2017 - My Year of Growth
Where on earth do I even start...
SO much has happened in 2017 and the number of opportunities that have opened up for next year are unbelievable. I have no idea where I'm heading, but it feels good.
So here's a short summary of my biggest achievements of this year.
I've grown mentally more than I ever thought I'd be able to. Thanks to a mixture of this vegan community, my boyfriend Jordan, my family, friends, and many, many ups and downs, I've come out of this year with more knowledge about who I am, where my behaviors come from, and I've worked through trauma that I never previously realised I was holding back.
I've got my first ever internship(s). I'm now an intern at Moshi Moshi (a record label) and Stay Golden PR (a music PR company). Thank you to Dave the Legend (you know who you are) for presenting the opportunity for an interview to me in the first place, and of course to Feedy and Jodie for giving me a place! I'm loving it, and I'm beyond excited for what's to come in 2018.
I've been to my first major music networking event which took place in Cannes, France. Not only was it a gorgeous location especially so in summer, but I made a few vital contacts in the music industry as well as some friends from the other side of the globe. Love to you all!
I've changed friendship groups a little. This for me was one of my biggest challenges of 2017. It's something that brought up a whole host of bad memories from secondary school but I've now learnt how to notice who's right for me, who I feel comfortable around, and who accepts me for who I am. And there is so much freedom that comes with a change as huge as that.
I've started doing assessments at university that now count towards my degree, and my course finishes at the beginning of August 2018. This has brought a massive amount of stress to a few months throughout the year, especially so in July and November. However I've got through it with everything handed in on time, I'm getting better at dealing with my perfectionism, and each time the stress has come back around I've slightly altered my way of dealing with it and I will continue to do so until stress is a minimal problem in my life. There have been moments when I've freaked out about not knowing what I'll be doing or where I'll be in August 2018, but I've finally let go of that worry and learnt to be open minded. Something will happen, but for now I'm focusing on the present.
I've been in my longest relationship. I remember when Jordan and I first met in September 2016 and when he asked for my number my head's response was something along the lines of 'OKAY ALLY STAY CALM but what if he's just going to use you because he's really hot so he can't be that nice but f*** it anyway give this a chance and see what happens ahhhhhh' and of course all that actually came out of my mouth was 'yeah sure', haha. Fast forward to now and we've been together for over a year, never had an argument and we're even more supportive and happy than this time last year.
I've traveled a little! I took Jordan to Berlin in April and my family, myself and Jordan all went to Alsace in the summer for two weeks along with Jacqueline and her family from Munich in Germany. It's always nice having a vegan buddy to make dinner and practice my German with!
I've watched one of my favourite artists, Etham, grow his following and play his first ever headline show. One of the few moments of 2017 that brought me to tears. I've never seen someone as happy to see a screaming/singing crowd as Etham was on that night.
Jordan took me to The Eden Project for my 19th birthday which was amazing. I am so incredibly lucky to have him as my boyfriend, he never fails to make me smile. I also had a joint party with my flat mate Ollie on the weekend closest to my birthday, along with a monstrously huge vegan chocolate cake (that's the most accurate way of describing it), decorated with more chocolate in every form imaginable. I remember having a chunk (yep, a chunk, not a slice) so huge that I had to hold it with two hands. It was amazing. Thank you to Jordan and his flatmates for letting us have the party in your house!
I've had amazing opportunities to perform my rants that rhyme (aka spoken word poetry) and be a backing singer for the other wonderful artists in the Young Women's Music Project. The most special moment was at Cowley Road Carnival in Oxford, where I performed a poem for the very first time about sexual assault. This was so personal to me and a huge part of my growth this year that it brought me to tears whilst I was performing it. Having a crowd choose to stop, stay and listen to my poetry hit me hard, and that moment was one where I felt the most listened to and accepted. Thank you if you were in that crowd, and thank you to the people who came up to me afterwards to say how much the performance resonated with them.
Lastly, my fear of food has decreased massively. In fact it's hardly there anymore, and I hope that in 2018, 2019 and many years after that I can help anyone else struggling with food and eating. If you ever need to chat, drop me a message on Instagram and I'll be more than happy to help you out in whatever way I can.
Speaking of Instagram I am so incredibly thankful for each and every one of you who follows my account, leaves comments and messages me with some of the kindest words I think I've ever read. My following has grown loads in the past 6 months especially but despite there being thousands of you I do still notice the kind souls that like every single post of mine, always watch my stories, comment on my posts and of course those of you who have been there since the very beginning. I have a whole lot of appreciation for all of you, whether you've been with me for a year or a day. I hope I can continue to give back to you the amount of love you've given to me.
This year has been overwhelmingly brilliant. Let's see what 2018 has in store.