I’m sure there are a lot of posts like this going about at the moment, so thank you for reading mine. This is a look back for me on the year just gone, a reflection on how it was and what I achieved. I thought it would be nicer than setting goals for next year, because I already know what I want to go on and achieve.
For this year’s successes and joys to make sense to you, it’s probably relevant to know the two awful things that I was going through in 2016/17:
• 7 people I knew passed away in around the space of a year
• My boyfriend of 3 years broke up with me
Okay now that’s out the way, you could maybe see why I wanted 2018 to be a bit of a better year?
So it started off in the best way possible. I mentioned my boyfriend and I broke up, well that was because it was the wrong time for us and we were moving in different directions. That was in December 2016. But the fates of the universe and the use of mobile phones had us back in contact in 2017 and in January 2018 we decided to give our relationship a round 2! I don’t think that’s anything I’ve ever talked about on here, because it’s private to me still and reminds me of how awful my year in-between was. But the point of me mentioning this in my 2018 look back, is because something I never thought would happen did. Over the last year I have been so happy and feeling hopeful about the future and I am grateful to have my boyfriend and best friend back.
I can’t quite explain everything I went through in 2016/17, but just know it was horrible and lonely and full of a lot of grief. To reverse this and see 2018 bring in new beginnings and a real future I could see myself in, was such a thing to celebrate. My mental health improved so much and I became more motivated.
As a result of all of the above, my blog has flourished, I have grown my social media accounts and been able to set up a proper schedule for them. I’m reading books I really want to read and I’m loving them. I’m travelling more and seeing new things, I’ve been aboard twice this year!
Disclosure — I am NOT saying I had these good things because of a man, I am saying that for a while it felt like a part of me wasn’t there, like a light bulb needed to be changed I suppose? But in January I changed the lightbulb, I became happier and felt more inspired.
So as I mentioned, my blog has grown and become something I am so proud of. I treat it now as a second job and take my content creation seriously, I have been posting twice a week for many months now. This is also thanks to Lyrical Host, a web-hosting company who helped me move my blog from Wix to WordPress and make it look the way you’re seeing it now. I’ve been so motivated to match this beautiful design with interesting content. Going self hosted was one of my best blogging decisions of 2018.
I’ve also been able to boost my following on both Instagram and Twitter this year thanks to pods, new friends and better content. I started off the year not being too fussed by Twitter, but now I love it! I really enjoy writing my Tweets and talking to my friends on the platform. Both Twitter and Instagram have been amazing places to meet new bookish people and I love being part of this superb and friendly community and the opportunities that come with it.
In 2018 I have travelled so much more than I have any other year, with holidays to Kefalonia and Rome! It’s been just fantastic to explore new places and see beautiful sites in different parts of the world. I also took a trip to Portsmouth and to Cardiff for gigs, so seeing more live music has been exciting too! I’ve linked in my travel posts from my trips if you wanted to read more about each of them.
YALC (young adult literature convention) was such a good experience this year. It was my second year attending, but this year I knew people and was meeting up with friends I’d met online. I can’t explain how at home I feel there, to be surrounded by bookish people and have books coming at you left, right and centre. Honestly, it was such a fantasy experience and I can’t wait to go again in 2019 and meet up with friends over the three day weekend.
This year has been non-stop, I have loved it and am even more thankful for it after two very bad years. I hope 2019 continues to offer me adventure and new experiences and I’m fairly sure it’ll be the year I move out of my house and live away from home. I am so excited to see the next chapter of my life unfold, but for now, Beth from BooksNest has had a very smiley year. Thank you to everyone who was apart of it!
I leave you with a Gandalf quote that has been my mantra from the hard times to today:
“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
Happy New Year!