I stumbled across this idea on Pinterest (original post here on Boho Berry) and thought it was a fantastic way of reminding oneself of all the excellent things that happen. It’s easy to get bogged down in the bad, particularly in the middle of a soggy, cold January, so I thought I’d join in with the celebration of everything that’s already been and invite you to as well. I’d love to read your posts.
1. Got a first in my degree (2009)
Good lord, that feels like a long old time ago now. When I left home to go to University, I wasn’t in the best place. My parents had just divorced, we’d just moved out of our childhood home, and because at the time I was choosing my degree, everything was at the height of awful, I’d picked a place over a hundred miles away, only to pick up a boyfriend I was very fond of a few weeks later.
Despite all that, and a general level of social ineptitude that means I accidentally offend people more often than I befriend them, I went on to make a good success of Uni. I made some friends for life, had some fantastic experiences, and to top it off I achieved a first. Just. By about 0.4%, but who’s counting?
2. Moved in with boyfriend (around 2007)
As previously mentioned, my time at University was preceded by a period of instability. My family were moving into a new house that would never really be mine. I stayed there for all of four months in the end, I think. But, at around the same time, that boyfriend I was very fond of was in the process of moving out of his parents’ home. He got a cute little flat on a new housing estate that was perfect for first time buyers. I didn’t officially move in with him until after Uni, but it was a base for me during the holidays. It was nice to have a place to be alone with him, and made the experience of the long distance relationship more bearable.
3. bought first house together with boyfriend (2012)
Technically bought in December 2011, but not moved in to until February 2012. While we loved the flat, we outgrew it, and we were ready to move forwards in our lives together. While the house has had it’s problems – a few cowboys have done some building work in here before – we’ve made some good progress towards getting it how we want it. There’s still some way to go yet, but everything we do is one step closer to perfection.
4. Completed PGCE (2010)
While I can say with the clarity and honesty of hindsight that deciding to go into teaching wasn’t the best choice I ever made, I have no regrets in many ways. Doing the PGCE not only provided me with a masters level qualification, but it gave me an excellent tolerance for stress and hard work. I got my first serious job out of it, which came with a lot of bad, but gave me the experience I needed to launch a career in other things. Plus, I made a few more friends for life while training.
5. Left teaching (2014)
This was so terrifying at the time, but it was the best decision I ever made. I can’t imagine how I would be feeling if I was still trying to battle through teaching. It wasn’t the right job for me, and though there were parts of it I liked – mostly the academia – I just wasn’t well suited to other parts of the role (see above mention of social ineptitude). The period between leaving teaching and now, almost a year and a half later, has been a rough ride at times. I guess I thought not having to be a teacher would magically make me happy, but you don’t go through all that negativity and suddenly become happy overnight. I’ve had to work at it, and it has not been easy. But I go into this new year for the first time with nothing work-related that needs changing or adjusting in any way. And that is a wonderful feeling.
6. Ran a half marathon (2014)
Well, sort of stumbled a lot of it. But I did it. At a time when I was feeling depressed and confused, this challenge showed me what my body was capable of.
7. completed the tests to be a train driver
I didn’t get the job (horrendous sexist interview which I should have challenged and complained about, but wasn’t emotionally up to at the time) but going through the motions of applying for it, taking the tests and passing several stages before the interview was the first step on the road to believing that I was capable of doing something other than asking if you need any help with your packing. Failing at teaching had left me feeling incapable and incompetent. Taking these tests reminded me that I wasn’t.
8. Started my current job (2015)
January 5th, 2015. It’s been over a year and I can’t believe how quickly that’s gone. It wasn’t the train driver job, and I didn’t really know what it would entail, but within a couple of months I knew it was a brilliant job for me. It used skills I enjoyed using, didn’t leave me too exhausted to think at the end of each day, came with lots of fabulous colleagues who I really enjoy working with, and provides me with plenty of opportunities to feel like I’m doing something good – which was always my favourite part of teaching: making a real, tangible difference to the world.
9. Got engaged (2015)
That boyfriend I was very fond of stuck with me through a lot of stuff. And now he’s my fiancé.
10. completed my book series (2015)
I’m only going to do ten. I could go on – which is lovely! – but I’m sticking to the biggies. And this was a huge one. After dragging my feet with my writing during my teaching career, I’ve finally got some energy and drive to have a good go at this self publishing lark. My series of novellas has been completed, I’m part way through editing book one as we speak, and I feel like I finally have the tools and time I need to launch them into the wider world. So watch this space!