I feel like I’ve put off writing this post more times than I should really admit. Truth is, I’m not really sure I’m willing to let go of 2014. I’ve done a lot this year and I’m not sure where 2015 will take me. I no longer have my safety net of being a student to fall back on if things go a bit pear shaped and at 22 I guess I should be considering careers and where I want to go. It’s all a bit too grown up for my liking! Get a cuppa and let’s have a chat about this year.
The first six months of 2014 were really focused on university work and mainly, our dissertation film, Trace. At the time, the whole thing was so stressful; I’d wake up at 4am thinking I needed to be mixing sound or recording a wild track and then struggle to get back to sleep. This happened for weeks while we were planning to film, then through shooting. There were disagreements, technical issues and a lot of long days (and nights) but we got there in the end. We ended up getting a first for Trace and won two awards in our university ceremony, one for editing and one for the website. Sound was shortlisted too, so I can pat myself on the back for that one!
I remember filming all weekend in March then rushing home to take these photos for Very Magazine. To be featured in a magazine for my blog was incredible. I remember telling everyone to go out and buy OK Magazine so they could see me in Very! Another highlight in March was seeing Fall Out Boy. I’ve been a fan for years and alongside Yellowcard they’re one of my all time favourites. I’m hoping with the release of their new album in January, they’ll announce another UK tour.
In May I took part in Sunderland Live’s Zip Wire Challenge. If you haven’t already, take a look and make sure you watch the video. Heights aren’t my favourite, so I’m really pleased I took part and I actually enjoyed it in some kind of crazy way! I posted this outfit and the photos are still some of my favourites.
Late June I interviewed for a Graduate Intern role and amazingly found out I’d been successful. This was before I even knew the degree classification I’d be graduating with. I wrote about it in this post, quite excitedly. A couple of weeks later I graduated and that’s definitely one of my proudest moments to date. When I first started university, I had no idea the three years would fly by so quickly and I’d be stood in my gown waiting to cross the stage. I knew I wanted to achieve a 2:1 but I really pushed myself and managed to come away with a First Class Honours. I cried opening my final transcript of results and by some miracle I managed to hold myself together during graduation (I wore waterproof mascara just in case) It was great to share the moment with my family and Andrew, though I still wish I’d bought extra tickets and invited more family members along had I known the terrible news we’d receive just over two weeks later.
A trip to Paris after three years of university finally ended was just what I needed. I blogged about my trip in three parts: 1 | 2 | 3. It felt so strange to walk around the city feeling free from education, knowing I was starting a graduate job just a week later. I started the job with a few first day nerves fluttering around, but soon realised I didn’t need to worry, they didn’t expect me to suddenly know everything and I saw a whole different side of the team, all the behind-the-scenes work they do which takes a lot of time and effort.
Within my first week, I arrived home to terrible news. Just as things were going so well, we lost one of the most amazing, inspiring family members. Now, just over 5 months on, I’m still struggling to come to terms with it.
In September I turned 22 which should make me even more of an adult, I guess. Truth is, I don’t feel any more grown up. I climbed on my first haybale and this post is the first one I’ve done with my hair up. Andy and I visited Fat Hippo and we’ve been back many times since, they really do make the best burgers. My time as a Lives Online Blogger came to a close as my one year contract ended. It was a great opportunity and I know I’ll look back at my vlogs in Berlin especially to remember the trip.
I was a Graduate Intern for 8 weeks before stepping up and taking on a new role in the team. I never imagined I would get a job so quickly after graduating, never mind being promoted to a higher grade with more responsibility, more work and more money in my pocket.
Winning Best Lifestyle Blog in the NE Blogger Awards in October was an incredible achievement. I’ve put so much work into Hello Freckles this year, somehow managing to keep on top of blogging alongside working full-time. I never thought for one second I could win, so even when I found out I’d been shortlisted I was amazed. I was so nervous waiting for the winner to be announced. I think the only time I’ve been more nervous was during my driving test – which I passed in November and I’m over the moon. Another massive achievement was reaching 1,000 followers on bloglovin. A goal I set myself to reach by the end of 2014, so passing it last night was so good.
Also in October, I blogged about this outfit I won from Love Niche and took Andrew out for a steak at Miller and Carter in Newcastle. The latter may well be the best thing I’ve been able to take him to since I started blogging.
In November, Andrew and I celebrated two years together. He’s put up with a lot this year and I’m so grateful. I don’t think I would’ve managed to push myself through the final months of university without his support and my family backing me up. We went for Afternoon Tea to do something a little different and I’ve already spotted other places we could go for more tea and cake. I became obsessed with more NARS lip pencils (what a surprise) and gave one of the Digital World gifts to you guys as a little thank you for supporting me this year. I got my Dad to play photographer for this post with UNIQLO where I wrote about where I’d go on a UK Adventure. A couple of weeks later, I got my hair chopped shorter and shared the first part of my fitness journey.
December brought some great opportunities along. I received this Harvey Nichols hamper which we’re still working our way through, visited The Botanist in Newcastle and learned about cocktail making and ale tasting, shared this outfit and worked with George Home at Asda to revamp my room.
I suppose that takes us up to Christmas, which was challenging this year for reasons you can gather above. Each year I would get a little photo album, whether it was my birthday or Christmas and I guess I took it for granted. This year I realised there would be no more personalised albums with little anecdotes about trips, quick snaps from countries around the world and it made me really sad. When I was younger, I don’t think I fully understood the importance of family and spending time with those you love. I get that now and I’m determined to make sure I spend more time with family and those important to me in 2015.
TLDR: 2014 has been a challenging year but it’s been worth it. I graduated, passed my driving test (just need to get a car and let myself out on the roads) won an award for my blog, passed 1,000 followers on bloglovin and realised I have the best set of people around me who support what I do. I might have lost some friends along the way, but I’ve been able to see who makes time for me and to see Cameron while he was over from Australia really reminded me that any one of us can do whatever we want. The only person who’s going to stop you is yourself.
Thank you for supporting me in 2014, whether you’re someone who knows me personally or you know me via Hello Freckles. I wish you all the best for the new year, make the most of it!