Tuesday, 2 January 2018

The Good And The Bad Of 2017: Reflections on life and blogging

Happy new year everyone! Welcome 2018! We’ve made it through another year and grown a little older and hopefully wiser. Although I wouldn’t hold out for that lat one!

2017 turned out to be quite a busy year, and certainly a rollercoaster of a one for me. It’s funny, as I sat down to write this, I thought, I have nothing to say this year (I wrote this style post a couple of years ago) yet when I actually took time to think about what happened, I was shocked at how much had transpired. In a way it was a really nice way to remind myself that I had actually achieved some things, as I’m terribly guilty at thinking I’ve not done anything. 

I love reading peoples top 10… posts of 2017 and so I thought I’d publish my own reflections and round up post, just with a little more balance too for good measure. I’ve already got some changes and new ideas to make for 2018, so hopefully we’ll all learn from last year and kick ass in 2018. So, shall we begin? 

The Good

I gained professional certifications

Naively I thought when I left uni that would be the last of my studying and exam days. I thought I was done and that I could reclaim my evenings and not have to study over holidays. Oh how wrong was I. I mean sure, you don’t have to do more exams, but I’d say having a mix of being ambitious, competitive and having a boyfriend who loves learning wouldn’t let me not. In January last year I gained my Prince2 qualification which is a project management certification, then in September I gained a qualification in Digital Marketing that was written by Google and Twitter. Oh and I spent my Christmas this year studying as I’ve got my AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner exam on the 5th Jan (wish me luck!). 

But what did I learn from these? Well we never stop learning, not really. The worlds continuously moving on, and changing and if we want to at minimum stay where we are, we still need to evolve with it. I’ll get more onto this in a minute, but I’m feeling a bit shaky on the career front, so for me I’m at least pleased I’m gaining new skills that will hopefully help me when I do decide what I really want to do. 

I got a new job

I’ve changed jobs quite a few times in my short professional life, so it’s not a huge achievement, but I left a job which I wasn’t happy in for one I feel more achievement from. I also left the Banking sector to go join a law firm so that was quite the change. I love my team, and the people are the best people I’ve worked with. There is definitely something to be said for the working environment. Previously I really hated those I worked with and some days I could go a whole day without talking to anyone! Now I cant go 30 minutes without. 

I do know though, what I do isn’t what I want to do for the rest of my life. I started in tech and I’ve got less and less techy as the years have gone on. So I’m making changes to get back to a more technical role, and I’m really loving Cloud and so fingers crossed I’ll have my qualification in a few days. Hopefully 2018 will be the year I do something more hands on again. 

I passed my driving test!

I cant even describe how big this is for me. Nearly 10 years in the making! I said I couldn’t actually let it get to 10 years and I just made it. I started learning when I was 17, and I failed not once, not twice but 4 times when I was 17. I just didn’t like driving. I also think that was partly down to my instructor. He taught most of my friends at the time, but he just wasn’t the right person for me. I was nervous as hell driving and needed someone to not only reassure me, but also tell me to get a grip once in a while! Anyways fast forward to 2017 and my boyfriend basically forced me to learn how to drive as he hated being my “chauffeur”. Tough love eh. I hated it at first and actually started with an instructor who again I just didn’t think was right. So I found a woman instructor who turned out to be the absolute best. Sure it took me a long time, and yes I failed 2 more times in 2017 but finally on he 15th Dec I passed! Oh I cant even tell you how good that felt. Finally! I honestly thought I might never pass and maybe driving was just not for me. But after a lot of crying and repeated attempts to give up, I did it. If there was ever a case study on persistence I guess this was it. 

Fantastic blog opportunities.

Of course there was some amazing blog opportunities too. Once again I got to travel to some incredible places. I got to go to India in April which was insane. To this day it is my favourite country I have visited. It was completely different to anywhere I had previously visited, as I had mostly visited more “Western” countries, and so the culture difference was so immense but that's what made it beautiful. It also kicked off my liking for YouTube. I made 3 videos on India which together have over 74,000 views which is amazing. 

I attended the Glamour Women of the year awards with Laurent-Perrier which was a pinch me moment. On the table next to me was Winnie Harlow and Jordan Dunn and Nicole Kidman brushed past my shoulder! Ha. 

I also went behind the scenes of Aladdin at the West End with Disney and MAC and attended the WTA Pre-Wimbledon party so suffice to say I’ve had some very cool experiences. 

I also got to work with some amazing brands, like Bombay Sapphire, Huawei, Qatar Tourism and Tough Mudder. The blog has been and interesting one this year and I’ll get on to that in a moment, but I do continue to love doing it, even if it may have changed slightly in frequency.

The Bad

Blogging rut

This leads nicely onto some of the more negative aspects of the year. My main one is probably my blogging rut. I’ve been blogging now for 5 years. 5 years! It’s the longest project I’ve ever done, so naturally there will come a point where my momentum wanes. Now this isn’t me saying I’m going to be stopping anytime soon, but I’m just being honest in that I’ve been feeling less of the love recently than I used to. Theres a number of reasons for this, including the general change nature of blogging and social media, as well as my overall availability. 

I’m struggling with time at the moment and that leads to decline in motivation. Blogging isn’t my full time job, and in early 2017 I joined the commuter lifestyle and now travel for nearly 4 hours everyday to and from work. So frankly I don’t have a ton of time left over during the week. Sure I could blog when I get home, but once I’ve made dinner and maybe gone to the gym, I don’t want to then open up my computer again and start typing away. I just want to chill out and watch a film. 

Ok so I could batch do blog posts at weekends, sure, I have the time then. But I’ll be honest, engagement has gone down in terms of comments of my blog, interactions on twitter and instagram and sometimes it can feel like I’m talking to the Abis which doesn’t always give me the motivation to write posts. I just think its a general trend in social media now, we are consumers of content but don’t really interact with it. I know people are still reading it because of analytics but it was always fun to interact with likened people. I’m hopping 2018 is the year the people start interacting again, as I can see there is similar feelings from others across social media. 

Personal Relationships

Without divulging too much its been a rollercoaster of a year for my personal life. I definitely know I need to learn a few things which are almost contradictory; to stop arguing so much and also stand up for myself more. I guess theres a time and a place for each, but I definitely need to understand my worth more, but also accept when I was wrong and face it. I fell into a bit of a rut where I didn’t put myself first in situations and yet it was a time when I needed self love the most. I’m still not entirely sure how the whole "self love" movement works. I'm still figuring it all out, but I know something has to change for 2018. I learnt that sometimes the ones you love the most, can hurt you the most. I don't believe it is/was done with intent but those cuts go deep. 

2018 is the year though that I want to re-learn to love myself. Not that I don't know, but really put myself first and give myself where credit is due, and then I believe things will fall into place with those in my life. 

So 2018 is here. I know its technically just another day, but it does feel like a clean slate to start something new. I've got some new projects in the pipeline which I'm excited to start, and I'm hoping to start a new business this year so watch this space for that. I'm going to take on board the good and the bad from last year and dive head first in and just see what happens.

So happy new year everyone, and have a wonderful, happy and productive year! 



  1. Totally get the blogging issues, I have basicalle given up any sort of schedule. If I have signed collaborations with brands, of course I'll stick to that agreed schedule, but aside from that I blog whenever I find there's something worth to say and it's the right time for me to sit down and spend time on it.
    As per the self love,I've been facing the exact same issues, with boyfriend and friends alike. I want to please everyone and ultimately the one person I do not please is myself, because I always come last.
    Question: I am also looking at getting my drivers license out of the way in the new year, would you recommend your instructor to me?



  2. Congratulations on everything you've achieved this year, it certainly sounds like you've done a lot for someone who didn't think there was much to say about 2017! Here's to a happy, healthy and successful 2018!

    Meg xx

  3. Oh babe I loved this post, you highs were amazing you should be so proud! Your honesty is beautiful, you have everything to love about yourself, you are an amazing person, so talented, so warm and loving and so determined. You are an inspiration xxx



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