What a year.
I’m sitting on my sofa wrapped up under our Christmas tree after a few hours too many Christmas shopping in Bristol town centre. While eating my lunch in M&S cafe earlier (gotta treat yo’self when you’re Christmas shopping!), it struck me that the last few months have passed by in a blur. Life also seems somewhat different to my Christmas last year spent predominantly working with some of the most amazing people facing the Christmas shoppers in Foyles.
January was one of the worst mental health months for me since I did my dissertation in 2016. After the blur of the Christmas period, going home for only 2 days for the holidays and coming out of it with what felt like job rejection #96, it all became a little overwhelming. Most nights I cried. Most nights I went through Facebook or Instagram looking at profiles of friends, acquaintances and sometimes complete strangers comparing myself to them. particularly if they had my dream job. It is quite literally the worse thing I could have done really, but once in that mode, you can’t really see past that to realise how ‘ill’ it was making me. I finally got an interview at a social media agency at the end of January – even going to a second interview on the morning of my birthday (only to be rejected once again later that day).
As many graduates will testify, job rejection is simply one of the most soul destroying things on earth. While I was lucky to have a job I liked at Foyles, every application, every covering letter feels like one step closer to your goal – a moment perhaps of hope – which then makes the rejection hurt that much more.
Although the first part of 2017 was filled with hunting for a job, I was incredibly lucky enough to finally get offered my ideal job in April. It was perhaps one of the applications I was initially not expecting too much from, especially as I wasn’t too sure I was fitting for the job description. Despite this, I got an interview, went along worried about my lack of experience and then found out on a voicemail a few days later that I got the job!
The job has taken me from feeling very young and very inexperienced and pissing off a few people with ‘doing the wrong thing’ to going to car launches, taking over my former manager’s job for a month in the busiest part of the automotive year (god that was stressful) and forming some good relationships with clients and colleagues alike. I’m pretty proud of what I’ve done so far in the first 9 months of my first job in the industry and the crying girl wishing she was someone else seems pretty far away from now.
When I look back on the year, the BIG job pretty much takes up most of the moments I think of, but here are a few other moments I think of which bring a smile to my face:
Penguin Launch & IceBar
My friend and colleague, Lorna, got invited to the launch of The One Memory of Flora Banks (find out my thoughts about the books here) by Penguin and invited me along especially as the launch was at the IceBar in London.
We had a really great time and I got to meet some other bloggers, Booktubers and publishing people, all of us dressed in fur lined ponchos in a bar made of ice…
Ah, this was quite literally a dream holiday. We had literally the BEST time, doing some things I’ve wanted to do since I was every young – seeing Girl with the Pearl Earring painting (so much smaller than I expected) and visiting Anne Frank’s house. As a bonus, we saw The Goldfinch painting, which one of my favourite books is based on (The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt). We ate well (Bagel & Beans was a winner in the mornings), stayed in a beautiful & posh hotel and walked so much around the city. I really loved Amsterdam!
We went to France for a week with some really cool people from all over Europe – we listened to “Despacito” with the Spanish translating all the words; played Secret Hitler with Germans, Belgians, Italians, Polish, Hungarians and French and explored the South of France together. Last year we went to Poland and visited a former concentration camp with the same group – it struck me how poignant and important these trips are both for how things have changed in Europe since WWII, but also for the future as Europe changes once again with Brexit.
I’ve lived in Bristol a little over a year now and after going through a period of ‘is moving here the right thing?’, I feel so much more settled now. Actually, I’m finding on my visits to London, I’m sometimes driving back content that I’m not living in London – a year ago that was very different. We’ve explored the wonders of Bristol – driven under Clifton Suspension Bridge a number of times, trekked up Park Street, climbed up Cabot Tower, watched Pretty Woman in Bristol Zoo and lived in Stokescroft temporarily amongst many other places.
Looking forward now, there’s a lot to look forward to:
- Reaching a year in my job
- Taylor Swift concert in June!
- Turning 23 in February
Let’s see what 2018 has to hold…