All the Extras
This page is where I'll discuss a mix of other topics which either are important or I just want to discuss and let you know about.
We are finally here: 2018 looms ever closer on the horizon as we prepare to bid so long, farewell to another year. I don't know about you, but 2017 has flown even faster than the last few years seem to have done?!
All in all, 2017 was a very mixed year for me. It was one that I was looking forward to, but also had many chapters of ends and new beginnings. It was a scary prospect.
Over here in England, 2017 has been an important year for my city (we've been UK City of Culture) and I've honestly never been prouder to live in it. I've seen another side to it and it's been fantastic to watch events unfold as the year has progressed.
More specifically for me, no matter how positive I felt on New Year's day, as a whole, January and February were not good months. I was bogged down with my dissertation for university and the weight of my mental health struggles at times felt like I would never improve. I didn't want to be in that final year and thought about quitting many times.
Thankfully, my support system were there for me. They included my parents, church family and so many of my friends who keep me floating when I couldn't swim through the mess. They convinced me time and time again to keep going, until I found I was make progress. I didn't get the final classification I wanted, but A) I have a degree, and B) I survived the worst of what uni, my depression and anxiety could throw at me.
I graduated in July- see picture.
(This will be a rare one of me on here.)
Actually, now I think about it, this picture isn't that rare. It's also my Goodreads and Twitter profile pics currently, but you get the idea.
I do have social anxiety, remember? :)
After that, I took the entire summer to do nothing but read, go on holiday and just have some time off. Look after myself a bit better, that kind of thing. Up until I'd finished in may and was waiting on my results, I'd barely read anything. I often didn't have time and when I did, I was too exhausted to pick up a book.
More than just a hobby nowadays, reading helps me recharge and is a way for me of looking after my mental health.
You can probably guess the fun cycle I had until I could properly pick up a book again. I also found myself struggling to do anything which wasn't related to uni in some way- and often felt guilty for doing non-uni activities. It wasn't good for me.
So I had to learn to give myself permission to give myself some space and distance and try things I enjoy. Usually in the forms of listening to music or doodling. (I won't call it drawing per se, because I really can't draw) But for a couple of months, I kind of did some fan art from a book series I adore and half owe my sanity to. Said series helped me understand it was ok for me to say no to things every now and then if they would only hinder me further.
Now I'm very active on Goodreads and I'm so thankful for all of the people I've gotten to know on there over this year! Thanks everyone. Keep being amazing. :D
My 2017 reading challenge was set to 30 books for the year, as past ones have. I did this mostly because I knew uni would get it the way a lot- I just didn't realise how much. So until the summer, I was really behind. I hit my goal in September, as I wrote in this post, which was such a big thing for me.
As of writing this post, the book I finished earlier today puts my reading challenge at 65 books read this year- 66, tomorrow when I finish my final one of the year! This will be a total of 220%, more than twice over. (I think, maths has never been my strong point) That's about 37 extra books. I'm sat here, letting this still sink in and I want to cry. It means a lot than I can express in a few paragraphs.
This GIF may represent me over the last couple of months and I couldn't be happier. :D
Sadly, my room is not a library, but I have enough books to technically own one. I still want the sliding ladders to go with it.
One of the biggest things in this year, of course, is that I've started this blog. I finally took notes in April to take this idea seriously, though it was a bit scary, and hoped I could start it in May.
Instead, I began this blog on 1st August and it's been a fun yet challenging and interesting ride so far. I'm very much looking forward to the future with it. :)
Since the start of autumn, I've been looking for a job within the animal industry and have met some fantastic people at the Warren Centre on the Achieve Project who are helping me look for said job. If any of you read this, thanks a lot. I've only known you since October but it feels like a lot longer and I'm glad I do now.
So far, no luck. But who knows what 2018 will hold for me there- I have several plans in the making, so we'll see. :)
My writing has taken off the latter half of the year. I got involved with a project for my city with the help of the aforementioned amazing people at the Warren Centre, whom I had the privilege to blog about the event for.
Personally, I finally got to take part in my first ever NaNoWriMo, which was insane, but I learnt a lot about myself as a writer in it. My first draft is practically done- the aim was New Year's Eve, but it might be New Year's Day instead. But still. Details.
Not a lot else changed much. Nothing major that I can think of, at least.
So. 2018. I already have a lot of reading and writing planned. Even a good few blog posts for January. I'm hoping to include a few new things on here too, so we'll see how that goes.
In terms of the changes in my mental health from the start of this year to now, I've noticed the biggest boost I have ever I think. I'm going to try get back to doing activities I have in the past which I know for a fact help keep my depression at bay.
Also, to work on managing my anxiety a lot better next year- that's going to be the real challenge. But I can do this.
Oh, and I will start to tackle my massive DVD pile which I've let build up. Look out for lots of film reviews next year! :D
That's all for now. I think I've covered everything. In many ways, 2017 has brought the positives which I felt it might at the start of the year, but there have been other things that have been hard to get through. But I know myself a bit better now and think they helped regardless.
Once again, all that's left for me to say is: All the best for 2018 and happy New Year!!