2015 is officially in the past. With a new year comes a new leaf. So much has happened this year, and I have truly learnt what I’m capable of – which is much more than I ever thought possible.The year 2015 was a turning point for me, and has given me an overwhelming excitement for the year to come. As always, at this time of year, I like to review the last year gone by, and look forward to the next…To think, this time last year I was working at Unilever as part of my placement year. It just seems a world away. I am so pleased that I had the experience and I miss the wonderful people I met there dearly, but life moves on, and as June hit and the placement ended, it was time for me to do the same. I learnt so much from my time at Unilever: the power of networking, influence and attitude, how experience and position in a hierarchy doesn’t matter as much as respect and integrity, and most importantly: there is always something to learn. I may not have made the difference that I was hoping for whilst working there, but I had the opportunity to develop and understand myself. I tested my limits and explored what are my strengths and weaknesses were, and discovered what I truly want to do for the rest of my life – and the corporate world isn’t it.
6 months into the year, as I ended my placement and planned to move back home to finish my final year at University through distance learning… I met a boy. I met a boy who swept me off my feet and took me totally by surprise. I was a wreck, and I met him just when I needed to. He taught me to love myself again, and the importance of friendship, he pushed all those broken pieces of me back together. The kindness he showed me was something I had never experienced before, and of course I fell in love. Not only him, but the world of people he introduced me to, his family, his friends, they were all the most welcoming and loveliest humans ever, with such a fascinating story to tell, a world away from my own. Unfortunately we were at different places, and 6 months later we decided to go our separate ways, as two broken hearts with time to heal was better than a life of sadness. I learnt one of the most important lessons of my entire life in that moment – the moment I let go. It was that if you love something, then sometimes it’s better to leave it be. Love is like a flower: if you pick it then it will die, but if you leave it planted, then it will grow and bloom forever. I always thought that was some rubbish cliché people told each other to make themselves feel better.
The first round of babies has been born into my family from my cousins, and let me tell you, they are the CUTEST little bundles of joy that I have ever laid eyes on. Spending time with such beautiful little babies has meant I am so excited to see them grow up and become the kick-ass little humans ever. I’m so proud to have a family like mine, and this year really made me realise how much of a special bunch they are, and anyone who gets the opportunity to be part of that is very very lucky indeed. I may be bias, but I really do love them.
I also reconnected with an old friend, a friend who I thought would simply remain a distant friend – nearly acquaintance… but she has become the most important person in my life to date. She’s brave, honest and strong, she’s a magical person and I am totally in awe of her, and how far she’s come on her journey. Qualities in a human being that are so rare and I’m very lucky to have found in someone. It’s a reminder that everyone has a story, and until you scratch at the surface, you may never know what you’ll learn from them. So invest in the people around you, because you never know what might be round the corner if you do.
Finally, moving from the corporate world of Unilever, I moved onto working at the local winter wonderland, and for a small café in an art gallery. The atmosphere is so different in both locations, and although the winter wonderland job ended rather abruptly, the ‘market crew’ were some of the most fascinating and diverse group of people I’ve ever met. Whereas, my time at the café has been a totally different experience. It’s so enlightening to see such an inspiring and talented group of people working so hard to relaunch something special. In smaller companies, everything takes so much longer and there isn’t as much experience to draw on, which makes me admire the employees so much more. Through these jobs, I have also met another boy. Smart, sarcastic, lovely, and pushes me to do things I never thought I could, and in fact, actually enjoy it. I learn something new about myself every time I see him, and that fascinates and excites me.
Looking forward, I am so excited to see what it brings, continuing my time at the café and watching it grow and prosper will be such a lovely experience. Graduating from University, travelling to New York, Paris, Amsterdam, moving out, becoming a real life adult, trying my hand at freelance writing and social media. It’s all just so exciting and I cannot wait to get started. I hope you’re feeling as happy with your learnings from last year and are as excited as I am to move into the new year! What are the exciting things you have planned next year?