Reflections. This was 25.

Where to begin when reflecting upon the past year on the eve of my 26th birthday? It's tough, but it's been a tough year. Equally, it's been an amazing year. I guess the two cancel each other out. Maybe.

It's not often I struggle with words, fail to articulate myself, but writing this is somewhat strange. That's because the person who kept me on the phone until midnight so he could be the first to wish me a happy birthday, the person who started my 25th birthday with me, well - we no longer talk.

When you feel like you spent most of your year with someone who kept you removed from their daily life. When you're made to feel that everything you say or do is a crime and you don't fight your corner. When you feel worthless and cry more than you smile. 

When you're left to deal with the scariest thing ever on your own and the person who isn't there to support you is instead tweeting about some random girl on the tube: "Girl using her iPhone to check her make-up. She doesn't know it yet, but I've just met my future wife." Yes, it was a "funny" tweet, but when it's the umpteenth "funny" tweet of that nature and considering what personal torment I was going through at that time, is there any wonder I sunk even further into the depths of despair? 

I've told The Boy I will never forgive him and I don't think I will. I know I can't honestly claim that it was an entirely miserable relationship, but sadly the bad times have overshadowed the brilliant ones and the memories I'm left with are those of puffy eyes and glum feelings.

Not only that, the impact of that ruined another relationship that took place in my 25th year. I pushed The Other One away thinking he'd treat me exactly the same way as The Boy did. In my 26th year I will try and give any relationship I have - unlikely, I want lots of me time - the chance to develop on its own merits without letting my past wrongly impact upon it.

That's a big lesson I've taken away from my 25th year.

This year my determination has come back. Funny how telling me I can't achieve something will make me make it happen in deference. I've gone from working at the University of Leeds --> Middlesex University --> Grayling --> UNICEF and The Next Web. My career has gone from strength to strength - despite those who said I'd never get anywhere in the digital industry - and I know there are further exciting times coming up for me this summer. I've also got a full manuscript with a publishing house at the moment in consideration for a book deal.

I rightly said back in December:
My recent pain has already been useful to me in a short space of time, it's shown me what I'm made of and reiterated what I want to achieve and *can* achieve. 2010 has been a transitional year for me, but it's been worth it because I know it will make 2011 a definitive year.
Definitely true.

These career changes meant a move from Yorks to London, and I'm finally feeling settled in The Big Smoke. It was tough at first - really tough - but I've made some brilliant new friends and I'm finally having so much fun in London. Changing jobs has a lot to do with this - I was really miserable at Middlesex, but I took it because it was the first job I was offered to get me down to London and to The Boy. Oh. The irony.

This year I asked for help. Some of you will know what that's in reference to. I needed that help. Never be afraid to ask for help if you need it, Treacles.

I went from blonde to brown to blonde to red, and had 9 inches cut off. FYI, I only ever change my hair from blonde in times of great adversity. Speaks volumes.

I spent too much money, went to the theatre too many times, and drank far too much champagne. 2011 will no doubt be the same. But, as long as I'm smiling this year, I don't care. I also said at the end of 2010:
I must try not to over-analyse, be indecisive or unhappy, and I will surround myself with people who are worth it. I will remember that I cannot control everything, that nothing is a given, and that in life you make your own happy ending. 
Here's to a happy 26th year. Happy birthday to me tomorrow. {^_^} And here's to a new start. This was 25; 26 is going to be utterly FABBITY, I'm going to make sure of it. xoxo


  1. You've been through some really hard things this year but look at what you've achieved. Too right 26 is going to be amazing, you deserve it x

  2. If I had your phone number I'd call you in two hours to wish you Happy Birthday. I got a FB wall post from my friend in Australia - she got up for work on the 27th and messaged me to wish me Happy Birthday. Hey you girl you deserve to feel fabbity - not be made to feel like rubbish - I’m sorry you had that for part/most (delete the wrong one!) of the year. I know in a way we don’t really know each other like IRL best buds or anything like that but if you needed me I’d be on the end of the phone (And if I wasn’t I’d call you back and talk to you for as long as you needed me).
    You are fab! I’ve read your stories (or maybe it was just one?!) and you are good - you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

    So girl have a great birthday tomorrow! Hope your day is fab and whatever you’re getting up to have a great time! Hopefully we can meet sometime this year because I think I owe you like 10 hugs and lots of cups of tea!

  3. Thanks, L and H. Your support means a LOT to me. {^_^} And hope you have a fabbity birthay tomorrow, too, Han!! Though, I'm a little peeved I'll be 26 and you'll only be 25. Hehe! ;p x

  4. I love this post. You are a lovely, beautiful and intelligent woman and you deserve to be treated as such. Enjoy your birthday and more importantly, enjoy 26; I can tell its going to have amazing things in store for you. Keep smiling x

  5. Given i'm 33 you shouldn't be that peeved :p

  6. Thanks, R. Much appreciated. :) xx

  7. Oh dear, I think I remember that tweet. I hope your 26th year is fantastical! Oh, and I'll see you tomorrow at bowling :D

  8. "I will try and give any relationship I have - unlikely, I want lots of me time - the chance to develop on its own merits without letting my past wrongly impact upon it."

    I need to do this too. I hope you had a lovely birthday xx