I meant to do a 2015 recap way sooner than this but due to an eventful start to the year i.e. I was holidaying in SE Asia with my family, developed a nasty cold on returning home and then the brand new series of X Files started, I'm a little late to the party. Better late than ever they say so here I am reflecting on the year just ended and looking forward to the next 11 months.
2015 was great, one of the best years I've had in a long time actually and it basically boils down to a couple of reasons.
Those who know me will absolutely reiterate how unhappy I was in my previous job. I spent over 4 years working for a large company in a traditional science based role. My issues didn't stem from my colleagues (they're great and I miss working with them very much) but from the management who basically didn't give a flying fuck about my job or how I wanted to progress career wise. I was left feeling completely demotivated, unhappy and disrespected. It was only on my last day that my boss realised how important my job actually was and that my contribution to the team was valued. I know I should have said more to him about my discontent whilst I worked there but I'm not good at complaining and I know this is a problem I need to deal with. I'm irked by the people who complain about being super busy whilst fretting around the office not actually doing any work as I sit at my desk and get on with my tasks. And that's were the issue lay, to succeed you had to play the game and I am frankly not interested in such childish exploits. I work, not because I love it, but because it pays for me to do to things that I do love so the less stress the better. Work is not the be all and end all to life so working in a place where it felt like it was did not sit well with me. Everyone in the office seemed unhappy and I'm pretty sure it was thanks to management's 'live-to-work' attitude rather than the other way around. To top it off, I spent at least 3 hours commuting everyday which meant I was spending almost half my day either at work or travelling, and for a job I quite frankly hated this wasn't ideal.
In August I got a new job in the field of science communications. This means I do stuff like social media, outreach and writing media content on a day-to-day basis and I am so much happier for it. Not only do I have a quick train journey to work but I am working in an environment where people are encouraging of what you do and gaining experience in your areas of interest. Everyone works hard but there isn't the expectation to spend every waking hour of your week in front of a computer screen.
Changing jobs to a more pleasurable environment, location and role has definitely contributed to my increased state of happiness and general well being.
Wow, I didn't actually mean to have a massive rant about my old job in this post but looking back on the past 6 months I realise just how crazy the previous years made me feel. I think I have some unresolved issues with my time there but I'm moving on and starting to feel more like myself and a valued member of staff. I've always been a laid back person and it never occurred to me that my job could play such havoc with my emotional state but now I realise just how easily it can. My advice to anyone in a job they don't like is to focus on finding yourself a new position and reminding yourself that a job isn't forever. Job hunting is a pain and you really do need to give yourself ample time during the application process but it will pay off in the end. Life is too short to be in a job that makes you unhappy.
The second thing that has contributed to my happiness is my boyfriend Steve.
I kind of hate to admit that a person, other than myself, can have such an impact of my sense of being but when I met Steve in December 2013 my life changed and 2 years on I am still living in a continued state of absolute glee. Steve and I met online on the music website Tastebuds. Back then I was kind of embarrassed to admit that but now I give zero fucks about telling people the truth. The website is a sort of music discovery, find a gig buddy type place that you can also use for online dating. Back then you didn't have to pay to privately message people but now you do which is a real pity because I don't think Steve and I would have ended up meeting if we'd been required to splash the cash.
Anyway, back to my sickening love letter, Steve is the most perfect human I've ever met. I'm an independent gal who doesn't need looking after but Steve makes me feel safe, loved and super duper can't even describe it happy. We have been on so many exciting adventures and I know there's a million more yet to come. 2015 was another amazing year for travel and we spent a long weekend in Paris, 2 weekends in our favourite UK city Glasgow, an out of this world 2 week road trip around Iceland, a foodie tour of the Basque Country, a Christmas weekend in Germany which is soon becoming a tradition of ours (Cologne and Düsseldorf this time) and a couple of trips to Ireland to see our families. I've always been a big traveller whether it was on my own or with friends but I wouldn't have been able to do some of these trips if it wasn't for Steve. We are so similar in terms of the things we love and I really do think Steve is the male equivalent of myself. We both love music and we spend a lot of time going to gigs, festivals, discovering new bands and rummaging through charity shop for second hand vinyl. The thing we love most of all is food and Steve is just as eager to explore the new restaurants of London as I am.
This year we have some wonderful trips planned including a quick weekend in Luxembourg, our annual pilgrimage to Scandinavia (this time to Gothenburg), a huge 3 week trip to Japan and South Korea for my 30th birthday and of course a visit to Germany in December (location pending). Even when we're not abroad we spend our weekends discovering areas of London we haven't been to before or trying to find local gems that make us feel better about living in Wimbledon. We've been in our flat for over a year now and whilst we're both not totally fond of South London, Wimbledon in particular, we're trying to make the best of it. Steve is from North London and these last 2 years I've fallen in love with the area. I hope that one day we can move back to his home town of Highbury as it's a wonderful location. Until then Wimbledon will have to do and to be perfectly honest, when I'm here with Steve it really isn't too bad.
So as you can tell I'm really excited about 2016. We've got lots planned and that's means lots of planning which I love. I've got my guidebooks ready and have already been making notes, we've got quite a few exciting gigs lined up and over the next couple of months we'll be making up our minds about which summer festivals to hit.
I haven't really made any resolutions for 2016 but I would really like to get back into running as it's been far too long. Also, trying not to go out and spend so much would be a bonus, that trip to Japan and town house in HIghbury isn't going to pay for itself!
Please do leave my any tips if you've ever been to Japan, Korea, Luxembourg city or Gothenburg as it really will help with the planning process.