As 2015 draws to a close, and the quiet days following Christmas allow for some introspection, I can’t help but reflect on the year that was. For me, 2015 has been characterised by a frantic pace and energy both personally and professionally. It will soon be two years since I moved to the UK, and in these two years, I’ve had to fight and work so hard to establish myself in England. From the hurdles of getting a job and settling down, to then finding the right job, buying a car, and then buying a house – it’s been a rollercoaster with 2015 really epitomising a year of change. If I could sum the year up, I’d say it was one of breaking out of my comfort zone. There have been so many lessons and beautiful moments along the way, some of which I thought I’d share today as I say goodbye to 2015.
This year, I learnt that I’m the only one who sets limitations on myself, and I’m delighted to say that in 2015, I overcame many physical limitations (and mental ones too) and learnt to ski and to run. I’d say that I’ve never been particularly athletic and with a dodgy ankle and a panache for falling over, I’d long ago written off ambitions of doing things like skiing. But after a lot of prodding and pep talks, I discovered a love of bombing down snowy mountains and the taste of fresh air high above the clouds. Aside from just the physical exhilaration of conquering a mountain or running 5km, the feeling of self-satisfaction of having accomplished something I could only dream about is addictive and has given me a new wave of confidence and belief that I can achieve more than I think is possible. Going into 2016, I won’t allow physical or mental barriers to stop me from going after what I want.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve begun to really cherish and appreciate the incredible friendships that I have the world over . With working full time and moving to a new city in your twenties, it’s difficult to meet and connect with people, so the friendships that I have mean so much to me. Perhaps it was the rocky years at an all-girls school, but growing up I battled to have friendships with other women, something which continued into my early twenties. But in the last few years, I have been so lucky to have connected with some phenomenal women who both inspire me and nurture me. In 2015, their generosity, wisdom and humour gave me courage when I was down, and they celebrated in my success with unbridled joy.
Perhaps the greatest moment of the year was when we bought our house in May 2015. The experience of doing up the house is well documented on the blog (look at the interior category if you’d like to catch up on the developments), but I’d like to reflect on what the process has meant to me. When I look back to our initial discussions, I really had no concept on just how life-changing a journey that we were embarking on, or how a house would come to represent more than just four walls to me. It’s given me that feeling of home that I had been missing since I moved to the UK, and it’s become a place of rest and sanctuary.
Greater still is the way in which it has strengthened my relationship with Matt. Going through so much upheaval and facing challenges like having to replace a boiler, fixing leaking pipes and making difficult decisions has brought us together in a way I hadn’t imagined. Through the highs and lows, I’ve loved journeying together and I have an even greater respect for Matt, his leadership abilities and the way that he has taken care of all of us.
2015 celebrated the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, one of which is housed in Lincoln Castle, and it felt like the whole world descended on the city to see the revolutionary document. Professionally, I feel privileged to have been a part of Lincoln’s success in 2015 through delivering a series of successful press trips to see the Castle and Magna Carta. Personally, I am still finding my place in the city, which is growing more and more familiar. I take pleasure in being able to navigate the city without getting lost, and slowly I am coming to understand its rhythms and behaviours.
Looking to 2016
As I look to 2016, and to celebrating two years in England, I plan to focus more on pursuing more of the things which are meaningful to me. In working to establish myself here, there are things which I haven’t pursued like my love of writing, blogging and fashion; all of which I’d like to focus on in 2016. I also plan to develop my skills and learn more about digital and content marketing. Lastly, I want to focus on leading a more compassionate and creative life and helping others in need.
In all, 2015 has been a year of laying foundations and rapid growth and I couldn’t be more grateful or appreciative of the circumstances and people who have helped me. In 2016, I hope to build on these foundations and to pursue my dreams.