I really don’t know where this year has gone. One moment I’m having a break down over my dissertation after Christmas break and stressing over graduating and the next, I’m at the bottom of the country, attempting to pursue my dream with this new support system I never thought I’d have. Life really is one great big mystery and I really wouldn’t have it any other way… One my favourite times in life is the repeated moment, at the end of each year which I am blessed with, where I can look back and reflect on my journey so far.
Of course, there have been an abundant amount of low moments and in all honesty 2017 has seen some of my darker times. However, there has been so many incredible highs and I am all about spreading positivity on The Whimsical Wildling. With the amount of negative energy that threatens to swarm the space around us, it is important to focus on the uplifting moments; the lessons learnt, the laughs and smiles and the epiphanic peaks of self-growth.
Here are my top ten moments of 2017:
I honestly can’t recall a better birthday than the one I was gifted with, this year. I usually despise my birthday-not for being a year older, but purely due to my introverted personality. I don’t like fuss and I prefer to just do my own thing. However, due to past events, I really wanted to do something special for my twenty first and actually celebrate being alive this time!
I managed to throw some money together and took a trip with Tabitha to London for a few days. I’m still in awe at the whole experience. Tabitha had never been to London prior to this visit and I had only briefly passed through. Therefore, this was a new experience for us. It might seem silly to many, but for me, figuring out the underground, taking a train on my own and navigating through the biggest city we had ever been to, was quite an achievement for me. Ironically, since then, I have lived in London for a total of two months and one week and it’s became a second home.
The experience we had will be cherished by both of us for the rest of our lives and whilst I won’t get in to too much detail as, believe it or not, I like to live a private life. I can say that my 21st birthday celebration was a life-changing experience.
Graduating from University
5 months later and it’s still not sunk in that I’ve graduated, with a degree in Textile Design and a grade I’m over the moon with, particularly with my dissertation. The latter really made me reflect on my career direction and consider pursuing a job in writing. Although I’m still trying to figure out where to take my career next, I will forever treasure my uni days.
My time at University wasn’t the typical go to clubs every night and an overconsumption of alcohol, that is normal for the average student. Instead, I did a lot of soul searching; lived on my own for the first time without any flatmates, overcome an eating disorder, took control of my anxiety, discovered Veganism and learnt to love myself. Not to mention, making incredible progress as a designer, illustrator and writer. I don’t think it’s possible to appreciate everything that happened in those three years and I encourage anyone who is hesitant about university to bite the bullet. It really gives you all the tools to grow as a human being.
Visiting the Harry Potter Studios
Speaking of turning 21, I chose to spend my birthday visiting the Harry Potter studios. It was something I had always wanted to do and finally pursued my little wish. Let me tell you, this was by no means a disappointment! I loved every second of it and found myself in complete awe the whole time. Like so many, Harry Potter was a significant part of my childhood and whilst the books will always have hold of my heart, I can still appreciate and love the movies too.
To see the magic come to life before my eyes, was really an unforgettable experience and hopefully, I’ll be able to return very soon!
Celebrating my first year of Veganism!
It’s crazy, for me, to think that I once ate animals and actively contributed to the torture, objectification and murder of innocent beings. I feel like I have been Vegan forever. Whilst, I wish this were true, I am proud to say that I came to my senses, educated myself and made the compassionate decision to become a vegan. Of course, like any Vegan, I wish that the world would look with the same eyes as I have and make merciful choices, however, I understand that this is simply not the way. Regardless, Veganism is constantly becoming more popular and I am so fortunate that I can be a part of this movement. Here’s to a lifetime of Veganniversary’s!
Opening up my own shop
It can be incredibly difficult to find the courage to chase your dreams. The fear of failing can take over and hold you back. This is exactly what happened for me and for the longest time, I succumbed to it. Then one day, about two months ago, I decided I was just going to go for it. I realised that the thought of failing was much better than the thought of never even giving it a shot. I don’t want to look back on my life, ten years from now and ask myself ‘what if’. So, I’ve chased my career aspirations and opened up my own online shop and if in a years time, it hasn’t worked out, then I will make peace with this. I will know that I need to go for something more realistic and that will be ok because I will be moving forward with the satisfaction that at least I tried. Who knows, maybe it will make a good blog post.
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Watching, first-hand, the chasing of dreams.
If you’re unfamiliar with the blog, then you may not be aware that The Whimsical Wildling is run by myself (Eloise) and my little sister (Tabitha) who works behind the camera with her awesome photo snapping skills. We’re honestly the best of friends and are known by those around us as having a very special bond. Therefore, it’s no shock that I felt immense pride in watching my most favourite person take on an important milestone in her life and has begun chasing her dreams.
Selling my first design
This year has been the first in a long time that I’ve found myself consumed by negative thoughts and lacking complete faith in who I am as not only a designer, but a person as well. I think this is quite normal when one is met with a transitionary period in their life. For most of this year I’ve felt a great sense of loss with who I am and it’s result in a lack of confidence, constant self-doubt and intense feelings of being a total failure. Somehow, amongst it all I managed to sell my first ever design straight out of university and it was the exact confidence-booster I needed. Although, nothing else has happened since, I’m constantly reminding myself that every success no matter how small is still victorious. In addition, this is only the beginning and informs me that I can do it, I just need to believe in myself more.
The blog really has thrived this year! I’ve been blogging for quite some time now, however, relaunching The Whimsical Wildling and starting a new blog really set me back and with a lot of time spent teaching myself self-love and overcoming the aforementioned struggles I faced during my time at University, blogging was put on the back-burner. Despite this, 2017 started off on a positive note as Tabitha; my younger sister, best friend and photographer purchased a new camera and things really turned around for us. We were suddenly able to create high quality imagery to go along side my writing and the expensive equipment we had invested in really pushed my editing skills, as well as our motivation to blog. As an added bonus, I jumped the gun and ultimately purchased an incredible layout from Pipdig as well as moved over to WordPress from Blogger. Overall, the blog has finally became exactly how I always wanted it to be!
This year has seen our first brand collaboration! Something, which I never thought to be possible for us. We’ve had the opportunity to work with Boohoo, Joanie Clothing and Happiness Boutique. Not to mention a year long campaign with Boots Botanics, a cruelty-free beauty brand! When Tabitha and I became vegan last year, we set out a new aim for the blog that was to help make a small difference and promote a cruelty-free lifestyle. Of course, we also had other goals, but we both agreed it would be a little dream to work with a brand that went alongside some of our ethics. One year later, and that’s exactly what’s happened and we couldn’t be more elated. I am reeling in anticipation to see what creative projects we will work on in the next upcoming year!
Walking down Brighton Pier
I’d always wanted to go to Brighton after watching Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging when I was thirteen years old. This only increased once this beautiful place became everyones favourite blogging spot and Brighton was taking social media by storm. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. It really is more magical than any photo is able to capture and although I was unable to do half the things I wanted to, walking down the pier was achieved. I know I’ll look back on this moment for years to come as one of my sweetest.
Meeting Someone Special
I’ve never been one to strive for a boyfriend. In school I was too busy straining for the top grades. In fact, not much has changed for my ambition has always been my biggest motivator. However, on my birthday celebration I met this wonderful man that led to losing my first kiss a second into my 21st birthday and the next thing I knew, I found myself in my first relationship. It really is true when they say that things happen when you least expect them.
I have a very tainted perception of romantic relationships due to my childhood. Despite this, I’m learning so much and really developing into a better version of myself and that in itself is quite something.
May 2018 be filled with magic, dreams and that good sort of madness. I hope you read some beautiful books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful. Don’t forget to make some art – write, draw, build, sing or live as only you can. I hope somewhere in the next year you surprise yourself, conquer your fears and find success.
Happy new year Wildlings!