Next week is Christmas and I am starting to get just a wee bit of Christmas Fatigue.
I know, I know – me? Christmas fatigue? I’m the one who typically has the presents wrapped and under the tree by the first day of December, scheduling parties and dinners left right and centre, and singing carols in the safety of my own kitchen where no one can judge me (other than my cat).
However, although I am still looking forward to the day, I’m a bit tired of actually talking about it on my blog! (and Christmas songs on the radio. So over those!)
As such, and as well as it being the Winter Equinox, I thought a retrospect of the year would be in order – my losses and my wins, my losts and founds. Although I have promised that this blog is to be a positive space, I think it’s essential to reflect back not only on the good, but on what could have been better, to learn from these experiences, and move forward stronger and wiser.
See, I’m one of those people that when I get knocked down, I’ll look for loose change whilst I’m on the ground. This is so when I stand back up and dust myself off I’ve gained a new asset – even if it’s a penny.
And after the year I have had I have many a pretty penny in my pocket!
A 2017 retrospect
The worst part of 2017 was that I lost my confidence – more than once – and I’m truly hoping it’s not one of those things that once gone is gone forever.
I’ve always been that girl in heels with the bold prints, and statement earrings. I’m a creative person and I love bringing pieces together to create a beautiful outfit, and have always walked in these curated creations with my head high, and a red lipped smile on my face.
Yet this year my confidence took a pummelling and I now find myself dressing down, and hardly even wear mascara anymore – even my eyebrows are bare! Although I am dreaming of wearing my beautiful coats, I am suddenly struggling to find the confidence to be me.
To really get across how bad my confidence has been dashed – I haven’t bought a new pair of shoes in months, and have been wearing the same pair of plain black pumps to the office every. single. day.
But this doesn’t only relate to clothing – I have lost the confidence to hold my own, be the straight talking, hyper-focussed person that I have always been. I have felt my personality dwindle over the past few months, felt myself needing to repress who I am in order to “fit in”, and it’s incredibly worrisome.
Having identified the cause though, it’s something I am trying to work through – I can’t sacrifice myself for the sake of other people. I don’t like losing, and I especially don’t like losing a part of myself.
Onto the positives, this year has also brought me a career change, and new professional opportunities.
As of this year I am no longer an Executive Assistant, but a Communications Assistant. This is a huge shift in my career and has opened up a lot of new opportunities. It also appeals to my personal interests of web design and media communications.
Throughout my career, although I have always been a PA or EA, I have always worked closely with branding and marketing, although as a bit on the side to keep me at full capacity. Now it’s my full time job, and I spend my days working on web content, social media, and design which I just adore.
There’s that quote to choose a job you love so you’ll never work a day in your life, and that’s my career right now, finally working for an organisation I believe in and doing work I thoroughly enjoy.
And I’m working with an undeniably marvellous team!
Regarding my blog, if you recall earlier this year made the decision to start taking it a little bit more seriously and changed the name, domain, design, and content over the space of a few months.
Within a month of going self-hosted, I received my first sponsored opportunity, and invitations and requests have slowly been building ever since. What’s more inspiring and encouraging than wins, no matter how small!
I know I have a long way to go with this blog, and I know that there is a lot of room for growth and development, but I have a plan for 2018 and whilst implementing it I plan to continually assess the needs not only of the blog, but of myself, and those who are joining me on my journey.
Plus, more shoes! We definitely need more shoes up in here!
2017 has also seen me staying away a bit more compared to previous years. With two trips to St Andrews, a trip to Paris and a trip to Berlin, it was definitely a time for opened eyes and cultural immersion.
Although the weather was cold and wet, I found the Parisian way of life positively wonderful, and I would love to spend more time in the city, sitting and sipping on wine, eating a light salad as I watch the effortlessly chic women pass me by. I can’t wait to return to Paris, although it seems it’ll be a while yet before I get there once more!
Berlin was a relatively relaxing week for Ben and I, and we left the day Oktoberfest began – not that that stopped us from enjoying a mighty pint of ale before we jetted home! We loved the food and adventure in Berlin so much, we’re planning a trip to Munich for next year but this time coinciding with Oktoberfest. Any excuse to wear a Dirndl, right? Right!
And St Andrews? I am pretty sure it’s my favourite place to stay in the UK and I have fallen thoroughly in love with the small, seaside town.
Outside of my own wins for this year though, on Monday Ben has passed his PhD viva after years of hard work – what better way to sign off such a difficult year?
Over the past twelve months I have lost some things, I have made sacrifices, and have cried a lot, however for every loss there were victories, and for every tear there were dozens of smiles.
Reflecting back, I think it’s important to focus not on the good or the bad, but to contemplate both, to not let the bad outcomes overwhelm you, and remember that no matter how bad it may have been or seemed there were still moments of light, or hope, and of opportunity.
Just because you lose a battle, doesn’t mean you can’t win the war.
So, bring on 2018!
How was your 2017?
xx Bry Jaimea