If I had to describe 2018 in a word, I’d probably have to say: laborious. A close second would be: good. I know that’s a strange combination.
Sorry, I should have introduced this better: welcome to another self indulgent missive by me, Sophie-Anne Urry, introspection enthusiast and unreliable blogger, here to reflect on the year that was on the final day of it for the second time in a row.
Last year I separated my 2017 review into categories (lifestyle and health, travel, relationships, work, blogging, and personal, if you’re interested) but I’ve spent any contemplative moments considering the general themes and feelings of 2018 rather than specific achievements and happenings in each little life I lead, so it feels right to stick with that approach here too.
So; laborious and good. Good but laborious, maybe. I should explain. I don’t (necessarily) mean that I’ve been unusually hard working (although I would say that I’ve done my fair share of graft this year), but laborious is the way that much of the year has felt. Every effort has felt quite tiring, each stumble has been more of a drag to get out of.
I’ve spent a lot of time stuck in a sort of weird (‘weird’ would also be another great word to describe my 2018) limbo; full of ideas and hopes for things that I could do, but with none of the daring or time or headspace to do them, and it wore me down more and more as the year went on. There were times when I came out of it, rushed forward full steam ahead, felt for days that I was getting somewhere, but often all it took was one extra plate to start spinning and my mind would do the same.
At times I’ve been truly overwhelmed by a desperate want of time and headspace, not only because life is busy – it is for everyone, I know – but also because I’ve found myself living in my head this year a lot of the time, and it’s sometimes not allowed me to see through and out into the big wide and wonderful world.
And, of course, there were times when I just sort of plodded along feeling fine and dandy, with nothing of note to report.
I’m making 2018 sound very negative, aren’t I?
It wasn’t; in the every day and out of it there have been lots of happy moments, and probably some successes too.
I went on a press trip (me! A press trip!) and did some of my first paid Instagram campaigns. I explored places that had been on my wishlist for years. I finally arrived at a place, work-wise, where I feel assured of my own ability and skills and aware that they add real value, which is a pretty cool place to be. I enjoyed books and time with friends (not enough of it) and really really good vegan food.
My highlight? Let’s go with two – becoming an aunty, and our two weeks in Italy. In Italy I finally found a distance from work that I’d been seeking for months, fed my love of travel (in particular, my insistence on navigating public transport in any given place) and lapped up the kind of carefree joy in my relationship that being away from the day to day is so brilliant at bringing.
One of the things I’ve been considering today is the times this year when I was the happiest, and I’m finding that while the setting for them is mostly travel related or when I’ve been with special people, what connects them is the fact that they are moments I was able to be fully present and fully feel content in.
Funny that, isn’t it – it’s almost as though possessions, spinning your stupid hamster wheel in the office, or Instagram likes, aren’t the making of a person. Which leads me on to say that I’m in that unsettling but hopefully metamorphic place where I’m not fulfilling all that I thought I’d fulfil, but also realising that the things I thought might fulfil me might not actually do that.
And now here we are, on the final day of good but laborious and definitely a little weird 2018. I was hoping for a long, peace-restoring Christmas break, but a project I’m involved in at work always runs over Christmas and about a week into January – it was never going to happen.
So it has honestly taken me until today to feel the flutter of something like motivation stirring, but stirring it is, and I’m very much looking forward to 2019. A new year will never cease to galvanise me and while I agree wholeheartedly that no one needs to change or reinvent themselves simply because a matter of hours has passed and we find ourselves in a different stretch of time, I think finding comfort and hope in a new leaf is fine too.
Here’s to the year that was – and the one that’s waiting just over the page.
What I’m wearing
Dress – C/O Dorothy Perkins | Boots – New Look | Bag – Primark | Jacket – Topshop
Photography: Sarah Ellen Photography