I can’t actually believe it’s that time already. It’s time to wave goodbye to 2017 and all that came with it, ready for a fresh start in the new year. I know a lot of people call it a load of “new year, new me bullsh*t”, but I definitely see January as a fresh start, and always like to look back and reflect on the year that has gone by in December. It’s safe to say that 2017 has been another whirlwind year for me. It’s weird because I have had some of the most amazing times this year. Finally finding my feet career wise and being settled in my job and new home has been one of my proudest moments, and I’m so happy to be where I am and to have achieved what I did in just 12 months.
But life’s journey is never just a straight road; there are always twists, turns, ups and downs to overcome along the way, and I’ve definitely experienced some lows this year. My health has taken a battering as I’ve pushed myself to the limit on too many occasions (although waking up with a head the size of a beach ball due to mumps was quite entertaining!), and I’ve also dealt with personal things. It’s so nice to be back home at my mam and dad’s, writing this post from bed, with some peace and quiet to reflect. You definitely need some time away from it all to realise that it’s not all bad, and you have so much to be grateful for, and so much to look forward to!
So without further ado, here’s the landmark moments of my 2017.
Landing my dream job… and getting a promotion!
I really cannot believe how much my life has changed when I compare January 2017 to the current situation I am in right now. At the start of the year I was back in London working as a video assistant for Superdrug, living out of a suitcase in a hostel and frantically applying for jobs in the big city. I can honestly say that living and working in London, even just for four months, was one of the best things I ever did. I learned and experienced so much, not just in terms of the industry I wanted to work in but also about myself, and I never realised just how independent I was. But during January last year I took a week out of my job to work for BBC Wales, filming in Cardiff, and it was there that I decided that the London life really wasn’t for me, and I wanted to pursue a career in TV back home.
I left London at the end of January with a heavy heart, having no idea what the future held and being offered different job opportunities that just didn’t seem right to me. I jetted off for an amazing belated birthday weekend with Dan in Edinburgh, and on the way home I was offered an interview for a runner job at the BBC. Fast-forward two weeks and I landed the job and within a week I was flat-hunting in Cardiff and getting ready for the next chapter to begin.
I absolutely love my job. I work with an amazing bunch of people who are some of my very best friends, and I’ve had some of the best times working with them. Travelling the length and breadth of the UK to film has provided so many laughs and memories – acting as Pudsey’s glamorous assistant whilst filming for BBC Children In Need in London, going out in York for a few drinks after filming and ending up at an Irish festival, forgetting umbrellas for a shoot in Newark where we experienced the tail-end of a hurricane, having cocktails and cake in Edinburgh, and experiencing an overnight ferry ride to Belfast. I’m still amazed that I get to do this for a job!
After a crazy summer of filming I also went for a promotion within the production I work on and after a week of preparing whilst I was on holiday with Dan in Majorca, I landed the promotion and started my new role as a BBC researcher just two weeks ago. It’s really exciting and means I get to utilise a lot more of the journalistic skills I’ve obtained while studying, as I’ll be looking for insert stories and contributors to come onto our programme. I’m really looking forward to pushing myself within the new role in the new year!
Moving into my very own flat
Honestly, the day I got the keys to this little flat was probably one of my happiest moments of the year. I’d spent the whole of autumn/winter living out of a suitcase, so when the middle of March arrived and I finally moved into my own space I had never needed it more. My flat is my happy place. I love it so much and am so grateful to my amazing mum who helped me to decorate it and make it my own. It’s small but cosy and all that I need, though it may be a bit of a squeeze when Dan moves up soon!
You also learn so much about yourself when you live alone. I mean, I knew I had some OCD tendencies but I am definitely more like my mother than I thought. Shoes off at the door, bed made as soon as I leave it, no eating on the sofa, you know the drill… I’ve even hosted pre-drinks before and have made friends take shots of alcohol over the sink haha! Seriously though, there’s nothing nicer than getting home from work to your own, spotlessly clean space, where you can lie down like a sloth on the sofa with no one to disturb you.
Graduating with a Distinction level Masters in Journalism
2016 was dominated with studies. I spent the year either glued to my laptop or with my head in a book, constantly feeling stressed and anticipating my next deadline. I finally got the result I wanted in March, a Distinction, and it’s one of my proudest achievements thus far. I celebrated my graduation day with my mum, nan, dad and Dan back in July and it was so lovely to catch up with old course friends and lecturers, and to kiss goodbye to education for good (maybe). I loved studying and learning, and my years at Cardiff University were some of the best. I faced so many struggles along the way but came out on top and couldn’t be happier. Who knows if I’ll go back to education at some point, but for now I’m happy to be able to go home from work and not think about it too much until 9am the next day!
Being nominated for a PPA New Talent Journalism Award
This also came off the back of my MA and is something I’m insanely proud of. The PPA is the Professional Publishers Association which looks after the magazine industry, so to be recognised for all the hard work I put into my studies, whilst also continuing to blog and intern at leading titles, was amazing. I didn’t scoop the top prize, and sadly wasn’t able to attend the awards night as I was away filming, but it’s still pretty damn cool to have achieved what I did.
Getting the opportunity to travel and visit new places
Travelling is something I really love to do. I love visiting new places, learning about the culture and history, and taking lots of snaps for the ‘Gram (obvs), and I managed to squeeze in a few new cities and places this year. Dan and I’s trip to Edinburgh at the start of the year was definitely one of my fondest memories. I fell in love with the city and everything it had to offer. We squeezed so much into our two days there. It’s an incredible place and is definitely one of my favourite places in the UK.
I also visited Edinburgh again for work, as well as a host of other amazing places, namely York, Nottingham, London, and my new favourite place, Belfast. It has shown me that there is so much right here on our doorstep and I definitely want to visit more of the UK over the next year. Liverpool and Manchester are next on my list! Outside of work I managed to squeeze in two city breaks to Bristol and Bath. They’re so close to Cardiff and such lovely places to wander around.
In the summer I went on a week long holiday to Lanzarote with my mum. It really couldn’t have come at a better time. I’d just had my graduation and was so eager for a break as I’d been working a lot and just needed some time to relax and rejuvenate. Lanzarote is a beautiful little island, and I really loved waking up each morning and going for a run along the coast.
And finally, in October Dan and I jetted off again for a mini break in Majorca. We stayed in Playa Blanca, a coastal resort which is just a stones throw from the crazy world of Magaluf, where we met over 5 years ago. It’s insane to think we met there when we live just a ten/fifteen minute drive away from each other back home, and it was so fun to visit the strip and laugh at all the memories we made with our friends there. It was a short but sweet visit, and our journey home can only be described as a nightmare. Getting kicked off our overbooked flight, having to take a detour to Barcelona, Dan’s suitcase going missing, and us getting lost in Barcelona airport for over an hour as we couldn’t find our bus to the hotel we were being put up in. It’s safe to say I wasn’t impressed, but at least now we can look back and laugh!
So, what have I learned?
I’ve learned that the hard work definitely doesn’t stop when you finish university, that it’s so important to find a job you absolutely love, and that I’m definitely going to be a top wifey in the future with the amount I love cleaning and doing the washing! (I just need to learn how to cook now.)
I’ve learned that I definitely need to say no sometimes, and I need to focus a lot more on looking after myself and not burning the candle at both ends. I’ve learned that I really can’t handle the party lifestyle, and I’m so excited to be spending the next few weekends in my fluffy dressing gown, watching TV.
Finally, I definitely feel I’ve grown as a person this year. The lows of this roller coaster journey have definitely made me stronger. I’ve become more independent, I’m not afraid to do new things and try new experiences, and I’m really pleased with where I am currently in my career. I’m looking forward to focusing on me, and making more memories with Dan, my family and friends next year.
2018, I’M COMING FOR YOU!
Lots of love. xoxo