thank u, next year: Reflecting on 2018

Although this year has been the one I have posted least on my blog, it has, I believe, been my most creative year yet. 2018 for me has been a year of healing and incredible growth regarding my self-esteem, self-worth and independence.

I have learnt to accept and move on from the past by creating and seeking new opportunities for myself, and am realising what's important to me to live a fulfilling life of purpose.

While 2017 was at first a year of trauma and then recovery, it forced me to rediscover who I am and wanted to be in brilliant Canada thanks to the inspiring people I met there whilst on study abroad. I believe as a result of this challenging and healing time, the people who have cared about and supported me are definitely partly why I was able to push on and wanted to build myself back up.

Although it's easy to look back on your year and feel underwhelmed or like you could have done more, it's so important to remember the good things and know you did the best you could. You should be proud of every single day, even if it wasn't what you always expected or had planned on January 1st.

The pressure of New Year to transform ourselves into a higher being entirely overnight is ridiculous. As Matt Haig said, "the calendar is just another human invention" and we don't have to replace ourselves every year. Celebrate who you are and embrace yourself.

"Be careful to set goals that still celebrate who you ARE while calling you higher at the same time." - @darling

I am grateful I have been able to push on by turning my lows into motivation to create a better present and future for myself by seeking out and creating new opportunities, continuing to surround myself with positive people and ignoring the toxic, and am excited to live a fulfilling life of purpose in 2019 and onwards.

I am excited to continue to learn, grow and enjoy living; and to try my best to have a positive impact on the world and the people in it while I'm at it.

Here's a look back at my 2018 with some relevant blog post and Instagram links here and there. Thank you to all the inspiring people I have met along the way, and thank you to everyone who is still reading my blog and social media posts on the world wide web.


Visited Lauren in Hua Hin in Thailand[BLOG] (met an elephant at the Hutsadin Elephant Foundation sanctuary, fed monkeys, went on a banana boat, crawled through a dark cave with bats and sprickets, lost my flip flop while filming for Instagram), then started my university placement in Glasgow as Fashion, Beauty and Interiors Intern at The Herald & Times - such a new experience, living alone for the first time.


Became vegetarian, trying to eat vegan when possible. Bought myself my fave red jacket for Valentine's Day, hula-hooped my way through my placement. "After overcoming the initial lonelines[BLOG]," I began "to enjoy my own company again." Began to slow down, focus on myself, live intentionally, and accepted I was moving on in life and finally decided I was leaving bad bits of 2017 behind and creating new good things for myself.


Shot with @theheraldfashion at the Waldorf Astoria in Edinburgh! Travelled to London alone for the first time for a business trip on behalf of the Herald - attending House of Fraser's ss18 preview dinner with the CEO and lots of other cool people and fancy things. Reunited with Linzi after first meeting her in Canada, August 2017, living together and supporting each other for 4 months of study abroad. Went on a few dates to improve my confidence when meeting new people.


Headed/styled/directed my first big beauty shoot for The Herald in collaboration with the House of Fraser and pulled it off successfully with a fantastic team. Finished my placement with a drink with my fab mentor Eva and moved back to Edinburgh for the summer. Began playing netball again with my friend Dana. Visited Aberdeen for a week to catch up with good friends and had a bit of a breakdown after seeing some ghosts from the past. But picked myself up again, went out with friends and thanks to them realised how much I've grown since all that bad stuff - thank you. Went to a clubbercise class with my good friend Emily.


Mona, who I met in Canada, came to visit Edinburgh. Attended Hopetoun House's spring Garden Party which was insane. Saw the RGU Fashion Graduate show featuring my friend Rachel's stunning work. Reunited in Edinburgh with my amazing uni friend Sarah! Fab night out for my good friend Dana's birthday. Spent time rediscovering my love for my hometown Edinburgh.


Pride with friends which was insane. Chilled and caught up with friends, had fun. Beginnings of my freelance work - first meeting with Rachael from ALICAS and another digital marketing client I now work with. This fun confidence-boosting photoshoot with Alice from Twenty-Something CityAmsterdam[BLOG] to visit friends, Christin and Tora, who I met on study abroad from Germany and the Faroe Islands. Reviewed the Gymshark Energy Seamless set[BLOG] on the blog. Wrote about Imposter Syndrome[BLOG] - read if you don't feel good enough for what you want to do, or if you're struggling to start that exciting new project because you're doubting yourself (like I was at the time).


Highland road trip in the north west of Scotland with PAL and my pal Sarah - reunited after not seeing her properly in over a year (missed you so much). An incredible experience in a VW camper van and we swam at two different beaches and were not absolutely freezing (in Scotland!) My incredible friend Emily's 21st party. Freelance and self-employed work began properly with two new clients. Stuart's botanical themed karaoke night and Stu's drag night out in Glasgow. Hosted two friends I met on study abroad and showed them round Edinburgh, felt proud and appreciative to live here. Posted this photo which made me feel good and happy about myself.


Continued freelance work - worked a lot before starting uni again in September and got another new client! Found a nice flat to live in for final year at university in Aberdeen. Fringe-y things with creative college friends I hadn't seen in ages. Museum after night event with Stu. Emily's leaving do before she moved to Milan to be an au pair for a year - v proud of her. Took my mum to the gym. Creamfields music festival was insane. We were involved in a car crash on the motorway on the way down but everyone was okay and we made it to the festival.


Freelance work in Edinburgh before moving to Aberdeen for my final year of university. Dived into my studies dedicated to make the most of my final year as well as rejoining my cheerleading team. Felt low for the first week or two because Aberdeen hasn't always been the nicest place for me, but soon started to make good new memories.


Amy's 21st down in Duns. Uni got intense. Two friends from study abroad came to Edinburgh! Met some really nice new people. Work was busy too. Wrote briefly on Instagram about why I'm vegetarian and not fully vegan. Posted a recipe to my favourite vegan curry.


My 21st birthday - I loved watching the fireworks at Aberdeen beach. Had a really lovely day out shopping with my friend Sarah. Saw Swan Lake the ballet with Sarah. Went to the doctors about having trouble breathing and it turned out I was just stressed. Started and submitted my proposal for my dissertation on sustainable fashion in Scotland. Wrote on Instagram about why it's okay for your priorities and goals to change along the way.


Uni got REAL INTENSE with deadlines - I forgot what sleep was. I took part in Sleep in the Park, raising money for Social Bite's cause to end homelessness in Scotland. Started new freelance work and projects. Work Christmas drinks with Design33. Had my implant contraception removed - wanting a break from all the hormones now it has expired. Handed in all uni coursework and tried to relax but forgot what that meant. Reunited with college friends over brunch at Hula Bar. Christmas parties and nights out with friends back in Edinburgh. Christmas itself was really fun. Caught up with Emily who is home from Milan for the holidays and Gavin who I haven't seen in forever. Botanics light show with the family. Brunch and more catch ups with friends.

Reflecting on 2018, it's easy to feel down and only remember the bad things. But as I said last year, it's important to focus on and remember all the good things that happened, even the smallest of things. I bet there's more than first come to mind!

Here's to an incredible 2019, whatever that means for you.

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