2013 has been a weird year. So much has happened, so much has changed and I’ve grown a lot, for the better. As the year comes to a close I thought it would be a good idea to write up a little review of the year in terms of my personal journey.
This time last year, I was having Christmas at home with my husband, we were both pretty miserable and it wasn’t really much fun. No enthusiasm and no passion. A few months later, we split up. This year, I’m heading to Wales (instead of Lancashire) to spend time with just my Mum and sister, Mum’s also getting divorced and has just moved to her dream home in rural Wales. So, there’s been change all around his year.
At the start of my break up, I was very fragile. I had to quit my job and move back to my Mum’s for a few weeks and was convinced that it was just a blip and that things would come back together again. However, after some time away, I soon realised that the break up was for the better, so many opportunities to be seized as a result of it.
The new me (such a clichéd saying, but very appropriate, so there!) started to develop slowly. The main theme of my development was about creating myself a social life and doing exactly what I wanted to do for the first time ever.
The first new experience that triggered a huge change in my personal life was online dating. It was all about rebound and curiosity at that point, it didn’t take long to get myself out on dates, meeting new people and trying to suss out what I needed and wanted in life. I look back now and realise how much I’ve changed from those first dates, if I did them again now I would certainly be a different person and they’d probably be different outcomes too.
Since those early days, I’ve continued to date lots, with many hilarious stories and interesting outcomes, of which I’m too much of a lady to divulge in the public sphere of the internet. I guess the best thing to say would be that I’ve met a lot of wonderful and interesting people, had a lot of fun and learnt a lot. I’ve even made some friends.
I’ve also learnt how to talk to randoms in various real life scenarios and sometimes that’s worked out, sometimes it hasn’t. I feel things are starting to stabilise in this part of life now and I’m excited to see what happens next.
Hayley and Stu were the first people to really get me to come out of my shell in terms of social life. We went for a couple of quiet drinks in Soho to catch up, I wasn’t drinking alcohol at this point. A few hours in and after some odd experiences involving being given free condoms and listening to guys improvising show tunes on a grand piano, I had my first drink in a very, very long time. I don’t know what made me want to, but it certainly changed the dynamic.
This couple of drinks then led to dancing at G-A-Y and the first time I had ever danced in a nightclub. Such a simple thing to so many, I don’t think I would have done it without Hayley and Stu.
Another highlight in my developing social life, was a great night with Gemma, a PR event that developed into a ultra fun night of firsts. My first ever shot, resulting in the nickname, Sticky Sambuca Face, but I still kissed the barman, who also made me a flower out of a napkin. The same night involved me getting lost on my way to South West London and ending up in East London.
Those are the two early nights out that really helped me out of my shell and helped me be more confident, spontaneous and never afraid to say yes.
Fleur was my single best friend for the Summer, a type of friendship that I had never had before. Amazing to meet a fellow tall girl who also shared my love for rock music. Fleur remains one of the most important friends this year and it’s been wonderful to watch her succeed at online dating. It’s always amazing to see your friends find happiness.
When I moved back to London I took a job as a Social Media Consultant as a small agency, it taught me loads. But, most of all, it meant that I met Sinead. The loveliest person I’ve ever known. I hope Sinead realises how much she’s helped change my life, I know for sure she’s seen a lot of changes happen. Sinead, you are awesome. Thank you.
In the Summer it was all about LinkedGin and Kittencamp, with the wonderful collective of social media and digital marketing professionals that have helped me with both my social life and career. There’s been a hell of a lot of LOLZ with these guys. Including parties on boats, staying out until 6am on a weekday, spontaneous gig going, lots of gin and dancing like fools in various Barrio venues. All of the above usually involving Matt (who has the exact same name as my ex), Gus, Rich, Emma, Sinead, Liz, Neil, Will and a whole bunch of others.
I rediscovered the music I loved when I was 16, thanks to Neil, Fleur, Lina and Lucy, The Intrepid Fox, Cro Bar and Last Resort. I also discovered beer, craft beer of course!
There were also amazing new mentors in the shape of Emma, Jonathan, Miriam and Andrew, in secret locations. Can’t tell you about that, one of them was a rooftop with a white wine fight, in fact, rooftops were the theme in Summer.
Then Lina came into my life and brought with her a whole bunch of fun, spontaneous, rock music related fun. Highlights include staying awake until lunchtime after a weird night, selfies and meeting Lina’s best girl friends Leonie and Charlie. I always know I’m going to have a good night if Lina is involved.
Hass and Gemma reintroduced a bit of drag into my life, in just the right way. Such a mega team. In Hass I found an amazingly fun friend who shares my love of dressing up and Gemma and I bonded over a mutual love of Placebo.
Here’s some random occurrences from my social life in 2013 that will stick in my mind….
- The Box, Soho and Emma’s amazing production that resulted in not getting home until about 7am on a weekday.
- Waking up on a boat after LinkedGin went astray
- Girls night out at Cro Bar with Lina, Leonie and Charlie, they know the rest
- Discovering Big Red and Last Resort with a awesome blend of people
- Random nights out in general, especially if they involved Cam, Matt or Lina
- Punching a guy in the face for grabbing my bum at the Christmas Party
- Any night in Barrio Central or Barrio East
I’ve gone from someone who drank maybe once every six months, had never been to a nightclub, never been drunk and had never stayed out past midnight to someone who would very happily do all of the above on a daily basis. I’m more fun, more confident and generally winning at life right now.
At the start of 2013 I was working in a job that had basically gone tits up, it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing, but I stayed in it due to pressure from my relationship which meant I had to stick with it in order to save for a deposit for a house. Splitting up meant I had to quit my job and move home, it allowed me to have some time to reflect.
When I came back to London I got to specialise in Social Media, which is what I wanted. It was a small agency, but with awesome brands and some lovely people. It helped me develop.
It was my newly improved skill of networking came into play that I got my first gig public speaking, thanks to Luke from Buzzfeed. I spoke on a panel at the BBC School of Journalism alongside Luke and Sarah from UK Pinterest. Crazy. Such a great thing to say I’ve done and something I’ll definitely be wanting to do again in 2014.
In December I started a new job that I had been head hunted for. This is the big career job that I’ve been needing in my life, I’m now a Digital Strategist at a huge PR agency based in Covent Garden. Such a change of scene for me, very exciting times. Can’t wait to see what 2014 brings in this new role, so far it’s epic events and brilliant brands with so many opportunities.