A Reflection on 2017

Sunday, December 31, 2017 Holly 0 Comments

Wow, 2017. I can´t argue with you. You´ve been an incredible, full-on, whirl wind. 

When I first sat to write this post, I was overwhelmed. How do you even begin to dissect a year of laughter, tears (yes communal crying sessions in the uni library toilets were a thing in final year), and quite obviously, change?

I even Googled `How to reflect on a year` and was faced with a load of psychoanalysis techniques that I don´t have the patience or brain power to digest (the post-lunch slump has hit me hard). So, I´m just going to freestyle and hope for the best. 

I guess, as a whole, this year hasn´t brought a huge epiphiny moment (and in reality I don´t think something like this exists). I´ve not had a wave of self discovery, and to be honest - I still don´t know what the F* I´m doing (as evidenced by my quarter life, moving to Brazil crisis). 

Instead, this year has been made up of tiny ´ah-hah´moments, where I´ve come to realise something small about myself and surroundings; likes, dislikes, limitations, ambitions - even becoming comfortable with my personality. 


2017 brought a pretty incredible cocktail of major life landmarks as well as tiny fear-facing moments, all of which I'm so so proud of. 

Incessant hard work paid off and in June I graduated university with a first class degree in Marketing. After a 3 day break between my final university deadline, I skipped back to East London (the best city in the world) and worked for 6 months in a grad job at a film studio before setting my sights on Brazil and embarking on the biggest adventure I've had to date. 

Most importantly, this year, I've made the move to do something I have always dreamed of and left comforts (my flat, job, friends) for something unknown on the other side of the world. I've independently set myself up in a new country with an income, a growing ability to speak Portuguese, a flat and the most hilarious group of friends. An achievement that is so reassuring and has brought new confidence - No matter what happens I know I can rely on myself. 

And as for those tiny, fear facing moments - This year I've stood up for what I believe in and voiced my opinion on a subject close to my heart. 

I worked with an incredible community project in Nottingham, IEN (Immigration Education Nottingham), ran by a girl-crush and now friend, Shannon. With them, I helped organise protests on behalf of child refugees effected by the revoke of the Dubbs ammendment. Expressing an opinion publicly is a daunting thing but I am so glad I did it. I've learnt that it's important to use your voice for people less priviledged and not to accept something simply because ít's an issue 'bigger than yourself'. 


Although I got a first in my degree, rewind to January, and I was half way through my final year and fast headed towards burnout. I was  (stupidly) taking Spanish, a Google marketing course, working as a waitess, student ambassador, volunteering, and trying to maintain a social life *and breathe*

I´d become so stressed working all day that I fell into a cycle of doing a waitressing shift until 12am and then going straight for a night out with friends to release the pressure. 

It was really short sighted of me and ended up impacting my health. By April I was totally exhausted from being pulled in so many directions and not taking time to rest, I was overcome with chest infection after chest infection and had lost so much weight. 

At the time I was frustrated that I couldn´t keep up with it all but now I see that burn out is a real problem (even in your early 20s).  And on the contrary to Lindsey Lohan in Mean Girls, the limit really does exist. 


Above all, I think this is the first year that I feel secure in my adult friendships. What I mean by this is that 2017 has built the most incredible bonds with friends - all of which different in their own way. I can safely say I´m surrounded by a group of people who I admire greatly for different reasons (albeit metaphorically now I´m in Brazil). 

My friends are so encouraging and inspiring - they´re breathing advocates of ´If you can think it, you can do it´ and it is something pushing me to set my ambitions even further afield for 2018. (U guys r da bomb xox). 


Ugh a tough one to write. 

Looking back on those close relationships I've built with friends has emphasised to me how important it is to walk away from enironments that are negative or uncomfortable. 

But, I guess, as part of my personality I'm very soft natured and avoidant of conflict. With that in mind, I think theres been a few times where people have said or done something hurtful/unfair and I haven´t had the courage to say ´Hey that´s not ok with me´. Something I´m so aware of now and although I dread the thought of causing any form of tension, will be working on in 2018. 


So, that's it. 

2018, I have a very good feeling about you. 

Wishing you the very best for next year and that you go after everything you dream of. Happy New Year!!

E para minha amigas Brasileiros, Felizidades - espero o ano novu trago coisas boas!!!

Holly x 


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Holly xxx