It seems as though 2013 was a year that didn’t really deal in the mediocre. For me, at least, this was a year full of amazing, exciting highs and awful lows.
I began the year halfway through our final year at university, halfway through the dissertation, and nowhere near halfway through anything else! It was quite a worrying time to say the least, for an anxious person like myself especially, but I began the year with a renewed determination and sense of drive. I knew that there was a long road ahead, but all I could see was finishing with a First – Lord knows I love a goal!
After months of worry, stress, hard work and lots and lots of late nights, my love and I graduated from university, both with First Class Honours degrees, fulfilling my dreams and far exceeding his, cementing an exciting future for us both, and making us believe that all the hours and stress we put into our work really was worth it in the end. We were also given an amazing gift of money from Lewis’ parents and grandparents, for us to spend on a celebratory break.
Straight after handing in that delicious last assessment, we also jetted off to Greece for our first holiday together; a week of blistering sun, lazy days and genuinely taking time to enjoy each others company in beautiful surroundings. It was a perfect week and one that I’ll revisit in my mind for years and years to come, despite the tan lasting a fraction of that time!
Immediately upon our return, our euphoria was dashed with the news that my grandmother, who had had an operation whilst we were on holiday, was now incredibly sick and was in intensive care. Cut to us dashing to London to spend time with her, which crossed over with my birthday. If there was any consolation, it was that I got to spend my birthday with my parents for the first time in four years, even if we all spent it glued to the rolling news, awaiting the announcement of Prince George’s birth (yes, we do share a birthday!).
That summer was a very difficult one for us. Between May and the very end of August, I attended no less than eighteen interviews for graduate jobs, hoping to put my Honours to good use and find some money for when our savings ran out! While I cherished three full months of spending time with my love, the stress of being jobless, aside from my little weekend number, was crushing and bleak. We tried to make the most of the good weather, the beautiful surroundings of Glasgow’s West End, and our time together. I also got a couple of little freelance roles in this time, as a music workshop assistant, a researcher, and an editorial assistant for the ever-so-lovely Nouvelle Daily, so there was plenty to keep me busy!
Thankfully, in the first week of September, two months to the day from our graduation, I was offered a role in fashion PR, in a fantastic local agency. This job offer also meant that Lewis could take on a role I had been offered at our university, so both of us were suddenly employed in fabulous jobs! Also at this time, my grandmother came out of hospital, and all seemed right and good with the world. This picture below is me just after accepting my job offer – hence the grin!
As I said, this year was one of highs and lows, and no sooner had we settled into the fun and games of full-time employment, than we got the most terrible news that Lewis’ grandfather was incredibly sick, and unfortunately, he passed away in October. It was a huge shock to the family, and something that will doubtless need a long time to recover from. Also at this time, my grandmother slipped and fell on her way into an outpatients’ appointment, breaking several bones in her spine, and was immediately readmitted into hospital, where she was to spend the next six weeks lying flat on her back in an attempt to knit the bones back together.
November was amazingly busy for work, with us heading down to Earl’s Court for the Ideal Home Show Christmas, which my agency looked after in 2013. It was a busy week, to say the least, but lots of fun went with it.It wasn’t as glamorous as it looks, but I did have my picture taken with Jamie Laing, of Made in Chelsea – a bit of a highlight for me, to be truthful.
Not long after we returned, Lewis and myself decided to put our graduation present to good use, and went for a luxury weekend away in the stunning surroundings of Loch Lomond. For four blissful days, it was just us, prosecco, good food and a hot tub, taking some much-needed time out to spend together and talk about things besides work. Isn’t it funny how a job can take over your life so easily?
December opened perfectly for me – in the first week, I flew down to London to surprise my mum for her birthday. There has never been anything sweeter than her little face, lighting up in shock, disbelief, and then pure joy, when I opened the back door and strolled into the front room that Friday night. It was worth every penny to spend some time with her, especially as I hadn’t seen any of my family since July’s graduation/birthday festivities. It was a perfect four days, and it’s made me determined to spend as much time with them as I can, in the time we have before we eventually move back to London. We shopped and talked and cooked together, and I loved every single second of it (even having to share the front room with the dog at night, and being woken up by her jumping on the sofa bed at 4am…) Also at this time, my grandmother came home from hospital, hopefully for good this time, so we could treat her to a surprise visit too!
Christmas was a little more subdued, but happy nonetheless. We spent it up north in Aberdeen with Lewis’ family, and it was a lovely opportunity to catch up with my own friends and family, as well as his.
We returned to Glasgow on Friday night, just in time to celebrate our fourth anniversary together. We spent it spending our Christmas money (and in my case, spending quite a bit more than that!) and going for a wonderful meal together, in the same restaurant we spent our second anniversary in, so quite a tradition now! It was the perfect opportunity to wind down together after a hectic week, and just enjoy each other’s company.
So now we’re back in Glasgow, and back to work on Monday, but in the meantime, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying our time off and having a good few days to recharge the batteries! It’s been wonderful to lounge around, listening to music, watching films, sewing, cooking, reading and talking. It’s also been a quiet time to reflect on all the ups and downs of this year, hence this post. It’s been, overall, a rewarding year, but it’s been a tough one too. Every time I feel like I’ve got my balance, something happens to drastically juggle everything and throw it all up in the air.
It’s been an unforgettable year, that much is true, but here’s hoping 2014 is a more positive one. We have so much to look forward to together, like progressing in our jobs, saving up for the eventual move back to London, and exploring the world together, one tiny town at a time.