As you are reading this it is my 21st birthday! And I feel like of all years, this one has flown by quicker than any others because so much has happened, although it sometimes feels like I’m going nowhere. When it comes to my writing, I always tend to maybe focus on the negatives and always feel a bit strange going on about my achievements, but maybe that’s because I’m British and showing off doesn’t exactly come naturally to us, so each year I always enjoy writing these posts. Today I turn a year older, maybe not that much wiser (although I behave much more like a 30 year old than a 21 year old), and I thought I’d share with you all the highlights from my 20th year of life.
Photography // Livvy Bush
Started a new job out of the city
I ended last year pretty miserable because my life was commuting into London (squashed onto delayed trains), working, then trying to get 8 hours sleep before doing it all again the next day and that was pretty much it. But just before Christmas last year I was offered an internship out of London and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. So I said goodbye to commuting and 5am alarms, started driving again and living a bit more. I had time to go to fitness classes, write and actually take holiday. Life became more balanced and it’s much, much better.
Rediscovered She Wears Stripes
I’ve been blogging since I was 13, and 8 years later I can’t believe I am still talking shit on the internet and people read it, although I think no one does read it, I’m a terrible writer and think about stopping on a monthly basis. But despite my doubts I could never bring myself to get rid of my blog or stop for good. At the start of the year I decided to up my blog game, talk more honestly and take lots of photos with my friend Livvy and that’s what I did! I’ve written about mental health, my feelings about leaving my teens, trying to find my place as an ‘influencer’ and interning. Despite the fact I’ve maybe not written as much or as consistently as maybe I’d planned, I’m pretty proud of some of the pieces I’ve written and I’m so glad I’ve decided to carry on. With a new project lined up for the new year, I’m excited for what’s the come. But will I write more consistently next year? When will I have my next writing crisis? Stay tuned.
The most surreal trip to Paris with Dior
Whilst I was still studying I received probably the best opportunity maybe ever?! Dior chose little me to join the global mentoring programme and spend a year completely immersed in the world of Dior and feminism. An actual dream. So earlier this year I got whisked away to Paris to celebrate the year with so many amazing other women from all around the world and it was all so surreal.
If there is one achievement I’m so, so proud of, it’s Women at Dior. It doesn’t even feel real. If you want ALL the details on my trip to Paris, then I wrote a post about it here.
I waved goodbye to being an intern
After being an intern for a whole year I finally got myself a proper grown up job in online marketing, with a proper grown up salary and real holiday allowance. As much as I didn’t mind interning (because luckily I was paid), I was so ready to have my own responsibilities rather than going between teams and picking up odd jobs. I’ve spent most of my salary in the last 6 months ‘treating myself’ but next year I really need to start saving for boring things like a house and a pension. *Sigh*
Brought my first proper designer bag, then another, then one more *opps*
A much better salary meant that I have much more disposable income, then that led to buying a Mulberry handbag, then a Gucci handbag and then a Sophia Webster handbag. Ever since I can remember I’ve dreamt of owning a designer handbag, and this year I’ve been lucky enough to be in the position to buy some for myself. Yes, they were a lot of money but I worked hard to afford them and I’m proud of myself for doing so. Not that I really think I need to justify it!
Fell hard for Florence
If there’s one place in the world I could visit over and over again and never get bored, it’s Italy. Nowhere in the world I’ve visited so far has come close to Italy in my opinion. The food, the weather, the architecture. I’m obsessed. So back in May this year myself and Ben jetted off to Florence, which was one place in Italy I’d been dreaming of visiting for years and it didn’t disappoint. We ate ALL the pizza and ice-cream, explored every street and tiny lane, took in the art and were lucky enough to do it all in beautiful sunshine. I would go back there again in a heartbeat.
Attended some pretty great events
This year, for some reason, I’ve found myself at a lot of really cool events which is very strange for someone who is not really into partying or staying up past 10pm (I know, I’m a pathetic excuse for a 21 year old). It all began in the second week of my new job, when back in February I attended a pre-BAFTA party and that was very much a ‘pinch me’ moment. But my favourite was the party to celebrate a new product launch for Olay, but I think it’s because I got to see the most beautiful sunset from the top of the Sky Garden with a glass of prosecco in hand. There was also a ball pit. What a Tuesday night that was!
Then planned my very own for Thom Olson
I’ve been involved with the blogging community since I was 13 years old, so I love that blogging has now become part of my day job. You’ve probably gaged that although I’m not a party person, I’ve always loved the idea of planning events and actually using Pinterest for something more than pretend planning my wedding! So in November I was given the task to plan a small influencer dinner to help grow the watch brand Thom Olson in the UK. With lots of twinkling fairy lights, lush food and the best company, I couldn’t have asked for my first blogger event to have gone any better.
Celebrated another year with Ben
I’m not really one for PDA, but this year myself and Ben celebrated 4 years of being together. Which is just crazy to me how time has flown by! Myself and Ben got together when we were 16, and although people like to question or have opinions on my relationship because we got together so young, I am extremely happy. When we started dating we had no idea what the future held, whether we’d even last a month let alone 4 years, but we’ve grown with each other and for right now, it’s fabulous.
So what’s next…
This year things became much more grown up, with a proper job with proper responsibilities, so I guess that next year will be more of that. I need to start saving for a house, and maybe stop ‘treating myself’ so regularly eg. stop buying bags! (Although I do have my eyes on a red one…) I hope the next year I’ll get to explore more places, continue to grow in my career and most importantly stop overthinking!
I want to continue to write for me and enjoy doing so, but also really use my voice for more in my 21st year.
Thank to all those who have been part of the last year and for continuing to support She Wears Stripes.