Wednesday, 9 January 2019

Reflecting on 2018

Reflecting on 2018

I know for a fact before I start writing this that 2018 definitely wasn't as great as 2017. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I've had a great year, but I don't think that anything can top backpacking around New Zealand and SEA somehow

But you know what? I'm okay with that. 

I think the problem that everyone seems to be realising at the moment is that we need to try and make the next year bigger and better than the last, but what's wrong with focussing on the little achievements and moments that made us happy?

So here's what 2018 had in store for me.


Reflecting on 2018

Reflecting on 2018

WHY 2018 WAS GREAT


GOT BACK ONTO THE ACTING SCENE


One of the things that I found most difficult after returning from travelling was getting myself back into the acting world. 

It wasn't like I wasn't being motivated my end- I was getting new headshots, a new showreel, reaching out to casting directors and attending workshops to present myself in the most castable way. 

But for the last half of 2017, I had nothing. Zilch. ZERO.

Not one single audition came my way, and after a while, I realised why. 

The small break that I took to go backpacking had practically pushed me to the bottom rung of the casting ladder. I was like a brand new person to them- even if they had cast me in projects prior to my leaving, it was like they had suffered a state of amnesia and forgotten who I was. 

Not saying I'm a big shot and that everyone knows who I am, but you normally find people in casting will remember a face if they like them, and bring them in for projects they know they'll be good for, which had happened to me in the past. 

In 2018, I finally felt like I was getting somewhere. I had some extra work and a couple of auditions that led nowhere during the first 6 months, but it took until September time for me to land the first job that year that I had auditioned for. 

Since then, I've been a bit busier than I was last year, with more auditions and, even better, more jobs! I think 2019 will be the year where I finally find my feet and feel like I can start climbing that ladder again. 

VISITED THE THEATRE MORE


As an actor, you need to continuously be doing research in the form of watching films, TV shows, and going to the theatre to pick up tips and grow your vocab of different genres and pieces. 

Unexpectedly, I found myself going to the theatre a lot more than I had been in 2017, mainly thanks to two things. 

One: I found buddies in my boyfriend, Lauren, and my mum, meaning I got to spend great quality time with them doing things we enjoyed. 

Two: I discovered the wonder of TodayTix. This ticketing platform sells tickets to West End shows at discounted rates, as well as regularly putting on ticket rushes where you can get heavily discounted tickets in return for spreading the word about them. 

Going to the theatre more had been an unofficial goal of mine for 2018, and I was so chuffed to realise that I had achieved that without realising. 

I GREW THIS BLOG


This is one thing that I hope to keep repeating each year, seeing as I spend half my time working on this corner of the internet. 

In 2018 I grew my page views back to the level they had been before not being active while travelling, as well as growing my following on my socials. 

I've also worked with some incredible brands that I'm super proud of and attended some incredible events that have been real 'pinch-me' moments. 

In all honesty, I couldn't do it without all of you reading this post, as if I didn't have you, there would be no blog, no Youtube. There would be no one to create content for and so thank you for taking the time to read my posts, watch my videos and chat with me. Every single one of you is important to me. 

TRAVELLED TO BERLIN FOR THE CHRISTMAS MARKETS


After a break from travelling to save up our money again, Chris and I finally decided to book a little winter break away to Berlin to treat ourselves and I can tell you that it was much needed.

It fired up the wanderlust in me again and got us fully in the Christmas spirit with the amazing markets and decorations as well as the rather chilly temperatures. 

As well as the markets, we also headed to landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Dome Cathedral, Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall and stayed in the stunning Radisson Blu Hotel right in the heart of the city. 

SMASHED MY READING GOAL


Last year, I realised that I hadn't been reading as much as I used to. In school, I was a real bookworm, with a mini library in my room where I gathered all the books I wanted to read next.

I soon realised that I had let that love for reading slip as I got more involved in my work that started to stretch into my evenings when I should have been using that time to unwind and relax. 

After this came to me, I decided to be strict with my working hours, as well as dedicating time each day to read. 

Thanks to this, I managed to smash my reading goal for last year. I had originally wanted to read a book a month, but I exceeded my expectations by reading 14. 

I was so chuffed that I managed to achieve this, and I've been a lot more relaxed now I've been giving myself the 'me time' I deserve. 


Reflecting on 2018

Reflecting on 2018


WHAT I LEARNT IN 2018


TO LOVE MYSELF COMPLETELY


This was probably one of the best things I've learnt this year, as it's been an ongoing issue I've been trying to conquer. 

For a couple of years, I really struggled with what I saw when I looked in the mirror, and even if I seemed confident on the outside, I didn't realise that I was ignoring what I was really feeling on the inside. 

About 3 years ago, I decided to join my local gym and that has probably been one of the best things I've done for myself. The joy that I get out of exercising, pushing myself and the adrenaline it leaves me with after is something I've not been able to find in anything else I've done. 

It's been a slow process, and after returning from backpacking and living off rice and noodles for so long, I had lost those frustrating few pounds I had been trying to shift and had toned up from all the walking and swimming we had been doing. 

From there, I was able to tailor my workouts to achieve my goals, and now I honestly couldn't be happier in myself. It took a long while, and a few deceiving moments when I thought I was happy in myself when I wasn't, but now I'm here I'm glad to I had to get through all that to reach that point I'm at today. 

YOU NEED TO GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO GRIEVE


This lesson was the hardest I learnt this year, as nothing really prepares you for losing a loved one. 

We sadly lost my grandad last summer, and though I had lost my grandma and a friend previously, the grief I experienced was a different kind of grief. 

This grief was drawn out, as he had been unwell on and off for a long while, and so I felt like it had been a long process. 

When he did pass away, there was a slight relief that he wasn't suffering anymore and that he was finally able to join my grandma, and because of that, I didn't give myself the proper time to grieve for him.

I dove headfirst into my work and my blog without a huge amount of disruption, but it was only when one evening, I had a meltdown for no particular reason that I realised something was wrong. 

Once I took a step back and looked at what was going on, I realised I was not letting my emotions happen in their natural way. I was trying to be strong for the rest of my family when in reality I was stifling my own feelings.

That's when I decided to take a step back. I put out an announcement on social media and emailed any brands who I was working with at that time to warn everyone why I might drop off the radar for a while, and let myself grieve. 

It took a couple of months, but after I had healed I realised it would have taken a lot longer if I had continued holding in my emotions like I had before. 

NEVER JUDGE PEOPLE TOO QUICKLY


Sometimes when people do or say things, we can be quite quick to judge their motivations without really knowing the full picture.

This was something that really tested me this year when I was faced with dealing with a friend who I thought didn't want me in their life. 

I had taken a step back from them, not wanting to be hurt or used as I had done in the past by people who were supposedly my friends. 

What I didn't realise was that this friend had had such a huge upheaval in their life that it had made them withdraw, especially when it came to talking about what had happened to them. 

When this friend finally reached out to me and told me what I was going on, part of me was relieved as this had cleared up my suspicions that something had been going on, and made me feel like I could slowly start to bring them back into my life and trust them again. 

 NOT TO STRESS OVER FOLLOWING AND ENGAGEMENT


As much as I've felt like I've made progress with my blog and socials, I think a lot of other creators out there can relate that it can get really stressful when you're watching your following and analytics go up and down like a rollercoaster even though you've put so much work in. 

There were a couple of times last year when I felt despondent that I wasn't growing as quickly as others I knew and that would really get me down. 

When you put so much work into something and see very little in return for it, it can be heartbreaking. 

It got to the point when I realised that if I put my phone down for a couple of hours and forgot all about algorithms and numbers, the world would keep spinning. I realised that there was no secret code for gaining followers, and so I relaxed. 

If I didn't post for a couple of days, I wouldn't freak out at the prospect of losing followers. I found that my platforms soon became places of creativity where I posted things that I wanted to post as much as what my followers wanted. 

Reflecting on 2018

Reflecting on 2018

Reflecting on 2018


GOALS


I didn't really cover this last year but I thought it would be a good thing to throw in seeing as I've started setting goals for myself to help me achieve and grow. 

Read 15 books - carrying on from me smashing last year's reading goal, I wanted to up it this year, but not by a huge amount so that I would end up putting pressure on myself. I think I'm going to smash it again, however, as I'm already of my third book of the year!

Reduce my plastic and single-use waste - this is probably the biggest goal for me, as it's going to really change the way I shop. I'm already quite eco-conscious, as I recycle, use a reusable water bottle and coffee cup and like buying vintage and second hand, but I want to go a step further. I've already started substituting my cotton pads for washable bamboo ones, so if you want to know how I get on just let me know and I'll be sure to do a couple of posts on it. 

Continue to grow my blog - an obvious one maybe, but still an important one to me. I want to keep pushing myself creatively and to have content that I'm always proud to post, and hope that you guys will like too!

Travel as much as possible - this was pretty hard to do last year due to me building up my savings so this year I really want to make the most of this and travel as much as I can. 

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What are your goals for 2019?

Photos by Primrose

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2 comments

  1. What a great read! And I'm so happy to find another UK blogger! I love the idea of sitting and reflecting on the year that has passed as it also helps to us to make plans for the year ahead.
    Well, all the very best from our blog to yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! I always find it so therapeutic :)

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