Thursday, 31 December 2015

One of those end of year posts...

Having logged on, I realise that I haven't blogged since May and that was at the very start of my journey with Invisalign braces! It does feel a bit weird typing this as I guess I've got out of the habit of writing down my thoughts but I'm realising pretty quickly why I used to enjoy it so much. It's very therapeutic!

I'm actually typing this from my new friend...Yep, finally got a Macbook! Those that know me well will know I've been eyeing them up for a fair few years now and I finally committed :) Will always be a gadget geek! <3

So, 2015. Yes it's the obligatory thing where everyone posts about their year- some saying their best yet, others saying their worst and then often with a few New Year resolutions thrown in. Or, those that like to point out they aren't making any.

Having scrolled down a few of my previous blog posts my stomach actually dropped. I cannot believe how I was starting my year last year. It was initially full of excitement and hope that my new teaching job would be everything I wanted it to be and I remember the butterflies I had before my first day. Unfortunately January quickly became a nightmare and I can honestly say it was the worst month of my life.

I've talked about it before but for anyone who suffers or who have suffered with panic attacks, will know exactly how horrendous they are. Stress is an awful thing and the feeling of drowning in it is unbearable. I still get a tightness in my chest when I think back to being in those moments of sheer panic, being so over-whelmed and the acknowledgement that I couldn't manage, couldn't cope and that no job is worth your health.

As I sit here and drink my tea, I'm smiling at the above quote. How very true!

At the time my life was a mess, my head was a mess and I felt like I'd disappointed everyone around me, including the people that mattered the most. Walking away from a career I'd trained so hard for should have been heart-breaking but I think your heart has to be in it to break. It wasn't. In fact the relief I felt when I handed in my notice was immense. I knew 100% that I was doing the right thing, despite differing opinions around me.

However, I have to say that the terrible situation gave me drive like I've never had before. It allowed me to fully throw myself into something I actually had a passion for, my business.

I get it. It sounds sooo cheesy for me to say "my business, Forever, changed my life" but it'd be the truth.

At the time I found it upsetting that people thought that I'd left my job BECAUSE of Forever. I wanted them to understand that I left because I had no choice. I was absolutely desperate! I'd have left with or without Forever, full stop! I was miserable. But I guess maybe the problem was, I was too good at hiding it. My Facebook was still full of positivity and happy selfies, with fake smiles. Not many people would see my mask slip behind closed doors, see me crying every day and know that when I went to bed I didn't want to wake up. Sad but true.

What Forever gave me was hope. It allowed me to channel my energy into something that I appeared to be quite good at and actually enjoyed. It enabled me to be around such lovely genuine people that were so supportive and positive that it allowed me to start feeling that way again.

And that's when everything started to work out. Things started to "fall together". And the promotions started to roll in.

February I hit what's called Assistant Manager in my business. It was around this time that I'll never forget a conversation I had with my Dad. I was really upset one night, getting a hard time about leaving teaching from what seemed like everyone and my Dad came and had a chat with me. I told him that I was most sad because I was a disappointment to everyone. And he said that I'd never be a disappointment to him and that he was proud of me. Proud of what I was achieving in my business and acknowledged that it wasn't a easy decision I'd made but that he wanted me to be happy and teaching clearly wasn't making me.

It was quite an important moment for me because I knew I had the support there from him and actually only my parents' opinions mattered to me. Shortly after, my Mum came around too and said she could see how much happier I was.

March was a biggy and I hit the important Manager position. Going up on stage in front of 1000s of people and receiving such fab recognition was unbelievable! It was also at this time that my income had completely replaced my teaching job + so I was able to stop having to do a few days supply teaching. Goodbye waking up feeling sick!

As I mentioned at the start of my blog, May was pretty special. I ticked off something I have been after for around 10 years! Braces! Although the first 2 weeks were agony and I wondered what on earth I'd done, they are so worth it! My teeth have improved so much and I'm nearing the end of my treatment. If anyone's considering them I'd 100% recommend. Yes, the price tag is steep but very worth it!

June was a pretty decent month. I saw Take That. Serious love for Gary B! Went to see the Dirty Dancing stage show (again). Perhaps had a bit too much wine, cocktails etc! Treated myself to a Michael Kors watch. A very defining moment may I add, considering I'd only ever had a £10 market stall watch whereby they'd last me around 2/3 months haha! :) And I qualified for the Car Plan incentive in the business which, unless you want a company car (which I don't as I love my mini cooper) you get a extra bonus each month for 3 years. Winner.

July was pretty awesome as it goes. It did heavily feature Netflix's 24, namely Jack Bauer haha! Much love Jack! :D Give it a watch if you haven't already, you'll be hooked! So maybe don't if you don't have hours upon hours to spare :P

Again, a lot of shopping, food, drink but then I did something pretty big! I changed my name. It's never been a secret that my birth name was Danielle but I'd been going about my life as Ellie since 6th form and only old friends and family members ever refer to me as Danielle. I never saw it as a problem until I started getting cheques through my door addressed to Ellie.

I had automatically signed up as Ellie to my business, never really expecting cheques. I decided the best thing to do was to legally change my name to Ellie, as I wasn't prepared to have my business under Danielle and let's face it, I prefer Ellie. Hello solicitor. Sure it was a ball-ache changing everything over, but I'm about straight now :)

I also went with my ex-work colleagues/friends to Centre Parcs. Absolutely loved it and will be going back next year for sure!

August was definitely the month for weddings! I turned into makeup artist Ellie and did one of my lovely friend's makeup. No pressure, only the bride and all haha! But safe to say it went well :) Later that month I went to another of my friend's wedding's...both were lovely!

It was also the month for slight randomness. Ended up in hospital with an extreme freak water infection LOL, nearly blew up my car by not giving her any oil OOPS and had the stupid idea of posting a sit-up/star jump challenge on Facebook resulting in me having to do 320 of each and my abs bursting into flames the next day haha!

My best friend, Hannah, also got promoted to Supervisor in the business YAY!

September definitely started on a high and I got recognised for the Car Plan I'd earned in June and I also picked up the famous yellow suitcase in the business, which meant I'd been a top recruiter basically!

The rest of September, according to Facebook. generally looks like it was filled with typical me stuff. Food, wine, food, shopping, food, shopping, seeing friends, food. Haha.

Ahh and then there was October. This was a great month. It was a month full of travels. It also seems to be when my Costa addiction really took hold! (Medium hot chocolate with cream all the way!)

The first weekend was spent in Warwick on a training event. They sound boring as most people assume work is, but when you are really interested and enjoy what you do you do actually look forward to them and enjoy it!

The second weekend was spent partying, a little too hard, with lots of the achievers in our team. Was a great evening and it's safe to say the heels came OFF! :P I also travelled to Warwick uni for some more training. A fab campus!

The third week was pretty great all round. For one, my family went on holiday. I LOVE the house to myself! :) On the Friday I had a jewellery party at mine, oh the luxury of being able to do that! Before jetting off to a weekend away in Milton Keynes, courtesy of Forever. It was such a great weekend and the party was fab too :)

And then there was weekend number 4! I won't go into great detail but I was able to tick off something that was really important to me and my stay in hospital was brilliant! For a further hint, let's just say bra shopping has become a lot more fun :D :D :D

November was a weird one for me. As a huge gym junkie and someone who likes to be busy 24/7, I found bed-rest a bit odd. Plenty of Netflix, resulting in me finishing the 24 series. Was actually gutted! :) I did however have such an enjoyable time in London with some of my team, go on a few shopping trips, do a cleanse and have a Black Friday party :)

And then it brings us onto this month, December. I took my gorgeous niece for her first pair of shoes. This was probably one of the funniest moments of 2015. She walked as if she'd had 10 pints lol! Super cute! In fact spending time with Brooke over 2015 has been pretty special. I know this wouldn't have been as easy if I was teaching and I'm grateful that I can go and visit her whenever I want to. Watching her grow is incredible! And she's learning to call me ELLIE haha.

Aside from that December has been pretty eventful. I took my Mum to the Clothes Show Live in Birmingham. Quality show as always! I've had a hell of a lot of Costa's! I went to the Forever Christmas party, 1920's style. I had my 26th birthday. And then of course there was Christmas. The first year I didn't actually have to worry and stress over teacher work!

I think I can honestly say 2015 has been the best yet. Yes, it started off extremely poor but turned into more than I could have imagined!

So what is 2016 going to look like? Well, I have a few New Year resolutions.

1. I guess the standard get in shape one! Having not been able to exercise properly since October, getting my fitness back is a must. Unlike most get-fit resolutions though I actually tend to stick to mine as I really enjoy it :)
2. A big one but... Get up earlier! I'm a terrible night-owl and often don't see before 10am anymore. My plan is to see more of the morning and go for a swim between 7-9am most days (starting around February when I'm actually allowed to go swimming again!)
3. Save for a house! I've spent lots on personal, sometimes material, things this year. Now it's time to get serious and start saving up so I can get my own place!
4. Gratitude. I'm so grateful for everything that has happened this year. Good and bad actually as it's made me stronger. (Another cliche I know!) So I want to make sure I say my thank you's every day to remember how fortunate I am. I think so many of us can take things for granted and not recognise just how lucky we are!
5. Do more of what makes me happy. It's my motto and I applied it to much of 2015, so this is more of a 'carry-on' resolution. Keep enjoying life and making sure each day is a good one. And even if it isn't, find the good in it!

Wishing you all a very happy New Year! x

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