A 2016 ROUND UP | LIFE LESSONS

things i learnt in 2016

I don’t do personal. I have little blips where I may get a little slushy, but I can usually stick to a paragraph and keep my shit together. For the blog next year, I really want to get back to writing, so starting as I mean to go on, I’m venturing into the somewhat scary depths of getting personal.

The thing is with blogging, we year-round project these wonderful lives where all is well in the world of brow tutorials and handbags. In reality, there are heartbroken days, drunk puking in club toilets and weeks where the most exciting thing to happen is buying a handheld vacuum.  It’s good with bad, and as they say – ‘a lot can happen in a year’… We can start January a completely different person to how we end up in December, and I know that my 2016 has been just like that.

Silly love exists.

I’ve always been a bit of an ice queen. I never did the intense first teen love thing, and while I’ve loved through growing fond of partners, I didn’t really get the idea of being ‘in love’. I think I just assumed that I wasn’t the sort. While what happened this year was the briefest of things, all of a sudden it felt like this was what it was all about. I was completely convinced about the person, something I’d never been with ex boyfriends.

And then it was all done. And I was gutted, and felt daft and silly for feeling like this was the real deal when it was such a tiny part of my life. I wallowed for a while, cried a lot and saved plenty of cringey quotes on Pinterest. Lol – I did heartbroken properly.

Thaaankfully, after my self-pity party I got over it. While it was a pretty rubbish time, part of it was a big realisation… That that’s exactly how it should be. Yeah, wrong person, wrong time, but that’s what it should be like when you’re starting out with someone new. You should think they’ve been crafted by Gods and be 100% sure about them. Disney-esque birds may not tweet around your heads, but in your own way the ground should move a little. Finally, at 25, I learnt to not settle for anything less.

‘Yes’ is the answer.

2016 has been a huge year for me with actually sorting my social life out. Since university, I’d got into this routine of doing pretty much nothing but work-sleep-repeat. I’d justified things by convincing myself I was a complete introvert, and that being focused on my career/blog was enough to make me happy. In reality, I was miserable, wasting my twenties sat watching Come Dine With Me when I could have been out living my life. It took the silly love stage for me to give myself a whole reality check, and force myself to do more to make sure I was working on being happier. For a while, it was this big mask where I’d drive myself into going out, when really I’d still rather be in my PJs eating crisps. Eventually, it became normal, and I’d miss having stuff going on if I was having a quiet week.

The main thing was that I forced myself to say yes to everything. I did shit I didn’t want to do, I went to parties I wasn’t bothered about and I forged new friendships that I wouldn’t encouraged previously. Basically, I told the anxious part of me to get a grip. It was long overdue, and getting tough with myself was the best option.

2016 has been my least anxiety-ridden year since I can remember, and I can finally say that I’m a much happier person, with an actual life. I’ve stopped calling myself boring, and saying my personality is dull – it’s an excuse I’ve used for years, when instead I could have been enjoying my life.

things i learnt in 2016How to be independent.

Adulty stuff is as boring as ever, but this year I’ve become my most independent. In keeping with my ‘telling myself to get a grip’ mantra, I’ve made myself stop being a baby.

Mostly, buying my own house has brought that on. It’s something I’ve been planning for years, and I finally did it after working my ass off to make it possible. I’ve renovated, built flat pack, sanded floors, organised bills and worked out gas meters. I’m all for being a strong, independent woman, but I did start out clueless. I’ve had no choice than to master it all on my own, but the best I’ve felt has been knowing that I’ve managed it by myself.

I don’t want to be a blogger.

I’ve been super proud of what I’ve achieved as one of my most successful years in blogging – a trip to PFW, Ascot, working with some of my favourite brands and essentially being in a position to now make this my full time job. Increasingly though, I’ve realised that being a full time blogger doesn’t actually suit what I want. There’s so much about blogging that just isn’t my sort of thing, and as a result I can’t quite commit to being a ‘blogger’. A hobby blogger I’m happy with, but the idea of packing in work to do this every day of my life isn’t something I’m ready for.

Blogging changes so quickly, and these days I feel like it can regularly be a luck of the draw thing – being in the right place at the right time. I know a lot of what I’ve done through blogging has been because of that. With algorithms out there being a pain in the ass too, for me it seems like there’s more and more pressure for us all to suss out what the fuck we’re meant to be doing to make this work.

I’m so over feeling like I’ve got to boost my engagement levels, have a video go viral or reach however many followers on whatever platform. It’s just too much focus on the part of blogging that I don’t find fun, which is why I’m fine with my current situation.

Aaaand, that’s been my year. There’s been so much to it that’s been lovely, but life isn’t an Instagram feed and there’s also been bad with the good. As ever, health and happiness is my big one, for family, friends and myself.

Have a wonderrrful New Year everyone, here’s to 2017! We’re due a good one.

Lydia xo

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8 Comments

  1. 31st December 2016 / 7:06 pm

    This was such a beautifully written post, and I must say I’ve been pretty similar this year, when it comes to that first love thing, and the emotions I felt afterwards were far from great, so in order to get over everything, I mainly threw myself into my blog! I believe that 2017, will be the year I take a straw out of your book and stop blaming missing out on things, on being an introvert! Congratulations on your brand collaborations and buying your first house!

    Reading this post has made me feel heaps better! Thank you for sharing Lydia, and I cannot wait to see and read more word heavy posts!xx

    Millie x
    http://www.queenmillie.blogspot.com

  2. 31st December 2016 / 9:50 pm

    I like this style of more personal posts! I’m also a hobby blogger and I’m happy with that.

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  3. 1st January 2017 / 3:14 pm

    I absolutely adore this darling. It’s so nice to read a refreshingly honest post about somebody. I’ve followed you on insta for a while now but I’ll definitely be checking things out over here from now on! Hoping 2017 has big things in store for you, xoxo

  4. Letitia McGowan
    1st January 2017 / 6:29 pm

    Love your blog Lydia. You’re so refreshing and relatable, and your honesty is to be admired. I’m toying with the idea of starting up a blog myself, and your insight is helping greatly!

  5. 1st January 2017 / 11:36 pm

    Loved this honest post! It sounds like you’ve learnt a lot this year and how cool that you have your own house? Well done you! I’ve started saying ‘yes’ more and it’s one of the best changes I’ve made. Happy new year! x

    Sick Chick Chic

  6. 7th January 2017 / 10:21 am

    A very lovely post Lydia! I know you don’t do personal but I do like getting to know you a bit better. I think it’s admirable that you’ve gone through these things and now are telling us about them from the other side xx

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