2018: A year in review.
2018: A Year in Review.
Writing this post has been complete therapy for me. In my head, I'd been associating 2018 with anxiety, sadness and heartbreak, and couldn't wait for the year to be over. However, looking back through all of my photos and reflecting on what I've been up to, I've realised that the dominating things this year have been flourishing friendships, laughter, travel, and new ventures.
Albeit, the first four months of this year were a write-off, as I stupidly spent this time struggling in a bad relationship and thinking that I could fix it if I gave them everything. But, I'm so happy to say that I've still managed to achieve so much this year and I'm certainly heading into 2019 a much stronger, confident and happier girl than I started out in 2018, and for that, I couldn't be more grateful.
So, what have I been up to this year?
GIRLS IN WORK
I now work alongside a team of incredibly hard working women who assist me in running the site, and I really hope we can continue to work to inspire women with their careers.
There is no doubt that this was one of the best things I did this year, and it's also one of my favourite achievements.
This year has included:
- 42nd Street
- Strictly Ballroom
- Mamma Mia
- Book of Mormon
- Dream Girls
- Kinky Boots
- Everybody's talking about Jamie
...and I'm not even sure that's all of them! I would love to carry on seeing more shows next year, and if you're after any recommendations, Book of Mormon and Everybody's talking about Jamie were both absolutely incredible!
Travel & Exploring the UK
It's given me the kick I needed to plan so much more travel for 2019; whether it's a city break abroad or a staycation somewhere here in the UK, I most definitely want to do lots more next year.
We managed to find the most gorgeous Air BnB not too far from the city, and well... we walked, and walked and walked. We didn't really have a plan, but we just explored all of the gorgeous side streets and cute little coffee shops where no-one spoke English, as well as the main touristy bits.
We're both into photography and architecture, so it was nice to turn around and find my friend trying to get 'the shot' as much as I was. I also had a little moment as we were wandering around on the last day, when I just felt at home. Do you know how you just get a good vibe from some cities? Milan was definitely one of those and I could totally see myself living there one day (a girl can dream)!
We went to The Panthéon, Sainte Chappelle, The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe as well as multiple coffee stops and cake at Angelina's Tea Room!
If you can find cheap enough tickets on the Eurostar, I can't recommend it enough. It was so much fun and one of my favourite days from 2018.
We went punting on the River Cam which was so much fun! We learned so much about the history of Cambridge and it's colleges, and then we decided to head into one of them to have a little look around.
The archicture and buildings here are just some of the most beautiful. I, of course, took hundreds of photos - every corner we turned there was just something more beautiful!
If you're looking for a little daytrip somewhere here in the UK, I would 100% recommend visiting Cambridge.
Brighton & Portsmouth
I also headed to Brighton one weekend in July. I booked myself into a cute Air BnB not too far from the beach, and essentially spent the weekend reading my book on the pebbles, walking along the waterfront, and taking myself for breakfast and coffee and I can't even tell you how happy it made me.
It was at a time when I really just needed to escape again, and it did wonders for me having a little 'me' time by the sea.
If there's anything I miss about London, it is the endless list of possible things to do. I even miss how towards the end of my time there, I'd fully embraced the social scene and had plans with friends most evenings. We never went to the same coffee shop or brunch place twice.
Heading back last weekend for the first time since I moved away, was a little weird! Everything was so familiar but was a world away at the same time. I'm glad that I moved out of London - for a number of reasons, but if anything, I hope that it means I can really enjoy my time there now and appreciate London when I visit friends, instead of it being a place that makes me sad.
The Lake District
We explored the little villages, went on a boat ride, had lots of coffee and cake and even hiked up a hill to get the most fabulous views.
Going from the hustle and bustle of London to the complete quitness and peacefulness of the Lake District was magical. It was so calm and serene and was just what I needed.
I loved this trip. It was last minute and I made some lovely friends. It was nice to go away and have the whole itinerary already planned!
We spent a little time at the radio station that we have over there, swiftly followed by a quick bag drop at the hotel, and then a guided tour of HM Prison Crumlin Road. Now, I know that that doesn't sound like the most festive activity, but it was genuienly fascinating. A little eery and sobering in places, but completely fascinating.
It was then followed by drinks and food in the evening, and then a trip to the Titanic museum in the morning before we headed home! I think it was my favourite work Christmas do ever. I loved it.
The rest of Summer
However, the flights to everywhere where expensive, and so I had to find other ways to fill my time.
Luckily, we had one of the best summers so it wasn't too difficult! I went to Paris, Cambridge, Brighton and Portsmouth as before, explored more of London before I moved back north, and just made sure that I spent plenty of time with my friends. I split my two months completely down the middle, spending a month in London and then a month in Liverpool. Working for a national radio station also has it's perks, as I was able to head to a few music gigs too.
My two absolute favourite blog achievements this year though, have got to be being shortlisted as Lifestyle Blogger of the Year at the Blogosphere Awards, and being invited to talk on a panel for an event here in Liverpool.
Being shortlisted for that award came as a huge shock. I remember being stood in the queue in a coffee shop when the notification popped up on my phone, and my first thought was that they'd just tagged the wrong Sophie! And then I went on the website, and sure enough, my little blog was listed. I loved the awards night, not least because I got to dress up and finally meet the beautiful Sade, too.
And then there was the panel. I was super honoured to be asked to speak, but also super proud of myself for doing it. There'd be no way that the Soph of a few years ago would've had the confidence to speak on a panel in front of a group of people, but sure enough - I did it!
Moving back to Liverpool
If you've read this blog or followed my Instagram at all in the last few months, you probably couldn't have gotten away from me telling the world that I moved back to Liverpool in August, and I couldn't be more thankful to be back in my favourite city.
Looking back, London was good for me. It made me stronger and more confident in so many ways, but it also made me anxious, depressed and angry, and it was only when I hit rock bottom that I knew I needed to get out. Thankfully, the stars aligned just when I needed them to, and I was offered a job back north. It took me all of 2 seconds to accept.
I couldn't be happier to be back, to be back with my friends and family that I have up here and to be in my new flat that I love a lot! It's amazing what a difference your surroundings can make.
Reflecting on work over the last 12 months has also made me super grateful to have found a job and industry that I love and that I'm passionate about. It's a huge contrast to my accountancy career that I was utterly miserable in!
More new ventures
We just get each other and are totally on the same wavelength. Nat is one of those people that I just feel so positive and good about myself after I've spent time with her and I know she's been a factor in why I feel so happy and positive at the moment.
And, to top it all off, I get to join her on her journey with Barre Balance - if you're in Liverpool and are interested in Barre classes, keep your eyes peeled or drop us a message! 2019 is going to be fabulous. I just know it.
Finding my happy again
Yes, I am ending this post with an Instagram filtered photo from 2am... but I kinda love it because I look so happy in it.
This year has been quite the rollercoaster. I've cried a lot and then laughed a lot, but I think the most important thing is that I've learned a lot.
I've learned that you can't love someone into loving you the same. I've learned to spot the signs of when to walk away from a bad relationship and I just hope to god that I'm strong enough to leave earlier if it ever happens again.
I've learned that there's always, always so much to be grateful for, and how important it is to be grateful. I've learned the importance of female friendships and those that lift you up, inspire you and make you feel good are the ones to nurture and focus your time and energy in.
I feel like I'm finally filling my life with all of the things that I'm passionate about and that make me happy, and I can honestly say that this is the best place I've been in in a long time.