1. Travel is good for the soul.
I've always wanted to see the world and this year I ventured a lot further afield than I have before. I was lucky enough to go to New York, Glastonbury and Bruges alongside various weekends in the UK. New York was absolutely amazing and helped me realise a ten year dream. Next year I'm going to start the dreaded house fund as I dig deep to buy my own house. But I don't want to sacrifice travel so I'm going to have to cut back on a lot of other things. Like they say, travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer so I'm willing to stay in a bit more so I can fulfil my wanderlust. It's worth it.
2. Make more times for friends.
The above photo was taken a few days ago at my friends birthday pub trip that obviously eventually got out of hand, like all trips to the pub with these lot do. I stayed at home during Uni and was stuck with the lads as all the girls more or less moved away. I've got a deep affection for this lot and feel very protective over them - next year marks nine years since we all got to know each other at Sixth Form. Luckily one of the girls moved back home so I'm not outnumbered too much! I didn't really make much time for my friends this year as I let my work take priority and spent a lot more time on my new friendships. That night out on 27th made me realise that making time for your old friends is essential as well as nurturing those new friendships. It's also made me think that it's about time the lads got themselves girlfriends!
I spent a part of the year having a bit of a meltdown at the prospect of turning 26 without having much to show for it. But it also made me appreciate my career. I've always been a career girl and was desperate to jump on the ladder and went without a lot to get to where I am today. Hand on my heart, it has all been worth it. Everyone is different and people do things at different times. It is neither right or wrong.
4. Material things don't always make you the happiest.
I've always been a lover of things and am slightly proud of the amount of money I can spend in one shopping trip. But this year I came to the realisation that this isn't the root of all happiness. I know right? Buying that new dress might make you feel good on the day but you can't buy the things that make you happy in life. Memories don't have a price tag. Those evenings you laugh about when you're with your friends, those nights in snuggled in front of the telly with your boyfriend and the days you spend with your nan putting the world to rights are the things that leave you with a big smile on your face.
I had a job title change earlier on in the year and made the switch from pictures to editorial. I'll be honest, I was a wreck for about 3 months constantly doubting my abilities and struggling with the huge change at work. But eventually I began to manage my time better and grew more confident in my abilities when I started to pull things off. I'm still learning but I think I'm - well hope! - improving and it's all thanks to my sheer determination not to be a failure. I haven't quite grasped it all yet but I no longer feel like I'm treading water. I feel like I'm getting somewhere. It just goes to show that hard work does pay off even if it takes six months.
6. It's ok to say no
I always have FOMO and say yes to everything. It can be a blessing and a curse. It means that I've done some amazing things but always that I'm constantly exhausted and feel like I'm running at 100mph all the time. I moved offices this year out to Essex from London and it means my commute time is a lot longer - I don't get home till around 7.30-8pm. I've had to say no to a lot of things as I simply can't muster the energy. But you know what, I actually don't mind. It nice to just come straight home after work and jump in my PJs and paint my nails. Rock and roll!
What did you learn in 2014?
Excuse the grainy photos - they're just a few iPhone snaps of my favourite things I've done this year. It's been a good one 2014!