A Look Back at 2016

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If I think about all of the things that have happened this year, it’s been a pretty monumental one. This time last year, life was totally different, and where I was at was totally different too. I don’t get too personal on my blog but it’s fair to say that I wasn’t in my best place at this time in 2015. The fact that things couldn’t be more opposite 365 days later shows that every thing that’s happened this year was a good thing in one way or another.

So let’s do a little rundown of what will surely go down as one of the biggest years of my life…

In January, I knew a change was on the horizon. 2015 had been pretty rubbish for me on a deeply personal level – things which involved nobody else but myself and were a battle for me. So I went into the new year thinking that change had to happen, and I was determined to make it so. It didn’t take me long; by the first week of February I had a job offer for a PR agency I’d been eyeing up for a few years, taking a senior position on the fashion team and working on some fun and fabulous brands. I couldn’t have handed my notice in quicker, I was so desperate to start my new job!

And so in March my new journey began. It’s funny – you can think that you want something so badly, and that something will be so amazing/exciting/rewarding etc., but really, you don’t know anything until you take the leap. My job at that agency was definitely a huge learning curve, but it didn’t take me very long at all to realise that it wasn’t the right place for me. Compatibility is a huge part of a job, and we just weren’t compatible.

We’d been casually discussing the idea of moving back to Scotland; of course we’d only been in our first real home a year, the flat that we’d so carefully saved for and so lovingly decorated, but you can’t force a flat to feel like a home, I have learned. Especially when home feels like it’s approximately 500 miles away. So with the combination of a strange homesickness for heading back north, an intense dislike of the expense, crush and general stress living in London, and of course my equally-intense disappointment and stress of my job, we made a decision. It was time to DO SOMETHING.

And do something I did. I emailed a virtual stranger; a woman who’d emailed me a year previously offering me an interview for a job in Edinburgh, which I’d been intrigued by but, having literally just got the keys to the aforementioned flat in London, had to politely decline. I didn’t expect anything to come of the email, which went something along the lines of “hi! remember me? you liked me enough to offer me a job last year, fancy doing that again?”. And then a few weeks after that, I was sat in a restaurant in Edinburgh drinking wine with her, hearing all about her plans for setting up a brand-new agency and having that job offer made all over again.

It was a lightbulb moment for me. It was a huge risk, selling our flat and leaving a secure (admittedly pretty damn well-paid) job to join a start-up that hadn’t even started up yet. But something in me dared me to do it, so I did.

Everything happened so fast after that. Our house went on the market and sold at the end of July, I handed in my notice that same week and there began the longest three weeks of my life while I worked through my notice period, before jetting off to Barcelona for a week to cleanse myself of it all. We had trains booked and removal men secured; we returned from Barcelona super-late on the first Friday of September, and had mere hours to pack up our entire lives before we had to jump on a train to Edinburgh on Sunday morning.

Leaving that flat was awful; it was so sad. I spent the whole weekend spontaneously crying, wandering from empty room to empty room. I was just so bloody disappointed that our dream had gone awry; we’d been so excited to move to London and so excited to have the flat. But some things just aren’t meant to be, and some things just are.

So that was all four months ago now, although it feels like a lifetime. Moving here has been a total change and it couldn’t have happened at a better time. We may have a little less money than before, and we may be paying rent instead of a mortgage again, but what we have gained far outweighs that kind of thing. We have time, we have all the time in the world when we’re both indoors by 6pm and the city centre is but a twenty-minute walk away. We are surrounded by our friends and half of our family (the other half are still in London, but you can’t have it all) and we are also surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. There’s no stress, no worry in the world that can’t be switched off by a walk through this gorgeous city and breathing in the cleanest air at the beach just down the road.

So there we have it; 2016 in a nutshell. It’s been a huge year for us but we are so happy with the decisions that we’ve taken, however stressful/expensive/crazy they were. Life has become what we hoped it would be in the last few months, and I can’t wait to see what adventures 2017 has in store for us.

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