This time last year I published a post titled 'Looking back and looking forward' in which I opened up about my personal struggles, let the emotional floodgates collapse and released all the negativity that I felt had been holding me back. This acted as a catalyst for more personal development than ever before, and so 2014 came to be an awakening of sorts. Despite, in all honesty, not taking a second glance at the goals I set within that post, I have subconsciously managed to achieve them all by simply striving to achieve one thing; complete and utter happiness with who I am. In the last twelve months my body confidence has skyrocketed and the way I view myself both in the mirror and on camera is more positive and constructive than ever before. Undoubtedly perfecting my personal style and developing my ability with makeup has contributed to this, but I think the biggest change has occurred within my mental attitude. The key for me has been a balanced outlook; there's always something positive to outweigh the negative and there's always someone worse off than you. The latter notion (I suppose you could call it a mantra) has helped me through struggles within personal relationships also. Once I stopped wasting such a great amount of precious thoughts and potential time on people who don't reciprocate my efforts, these things were instead used to better the way I feel about myself and in doing so I became more attractive and appealing to people who appreciate my attention, both platonic and otherwise.
2014 was also the year that...
After deliberating about university and being downright fearful of settling in one place and committing three years of my life to something, I discovered, fell in love with and applied to my dream course and campus and have just been offered a place on it. I used to doubt my own ability frequently, but both the faith from others in me (such as parents, tutors and you guys) and more importantly the renewed faith I have in myself has got me to this point - out of over a thousand applicants.
I used my voice to achieve a lifelong goal, being cast as the principal role of Britney in the musical We Will Rock You, which will be performed over the course of a week in February. After years of tryouts with no success, due to restraining my confidence upon taking the stage in order to deter unwanted opinions, I decided to sing the hell out of my audition piece and look where it's got me (as Coco Chanel once said 'I don't care what you think about me, I don't think about you at all')
I left a job that wasn't making me feel valued or appreciated and entered another within a matter of weeks, and I still love it nearly five months later. Despite being paid less per hour, I actually enjoy going to work now tenfold more as I get to be myself around and spend time with such a wonderfully funny and caring bunch of people, some of whom I now class as great friends. Equally as rewarding is the praise and near constant recognition I receive for my hard work, having won awards and achieved top figures during my time there which of course makes all the commuting and rude customers worthwhile.
Choosing to cut down on frivolous spending is easily one of the best decisions I've made, and although I initially feared the difficulty of losing materialistic things, not seeing the result of the money right away yet anticipating the life-changing event it is being put towards has me eagerly looking forward to the future. I've been fortunate enough to visit London, Disneyland and Barcelona in the past twelve months, and now that New York in July is booked my wanderlust has truly been set alight - I'm hoping to book more trips for the coming summer in order to make my passion for travelling become a reality.
I hit 1000 bloglovin' followers, two and a half years after beginning to write this little corner of the internet and despite posting somewhat erratically over the past twelve months. I've said it before but I am eternally grateful to those of you who stick around during my periods of absence and enthusiastically comment/like/tweet upon my return - it truly has been the best form of motivation.
As I enter my fourth year of blogging and my 18th year on this earth (crikey!) here are the things I am eager to achieve by the end of 2015; forgive more and say sorry less, find my blogging niche and learn how to balance regular content with work and college, continue to use my voice to advocate change and equality, achieve my desired A-Level results and move to university, develop my Instagram presence, begin learning how to drive, rediscover my passion for reading, develop a regular and sensible sleeping pattern, visit at least three new countries/places.