31 December 2013

So long, 2013.


2013 has not been the year I expected it to be. It hasn't been a bad year as such, but I wouldn't exactly say it's been a good one either.

I completed my Masters and graduated with commendation, something which I am very proud of. I tackled a 15000 word thesis on a really difficult and emotive subject and I feel that I did it justice which I felt to be most important when dealing with something which so drastically affects lives.
After completing my Masters, I was adrift, unemployed and also out of education. I ended up having to sign on just to be able to have a bit of money. That was a definite low point for me. I felt like a total failure; I had no prospects and it was very much a 'what is the point of anything?' time for me. I cried a lot over those few months, until a surprise phone call from my old boss came, offering me a job for Christmas. So I ended up with some money AND got myself some half-price books with my staff discount, which was a very nice way to end the year.

I also got my first ever 'grown up' job interviews, something which had proved elusive since I graduated from my first degree in 2012. Unfortunately, these also led to my first ever 'grown up' job rejections which, although coming in pretty frequently now, are not something I think I will ever get used to. Even a job that pretty much appeared as a sure thing judging by an email I got after the interview slipped just out of reach.
 I know the job market is not a fun place to be right now, but I guess the naive part of me expected that I'd be out of it by now. All I can do is keep the faith and keep trying and really hope that in 2014 someone will give me a job.

I wanted 2013 to be the year Pete and I were finally able to live together, but the lack of job interview success put the brakes on that one. It's tricky maintaining a long-distance relationship at the best of times but at the moment there doesn't seem to be an end to it and it is so frustrating to be in a kind of limbo. My aim was for us to have something concrete, if not actually be living together, by the time we celebrate our fifth anniversary at the end of April, but I'll just have to see what happens when we get there.

I'm not going to turn this post into a huge downer though. 2013 has been a year of a lot of new and exciting things.
I graduated with commendation. I passed my driving test. I actually got some job interviews which is an achievement in itself and some of the feedback I got was really helpful. I read some great books, discovered new music and watched some wonderful films. I think I have finally cracked the secret of winged eyeliner!
Pete and I took our first foreign holiday together and I fell in love with Prague. I visited Bath and Manchester for the first time and I saw Iron & Wine again, which was one of the most magical evenings of my life. He even played a song about me, which is one of my favourites.

One of the most important things was that I really started to be happy with myself. OK, so I haven't got a job yet, I don't even live on the same landmass as my boyfriend and I still find it totally impossible to keep my room tidy but I feel so much more confident in myself than I did at the end of 2012.
It's not always joy and happiness in my life and there are days when I get down about absolutely everything and wish I could get an entire body transplant but they are getting less and less frequent. I am a nice person, I'm kind and friendly and even if I'm heavier than I'd like to be and spottier than I'd prefer, there are so many worse things to be than chubby and spotty. Plus I look great in red lipstick and, really, how can I feel bad when I have that.

I hope 2014 is the year I get a job and can move in with Pete. I hope by this time next year I can add more names to the list of amazing new places I've visited. I hope I continue to feel better about myself and I won't care so much about being chubby or spotty. I hope my eyeliner skills go from strength to strength. And I hope I still look great in red lipstick.

I hope all of you have a wonderful New Year too. I hope you get what you want and what you need and I hope you are happy. I hope 2014 is a wonderful year full of joy and excitement and I hope we can share in it together.

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