It might be worthwhile renaming this poor excuse of a blog to "The Years in Review Blog". Taking up blogging was definitely on the 2015 to do-list - both once and twice - but alas and inevitably, time has become an increasingly scarce commodity. It's back on the to do-list for 2016 (fingers crossed).
I remember being so happy about 2014 being over and done with, and 2015 starting. I wanted a clean break from the rollercoaster of 2014, and that's exactly what the new year gave me. I decided to pursue a life outside my studies - an unconventional approach when only having four months of degree-ing left, but it worked wonders for me. I went back in-house for the startup I'd spent 18 months freelancing for. I went to the ballet, to gigs, on dates and on semi-wild nights out with some of my favourite people in the world. I made an uninformed decision I thought was fun at the time, and I inevitably had my heart scratched *hug*.
I remember struggling. University was going well - a direct result of me taking on more stuff and thus having less time to agonise. Still, I was constantly tired. I bought myself the nicest Valentine's gift I'd ever received, I spent endless nights writing on my dissertation, I got an offer from University of Copenhagen for my MSc. I woke up all jittery on Valentine's Day. I remember needing to feel as though I was alive and therefore going swimming in the freezing cold. And I went to a pretty rubbish gig in a crowd of overly-excited 16-year-olds, reminding me of my immense love and passion for London and why I moved here in the first place. February was a month of hopes, dreams and exasperation.
The sun finally came out, and with it my good spirits. I finished the first full draft of my dissertation, I reconnected with two young women I now hold very dearly, I went to my last ever undergraduate lecture. I also found out I was jewish(!) and, naturally, signed up to jSwipe. Dreamy dates with a Parisian jew worthy the name followed, with long walks in St James Park and a lot of sweet nothings whispered over red wine. In French, naturally. My girl mates and I spent a lot of time giggling over my newfound jewish-ness and all the new doors that were subsequently opened. Looking back, March was a bloody glorious month.
My Jewishness didn't last very long, as I found out that apparently I wasn't Jewish at all. I swiftly deleted my jSwipe profile and went back to focusing mainly on my studies. I handed in my dissertation and finished my last ever undergraduate essays, before celebrating by going to a birthday party where someone of Irish descent held my hand. I bought myself loads of plants to give myself the strength needed to start revising for my finals. I finished my stint at the startup I'd been working at for almost two years. I felt lost and was in tears, but was picked up by a dear friend who fed me steak tartare and bubbly.
I was offered a short gig at a startup in East London and spent four days there. I didn't know it at the time, but those days would have disproportionally big impact on the rest of the year. I visited my past in search for closure, unsuccessfully. I was offered a gig in Tel Aviv, and spent endless nights researching life in the presumed holy land before turning it down. The General Election results came in and I seriously contemplated leaving Britain, but then got the best of many job offers and decided to stay. I went to Glasgow to meet with DFID, I went to Stockholm for Isabelle, Hannah & Amanda, and I managed to fit the words "smorgasbord" and "Foucault" into the same sentence in my last every undergraduate exam. I finished university, and celebrated by taking Claire to David Shrigley at Sketch.
1st of June was the first day of the rest of my life, more-so than any other day of the year. I moved houses - from the House of Skulls of Walthamstow, to the House of Flora of Shoreditch. I started my new job, I signed up with a PT and I rediscovered what life is like when not being a student. I cycled to work every day and went to the gym every evening. I cooked a lot, and spent a lot of time in the bath. There were a lot of brunches, a lot of bubbly and a lot of zen. I felt calm, and happy. Content.
One of my dearest friends came to London to visit and three days of musicals, cocktails and giggles ensued. I got my degree results and spent a day or so being angry over the fact that I was 0.125 marks away from a 1st class degree, but still had enough wisdom to know that it makes little difference in real life. I saw some serious results after five weeks of PTing, and started recognising my body and mind again after 8 months of barely leaving the library. I graduated with my nearest and dearest girl mates around me, and made sure we made the most of the free bubbly at the graduation ceremony. I celebrated by going to Lisbon with my favourite travel buddy, Ingrid, who treated me to an eight course meal at one of Portugal's few Michelin starred restaurants.
I revisited my past, again, and finally got the closure I'd been longing for. Spent a lot of time in melancholy before discovering my love for hot yoga which continues to change my life for the better. Still, August was a month I spent mostly being sad and exhausted from all the fun times the summer brought. Julia and I went to Berlin and spent four days drinking beers on the streets of Neukölln and discussing the past and future of Europe. I lived through a row and was immensely disappointed with some of my nearest and dearest. More than anything I just wanted August to be over and September to begin. I was sick of summer and the sticky heat and really just wanted to start anew.
September came and Julia and I flew off to Crete. We spent a few days there before taking the ferry over to Albania and hitchhiking our way through the Albanian riviera. I read seven books and listened to tens of hours of podcasts. Coming back to London I felt reenergised and happy to be alive, and so glad that the summer had finally come to an end. I moved houses, again, from the House of Flora of Shoreditch to the House of Smoothies of Stokie. My 26th birthday came and with it endless of love from all the world's little corners, and somewhere around that time I decided to be happy again. I went to an Instagram event with work and a subsequent drink with someone wonderful followed.
I left my home for ten days to watch Hopper the Whippet. I embarked upon The Branching Out Series, and spent a lot of time rediscovering London and its surroundings with someone new. I fell asleep at the Royal Opera House and the Royal Albert Hall, and realised how tired I was from the summer. Nevertheless, October was a wonderful month. Isabelle came to visit and I got to see a little bit of the posh London I otherwise never see. I spent a weekend in Norfolk to visit Houghton Hall, but apart from that, most weekend mornings were dedicated to great breakfasts in bed with someone I couldn't wait to get to know. Most importantly, I took a big, massive leap of faith after consulting my inner 85-year-old.
I went to Dublin with work and one of my dearest friends, who also happened to be my boss. I learned a fair bit about myself, about my strengths and about my weaknesses. We took the Branching Out Series to Amsterdam and spent three days reading Orwell, eating glorious food and holding hands. I fell in love and became his girlfriend. Back at work I faced major challenges, but managed to deal with it the best way possible before rewarding myself accordingly. I went to the British Museum of Food and learned a tiny bit more about Britain. I got to know someone in a way that made me rediscover myself, who I am and what I believe in. My best girl mates from college came to visit me in London, and we spent a weekend laughing, crying and holding one another. November was a month where I had to demonstrate bravery, both professionally and personally. It was a good but slightly exhausting month.
December came and I had few Christmas plans apart from spending a day or two with my sisters. The boy and I cohosted a Christmas brunch for our friends, with Swedish food and Italian bubbles a'plenty. My work offices moved to Camden which sort of forced me to confront my early London days. I tackled it head on by getting my ear pierced, haha. After spending most of December being more or less overwhelmed with work I found myself having signed up for three days of Christmas celebrations, starting with family fun in Richmond on the 23rd of December. Christmas Eve was spent at the gym before being hosted to dinner in Shoreditch. Midnight mass followed, and on Christmas Day I attended a boisterous Christmas dinner lock-in at a pub by Vicky Park. On Boxing Day I finally flew off to see my two favourite Americans in their native US of the A. Brunch, bubbles and Californians road trips followed and in the company of my two best mates, the US felt strangely at home.