Wednesday, 30 December 2015

15 best bits of 2015

I know it's oh-so-cliched but I just can't quite believe that 2015 has left us to make way for a new and exciting 2016. Honestly...HOW. WHEN.
Last year, I looked back at all the things I learnt about me and my life in 2014 (take a trip down memory lane and have another read of it here - go on, you know you want to).

This time round, I'm getting all reflective on life all over again (no surprises there). And while I'm still learning in that big ol' school called life every single day still, I can honestly, whole-heartedly say that 2015 has been one of the best and my personal favourite years of my life so far, and here are 15 reasons why...

1.) I moved to London
I lived away from home for over 4 years now but with uni living meaning that I still came home for weeks and even months at a time every so often when term was finished, this is the first time I've properly felt like I've lived away from home and flown the nest if you will (although I'm sure my mum will tell you she feels otherwise). London has been an amazing, weird, hectic, mad, beautiful, cramped, massive and magical place to live in this past year, and continues to be as I enter my 2nd year calling it my home.

2.) I got a new London family
And with a new home, comes a new family. I spent the 1st half of the year staying with some pretty generous family who let me stay longer than niceties entail. Rent-free. In Zone 1, Angel. (No amount of boxes of biscuits I give them will ever say thank you enough) But there came a time when I had to give them their spare room and my own personal space back. Enter the era of 18B and my London mum and big sis; Katie & Bryony. These girls have only been in my life for 6 months but have already looked after me when I'm horrifically drunk, help me make sure the dickheads in my life stay out of my life, made me tea when I'm hungover, made me laugh until I cry and become some pretty special friends. Thanks for making London and 18B feel like home girls.

3.) I got a job
After months of interning, uncertainty, feeling knocked down and approaching 100 job applications, I finally got a job as a legit journalist! There was an immediate sense of stability, security, relief, pride and just sheer happiness. What I once thought of as a dream job was now a reality and I couldn't have been more grateful. The hard work and grief had paid off and everything was coming up Amy!

4.) I left my job
Sometimes life doesn't pan out how you thought it would and it's oh-so-easy to feel like a failure, knocked down and beat yourself up about it. But y'know what you should do instead? See it as a chance to take up other opportunities you might have overlooked. Leaving my first job made me really re-evaluate my work/life balance and what I really wanted to spent the majority of my everyday life doing. You can know something isn't entirely right for you and still be so grateful you had the opportunity. I've now got more freedom and flexibility. I get to try more things and find out what I like and not so much, know what I'm good at and what I need to improve at - and at this moment in time, the freelance life is keeping me pretty happy.

5.) I got on a plane (or 3)
I don't really do New Year resolutions, but after not going abroad for quite a few years, I wanted to spend less of my money on materialistic things and spend it more on creating memories and experiences - and that including seeing more of the world. I frolicked around in Prague, Milan and Budapest and weekend city getaways are now my new bestie.

6.) I wrecked my hair
As a kid with a dad who constantly cut my hair into a mushroom-shaped bob, as soon as I was given the freedom to let reign over my own hair, I vowed to grow it to Rapunzel-lengths to make up for lost time. And indeed, it got pretty long. And it kinda stayed that way since I was about 17 - apart from the 2 or 3 year stint where my fringe got all Zooey Deschanel. So it was time for a change. Liiike, dip-dying my hair once, twice, three times a bleach job. Add some grey toner and voila! My grandma-worthy hair goals were achieved and 3 months later I'm still head over heels in love with it (even if my dad isn't)

7.) I missed home
You take so much for granted when you're living at home: the cooking, the washing, the warm thermostat - basically not needing to look after yourself. But above all that, your family, parents, those who do the looking after. Every few months or so, a wave of feeling homesick hits me and all I want is a big hug off my mum and a drink with my dad - sadly, they're 180 miles away. So I resort to booking a train ticket and as soon as I see them on that train platform, I'm so happy and grateful to have them in my life and be reunited with them. (Don't ever let them know that though - promise?)

8.) I missed my friends
Ditto - see above for explanation. You pick up friends along the way in your life, all at different stages and in different friend groups. But with everyone doing their own thing, it gets so much difficult to see people on a regular basis and before you know it, it's been 6 weeks and you still haven't gone for that drink you said you would. Make the effort - text back, make plans, call for a chat. When it all goes to shit, they're the ones who'll come to your house with a bottle of wine and a pizza and wipe away your tears.

9.) I loved love
I've dated here and there over the past couple of years since my last serious relationship, but after having my heart toyed with and my loyalty and feelings trampled on one too many times, I became a little bit more guarded and little less generous with my emotions (despite being an ol' hopeless romantic). But this year, I finally let down my guards a tiny bit and let some people into my life who made me happy, made me laugh and made me restore my faith in others. A few were fun for a little while, a couple I couldn't wait to get rid of, and some I hope will still in my life for a little while longer.

10.) I gave up the gym
Being a big fat child who grew up living above a take-away (pretty stereotypical I know, but man it was hard to resist those Singapore fried noodles), I always have a teeny voice at the back of my mind reminding me never to get back to that state. I became quite a gym bunny at one point but after I left uni at Sheffield, I swapped the gym for running to de-stress & get some fresh air. But honestly, this year, the last thing on my mind is how many miles I've done. In between work and just, life, all I want to do is put my feet up and rest. I walk pretty much everywhere on a daily basis and my 4-year relationship with yoga keeps me sane physically and mentally. My body's the most chuffed and confident I've ever felt about it, and granted I'm not a Victoria's Secret angel, but as long as I'm happy and healthy, then it's all gravy.

11.) My wardrobe got ridiculous
Last year, I learnt how to give zero fucks and embrace the eff out of my personal style, and it's one of the best things I've ever done. That does however mean that I've got some pretty mental additions to my wadrobe - including but not limited to multi-coloured pom-pom shoes, a lucky cat and seashell bag, Cher Horowitz worthy fluffy heels, a gold leather skirt and a 'Bugger Off' tee. I look forward to getting ready from my dressing up box every goddamn day.

12.) I got to know strangers
When you're a kid, making friends is as easy as ABC, and when you go to uni, you're all in the same boat and you bond and make friendships over it - along with the tequila shots and deadline dramas of course. But when you become an adult, making friends gets a bit trickier, especially when you move to a new city. I've met some people this year who I never would've thought would be in my life. People who are bonkers, people that I would've stayed away from in school, people who are the complete opposite to me - but they're all people I'm oh so glad I got to know and am now so happy to call a friend.

13.) I was hungover, exhausted & skint
I have never been so tired, busy or poor in my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. Before you go running to my mum, yes I have saved some £££ away fo ra rainy day and my future yada yada, but the rest of it? Well, it's been spent on tickets, gigs, nights out, rollerskating, dinner, drinks and everything else in between - my poor diary has never been so abused with plans. If I'm spending 70% of my everyday life working to earn money, you can bet your sweet ass that I'm spending the other 30% enjoying it and having a good time. You know, before the adult responsibilities REALLY kick in. As for the hangovers...that might be because I'm getting old and shit now - BOO.

14.) I gave less fucks
One of my biggest anxieties throughout life is wondering what people's opinion of me are. Last year, I got a lot better at not worrying about it, but it's hard for a tiger to change it's stripes - not impossible - but a bit tricky. Whether it's people at work, my friends, and of course, those pesky boys. I give my best not to worry about what people thought about my blog, my opinions, what I wore and how my life seemed. Instead if thinking, I just...did. And y'know what? It's been pretty damn liberating. Highly recommend it.

15.) I didn't know what the hell was going on with my life
AND I STILL DON'T. I don't think I ever will. I've taken some chances, kicked myself over missed chances and made a few mistakes in hindsight (damn that pesky hindsight). And that's just fine with me. Life: please keep throwing surprises and curveballs over my way - it's keeping me on my toes and I'm not gonna lie...I'm loving it.
Can't wait for what you've got stored away in 2016 you cheeky little rascal.

Until next time,

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