It’s the final day of 2017. In addition to preparing for whatever New Year’s Eve shenanigans I have going on, for me the 31st of December is also a time of reflection. What happened this year? What did I do well? What could I have done better? What do I want from next year?
This one was an interesting year. I had high hopes for this year and a lot of aspirations, however I also had a lot of misfortunes which meant that that they didn’t quite go to plan. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot this year and, as cliche as it sounds, come out a stronger person. So as I get ready to turn the page and begin a new chapter, here’s a recap of my year.
My experience in the working world has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I graduated in the middle of a recession with not much idea what I wanted to do, so it took me a year and a half to get a proper graduate job. Since then, I’ve switched jobs a bit, for various reasons. At the start of the year, I worked at a company that I thought was going to be more of a “forever” thing. Then I didn’t get through probation. I decided I’d had enough of flatsharing and the extortionate cost of living in London, so I ended up finding a job in Reading and moving back home. However, I came down with a really bad case of anxiety and that job ended up falling through too.
In the middle of the year, things started to pick up as I landed a new, more promising job. In October, I passed probation. At 26, I finally have a stable job. Now all I need to do is buy a flat and find a husband. Which leads me on to…
I’ve been online dating unsuccessfully for the past few years, but I was starting to notice patterns as to where I was going wrong. I’d previously gone with the “scattergun” approach, trying to blast out as many dates as possible in the hope of meeting The One. Couple this with the fact I hadn’t really had the time/ patience to invest a lot of time into the sites/ apps themselves in order to sift through and find good matches, and I ended up going on a lot of bad dates. But I noticed most of my female friends seemed to at least like most of the people they were dating, and women have a reputation for being notoriously picky on dating apps, so I noticed a correlation between the two. I decided to be more strict with my time, forcing myself to go on PoF and Tinder every evening, and only agreeing to a date if I at least thought I might fancy them from pictures.
To begin with, this seemed to work. I didn’t meet anyone I really clicked with, but most of the people I met I was at least willing to see again. Then, at the start of February, I went on one good date. This never happens! But he lived up north so we didn’t end up meeting again. Then my job turned sour, and I was sidetracked from dating for a while. When I was settled in my second job of the year, I started going on dates, then that went tits-up and I was out of action again. During the second half of the year, my working days were so long (12 hours a day thanks to the commute) I only went on a handful of dates. And frustratingly, I kept meeting duds– I was still trying to screen harder, but I kept meeting people who looked good in their photos but we didn’t click personality-wise.
I turn 27 next year (yikes!), so I feel like the next year or so is make or break for my love life. I want to try and learn from my dating mistakes and turn things around for myself. I’m starting with a social experiment to see if it’s worth spending longer talking to guys before meeting on apps. And I want to try and meet more people organically through shared interests.
I spent a good chunk of last year getting frustrated by getting flaked on and friend-ghosted by people on friendship apps. This year, I developed a sense of nonchalance. Got flaked on for a meetup? Ah well, it was a group thing anyway. Friend-ghosted after a great evening? Ah well, plenty more fish. I also got closer with Zey. We met on Bumble BFF last year; after a few meetups I sensed I had met a fellow traveller, and this year we became a bit of a double act.
Later in the year, I didn’t use the apps as I moved back home and I have a good group of friends there plus not a lot of free time with commute. However, Twitter seems to be an unexpected source of new friendships, as I met a few cool new people, and found my soul sister in Zoe. We met one evening when we both wanted to try the same restaurant, and realised we were the same person. She’s one of the sweetest people I know, and one of the few people who just get it.
I also found my bullshit tolerance has significantly lowered this year. I deleted one of my friends on Facebook because he disappeared on me. I had a go at another friend because he showed the group an intimate video of a girl he’s seeing. I look back at some of the shit I tolerated when I was younger and I’m like “what the hell was I thinking?” Now it’s like, flake too often, disappear, or otherwise wrong me and you’re gone. Nice to me but an obvious dickhead to other people? It’s just not good enough any more. Insist on befriending people who have wronged me? See you later!
In addition to meeting The One, 2017 was meant to be the year I really made it as a blogger. When I wasn’t dating, the plan was to devote all my free time and energy into writing, and growing my following. However, due to the upheaval of switching jobs twice then having a mega-commute, I didn’t really have time to work on it as much as I would have liked to.
My follower counts both on WordPress and across my social media channels are ticking along nicely, and my engagement has always been good. I’ve had articles published on Bustle and The Metro. However frustratingly, my page views have remained static. So next year I need to really try and focus, and experiment with new ways to attract readers.
How was 2017 for you? Let me know in the comments!