At the start of this year I wrote a blog post, which I later deleted, about how poorly I was feeling and how I was looking forward to 2018. It’s no secret, but something that I haven’t explicitly disclosed on my blog, that I have been suffering with anxiety and depression for a long while. The latter half of 2017 was one that I found incredibly difficult. I became more and more poorly until it got to the point where I was struggling to get out of bed in the morning – I left my part time job as I couldn’t cope (which I’m still gutted over as I loved it), and focused on ‘getting by’ at University. As much as I was struggling, I was determined to continue with life and get back on track. I set myself a couple of goals for the year, which I’m chuffed to announce I have achieved, alongside returning to blogging.
Late last year and early this year I was absolutely delighted to have made new friends at University and I absolutely love them all to pieces. I knew the second I met them that we would get along well (even though I was super shy), and a few months on I love them all to bits. We have already shared so many positive memories together, and being able to graduate alongside them and my family was a dream for me. I was determined to make it to graduation, regardless of the grade, and I’m absolutely gobsmacked that I’m graduating with a first!
My other big achievement of the year was to pass my driving test. I’ve only gone and bloomin’ done it! It took me a long time, four years on and off and with four different instructors. I also passed on my fourth test on the 4th July! (I think “4” must be my lucky number). I found the test quite frustrating as my instructor would constantly tell me how good I was, and that I was comparable to his other students who had passed their test, but I just always seemed to make a silly mistake on the day because of my nerves. But, lone behold, it happened. I thought I had failed, so I was utterly overwhelmed when the examiner said that I’d actually passed. It’s such a crazy thought, I could go out and buy a car, and drive it alone, tomorrow if I wanted to!
I’ve worked hard this year to bring myself back, per se. I’ve been taking anti-depressants and engaging in talking therapy to help me talk through my irrational thoughts, which has really helped. I have a wonderful selection of friends from different walks of life, different hobbies, yet I care for them all incredibly and I know that they do for me too. I enjoy spending time with them and they seem to enjoy spending time with me too, whether it’s going out to take blog photos, going to alton towers or just relaxing together and catching up. I’ve started blogging properly again, as it took a back seat during the final year of my degree and I ended up falling completely out of the loop. Of course, it’s early days, but I’ve been going to blog events, uploading posts twice weekly (Wednesday and Sunday) and meeting wonderful new friends, both in real life and online. I now have the confidence to post outfit photos on my blog too – something I’ve always wanted to do but i’ve never been able to pluck up the courage. I may not be a millionaire, but I think I’m doing pretty well. I’m happy.
As much as I am happy with where I am, I don’t want to become complacent and I want to keep working towards a better future for myself. I still have five months of 2018 left, so it feels right to set some new goals for the remainder of the year.
Knowing that I am graduating, I’d now like to focus my energies working as a support worker with those with developmental disabilities (particularly autism, but I’m happy to look for other roles). I’m currently seeking part-time and voluntary positions as I already have a part-time job which I am loving. My views for the far future at the moment are to move away (possibly) and pursue a career in academia such as a PhD. I’m aware that it’s a very big commitment, so for now I’m happy following my other interests, but as my ultimate goal, that’s what I have in mind.
I’m also looking to gradually become self-employed with my blog, and earn a second income. This would be greatly beneficial for me as it will put me in a better position to save for things that I really want in my future (for example, a car!). I love blogging so much, and I’ve been doing it on and off for five years so it seems a shame to waste the opportunity to earn a little extra money from doing it.
I’d also like to travel a lot more. I’m actually travelling to London soon to attend a bloggers event and I’m going to have a look around and be a little tourist while I’m there! It’s actually the first time I’ve been so far on a train alone, so if it goes well I’d love to organise myself some more trips around the UK (and maybe out of it one day!).
Have you set any goals for 2018? How are they going?