreciated. On top of that I was also the face of a brand (!!!) and spotted my mug in several mags with Trollbeads which was so exciting. I also went to the BAFTA’s, slightly stalked Colin Firth at the Bridget Jones premiere and got an awesome online magazine feature with Joe for Atlas magazine too. Now, in terms of YouTube, it’s been a funny year. I still don’t quite know my place, and I’m thinking (cough, hoping) next year may be slightly different. I’ve felt the pressure of comparison a great deal this year- and although I know I shouldn’t (in fact, nobody should)- it’s been a learning curve into what and where I really want my channel to go and how to me, success definitely isn’t measured by numbers (it took a while folks, trust me)- which I think is only ever a positive thing.
People: Speaking of friends, this year I’ve been lucky enough to get to know and make some new ones, as well as cherish some of my bests and older pals too. It’s been a busy non-stop year and I know I can be quite a tricky friend to pin down (and reply to texts)- so knowing who is, and will always be there (with the patience of saints) has been so important- and really taught me the value of special pals. On top of that I also had my first ever grown up friend wedding with some of my main ladies (and hen do)- which was amazing (kudos, Caz) and realised how ruddy lucky I am to have a certain Joe in my life- who is without a doubt, the biggest support and someone who understands my weird and wonderful job inside out so is always there for everything. I could not do it without him. I was also lucky enough to go on holiday with my family to New York, which was one of the most special trips in a looong time. Being able to switch off a little bit, decompress and laugh ourselves silly was wonderful and I am so lucky to have such a special family too.
Travel: Last but not least, travel. And OMG. being able to visit everywhere from Kenya to Australia is more than I could have ever have wished for. I genuinely cannot believe how fortunate I’ve been to see so much of the world this year (and I’m still not sure how I wangled so much into the year too). From going on safari, which was absolutely unreal (especially with the company of lovely Lucy)- seeing Australia with Joe (with a whole heap of posts coming in the New Year), ticking off more of Europe (including falling in love with Copenhagen) and heading back to the Big Apple and Disneyland- it’s all been a surreal, exciting whirlwind. On top of that, I also managed to tick off a little more of the U.K (namely by falling hard for Manchester and doing a piece for Glamour in Glasgow)- and hope to add to that even more in 2017- fingers crossed!
If you’ve read this far, then MY GOODNESS I salute you. Thank you so much for your patience and have a VERY happy, healthy and wonderful 2017. Go get ’em tiger.