Saturday, 30 December 2017

I guess 2017 wasn't all bad


When I look back at my year as a whole, I tend to think of 2017 as a really bad time. Part of this is because I was struggling with depression for quite a large portion of it and so even when I was doing fun things, I still had this big black cloud looming over me. 

I remember visiting my friends in Norwich in May and even though I had such a lovely weekend seeing everyone and I genuinely did have a lot of fun, one day I still broke down in tears to my friend in the middle of it all, for no specific reason other than I just felt really low.

But remembering this moment like this made me look back on the year in a different light. Yes, some really shitty things happened in 2017 and as a general statement I wouldn’t describe the year as a particularly good one, but that didn’t stop me from doing a lot of new things despite the setbacks.

Whenever I talk about this subject with anyone, I always describe my low points as time when ‘I wasn’t really being a person’ because looking back on it, that’s what it feels like it was.

I’m so proud of myself for how far I’ve come since the start of the year and I did a lot of things that I hadn’t necessarily managed to do in previous years when I was feeling like a complete person, so the fact that I still managed to accomplish these things while I was struggling with my mental health is, in my opinion, something to celebrate.

So here are my highlights of 2017:

March
In March I spent a weekend in Munich which involved taking my second ever flight where I was travelling by myself. I fell in love with a country and a city I’d never been before and I got to spend an amazing weekend with one of my best friends where we had a very cultured time visiting art galleries and museums. I fell in love with Moonlight in a German cinema and I also visited two cat cafes that month. That was pretty great.


April
April brought another visit to a cat café (I promise this isn’t going to be a theme but they are pretty high up on my list of favourite places to go) and a trip to Edinburgh where I got tipsy with another best friend outside of a great little pub called The Shoogly Peg. I even found a restaurant in Edinburgh that makes a vegan haggis. I know it’s all a big novelty, but I still found that pretty fun.

May
In May I had my first vegan Yorkshire pudding after FINALLY finding a café (in my own town, no less!) that had perfected them and I took the previously mentioned trip to Norwich. Aside from the crying incident, I dressed up as an astronaut, pushed a wheelbarrow full of booze around the city, was reunited with my favourite ever gay bar and had a much overdue reunion with lots of friends who were still studying. It was also the month I found a bowl of my friend’s toenails down the side of her bed but the less said about that the better.

June
June took me to London for the first time since I was 17, where I had a weekend of stuffing my face with amazing vegan food and  a picnic with my friends in a park in the sunshine. I went to the Natural History Museum which I’ve always wanted to go to and I even left with dinosaur temporary tattoos, because if you don’t go to the dinosaur-specific gift shop then what was the point of going? I also posted my first ever blog post and considering how nervous I was about posting it back then, it’s really nice to see how far this little space on the internet has come.


July
In July, I took my mum to see an amazing performance of Jane Eyre after buying her tickets for her birthday months before, I went back to London where I attended my very first Pride and spent the day dancing in the streets with people I love. During the heat wave in London I finally wore a two-piece I’d fallen in love with and because of the heat I had to go bare-legged with it. The fact I chose to do that and didn’t just hide away in jeans was a pretty big deal that I think is worth mentioning because I had sort of fallen out of love with my body in 2017 and being out of my comfort zone that weekend really helped me find my self-love again. I managed to navigate the tube by myself for the very first time (which is no easy feat as an anxiety-ridden Northerner who is too used to the metro) and I got to see the Queer Art Exhibition at the Tate Britain which was truly inspiring. I also finally visited Gay’s The Word, which is a bookshop which sells exclusively LGBT+ literature and was the meeting point for LGSM in the 1980’s, whose story you can learn more about in the movie Pride.

August
In August I went to a beach party in Tynemouth covered in glitter and also went to a pool party at the other end of the country in Felden where I had a big reunion with a bunch of my uni friends. We played games in the pool, badminton, caught up while sitting around a fire pit and that weekend was the first time it finally felt like some of the fog was actually starting to clear.


September
In September I went to a roller disco and revamped my blog with a domain, new layout and the header I love so much that you see at the top of the page, designed by the lovely Naomi. It was also the first month since March that I didn’t have something specific to look forwards to in terms of a weekend away somewhere and I found that for the first time in a while, that fact didn’t fill me with absolute dread.


October
October brought a week of work experience which turned into a month and helped me find confidence in my own writing again. It also featured another cat café, a visit to a gallery, a new friend and my favourite time of the year – Halloween, which I celebrated with aforementioned new friend, seeing a special screening of The Shining at Tyneside Cinema.

November
In November I got a job offer from the company I did work experience with and lifted an enormous weight off my shoulders. My mum later said that since then I’ve been ‘brighter’. I ticked something off my bucket list that I’ve wanted to do for ages which was go to the cinema alone, something that my anxiety has always stood in the way of me doing in the past. In this cinema trip I discovered the masterpiece that is Call Me By Your Name, my favourite release of the whole year and a film I went to see a further two more times that month. The last day of November also marked my last day of working retail ahead of starting my new job in January.

December
December of course brought Christmas and I helped my mum put up our Christmas tree up for the first time in years. I had another trip to London which was so lovely that I wrote a whole blog post about it, so I won’t go into too much detail and repeat myself here. It marked my last day volunteering at Shelter North East which, although sad, was such an achievement as I had been there over a year and it was a really amazing experience.


And if I managed to do all that when for a lot of the time I ‘wasn’t really a person’, I can’t wait to take on 2018 feeling 100% myself.

You may have noticed I missed out January and February. There’s no real, deep reason for this other than the fact that I used my Instagram as a reference for writing this post and I only really started regularly posting after March. I honestly can’t really remember anything that happened in those first two months apart from it was my mum’s birthday and I saw La La Land for the first time, which I absolutely loved so I guess it deserves a little mention here at the end.

So I guess my year wasn't all bad after all.

What were your highlights of 2017?

See you with my next post in 2018!
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13 comments

  1. Sounds like you did some amazing things in 2017! I'd love to go to a cat café and see what they are like, haha, my sister went to one recently when I was away so I'll have to get her to come with me to it. Happy new year! :)

    Amy,
    https://creativenails.uk

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    1. I love cat cafes as you can probably tell! There's more and more opening up now so hopefully you can find one near you to visit. Have a lovely new year!

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  2. I'm so sorry to hear you struggled during this year but I am so happy that you've managed to have so many fun times despite it and battled your way through it, well done you! I love the sound of your reunion with your friends, that sounds so fun! I wish you all the best in the new year girl and am excited to see the blog posts to come :)
    Alice Xx

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    1. Thank you, I really appreciate it! Can't wait to see what you do with your blog next year too, hope you have a very happy new year!

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  3. Wow, you've accomplished so much this year! You should be really proud of yourself :-) I really enjoy reading these kind of posts because it's always so nice to reflect and remember back on the past 12 months. Happy new year!

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    1. Thank you, I wasn't going to bother writing one but I agree that it's a good way to reflect and put everything in perspective! Happy new year!

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  4. You went to your first pride yay! ��️‍�� I hope your 2018 is bigger, better and filled with amazing things!

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    1. Pride was amazing, I hope to go to many more! Thank you, hope your 2018 is wonderful!

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  5. Honestly, let me be your friend because you did so much stuff I’d want to do! Especially the temporary dinosaur tattoos. Those would actually make lovely tattoos!

    I’m so glad you’ve managed to look at your Year in a different light, now it’s over. So often, when we’re in the midst of something, we don’t see it for what it really is until we look back and reflect. It sounds like you had some fabulous times. I always look at life as an ebb and flow- the good times come hand in hand with the bad but at the end of the day, they all make up a life / year. I hope 2018 is wonderful for you! And if you ever wanna hang... you know where I am!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. Aw Jenny as far as I'm concerned we're already friends, thank you for such a lovely comment!! Believe me, I was so tempted to get actual dinosaur tattoos after having the temporary ones but no tattoos yet I'm afraid. I think the ebb and flow idea is a really good way of looking at it and I think this year has helped me do that a bit more, hopefully I can carry it forward. Hope you had a lovely new year!

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  6. I'd never heard of Veganuary before this year, sounds like such a great challenge!Good Luck x

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