The Best is Yet to Come!
It's time for the yearly round up. It didn't start off too well: Max's phone ended up in the washing machine but the rest of the year turned out ok. Only 15 cinema trips, many more meals out and lots of blossoming friendships. After opening my 'Good Things of 2018 Jar' as I do every year, I was reminded of all the wonderful things that had happened to me and I found that they mostly revolved around friendships. What I love about this yearly tradition is that you can document the tiny pieces of your day that seem insignificant now but bought you so much happiness on that day. This year, I want to write in my diary the best thing that happened to me on that day, whether it be I ate a lush brownie or the morning sun shone through my windows - I want to remember it.
I too, have blossomed. I believe I'm happy with the direction I am heading in and pleased with most of the past year's decisions. I genuinely have had a pretty good year and can't really complain about anything significant in my life, so thank you to everyone who made it so delightful.
I have been very fortunate in that lots of my friends have come to visit me in Newcastle this year! Katharine and Alex visited together in the summer and Hefina visited just before Christmas. I do get super homesick so having them visit was really helpful and super fun! I got to be a tourist in my city again and fall in love with Newcastle again. Integrating my friendships from home and from uni was special too because they are both massive factors in my life. Max has visited lots and we've both fallen in love with Newcastle and could potentially see ourselves based there in the future. We are slowly eating our way through the city.
I finally passed my driving test after 3 tries! It was so rewarding because I desperately wanted to pass and felt so anxious about it. My lovely father bought me a car for Christmas and Max has enjoyed being the passenger for once!
Another rewarding experience was completing a week's work experience at The Bury Free Press. I loved learning new skills and developing my writing techniques. Nothing will compare to the feeling of having your name in print if it's your dream job!
Max graduated University with a 1st class degree! I am so proud of him because he works SO hard and possesses a magnificent brain. I just know he's going to have a fab life doing what he loves and I can't wait to watch it unfold.
I have strengthened friendships and made new ones. My girl group and I from high school have always been close, but I feel like we've become even closer this year. As I've lost friends along the way we have slowly become a smaller group, but that has only increased our connection to each other. I simply adore my friends and that sort of love is so unique and pure. I've watched Hefina absolutely smash her year and has blossomed into someone I love even more - someone so strong and independent and sure of herself. Saffron remains her lovely sassy self who never fails to amaze me. Alex has moved to a whole new country all by herself and is THRIVING. Faith got a boyfriend (Jordi) who we adore and brings her so much joy. Maddie has been through hell and somehow remains her lovely caring self. Finally, watching Michaela bloom impresses me every day and knowing that our friendship began from this very blog makes me happiest of all.
Double dating with Michaela and her boyfriend Jake has been a dream (he's Australian so that explains it) and befriending Chloe has been one of the best things to happen to me! Not only that, but we've had a new addition to the family - Becky! my brother's girlfriend who we all adored instantly!
I moved into a new house this term with 4 girls who have made my final year one to remember! I knew them all for the first two years but they've become my little family and I love it. I've stayed in contact with my previous housemates - I see Em and Shannon frequently but I still miss them every second. To sum it up, I am just SO unbelievably thankful to have these beautiful ladies surrounding me.
Summer was full of sunshine, exploring and freedom. I had a full-time job so could afford to enjoy myself! Max and I went to London to Kew Gardens for my birthday which was a delight because I have wanted to go since forever and it did not disappoint. Max and I also had lots more days out in the sunshine like to Flatford Mill. I also soaked up the Provence sun in France with my family for 2 weeks.
The most special part of the summer though, was my New Zealand family coming to visit for my Grandad's 80th Birthday. The party had been planned for the previous 2 years so we were eagerly anticipating it. All of our family and friends came to my grandparents to celebrate and I got to wear a beautiful dress and show off my wonderful boyfriend to everyone. We also had lots of days with my Auntie, Uncle and cousin Anabel to make the most of their visit.
I celebrated my 20th birthday with my family and friends in the garden. It's always lovely to have your favourite people in the same room. I was very very happy to be the centre of attention and eat lots of cake.
A massive highlight was visiting Faith in Amsterdam. If you know my friends, you'll know we can never plan anything, but finally we did it. It was super cheap because we only had to pay for flights and we had our very own tour guide. It was lovely to spend a few days straight with my friends and not have anything else to do than enjoy each others company. We did the classic touristy things like captured a photo by the locks, visited the sex museum and ate yummy chips.
Hefina and I went to visit Saffron and Maddie in Canterbury right at the beginning of our third year of University, a fantastic way to start it! So far (touch wood) 3rd year has been my favourite yet! I am thoroughly enjoying my modules and the people I'm surrounded by make it even better. I've wanted to try magazine journalism since I started as that's the career path I want to take, so starting that module this year has been so fun and creative and luckily my group is a fab set of girls. I'm really motivated to do well this year so I hope 2019 treats me well and sparks more motivation within me.
I saw Raye and Mabel in concert, two of my favourite female artists and they were even more beautiful in real life. I have to admit, I preferred Raye because it was a little more intimate and she engaged more with the audience.
London is one of my favourite places and we've visited fairly frequently this year. Staying over at La Suite West was special and romantic though as Max and I have never done that before and the hotel was divine. We also tried lots of new food and treats this year (our favourite thing to do ever). And of course, Christmas - the best day ever surrounded by my beautiful beautiful family - with the best gift ever - finding out my sister is pregnant!
I always write a million resolutions and never keep them. So I'm thinking, maybe if I choose 3 I'll have a better chance of succeeding. Wish me luck...
1) Stop sulking - I am a massive sulker when I don't get my own way and I'm super emotional and take everything to heart. This effects everyone around me and I am so aware that I suck. So this is a pledge, mostly to Max, that I will stop sulking and try to be a better person. I am also super needy and need to learn to tame the cuddle monster inside. And a sneaky extra resolution - stop crying at everything!!!!!
2) Be kinder - I try to be a good person, but there is always more to be done. I'd like to show more compassion and kindness to everyone around me. I'm definitely better at being kinder to strangers than my close ones as my temper is pretty bad (I take after my mother, don't blame me) so a massive aim is to shine light wherever I go and be nicer.
3) Be more productive and active - This year obviously is of huge important (finishing university and trying to find a job) so I need to have my brain engaged and my motivation switched on. I really badly want to do well and do something afterwards that I loveeeeee! and I never want to stop learning about the world and myself and trying lots of interesting fun stuff! so hopefully I'll explore lots and find classes to try and build a wonderful future.