So this seems to be becoming quite the tradition; sitting down in the slump period between Christmas and New Year usually with a box of Quality Street by my side and an Amaretto and coke whilst taking a look back over the past year. It’s fair to say that 2017 has consisted of both some real highs and some intense lows. Despite this I do feel like I’m ending the year with real optimism and am looking forward to seeing what 2018 has to throw at me. I’ve decided to split the year up into categories so come and join me on a little journey of reflection!
When I think back to this time last year it’s hard to believe how far I’ve come in terms on career progression. Last December I was in a job I hated and was in the midst of a desperate search for something new. I’d had several interviews and several rejections which really started to affect my confidence and had me feeling pretty low. I managed to catch a break in March when I was offered the role of Digital Marketing Assistant at Hillarys. Around the same time I was contacted by a blogger I knew from my time at AO.com and was asked if I would be interested in providing some Virtual Assistant services for her. These two opportunities helped to give me a new line of focus and I was soon back to my old self, feeling motivated and inspired once again.
Fast forward to November and things were set to change again! I was in touch with another blogger from my AO days who was based in Nottingham and was on the look out for an assistant. As I’d been attempting to grow my VA business throughout the year and now had a couple of steady clients onboard this seemed like the perfect time to take to leap into full time freelancing! This is something I haven’t actually spoken about on the blog yet but I’m planning to go into it in much more detail in the New Year. I handed my notice in at Hillarys which was a very scary yet exciting move and had my last day three weeks before Christmas.
Looking ahead to 2018 I’m feeling really excited about this new opportunity, I can’t wait to grow and mould my business into something I’m 100% happy with all whilst having more time to dedicate to developing my blog.
In terms of personal life 2017 saw me experience real grief for the first time as my beloved Grandma was taken from us in July after suffering yet another stroke. It’s been an extremely rocky six months and I’ve struggled to come to terms with the fact that my family is now missing one of its most cherished and special members but I’ve tried my best to channel my grief into something positive.
A couple of weeks after my Grandma passed away my brother, cousin and I decided we wanted to do something to raise money for The Stroke Association so we signed up for the Robin Hood Half Marathon. This is a challenge I’ve wanted to attempt for a couple of years but now armed with a real focus I chose to tackle it head on. We gave ourselves only eight weeks before the big day so had to throw everything into training but the fact that we manged to raise over £1200 for charity made it SO worthwhile and I just know that our Grandma would be extremely proud of our achievement. You can read more about my first half marathon experience here.
In terms of overall life updates an extremely unexpected one came in the form of being crowned Nottingham’s Queen Bee by Bumble. Whilst it was an opportunity I wasn’t on the lookout for it has undoubtedly been one of the highlights of my year. It has allowed me to meet SO many amazing people and helped me to bring together groups of empowering and inspiring women all whilst working alongside some of Nottingham’s best independents! I can’t wait to kick start January with a bang with two more amazing events and I’m SO excited to continue growing my Nottingham tribe. You can find out more about my Queen Bee role here and read all about my first event here.
I’ve also continued to build really valuable friendships after my move to Nottingham last year and now feel like I have a stable group of friends I can depend on which is so nice to find after moving away from my hometown. I’ve found that some of the best things really can come from stepping out of your comfort zone which has done wonders for my confidence levels.
I haven’t done masses of travelling this year but I have managed to tick off a couple of places that have been on my bucket list for a long time. Our first trip came in June when we headed to the Greek island of Mykonos and it was just as beautiful as I’d imagined. We spent our week getting lost in the cobbled streets, exploring some of the beautiful beaches and watching some amazing sunsets. It was easily one of my favourite holidays to date and somewhere I’d love to return to at some point. You can read more about our amazing trip here.
Towards the end of the summer I had a trip to Barcelona planned with two of my oldest friends, we haven’t been away on a holiday together for a good few years so it was so nice to be able to spend some real quality time with them. We had a great five days exploring the city, drinking sangria and eating some amazing food. Unfortunately we ended up getting caught up in the awful terror attack that occurred which was a terrifying experience and made me feel extremely thankful to be able to return home safely. It won’t stop me returning one day to discover more of this amazing city.
Before writing this post I took a little look over my posts from the past year and I was a little disappointed to see that I’d only published half the amount of posts I did throughout 2016. Despite this I’d like to think that the quality of my posts has improved. I used to feel like I was creating content for the sake of it whereas now I only write about things I feel extremely passionate about. 2017 also saw me give my blog a little makeover, start working with a local photographer and continue to upload slightly more regularly to my YouTube channel. I’m really looking forward to dedicating more time to improving my blog next year and I’m using the end of 2017 to kick start my planning and put some ideas into motion!
I’m going to be posting about some my goals for 2018 over the next week so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for that!
What have some of your highlights from 2017 been? Do you have goals for the year ahead?