HAPPY NEW YEAR!
In 2017, I plan to continue on my independent living journey & thought a check-in on my 2016 review may help encourage you to think positively about the days and months behind & all that was achieved in just 12 short months. Below, I break down a few of the components which I believe contribute to an independent life, which you can read more about in my original post: ‘What is an independent life?’
INDEPENDENT LIFE & WORK | 2016
I launched inspireandenjoy.com! This was a huge achievement for me & something I should probably be prouder of myself for. Having met the lovely Jaye Rockett at a Blogger’s Brunch for The London Artisan, she kindly offered me some creative coaching as part of her business Wild Imagination. Originally, I was certain I should be focusing on Meet the Makers, the blog I set up in 2013 interviewing makers. However, after working through some thought-provoking questions together, I came to realise that whilst wanting to share designer-makers work is always something I want to be doing, I wanted to open the doors to other types of people I could interview, as well as share a little more of my own life. And so inspire and enjoy was born! I’m really enjoying this new blog & have lots of exciting posts already planned out for the next few months. It was also really exciting working with a graphic designer for the first time too – you can read more about the process Natasha Nuttall & I went though to come up with the i&e logo over on her blog Graphique Fantastique. I hope you’ve been enjoying reading my new space on t’interweb & please do let me know what you like & would like to see more of.
I continued as The Workshop editor (Craft & Design) for The Holborn. Two print magazines; two launch parties & a host of online interviews have kept me busy and motivated, but the real highlight was seeing the magazine for sale in 10 Corso Como, a fancy design concept store in Milan. It’s so easy to forget that once I’ve written an article, it actually gets printed & read by people I don’t know all around the world so this was a really exciting ‘pinch me’ moment.
Also in print, I contributed to issue two of 91 Magazine, interviewing Katie Robbins of Ceramic Magpie for a studio tour feature. I’m also contributing to the next issue and will be working away on that this month. I’m so excited to be a part of this magazine as it’s such a perfect fit for all the things I love: interiors, makers & gorgeous photography.
I finished working as the PR & Events Manager for The London Artisan in May for no reason other than a 6 day working week was too much for me. I met so many amazing makers & am really proud of the workshops, talks, competitions & of course designer-maker market that I helped to be a part of.
INDEPENDENT LIFE & TRAVEL | 2016
The year got off to an amazing start with a last-minute deal to Goa. Staying in a little bungalow a short walk to the beach with its own yoga studio onsite was the most perfect way to see off the January blues. This was my first trip to India and I hope to go back again to see even more of the ‘real’India.
In June, I took a long weekend trip to Sardinia along with a few of my favourite uni friends. Beach, vino, pizza & gossip was the order of the day & the perfect introduction to Italian life.
August bank holiday I booked an AirBnB last minute & took myself down to Hastings for a night away solo. I have to say, going by myself was lovely! I explored the independent shops and new pier at my own leisurely pace, had chips on the beach, went for a walk in Hastings County Park (only geting a little lost) & cam back full of enthusiasm for the place & a bit of an addiction to checking houses which come up in the area. Oh, to live by the sea…
Finally, in October we took a 10 day trip to northern Italy, staying in Adam’s Nonna’s house and visiting the home my grandpa grew up in. We explored the local towns & took a day trip to Milano. Considering Italy is in my blood, I can’t believe it took so long to visit! Many more trips there in the future I believe.
INDEPENDENT LIFE & COMPARISON | 2016
To be honest, I found 2016 a difficult year not to compare myself to others. Despite all my best intentions, my heart is always so much stronger than my head, & seeing friend after friend get engaged/pregnant/promoted has been a challenge for me to always feel balanced about. I think I’m ok with these things from a distance but inevitably go a little quiet when surrounded by them all at once. Logically, I know everyone’s paths are different and just as important as each other’s and I really want to do less of this in 2017.
INDEPENDENT LIFE & CONSUMERISM | 2016
Another area I’ve been working on, but I’m pleased with the progress I’m making. I now buy most of my make-up from The Body Shop & try to pick up other beauty bits which are not scarily chemical-ridden (I especially love this moisturiser). Working at The London Artisan & visiting so many other markets this year, my collection of handmade work from designer-makers has been steadily growing, in particular my love for prints: see my desk above!
OTHER POSITIVES FROM 2016
Probably the biggest change was my commitment to trying to keep my anxiety in check. On 1st January 2016 I picked up a pen before bed & started writing a diary. 365 days later I’m still recording things that happened & how I felt about it at the end of each day. I also end each page with 3 things I’m grateful for. My boyfriend really seems to believe it’s made a big difference to my peace of mind, and I’m continuing with it this year too. Getting thoughts out of my head before I sleep is a fantastic way to kerb worries.
On that note, I continued exploring mindfulness, finally giving in & buying a subscription to Headspace a few months ago. Everything about it works for me, from the design of the app to the animations & Andy’s soothing voice. I often listen to it before going to sleep but need to start doing it in the morning as I tend to doze off!
We also bit the bullet & signed up to a recurring monthly membership for Triyoga. The Camden branch is such a relaxing, warm space & I really love spending time in the space. I wouldn’t say my yoga has got much better in the past 6 months but that’s not what it’s about, is it?! I also went to a 6am yoga class in SkyGarden which was a truly magical way to start the day 🙂
These 3 things have really had the biggest impact on me cumulatively and I’m excited to continue with them all the way through 2017 too. Not to say I haven’t had my big anxiety wobbles, but nothing that a good night’s sleep & a bit of quiet contemplation haven’t helped with.
You know the best thing about doing a yearly review? There are still a billion things I didn’t include, like the markets and fairs I visited, the friends & family I saw, the online blogging & photography courses & offline journalism course I did. I honestly thought 2016 hadn’t been that big of a year, overshadowed by bigger global events and not much changing in my life on a day to day basis. As someone who craves big exciting events to feel like I’m moving forward, this has helped me see that overall, 2016 was pretty great! Of course I have 2017 goals too, but I’ll be sharing more of those in the months to come….
Have you done a 2016 review? Please share below – I love reading them and we can all gain encouragement from one another 🙂
All images my own via my Instagram, except for the 91 Magazine photo, c/o Katie Robbins.