2017 – The Highs, Lows, Heartbreaks and Laughter

Hello 2018! A few days ago someone tweeted “quote this tweet with your top 3 personal accomplishments this year” – and of course I wanted to jump on the whole blow-your-own-horn-bandwagon!

And they’re true. They’re 3 big things that stand out across the 365 days that made up 2017. And if you look at it, taking those three things as a snapshot of my year, you’d probably think I’ve got it pretty sweet. But Jesus Christ, it’s been such a weird year. So so much has happened. Not just great things, but really really bad things that you don’t want to put on Twitter and shout about. I started the year quitting my job to blog full time – so far one of the best choices I think I’ve ever made. My family received some shitty news that has sort of changed everything – but I won’t go into detail on that because it’s not for the internet. I went a bit blonde. I fell out of love, a little bit, and subsequently got dumped. I travelled more. I started exciting new projects and I made amazing new friends. The highs have been higher, but they’ve always come underscored by lowers much lower than I’ve felt before. But that’s just life, isn’t it?

This year started with what would be the biggest and most important choice – and quite frankly set the tone for the rest of the year. On my first day back in the office of January 2017 I stuck it to the man and handed my notice in to go full time. Okay, it wasn’t that dramatic and there was no sticking it to any men – I simply had an awkward conversation with my lovely lovely boss to tell her I was leaving and hell, I was nervous and shaking. To quote that quote so many of us girls have probably tweeted or considered having tattooed on our bodies at some point

“What if I fall?”
“Oh but my darling, what if you fly?”

My boss didn’t say that to me. Neither did my mother (she just yelled at me when I informed her of my news – she’d just awoke from a nap. Pick your timing people) but it was the resounding feeling and I’m so so lucky that I didn’t fall. I’ve been flying ever since and I haven’t looked back. I’ve considered doing a blog post on everything about the decision to go full time with my blog, the history behind my education and experience to what has led me here, and what I believe it really takes to do so, so let me know if you’re vibing on that idea. Oh, and I can’t mention that move without thanking all of you who come here and read what I do and comment and who DM me and invest yourselves in my life and my style. I love you all so very much for it!

A few months into the year, as I said, I received some really life-changing (in a way) news – not to do with me, but the closest person to me in the whole world. It’s been a year of total uncertainty in this particular aspect of my life, and I’ve gone from dealing with it well, to dealing with it terribly, from talking about it to people, to being too scared to even voice any concern over it because talking about it just makes it feel real, you know? How am I dealing with it now? A lot better actually. I’ve learnt that bottling up emotions is a recipe for disaster and it’s always guaranteed to come out after you’ve had a few too many glasses of Prosecco…

So then, in the Summer, a couple months after receiving the bad news, I got dumped. The man that I had thought, at least for a lot of the relationship, would be the man I would marry, bloody well dumped me. I know I wrote about the break up around a month after it happened – I didn’t go into details, but it was more a reflective piece on break ups in general – but I was still figuring the whole thing out in my head back then.

I can sit here and play victim as though he did all the heartbreaking, but that wouldn’t be completely honest. Because the truth of it is, I felt like I emotionally checked out a few months before the break up. Not entirely – but something, something changed. Do you know what I mean? I’m a very emotionally impulsive person, and in most of my relationships there’s been a point where something has just switched in me and my feelings changed. I loved him so so much, and thought he was such an amazing man so I just had to stick with him, because I honestly felt that I could never do any better. But was I in love with him? I don’t really think I was anymore. Although I probably would have stayed with him until he called it quits because I did still love him.

But my life and career was totally changing, and he was a man of routine and his priorities changed – and that’s okay. These things happen. You want your partner to open your world up to a whole new realm of possibilities and experiences, but when I thought of my future with him, it looked more like a room with a thousand doors, all of them closed but one – the one he wanted to be open.

Two days before he broke up with me, a friend was visiting the UK. This particular guy friend and I had a bit of an odd hookup-friendship relationship which had been strictly platonic since I got a boyfriend. But sitting drinking champagne on a rooftop bar with him in July with the sun shining and the heat of the city rising up, it just further cemented the fact that this was what I wanted my life to be – not him, Christ no – but, just, fun. Carefree fun. Who-gives-a-fuck-fun. Stay-out-all-night-fun. What-did-i-do-last-night? fun – things which every 20-something woman should be doing. I probably let that sentiment take over me more than I should have that night, but I don’t regret any of it as it helped deal with the blow of the breakup a couple of days later.

So after a phone call, I was single. I had 2 days of feeling amazing about it – it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulder and I was free – followed by a week of agonising over it. All of the why did he break up with me if he loved me blah blah blah. I cried so much. I lay on my bed praying that I could somehow magically fall asleep until I was over him, or that I could just take a pill that would erase him and every moment we spent together from my haunted memory.

And then suddenly something just clicked and I was just over it (see – emotionally impulsive) And I can’t credit getting over that relationship so quickly without talking about Gemma. You know, that one I’m always featuring on my insta stories and I spend probably around 4 out of the 7 days of the week with? Gemma Talbot has basically been the bloody highlight of my year. We’ve known each other for a while, became friends around over a year ago, and only really became super close when me and my ex broke up. What can I say? I needed someone to replace my Instagram Boyfriend and she literally did more than that – we’ve become utterly inseparable and since then I’m thankful every day that we’ve become such close friends. It sounds so weird, but she filled the void that the relationship left, and filled so many other voids I didn’t even know existed. Soppy, I know! I’ll pass you the vomit bucket. It’s so easy to get on and make friends in this industry, but a lot of it remains at best professional, and at worst, fake (we all know of fake friendships in blogging…) but this was the real bloody deal and she’s witnessed me having a hissy fit over boys and trashing my flat a wee bit and still insists on voice noting me daily.

In a few short months, basically everything changed. I moved, too. New income and a need for a larger living/ working space meant a house share with 3 others just wasn’t going to cut it. So I booked some viewings (secretly from my boyfriend who I was still with at the time) and fell in love with a flat. Later that day, he broke up with me, and I don’t really believe in signs and stuff but sometimes things point you in the direction, or shit falls in to place and you just KNOW it’s happened for some kind of reason. So I signed on the dotted line and moved in to my new place at the end of August.

I meant to get a flatmate in, but having filled up both bedroom’s wardrobes, I figured they’d have to be a nudist or something. And the sofa’s leather so that would be a bit awkward. And so I took a step further into feeling totally independent by living alone and it’s been amazing. People ask me if I get lonely, and the truth is yeah I have done over Christmas time. But not up until then.

During September, I jetted off with a couple of my closest girls to the other side of the world to visit my friend who’s been living in Cambodia for the past couple of years. I love Asia, and I love travelling, but I definitely had a bit of a pathetic epiphany whilst I was there. Actually, I may say I love travelling, but I’m not cut out to do the actual travelling gap yah thing. I went not really considering the trip would be done on a travellers budget, rather than a holiday one, so there was no #goals hotel photos – not that that mattered. But what did matter was realising my need and reliance on home comforts and having my own space – and how amazing and understanding my friends are for not completely rinsing me when I checked into a 4 star hotel alone because I couldn’t handle another night in a hostel.

Then just a few weeks after that, I went to Tokyo to visit a friend who lives there. This friend and I had this strange relationship where even though we’d talk probably most days, and had done for a couple of years, we hadn’t spent much actual time IRL together. He kept asking me to visit, and I was apprehensive. What if I went and we didn’t get on? What if he regretted asking me? To make matters more complicated, we were obviously attracted to one another. It was a flirty situ. So I went, and it was fine, and then it wasn’t because for the first time in a very long time I just couldn’t read a guy. I couldn’t tell for the life of me whether he actually fancied me and it drove me insane. And I realised he wasn’t even that nice of a person – he had these sexist views that I’d call him out on and he’d justify saying it with a Darwinian theory on how men are ultimately stronger than women. That, followed up with “but I’m not sexist anyway so it doesn’t matter”

Girls, don’t travel across the world for a man because I’m telling you, no matter what you’re expectations are of it (if any…) they’re still guaranteed to disappoint you.

And then this leads us up to the last few months of 2017 where I have been so lucky and grateful to have a constant stream of work that I could barely keep my ahead above the water. I’ve had a few minor breakdowns. I had an amazing run-up to Christmas with so many fun parties and memories. Then I actually took some time off at Christmas and it was well and truly pure bliss. I feel rejuvenated and geared up for 2018. This blank page of the new year is staring right back at me and do you know what? It’s terrifying – because who knows what will happen? How was I to know any of this mad, amazing, crazy shit that’s happened this year would? My life is completely different to what it was this time last year. It’s been a beautiful year, with some horrible moments of torment thrown in for a reality check. So who knows what 2018 holds?

Love, always x

Photography by Shaun James Cox 

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  1. "I meant to get a flatmate in, but having filled up both bedroom's wardrobes, I figured they'd have to be a nudist or something."

    You cracked me up here lol.

    You had a really great year it seems, but I agree that the lows, for most people, were truuuly low. I hope 2018 brings better things for everyone!

    Sora | http://dangerouslyme.com/

  2. I love reading your blog! Sounds like you’ve had a tough year but you’re posts are getting better and better. So well written and always from the heart ��
    Christy x

  3. I’m here for a post on your decision to go full time blogger! Love your blog and your Instagram is one of my faves – everything I look at online or in store tends to be something I’ll later see on you! ❤️

  4. Sometimes the worst things can bring out the best in someone.
    2017 has been up and down for me but starting a blog has been the scariest and most rewarding thing I did last year. You’re an inspiration to have quit and gone it alone.
    I would be just like you handing in my notice… it must have felt good though?
    The part about the nudist flatmate had me loling. ��
    I’ll be nudist if I get to house share with you 😉
    Congratulations on your successes and all the more to come in 2018! ����
    One of my life goals is to own a Chanel classic flap too! ��

    Hannah xxx

  5. Love your blog and your writing so bloody much! Such a blogging and girl-bossing inspiration! Hope you have a wonderful 2018 and sending you all of the positivity and good thoughts for your family this year xx

    Robyn at RobynCaitlin.com 🙂

  6. SUUUUccchh a big year. This was so open and good to read. You know, not good- the bad stuff the happened, but touching. It sounds like a year to remember but also to say goodbye to. Looking forward to following your journey into the new year. And I love Gemma too!
    xx Jenelle

  7. This was an amazing and insightful read Sophie. It’s true with the social world we only see the perfect portrayal of blogger’s lives but it’s nice to read the honest feelings behind it.

    I would love to read your post on how you got into blogging full time! I have also just recently quit my job and I’m at a standstill in somewhat of panic mode, so would be a fantastic read for me.

    Glad you had a good Christmas off!

    L x

  8. Absolutely adored this blog post.

    Going through the loss of a 4 year relationship myself this year, I can totally relate on being able to relish the freedom of single life and how focusing on creating the most carefree fun in our 20's is so crucial to creating memorable stories that we can look back and smile on.

    Here's to 2018!
    Chloe x


  9. MY WIFE!!! You are the absolute cutest. I genuinely almost welled up. Love you xx

  10. LOVE this post. Honest, relatable and so bloody true! I'd love to hear more about your decision to leave your job & go full time blogging etc.
    Fay x

  11. I loved this post! Have you ever considered doing a separate one on living alone in London? Renting an apartment by myself is something I've been thinking of doing lately and it would be really great to get some tips from someone already doing that. Just a thought! 🙂

    Maddie x