Personal

Vignettes of 2014

Hello dear friends! I’m finally back after a looooong unplanned hiatus, and if you’re still keeping up with this then – can I take you out for coffee sometime? Because I admire your commitment and you’re clearly doing better than I am.

As you might have noticed, I’ve completely revamped the ol’ blog (new theme, new name, new URL etc.) in the hope that it will inspire me to actually want to write again. Under its old name and design, my blog was very much mental health-orientated, and while I continue to struggle with these issues and will undoubtedly post about them when I have something insightful to say, I thought it was time for a makeover. I don’t know, maybe it’s that I’m now in my twenties and ready to approach things in a different way. Same old problems, but with added panache, I guess.

Now I know we’re almost a week into 2015 already, but seeing as I’ve been incommunicado since February last year, I thought it was only appropriate that I summarise some of the cool and not-so-cool things I did in 2014. *Draws deep breath* here it goes:

January: had the first and only fun NYE of my life. Got on the BBC. Met up with an old friend for the first time in eight years. Experienced the magic of Haruki Murakami for the first time. Officially began my first serious relationship.
February: properly experienced Valentine’s Day for the first time. Met my now-flatmates.
March: went to stay with afore-mentioned old friend in Dundee. Went to a onesie club night and was one of two people wearing a onesie, the other being my friend. Embraced the shame. Saw West Side Story. Had a disastrous choir audition so in typical Scottish style, ate haggis and drowned my sorrows for the rest of the day. Got elected onto the Music Society committee.
April: went up north to stay in the countryside and meet the boyfriend’s family. Went to a vegan art café in the middle of a forest. Bought shiny red shoes that I still never wear because ouch. Paid the deposit on our lovely little flat.
May: went to my friend’s amazing birthday barbeque. Anything that involves her family making food for me is automatically the highlight of the month and to be honest, my memory fails me for May. Oh, I sang a very brief solo in our chorus concert.
June: went on tour to Belfast. Visited the Giant’s Causeway. Got a job at the festival. Went to the zoo at night. Met Aubrey Plaza.
July: went up north again. Read a lot. Started trying to edit my novel. Gave up on trying to edit my novel. Tried to come off citalopram. Became a messy, horrible person. Went back on citalopram. Saw Boyhood, which had to be my film of the year. Went to an incredible contemporary circus where everyone was beautiful and it “snowed” shaving foam at the end.
August: “did” the festival for the first time. Worked at the International Festival and made the most of the free tickets. Saw lots both there and in the Fringe, from improv to plays to a Zulu ballet with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Met a busker quite a bit older than me from Covent Garden with amazing dreadlocks, a taste for noodles and blues guitar skills, who invited me to visit him in London some time. Discovered the thrill of asking the barman to “make me something with vodka in it.”
September: worked at some open days and made the easiest £160 of my life. Got into Chamber Choir. Started third year. Went on an amazing scavenger hunt. Volunteered at the student advice centre in Freshers’ Week and loved it so much I decided to go back as a year-long volunteer. Started my Music in the Community placement, doing one session a week with children with learning disabilities. Saw Stephen Fry.
October: saw Nicole Atkins. Sang at some prestigious events and got a free bottle of wine. Went to a party dressed as zombie Beethoven. Discovered peach squash and Malibu is surprisingly nice. Got a Christmas temp job.
November: saw Chvrches. Designed a zine about saving money for “Moneyvember.” Had a mental breakdown and had to sit out half of one of my concerts. Upped citalopram dosage. Tried propanolol. First serious relationship came to its natural conclusion. Hated life. Quit Christmas temp job. Tried to make myself feel better by decorating advice centre’s Christmas tree.
December: felt awful all month. Realised propanolol was doing nothing for me. Got offered diazepam instead. Rejected diazepam. Gran had an accident and went into hospital. Became very familiar with the ceiling above my bed. Went for a really nice Christmas dinner with friends and it made me feel slightly better. Turned twenty. Celebrated by making guacamole.

It’s funny how, reflecting on this now, it seems my year was fine for the most part, but then got pretty bad towards the end. Perhaps it’s because I only choose to remember the good bits from earlier in the year, whereas the bad bits of winter are still fresh in my mind. The memory works in mysterious ways.

And even funnier is how looking back, my year wasn’t defined by the big things, like my relationship, but instead by all the small moments that made me smile: watching Despicable Me in my friend’s bed, making macarons for the first time, reading 56 books throughout the year…I hold out hope for many more.

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