Happy new year! You can still say that in week 2 of January right?! In all honesty the arrival of a new year quite often fills me with mixed emotions. Rather than waking up on January 1st brimming with enthusiasm for the year ahead and the possibilities it brings, I often feel a weird mix of nostalgia (for the good times the previous year brought), disappointment (for the goals and dreams not achieved in the last 12 months) and excitement/fear (of the unknown and what the new year will bring).
I’m not one for new years resolutions and you’ll not hear the “new year, new me” mantra around here. It’s just not who I am. With a new year, can come a lot of pressure to suddenly transform your life and give up all the bad (read: fun) things from the festive season. Of course it’s important to set goals, but maybe ease up a little on yourself and just try to be better tomorrow than you were yesterday in whatever area of your life you are focused on changing. And personally I am all for small progressive steps in private rather than sweeping declarations all over social media.
I’ve been a bad blogger for the last couple of weeks and have totally neglected my blog and pulled back from Instagram too. I wanted to take a little break over Christmas to enjoy it with family but to be honest, I’ve kinda lost my mojo creatively and am going through a bit of a love/ hate relationship with Instagram at the moment too. As someone using it as a platform to build a career, it has become one of the biggest frustrations in my life. Competing against people who are buying fake followers, likes and comments, can be disheartening then add in the much maligned algorithm changes and you start to question why you are doing any of it at all! The ridiculousness of a 33 year old woman worrying how many likes her latest Instagram post got is not lost on me. But it’s those sort of engagement metrics that lead to work opportunities and so the vicious circle of buying likes, comments, followers continues. I can see why people do it and I’ve even considered it myself at one point but I couldn’t take any pride in my blog knowing I’d cheated the system. I’m not judging anyone who has done it, it’s just frustrating being up against that when you are putting in the hard yards to grow organically.
It’s not all negative though! My blog and Instagram have brought me some amazing opportunities during the last 12 months. I’ve gotten to work with some amazing people and brands, attend fabulous events and more importantly just do something that I love which is the reason I started in the first place. Sometimes you just need a little break to refresh your mind and body.
In general 2017 was a year of highs and lows both personally and professionally. In many ways, I’m glad to see the back of it. We moved from Dublin back to Galway after 10 years and it was the hardest thing of all. I’m torn – I love Galway and it’s home but I miss Dublin so much. Making sacrifices to pursue something you love is never easy and in 2017 one of my biggest sacrifices has surprisingly not been cutting back on shopping (!) but on travel. Travel feeds my soul and I hope I get to do a lot more of it this year. Going it alone as a freelancer was and continues to be a steep learning curve – the constant chasing work, the financial uncertainty, the disappointment of not getting jobs – but every day that I get to define my work life has been a win for me! Finally, 2017 taught me a lot about people. Not everyone has your best interests at heart and not everyone is your supporter. You just gotta do you!
Of course there were many high points in the year too from welcoming a new little nephew into the family to moving back to Galway (see I told you I was torn!!) and celebrating many happy occasions with family and friends. I’ve met lots of amazing people who’ve made the journey so enjoyable and had some really fun experiences but most of all I’m really proud of what I’ve achieved during the year from a professional perspective, starting out in a whole new industry.
My only goals for 2018 are to continue to work hard doing what I love and just enjoy the little things with family and friends! So really my mantra is much more “new year, same me” than anything else!
One of the real high points of 2017 was starting to share my style with you all and no recap of the year would be complete without a round up of some of my favourite trends from the year!
2017 was the year I developed a major hat addiction. From beanies and berets to fedoras I’ve worn and loved them all but my unlikely favourite has been the baker boy hat.
2. Dresses over jeans
A trend I plan on bringing through 2018 with me too! Never was a trend more suited to Irish weather!
3. Check blazers
You all know how much I love this blazer, god knows you’ve seen enough of it on my Instagram feed!!
Even though there was a possibility of looking like Big Bird, yellow was my standout colour of 2017. An injection of instant happiness for any look.
As a teenager I really wanted to be Sporty Spice from the Spice Girls. The popularity of the athleisure trend, and joggers in particular, basically lets me live this dream on a daily basis!
6. Trouser suits
Thanks Hilary Clinton for bringing the power suit back! I love the versatility of trouser suits; great worn as a two-piece obvs but the pieces work great as separates too.
The biggest comeback since Lazarus, corduroy had me dressing like a middle-aged geography teacher and happy about it.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018!