It’s been a while, hasn’t it my chums?
Language Talks isn’t about to start becoming a more personal blog (well, maybe a bit, but you won’t hear me talk about my trips to the doctors or shops anytime soon), but I thought it would be nice to give a few upbeat thoughts about 2015, a chronological overview from very low, depressed and anxious, to mostly happy and content.
2015: The year I went from UNHAPPY to HAPPY
- I gave up Social media.
I gave up Facebook and Twitter for Lent in February 2015, mostly because I felt stressed by the politics of it all. While I missed Twitter and re-activated it instantly, Facebook has become a bit of a sore point. I attempted to reactivate it a few times in the year (I sometimes use my dog’s account if I’m feeling super nosy), but I just don’t see the point of it. It does mean I get invited to fewer events and it’s harder to tell my family abroad what I’m doing, but in general I don’t really want it back.
2. I graduated with a BA in French and German from the University of Nottingham.
I’m sorry to say it really, but I just didn’t like University. I lumbered through first year, hated second year (for external reasons), loved third year (abroad), and detested and loathed fourth year beyond belief. Fourth year (September 2014-May 2015) was just awful. I was unhappy, I wasn’t myself, and I just didn’t like it. I threw myself into academics. While I did better academically (In fact in every module I did I got at least one First), I was lonely and depressed in a rat-infested house in the middle of nowhere, that got burgled. I was so unhappy I would sit and revise on campus for hours and then come home, sit in my room and watch Netflix. I stopped drinking, I stopped socialising, I was just… being. The day I left Nottingham a weight was lifted off my shoulders, and while I still feel very bitter towards the French and German language, the wounds are starting to heal. But it wasn’t all bad – giving a talk at Cambridge University was brilliant for my self-confidence, and it was something I felt very very proud of.
3. I travelled, but this became less important to me the happier I became in England.
Although 2015 saw me go to on trips to Luxembourg, Sweden, Berlin, Iceland, Ireland and Northern Ireland, Jersey and New York, I now feel content with travelling. I will never forget or regret any of them, but as Iceland almost bankrupted me I now want to curb back on my travelling in 2016. I suppose the big thing that changed was I always felt the need to escape England. I put it under the guise of culture seeking, a travel addict perhaps, but really I was just escaping. I don’t need to escape England anymore – it’s home and I love it. One thing that was very positive from my travels this year is is LOOK! Three selfies in different places! (L-R – Iceland, outside Gullfoss, Northern Ireland – near the Rope Bridge, and New York – on the river). My new year’s resolution of 2015 was to take more selfies as I had no pictures of me in Vienna at all, which is really sad. It’s my resolution of 2016 too. They’re certainly not the best pictures of me, but I’m really proud that I actually tried to capture some moments of me without getting too embarrassed (I generally don’t like photos of myself).
4. I moved house
Perhaps one of the reasons the first half of 2015 was so stressful was moving from my beloved family home. The reasons were awful, the situation stressful, and pretty much everything that could go wrong did go wrong. Yet on the 3rd of July we finally moved house, and now (just one day less) than six months on, my new house has become much more of a happy and calm home. Maybe that’s why I don’t need to travel anymore.
5. I got a job at a shop and decided to focus on myself
As I was at a low point after my degree I decided to go for retail jobs and work calmly for a year or so in Colchester before doing a masters. I was beginning to feel more settled and was losing a lot of weight without even trying. I even turned down a good job working for a magazine to focus on the shop job and myself (much to the annoyance of a very rude and pushy recruitment agent…).
6. I got a job at a publishing company and decided they were worth it enough to enter the rat race
Just as I was content to stay just at the shop, I was offered the amazing opportunity of an internship in London. I then decided – against everything I’ve ever said to anyone, that I did want to start commuting after all. And I loved it! I love commuting. I love the 9.30-5.30 life. An hour train journey means I’ve read more books than I ever have before, and I get two hours a day to focus on myself. Sure, working six days a week is hard, but they’re the best jobs I’ve ever had with the nicest and funnest people who make me feel happy and welcome. While it’s not ideal for the rest of my life, the experiences have definitely helped me progress and be happier.
and 7. I met the love of my life
But you don’t need to know more than that 😉