Here it is, the annual review post. It’s a long one, I hope you enjoy it!
I began 2014 the way I began the last three years – drinking with James and wandering around the streets of York – only this time we stayed with our friends Alex and Tim and spent the rest of the time house hunting. Having found a house, I interned in the activities department of my old students union in York during January and February. It was a really awesome couple of months. I loved our house, I loved living with James, I enjoyed my job, and I had a steady salary and plenty of time after work and on weekends to blog, cook, make things and see friends. In March I visited Sorrento with my family, and I took a road trip around Scotland! Most of April was spent hunting for vintage fabrics and sewing up skirts for my new etsy shop. I also celebrated my birthday!
May began with a trip to the Peak District with my uni friends to celebrate my birthday! We stayed in a camping barn in a field full of sheep, and it was amazing. These countryside holidays are always a blast, and I hope I can arrange another for 2015! After a couple of months of preparing, I opened my etsy shop in May! I’m proud of Shop Jessthetics and I’ve definitely learned a lot this year. I’ve realised that I don’t really enjoy sewing lots of the same pattern over and over again. I would be no good as a seamstress. I’ve learnt that I need to improve on my photography – the white sheet that I tape to my shed to take etsy photos is not always effective – and that things sell better in a fuller-looking shop. If I had to rank them, moving to Edinburgh and starting my degree would be my biggest achievement for 2015, but Shop Jessthetics would be in a strong second place. I always think that you can’t improve unless you have something to improve on (maybe that’s just an excuse for my impatience) and working on my shop -whilst in need of improvement – has been both fun and a huge challenge! June was full of travelling. I found the Edinburgh flat that I’m living in now, and hung out in London, York and Durham. I also gave my blog design a much needed makeover! In July I had a holiday in Corfu, spent more time in Edinburgh and London, and in August I moved to Scotland! August was spent exploring the city with James and with friends, preparing to start my course.
In September, I began my MSc course in Environmental Sustainability. We started with a trip to Findhorn in the north of Scotland, which I loved! It was a great way to get to know people and experience some of the beautiful Scottish countryside. The first couple of weeks were terrifying – living by myself in a city where I knew no one – but luckily I did make friends and I was soon spending my weekends hanging out with them. I love my course. It’s hard work, but there are so many things that I want to learn about that I’m really struggling to choose modules for this semester. It’s lovely being surrounded with people that have similar values and aims. My friends and I joke that you can tell which degree we do because we spend so long separating out our rubbish at the recycling bins in the library cafe. In September James moved to London to start his masters, and we’ve been visiting each other every month. I don’t enjoy the long journey, but the regular trips to London have been great, especially because I get to see other friends who live there! I’ve also had a lot of visitors these last four months, yay! I hope this continues into 2015. I only really get to do the touristy things in Edinburgh when other people come to stay. In September (once I’d finished eating all the chocolate in the house) I became vegan full-time, which I’m still loving! In October, I celebrated Halloween for most of the month. In November and December my workload really increased. November was filled with deadlines for projects, essays and reports, whilst I studied for exams during December. I spent Christmas at home and I’ve had a blast doing a lot of not very much, apart from catching up with family and friends!
Writing this post was a good reason to look at my New Years resolutions for this year. I did manage to redesign my blog layout, work on my photography, sew more, and start my first choice of Masters programme. Go me! I didn’t end up getting a long term job or spending the summer travelling as I’d hoped I would. Instead, my plans changed and I used the summer months to work on my etsy shop! At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think that opening an online shop was a real possibility for me, so I’m glad to have had the opportunity to experiment with running a small business and making things to sell. I think this is a good example of why goals need to be flexible – as circumstances change and time passes, what we desire or prioritise often changes. This year has been the first that I haven’t had any obvious sense of direction. When you’re travelling along the well-trodden path of school and university, there are not many big decisions to be made apart from which subjects to do or which university to go to. Before I started my MSc this year, there were an infinite number of paths I could have taken, and that was daunting! I am grateful to have tried out different jobs and positions since I graduated, and even more grateful to not be hopping between temporary roles any more.
This year my number one resolution is to get a job when I graduate. I guess that’s more of a goal than a resolution, but it will be my main focus for 2015, as well as concentrating on my degree. My second resolution is to improve the skin on my face – a weird one I know. I have had some sort of skin condition (I think it’s rosacea) since I was a young teen and I have always ignored it, hoping it will go away. It probably won’t, so if anyone knows of any good rosacea remedies, hit me up!
What are your goals and resolutions? I hope 2015 brings you everything you hope for!