Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve sat down to write a blog post and I’ve missed it. I can’t remember the last time I wrote something long form purely for myself. I write some longer captions for Instagram posts but that’s it. My book Instagram page is one of the things that bought me joy during 2021 and has given me the creative outlet that I was craving.
When I look back at 2021, there’s so much to be proud of. We got the keys to our first house in January and have been doing it up ever since. It’s a project that’s taken a whole lot longer than we first thought and has led to many arguments and cold shoulders but there’s also been glimpses of progress and good décor decisions which have made the whole process worth it.
Having a project to focus my attention on got me through the long, cold depressing January lockdown of 2020 and I couldn’t be more grateful. During another unpredictable year, we were very lucky to have something exciting to actually do.
The next few months passed in a blur of cleaning, wallpaper stripping and pulling up flooring. Nothing much of significance happened, I carried on working from home at my now old job. Working from home was something I found incredibly isolating as well as finding it difficult to focus. I kept berating myself for not getting used to it by now, I’d been working from home for nearly a year by then but it was making me miserable. The glimmer of hope that we’d get to go back to the office kept being diminished and naive old me thought I’d be back by the summer. I genuinely felt a bit sick when the general consensus from my colleagues was that they were happier working from home so my workplace would be trialling a hybrid way of working and many people decided to just not come in.
Along with a few other factors about my job, I knew it was time to start looking for something else. As well as my work worries, I was having to deal with moving out of my family home. We put the house on the market in January and a couple of weeks later it was sold which although a great relief, meant the hard work started. As the sole owner of the family home until my sister turned 21, it was left to me to arrange the sale of the house and I’ve never encountered something so stressful and emotional. It was a really difficult time for me mentally and I saw a counsellor for a while to help sort out the mess of emotions floating round my head.
Once we finally packed up all of out belongings and left Benenden Close for good, I moved in with my boyfriend and his parents for what was meant to be for a couple of months whilst we got the new house ready to move into. As you can probably guess by now, it took a look longer than a couple of months to get the house ready and 6 months later, I’m still living at my boyfriend’s parents.
I’ll admit, I found this transition difficult too. I lived out of a suitcase for a long time and the rest of my stuff was either in my grandparent’s spare room or in our new house. I’ve felt weirdly disjointed and stressed having all of my belongings in several places. Pair that with the fact I was losing my personal space and living under someone else’s roof with different rules and you can imagine, I wasn’t feeling my best. I was also looking for a new job as I was spending more time crying than working by this point (which sounds laughably tragic but is true). It wasn’t to be though until later in the year.
COVID cases seemed to have dropped a little by late summer and it was so nice to finally meet up with groups of friends again and feel like normal life was resuming. My boyfriend and I enjoyed a break to the Isle of Wight and when we got back, I interviewed for a job and got offered it the same day. Things were finally starting to look up on that front!
It was then my friend’s hen do ahead of her wedding in November. We all enjoyed a weekend of glamping, eating and making a fool of ourselves on a giant inflatable on a lake. Just what I needed before I started my new job.
I started my new job in October and within weeks, I could feel my mental health improving. It was a big relief to be doing something different and finally put my creative side to good use.
Come November and it was my friend’s wedding which was the most beautiful day. Most of us were able to stay over at the hotel and enjoy a slightly hungover breakfast the next morning.
And then it was Christmas and New Year’s spent with friends and family, eating and celebrating.
This post is also meant to be about focusing on the good which is what I aim to do more of this year. I want to find the good in some of the more stressful situations we’ve had with the house and have more patience with the process. I want to write for pleasure again so I have a log to look back on. I want to take more photos so I can look back on more memories. I want to doubt myself less as I feel like that’s all I did this year and it made me miserable. I want to carry on reading and enjoying books. I want to live in the moment a bit more and stop worrying about the worst that could happen.
Here’s to a happier 2022!