Reflection on 2017

As I mentioned in my ‘How To Prepare The New Year’, a big thing about going into a new year for me is being able to reflect on the one that is ending. So, I thought I’d reflect on the year that I’ve had for you all, as I love to read this and to see what everyone has accomplished this year.

I’m going to start at the very beginning-January. I love the new year, it brings with it so many new opportunities and a fresh start is always needed. This year was no exception, I started the year working out, eating healthily, not biting my nails and with a new mindset. The main thing that has stuck with me since the 1st of January 2017 has been my changed mindset. I just decided on the 1st that this was going to be my year, I had more determination, motivation and inspiration then I have ever have. I was adamant that I was going to be the best version of myself and face whatever lay in front of me head on. That stuck, I’d like to think that I’m still in the mindset now, in fact I know for certain I still am. Aside from that, I continued to eat healthy and exercise regularly but I did stop biting my nails. I think it’s something that will never really leave me, it goes hand in hand with my anxiety which will also sadly never leave me so I doubt that 2018 will be an exception.

I had mock A-Level exams in January which went okay, they could have gone better but I could have put in more work- you get out what you put in. The last exam that I sat went amazing, I was beyond happy and filled with confidence and self-belief. That afternoon I went home and decided to do something which I didn’t think much about at the time but had such a profound effect on my year and life.

I decided to start a blog, I threw together the theme and design, opened a blog post draft and typed away. I didn’t think much about what I was typing, I just wrote what I felt and what I felt like I wanted to say. I can’t read that first post back now without cringing, I hate it when it pops up on my Stats page that someone has read it now! But it got my point across and on the 12th of January 2017, my blog was born.

I am so thankful for my past self that day as if I hadn’t have done it then, I probably still wouldn’t have done it now. I needed to bite the bullet and do it. It was the best decision that I’ve ever made, I never thought then that I’d be where I am now with my blog. My goals are so big for it now compared to when I started it, all I wanted then was for my parents and boyfriend to read it, I’m sure they were the only ones who did!

February was a busy month for me. It always seems to be for some reason. I went to see Jack Whitehall and Busted (on two separate occasions) who were both amazing, I love going to live shows it’s such a love of mine. Whenever I have a busy time in my life, I usually have a battle with my anxiety, no matter how big or small it is. In February it was big. I had a massive breakdown to one of my teachers, I told her exactly how I felt, how it consumed my every thought and made me hate myself. She helped me to develop coping strategies, introduced me to the lifesaver that is Rescue Remedy and asked me multiple times a week how I was getting along. Anxiety is horrific, I thought I’d gone back to square one but I hadn’t. I picked myself up, brushed myself down and made sure that I got my year back on track. I’m proud of myself for that.

I think the reason that the monster that is anxiety resurfaced is because I had an interview at the University of Manchester to get onto the course that I wanted. The hypothetical possibilities made me feel physically sick, I didn’t know what to expect or what to say, it took over my every thought. I couldn’t do it in the end, which I’m always a bit gutted about but what’s done is done. It really was not worth making me feel so mentally unwell which started to take its toll on my physical health as I started to struggle with my asthma at night. I’m content with the decision that I made, I really am.

After that hiccup in the beginning of February, I decided that I what I needed was a change. So I got my hair cut. You know someone’s having a change when they decide to cut their hair. It made my confidence rocket, I that’s when I started to have self-confidence and self-belief. I’m going to get my hair cut again this February as I think it really does me the world of good.

March was a quiet one. I wrote a couple of blog posts that I was really proud of and got really good feedback from. I changed my writing style in March, I can’t pin point why that was exactly but I just decided to write how I wanted to, in my voice. I didn’t want to filter out my colloquialisms and dialect, I think that is something that makes my posts more unique- they’re not perfect and never will be.

April is one of my favourite months, I love Easter and Spring. It’s such a lovely time of year. I went to see Ed Sheeran which was incredible, it was also quite bittersweet as I had had that date in mind to have passed my driving test for. It was all that I could think about on the train there, I was quite gutted but it was still such an amazing concert.

In April I decided to take a break from blogging which at the time I didn’t know. I thought I’d stopped, calling a day on it was a subconscious decision. I wasn’t putting my all into it, I was confused about where I stood with it and what I was getting out of it. So I stopped and that was that.

It was in May that I started to miss it. Not only is it my hobby, it is something that I am so passionate about and that I genuinely love doing. So I did a little Life Update, I really like this post it’s such a poignant one reading it back. I’m glad I made the decision to return back to blogging, it’s one that I’m so so so grateful for.

June was a blooming good one, life got really great in June and it stayed that way. My A-Level exams started which were difficult, they were so ridiculously challenging but I put in so much hard work and got through it.

I also got my gorgeous little Bruce in June. I have so much love for this little rabbit, he makes me so happy and makes me laugh so much. It was such a good decision to get him, he’s such a vital part of the family now. The week that we got Bruce was quite a crazy one, so much so that I wrote an entire blog post which you can read here.

That week I passed my driving test. It took me a very long time to get there which you’ll know if you’ve read my post on my experience and tips on Learning To Drive. It was the biggest relief ever. I sat one of my most important exams on the same day, it was eventful to say the least but I got through it. Not only did I get through it, I smashed the exam and passed my driving test. The 14th of June 2017 will be a day that I’ll never forget. I’m so proud of myself for what I achieved that day.

In July I left college which left me with really mixed feelings. The relief was amazing, it felt incredible to not have the stress of all of the work but it left me with a little bit of a sense of loss. I felt weirdly empty like there was something missing. I wrote a longer post on my feelings here. Leaving college meant that I could pretend to be a full time blogger for a few months, I was going to start giving my blog my all. I was so determined.

I decided to end my Twitter which at the time was a McFly fan account. Then reinvent it as an account for my blog. Twitter is by far the best social media for bloggers in my opinion. It really did change the game for me. I started to engage and connect with other bloggers who I now class as my friends. I also discovered the RT accounts on Twitter which are amazing, the traffic that they drive to blogs and the support that they give is amazing. I’ll forever be grateful for those accounts.

I also started to read a lot more blogs this month which made my inspiration go through the roof. From reading other content, I managed to compile a list of ideas for my blog and got started on them. I haven’t looked back since then, this made my blog such a large part of my life.

I wanted to find myself in July. I’d had the loss of leaving college and started to label myself as a ‘blogger’. I think I’d found out a lot about myself then. I don’t like to speak about my relationship a lot on social media or on my blog for many reasons. But I’d been in a relationship for about 5/6 years, it was a situation where I didn’t know who I was without him. I was one half of a couple rather than an individual. So, I ended the relationship which was one of the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. It seemed like the right decision at the time. It did help me discover who I was though.

August is always a busy month for me. It’s my birthday month, it’s usually full of fun and exciting things. I always look forward to August and always will. I started to up my blog photography game that month, I started to post more photos on my Instagram (although engagement just got worse, thank you Insta algorithm). My incredibly talented brother also graduated in August, from which I gained a profile picture that I love. I look up to him so much, if I achieve half of what he has in my life time I’ll be ecstatic.

I got nominated for my first nominated blogger award in August, it may not be a big deal for some people but it meant the absolute world to me. I was so overwhelmed and chuffed, I’m so grateful whenever I get tagged in an awards post. I also got sent my first PR package, which was just surreal, I was so grateful and couldn’t believe how lucky I’d been.

The 17th of August was A-Level Results Day, the day that I’d been dreading and looking forward to at the same time. I wrote a full blog post on it here but I can say that it went really well and I confirmed my place at university that same day. I also had a little shopping trip to celebrate. The 26th was my 18th birthday. I had such an amazing day celebrating with my family, it was so perfect and a day that I’ll never ever forget. I hauled all of the presents that I received here.

September seemed to creep around scarily fast. I started University which was an experience that I will never be able to describe, although I did try to here. It just seemed like so much- so much time, work and effort. It was just so draining and so time consuming. I really struggled with finding the right balance between everything- university, family, friends, blogging etc. I felt like I was juggling loads of balls and kept letting them fall.

October started off the same, I felt like I was failing. I had quite a rough patch towards the beginning, for a reason that I’m not going to address on here. What I went through made me realise who I really needed. So, I got back with my boyfriend, a fresh start and a change. Both of which did our relationship wonders. He’s my best friend, I couldn’t imagine my life without him and I am so grateful for every little thing that he does for me (and he does an awful lot)! Everything seemed to go on the up from that point and it hasn’t gone down since.

I had my first sponsored post go up in October, which was crazy. I will never be able to express what it feels like to be paid for doing something that you love. The post can be read here, I still can’t believe I got paid for it! I also decided to daily blog for a week or so, which was such hard work but so rewarding as my stats went through the roof and I got such amazing feedback. I love to post daily from time to time but could never be able to do it for a full month- hats off to those of you who did Blogmas you’re amazing!!

I carried on posing daily into November, it is just so rewarding and I love creating content on that quick turn around. November was quite a quiet one to be honest, I had a really nice weekend away with my boyfriend, we went to see Jimmy Carr and got to spend some quality time together.

That brought us to December-my favourite time of the year. Christmas is such a special, magical time for me. I ended the year on a high, with some amazing people and being able to look back on the year that I’ve had and smile. I can look back at what I’ve achieved and what I’ve been through and smile. 2017 was a good one. It had its moments. It was tough at times. But I’ve done so much growing this year- grow through what you go through ey?

On the 1st of January 2017 I said ‘this is going to be my year’. It really was.

Goodbye 2017, you did a hella lot for me. But I’m so ready for 2018, I’m so ready for a fresh start and to go into this year as a person that I’m proud of.

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year. Thank you so much for supporting me this year, I can’t express how grateful I am that you read my posts, it still baffles me! But thank you. I can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for my blog…

My social media:

Twitter: @molliewesthead

Instagram: @molliewesthead

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/MollieWestheadx/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28406199-mollie-westhead

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