I was going to do a similar post to Louise’s, going through each month and picking out the things I’ve done. But seeing as I did a monthly recap, I thought doing a post like that would just be a recap of the recaps! I did however want to reflect on the year that was 2014.
It was, like many years, a year of highs and lows. But this time it was different due to living a different country. This is the first time since 1990 that I’ve spent an entire year not living in Ireland, having moved there in 1991. The move was scary but exciting, something that I wanted to definitely try but being a homebird just made it that slightly bit harder for me, as I would often ache to be home. Before getting a job, I found myself slipping into a lonely and dark place at times. I had no friends, my boyfriend was often at work until 10 in the evening,depending on his shift, I had no real reason to leave the house unless it was to go to the library, as I had no money or no one to spend time with. Luckily there was one person I knew when I moved here, a neighbour of my boyfriend’s from back home in Ireland. EG and her boyfriend met up with us and helped so much, so thank you thank you! In February I decided I needed to get out of the house more and so joined a local knitting group. These girls have been the best, I clicked instantly with them and they’ve become great friends. I look forward to knitting every time it’s on, it’s given me something to look forward to and has helped with my creativity too. So thank you Sarah, Amy and all the other girls (who I’m not naming on here by name, like most other people, purely because I don’t know if they’d like to be named, not because I don’t appreciate them!).
Like I said before, I’m a homebird and I have a big family I’m close to. I’m lucky to have some family members close to me here. My uncle and his wife don’t live far and have been very kind to me and my boyfriend, meeting up with us and offering their help. I have a brother in London, who I talk to on a nearly daily basis and have seen several times. I have various cousins in London who have let me stay with them, offered advice and just been there if needed. I now also have another cousin and her boyfriend who is living in Manchester, we’ve met twice since November and no doubt will meet many other times this year. It’s just really nice to have that extra person in my friend circle and someone from home too. And of course there’s been the family that have not been around me physically, my parents, siblings and other family members back home, who have been so so encouraging, supportive in many different ways and while it breaks my heart to leave whenever I visit, I just love going home to see them all. So to all my family (and I include my boyfriend’s family in this too), thank you so so much.
Speaking of those not physically near me, there’s my friend’s from back home who have just been so amazing. Especially KS, my closest friend, who has just been there whenever I need her. They say a great friendship is just being able to click back into place whenever you have not seen each other in a long time and that just happens with us all the time. It’s like I haven’t gone and I love how stepping into her family’s homes still feels like it has throughout the years, like stepping into the house of my second family. Thank you KS and family, for everything over the years. And to all my other school friends who have been there over the year. This year has been a special year to us, having lost a friend 10 years ago, but here we are, ten years later and still friends, despite now being scattered around the place. Having dinner together over Christmas was so much fun, I just loved how things were the same, all the laughter and memories we have together. Here’s to another 10 years!
And if I’m talking about friends not being physically around me, then I can’t forget my ‘internet friends’. To Sharon, Chloe and Roisin especially, thank you for being such great friends. Despite not having met you (yet!), I consider you some of my closest friends. Ye are so kind and encouraging and I love reading your posts and Tweets. Another set of internet friends are my LoSo ones, a group of ladies I’ve known from a forum for over ten years now. They remain some of the most interesting, funny, supportive and exceptionally kind people, who have listened to my thoughts and problems over the years and have encouraged me all the way. Thank you lovely LoSo ladies! Other new people this year include people who I met at the Pinterest event (Anyonita being my baking partner and fellow blogger from Manchester), the new bloggers I discovered from Rosalilum’s BEDM, the #bookbloggers and the bloggers I met at various other events, including Plastic Rosaries, Miss Pond, Prorebel, Lily Kitten, Susan Styles You, Painted Nails and Baking Scales, Of Beauty and Nothingness and many others. And of course, last but not least, Rebecca from The Lucky Rainbow! Talking about clicking instantly, the first time we met we stayed over 6 hours chatting to each other! It was so so exciting to find an Irish person in a similar position to me and I can’t wait to meet you more this year!
To my boyfriend, who I’ve been with for 9 years. This move has been tough at times on us, but we’ve stuck together and worked things out. He’s been a rock of support for me, in some many ways, and I don’t think I would have survived a move abroad if I hadn’t made it with him. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Finally to myself. Ok, so I’m not going to thank myself really, but there has been so much growth this year. Despite this being tough on me emotionally and mentally at times, I have also grown in confidence, learnt new things about myself and have started to be less harsh on myself. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, maybe it’s because I watched a lot of Rupaul’s Drag Race (thanks Amy!), but I’m beginning not to see myself as an enemy, but as a friend. Here’s hoping 2015 will be another interesting year!