As 2016 drew to a close, I made the mistake of declaring that if 2017 wasn’t to be a good year, it would at least be a productive one. The universe seemed to take this quite literally and decided to make last year somewhat fruitful but also, kinda shitty. Which I guess is what I get for putting that suggestion out there in the first place.
However, 2017 was a good year for me when it came to “realising stuff”. I am of course referencing Kylie Jenner’s now infamous attempt at profoundness but she didn’t entirely miss the mark. I’ve had a lot of realisations in the past twelve months and my life has significantly improved because of it.
One of my biggest fears was being seen as a failure. However, I realised that this wasn’t a valid enough reason to stay in a job that was making me miserable. After three years, the stress and sleepless nights combined with all the extra hours I was putting in wasn’t worth the little I was getting in return. Now I go to work, do what I need to do and then leave on time, allowing me the evenings to chill and focus on my passion of writing. Stepping down may mean I have less money to spend on pretty underthings but both my mental and physical health have improved as a result. Which I realised, is far more important than trying to impress others in job you don’t love.
Another, rather painful lesson I learnt last year is that life truly is too short. Five days before Christmas I lost my grandfather. It was sudden and quick, giving me little time to process what was happening before he was gone. As an adult, I’ve never been that fussed about Christmas and once I became too old to receive toys it somewhat lost it’s lustre. But knowing that I wasn’t able to spend Christmas, or any future holidays with my grandfather ever again, made me realise just how much I take life and others for granted. It’s easy to think that like the holiday itself, the people important to you will always be there, as they always have been and why would that change?
I’m pleased to say he lived a wonderfully full and happy life. He fled East Germany at the tender age of 19, later travelling to Scotland to join his brother. Despite not knowing any English, he didn’t let that hold him back. He managed to find work, fall in love and explore hobbies like diving. His passing served as a reminder that sometimes you have to take a risk to find happiness. While I don’t know what I want to do with myself or where I want to be in the future, I do hope that I will be brave enough to take some risks in the coming year that might put me on the right path.
2017 may have had it’s bad moments but it had several good ones too, especially when it came to my blog. In 2016 I only managed a measly nine posts; that wasn’t even one post per month! However, last year I managed 16, which was less than my goal of 24 but a vast improvement on the year before. Since starting my blog, I’ve strived to create quality content and I really feel that I’ve hit my stride over the last year or so. Many people have started to take notice, which is flattering and I’m thankful for, but has also been somewhat overwhelming. While I’ve had wonderful opportunities like working with Sasha Louise to create a lookbook or meeting Marie Yat and her lovely team, there have been others who seem to want a lot for very little. In order to protect myself and my blog, I will be adapting how I work with brands.
Going forth, I will no longer accept items for review. While I’ve always stated my own opinion, there is still something that feels disingenuous about accepting sets for review. The worry of hating it when it arrives, upsetting the brand or misleading readers weighs too heavy on my mind when writing reviews of gifted items that it takes all the fun out of writing. So from now on, all items reviewed will be items I have bought with my own hard earned cheddar.
However, this doesn’t mean I won’t stop working with brands, it just means that we will both have to be more creative in what we do. For example, I would love to create more lookbooks and editorials, as well as more underwear as outerwear posts. On top of this, I would love to do more writing focused posts, such as interviews or collection previews.
While working with my partner (who is a constant source of inspiration and support) has been great for finally achieving the look I want for my images, I do miss being behind the camera myself. This year I hope to be able photograph others and get some of my own photography projects off the ground.
So, here’s hoping that 2018 will not only be a productive year but a happier one too (please universe).