I think we can all agree (minus Taylor) that 2017 was a pretty horrific year. Perticular personal low lights were Brexit, Trump, and so many shootings and attacks. The last one I have felt most acutely as Manchester reacted to the bombing that seemed to touch each of us personally either through knowing people that attended the concert, being involved in the emergency services response, or even just hearing the bang and the aftermath of activity as people desperately searched for safety.
Despite all this I remember Dumbledore
So in the interests of turning on the light; here are my 5 highlights of 2017.
I got a new job
In last year's summary I spoke about quitting my job. It was one of those things that was simultaneously so necessary but at the same time so terrifying. Funny how things turn out that way. Why are things that are absolutely vital for life to continue very often also the things that are the hardest? This time last year I was in a temporary post rustled up for me as a stop gap. However I was desperately trying to secure something more permanent which came in the nick of time. A brief beach break later and I was in my new job and I am now coming up on my 1 year anniversary! It doesn't seem possible that just changing job can have such a profound impact on my life but it really has. It's not that I have a perfect job, I don't think that could ever exist, but more that now my job isn't sucking all my energy just to get out of bed, I have time to really get back to my life and what I enjoyed before. Turns out I like being me after-all!
I started teaching
On that note - my new found energy means that I can now do things in the evenings! I can now find the time to do things like cook, exercise, see friends, take personal time. It means that when an opportunity comes along I can chase after it. Initially I started by taking an exercise class nearby with a friend as a way to socialise and get back into fitness after ignoring my health for so long. In the autumn of last year the teacher couldn't commit to the sessions any more so they were looking for a new instructor..... I completed a pilates teaching course a few years ago so I reached out and now I teach a weekly women's exercise class! ( you can book here btw if you're Manchester based) and I'm looking to expand into a series of classes each week.
This is something I don't think I would have ever expected to achieve this year but its one of the things I actually have enjoyed most! I like how life can still surprise me.
I tried lots of new things
As well as teaching I've tried lots of other new things this year as my new found "yes" attitude expands into other things. I tried indoor skydiving this year and it was incredibly surreal! I think its something I would definitely try again but never would have thought to try myself before.
I also tried to pass the first part of my motorbike licence (CBT). Note the use of tried. I failed but that's ok. I think being able to fail now and again is a good thing more than that I actually recognised that it wasn't something I was capable of and left. My instructor laughed at me when I calmly announced "shall we call it a day?" and agreed that I wasn't going to be good enough by the end of the day. He also called me "massive" so I don't think he was particularly used to teaching women. I'll go back this year and hopefully next year's summary will have - I passed my CBT - on it. But from not being skilled enough to pass the training I had my push bike serviced and now have the option to cycle places! Mark got a bike too so now we can go out for bike rides so out of one difficulty has come something really positive!
This is a repeat from last year bus I am so glad it is. Travel is part of who I am so I have stayed on brand this year and travelled a lot. More than last year! This year I went to Tenerife in March to celebrate getting a new job and to reset on a beach before I started. I went to France in July and spent some time mucking about in Paris, I travelled from Vietnam through Cambodia to Thailand in August in one of the most varied trips I have ever been on, and finally I went to Japan to visit a friend and had the most unexpectedly fun trip! Check out the travel tab at the top to read more about each of these trips.
I hope this will appear on my 2018 summary too as last night I booked a trip to Egypt for June!!! I can't wait!
I cut my hair
This might not seem like a big thing to most people but I have a suspicion that I am secretly an anime character as you can tell how my life is going from my hair. In 2016 my hair was multi-coloured and changed frequently at the same time as my life took some big changes and chopped and changed a bit. In 2017 my hair stayed blonde and got progressively more and more damaged as I failed to take care of it but still pushed it to do something it wasn't naturally. See where I'm going with this? Now in 2018 I have literally cut the dead damaged bits away and stopped trying to be something I'm not but feel it would be better if I were. Ok so the brown is a dyed brown but it is intended to fade to my natural ash and I am really enjoying the lob. My curls have come back and I can leave the house with damp hair without looking like a 5 year old's Barbie any more!
So that was my 2017. It was a battering ram of a year but I feel so much more like myself heading into 2018 than I have in quite a long time.
Dumbledore was onto something.