Sunday, 31 December 2017

Farewell 2017.


Without beating around the bush, in the grand scheme of it all, a lot of bad things happened in 2017. Suffice to say the year often felt as bleak as a season of Black Mirror. With shocking headlines and political fuck-ups aplenty, this year it almost became routine to wake up in the morning and check social media to find out what the hell else could have gone wrong in the world while we slept. Though, that said, in 2017 we did see some rare glimmers of hope (in the form of women's marches, Fiona the hippo and the iconic "HOLLYWEED" sign) that reminded us that there is still some ounce of humanity, humour and love in the world. To quote Hugh Grant's prime minister, "Love, actually, is all around."

In my own personal bubble, life this year was just as tumultuous. From enjoying an abundance of travel with my other half, to suffering a huge personal loss, to meeting incredible life-long pals, to struggling greatly with my mental health; the cliché of "many ups and downs" rings true regardless. All in all, for me, this year saw something of serious personal growth and, as a whole, was undeniable proof of the fact when you hit rock bottom, the only way is, indeed, up.

Alas, it's almost time to bid farewell to the ever so questionable year that was 2017; and with a brand new year comes the welcomed prospect of starting afresh. Although it would appear that, these days, we're all too cool for New Year's Resolutions (I ain't buying it); I love them and the simple fact that the beginning of a new year brings the opportunity to look to the future and to set new personal goals. Whether your goals and aspirations for the year ahead are more predictable than most, or whether they're slightly more unconventional; in my humble opinion, there's no better way to kick-start a brand new year than striving for something. And so, here are just a few things I'm striving for in 2018.


At the risk of sounding overly dramatic; writing is everything to me. For as long as I can remember, writing is how I have always dealt with any emotion I've ever felt. Writing has been my therapy through bouts of sadness, grief, heartbreak; it has also been a way for me to document all of the wonderful, good things I have experienced in life. Writing allows me to share my thoughts and opinions; it allows me to ignite discussions and debates; it allows me to tell stories. When I was a child, I dreamed of nothing more than to one day write my own book; or at least, somehow, some way, make writing the thing that I do. Fast forward to the present day and I'm undeniably delighted to be able to say that writing has always been at the very core of everything I do from a career perspective, and I've recently come to realise that I want that to continue. In fact, I want it to play an even bigger part in my life than it ever has before.

Admittedly, 2017 was the year that I, for the most part, fell out of love with writing. I struggle to pinpoint exactly why; there are undoubtedly numerous factors that could potentially come into play. Yet, regardless of the reasoning, the most disheartening thing is that I didn't see the progress I'd hoped to see in terms of my writing this year. And so, I am determined to make 2018 the year that I write, write and write some more; on this blog and beyond. I want nothing more than to hone this craft and step far out of my comfort zone. Mark my words, 2018 is the year I will do just that.


Throughout 2017, I experimented with my personal style more so than ever before and thoroughly enjoyed every single second of it. It was much less about awkwardly staring at myself in the fitting room mirror, asking myself, "But can I actually pull this off?" and much more about buying whatever it was that really appealed to me and making it work. Going into 2018, I feel inspired to push my personal style boundaries even further and, honestly, just have a lot of fun with it along the way. My style is constantly evolving; I'm constantly drawing inspiration from different things; whether it be trends, music or otherwise, and that is something that I want to delve much, much deeper into this coming year.


Despite being an immensely anxious traveller, particularly when it comes to flying; this year I conquered my monstorous fear by travelling on ten separate flights (10!!!), and, lo' and behold, I lived to tell the tale. Abeit each flight was relatively short-haul, nevertheless, I feel extremely proud to look back on 2017 and be able to say that I tackled what is, without question, one of my biggest triggers of anxiety. Prior to this year, travelling almost felt like a tedious chore. It was something that I always just had to get through, which in the end, would exhaust and drain every part of me, mentally and physically. It was like, sure, I can get through the first flight; but the remainder of the trip would be filled with the terrifying thought of flying home again. Yet, making travel by flight such a frequent thing throughout 2017 meant that these fears gradually diminished, and hopping on a plane soon felt as normal as catching a train.

And so, it really goes without saying that I hope to continue our travel adventures throughout this coming year. Not only has stepping out of my comfort zone and travelling more frequently helped me to make great progress with handling my anxiety; but it has also created a wealth of incredible memories that will truly last a lifetime. Whether it be short train rides to Dublin or a flight much, much further afield; in 2018 I want to travel far and I want to travel often.


Katy Belle.
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