Having written a post like this last year, I thought it'd make a nice little tradition to do another one signalling the end of 2017 too. Again, it's new year's eve, I'm in my bed, looking forward to another chilled night in celebrating with family and a bit of biography (because there's no NYE without Jools and a bit o' Hootenanny).

This past year has been a bit of a crazy one. I end the year having finished my degree and my job, and I'm a lot happier and positive. It's been a learning curve, and there's a lot I'm definitely happy to be leaving behind!

Life

As I said, the degree is over, the job is finished, and I'm very much in the 'oh-my-god-what-do-i-do-with-my-life' situation. I'm currently unemployed but applying, not yet officially graduated, and trying to budget the money I have left. What a perfect situation!
But it's been a rewarding one though. For all the stress and tears, I feel so lucky to have had the year I've had. I've travelled, been tested, renewed friendships, let go of toxic influences, and invested in and stood up for myself. I've pushed my mental health out of its comfort zone to the point where I can feel truly excited about what's to come, and I've grown up. A lot. 2017 was the last year that I do things because I have to: from now on, I'm doing things because I want to.


Friendships

This year has shown me how hard it is to support others whilst supporting yourself. I've learnt the hard way now important it is to have your own friends, and those who truly support you around you. I've found the people who don't have your back are usually unhappy themselves, and I've tried my best not to take it personally. That being said, staying in a friendship that only makes you anxious or upset is not worth it, no matter what the fallout is. If a person can't see past their own feelings, recognise it's not you, and support you, are they someone you can count on? 
The ones you can count on will anyways. And this year, I've found the ones I can rely on no matter what.
And I've made some wonderful new friends, through blogging and volunteering, and it's made me so happy, I can't even tell ya! Hopefully 2018 will bring us closer!

Love

This year Paddy and I celebrated our 5 year anniversary in Mykonos, Greece. It was such a happy, fun trip, and to be honest, I really can't believe it's been 5 years. While life together is never perfect - what relationship is? - and this year has tested us in ways I definitely didn't expect, we're a stronger couple for it. The plan next year is for me to move to London, and if all goes well, we'll be moving in together, which is exciting! There are times he can irritate the hell out of me, and I know I do for him too, but as we get older, we're settling into our little life together and that makes me very happy, and I don't care how cringe that is ❤

Work

I can happily say I completed the full year contract at my job! Anxiety really tried to ruin it at times, and depression made it harder, but I did it. And I did it while studying, paying off my degree, managing my mental health, and budgeting. And I'm so proud of myself for it!
Going forward I'm applying to jobs in London, hoping to be somewhere within mental health and HR. I don't know what'll happen, but it's quite exciting to be able to take my life into my own hands after 2 years of being limited by the degree and money, and go for a job I really love.

Travel

God it's been a good year for travel! I managed to visit 6 new countries this year over 2 continents, and the travel bug is well and truly growing. From our anniversary in Greece, a cosy countryside getaway in Herefordshire, to a girls trip to Paris and revisiting Disneyland, to the trip of a lifetime to Hong Kong, Boracay and Dubai, to Christmas in Copenhagen and Malmo - my scratch map is now far more colourful and I've gotten such a kick out of it mwahaha. The Asia trip is particularly meaningful, because I thought anxiety would never let me visit Hong Kong. Paddy studied out there a few years ago and we did long distance...let's just say my mental health suffered to its worst point ever. Anyhoo, being able to go for myself and love it the way I did was so important to me, and it's shown me that I really can bloody well beat mental illness. 
I've currently got no travel plans for next year, but the ideas are very much there. Maybe a city break or two, a road trip, or a resort holiday for a change? Who knows. The world is my oyster, ennit?

2018

Next year is pretty much a blank slate at the moment. I have 3 things planned which are all very exciting - graduation, seeing Joe Lycett live, and hopefully appearing on the BBC documentary I filmed for! Other than those, it'll be exactly what I make of it. While that's bloody terrifying, it also means for the first time in years I can completely control what's going to happen, and I'm hoping that means my mental health will be mostly in a good place too! 

Whatever you're doing tonight, I hope ya have a wonderful night, and Happy New Year!

M x