This year has flown. It doesn’t feel like two minutes since my Goodbye 2016… post, but somehow it’s time for me to write another. Like last year, globally it’s been a shitter. Every time I see a push notification from a news app on my phone, I feel a sinking gnawing sickness – which right is being eroded now? Which city is it this time? Is it finally time to crawl into a bunker and hope for the best? On a personal level however, I’ve absolutely smashed 2017.
I started drafting this post at my kitchen island… in the house that Dan and I bought over the summer, that feels a million miles away from Leeds and all the bullshit we put up with over the last seven years. There’s been a lot of bullshit, but it’s ultimately been worth it – if we hadn’t moved to Leeds so I could work in (what turned out to be) a terrible job I wouldn’t have done my PhD, Dan wouldn’t have worked for (what turned out to be) a terrible company and rage quit to land his literal dream job… funny how things work out isn’t it?
I’m finishing this post up at my new desk, next to a big, bright window overlooking a very quiet tree-lined street. No ring road. No airport. No constant noise from neighbours on every side. It’s magnificent. Stone-fronted end terrace built in 1900. High ceilings. Period features. THE BEST kitchen. A fucking hot tub and a bar in the garden (no really!) I really should blog about it, but if you’re impatient check out #hausdrakett on Instagram. We’re so happy here, and we’re enjoying being able to put our stamp on it – so far the lounge has taken a turn for the dark and opulent…
The big highlights of 2017? Clearly the house, something which wouldn’t have been possible without the other highlight, me finishing my PhD and working my butt off in a senior lecturer role. These things have been the defining features of my year, sailing through my viva in January,and getting our offer accepted on the dream house in May, graduating (with some of my favourite students!) in July, then moving in August…
Work wise, I feel like I’m going from strength to strength. I’ve been taking on new roles and responsibilities, and my ultimate goal is to secure a permanent position at Beckett ASAP. I’ve had my first research paper accepted for publication (!!!) and am working on a bunch more, with other plans and schemes in the pipeline. I continue to work with some of the most wonderful people, inside and outside the university, and really hope this will continue throughout 2018.
I’ve been working really hard this year in terms of ‘real’ work, and the blog has totally dropped off my radar. I can do anything, but not everything, or something like that. Still, I’ve managed to get out to some great events and work with some cool brands, and I hope that I’ll be able to keep up with the blog a little better next year. As ever, BlytheCon UK was a success – we raised a bunch of money for a great charity, and had a great time in Liverpool. It felt more frantic than usual, as our absolute boss lady LK selfishly had the most adorable baby ON BLYTHECON WEEKEND and thus was missing (and missed!) Next year we’re back in London, and I can’t wait!
I’ve been better at keeping up with friends this year – not amazing, loads of room for improvement – but heaps better than in previous years. It’s been lovely to meet new people, and reconnect with others I haven’t seen since school or college. There’s been sadness too – close friends have suffered through some absolutely heartbreaking situations, I’ve also learned some horrific things about people I used to know – in places, 2017 has been a weird year. I miss Jet with all my heart. I’m still not over my little black dog passing, she was unlike any other.
One of the best things about 2017 has involved me giving less of a damn than ever – I haven’t felt this happy in my own skin in a while, and I haven’t felt quite so much like my spooky self in a while. I’m chalking these victories up to finding a brilliant hairdresser (who fixed years of sub-par haircuts, thanks Leeds you bag of wank), rekindling my occult interests, and an unflinching commitment to feminism. Surrounding myself with reasonable people, and sacking off vampires of time and energy. I do not intend to waste my time on fuckwits next year, plain and simple. Not doing what we’re “supposed to” has worked pretty well for me and Dan so far, so why change it?
Next year? House projects – things like floor to ceiling alcove bookshelves, a bunch of dark paint, and learning more about herbs and plants. Some travel – I’m going back to Iceland in Spring, but for work reasons – wish Dan was coming, booooo. More time with friends – our house (and garden!) is perfect for having people over, and we’re always happy to host. More creativity – my Blythes are neglected, and I want to do more design stuff. More publications – clear goals set for a couple of papers, hoping they’ll turn out. Permanent job – wishful thinking? Chihuahuas – I’m dying without a dog(s), gahhhhhhh.
Happy 2018 my lovelies – I hope it treats you well!