A lifestyle blog all about Birmingham, UK.

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

2017: My Year In Review

"Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans" - John Lennon. 

I am not one for life quotes; they make me endlessly cringe. However, this quote is one that definitely makes sense to me this year. I always enjoy writing my end of year blog post, this is number three now and each year, I read each one back and realise just how much has changed without me even really noticing. 

2017; it's been one hell of a year. From grief to love, from work to friendships and being on this forever journey trying to figure out who the hell I am. One thing I have learned this year: no one ever really figures out who they are, we just do our own thing and hope for the best. 

However, for me this year, among hundreds of laughs, awkward moments and a few regrets, I have had three major life changes.

I have been very fortunate in life to not lose many people. I have strong and close friendships, as well as a brilliant relationship with my family. Although I had experienced people I knew dying before, nothing quite hit me that much until early this year. My wonderful Great Nan passed away. At 95, it wasn't a huge surprise. But my Nan had always been such a huge part of my life and I really struggled with her passing. 

Even months and months after, I still cry when I think about her and I miss her so, so much. This whole process has made me question how people cope with death. At times, I am absolutely fine and then other times, I'm in absolute bits. But, if I have learned anything from my Nan's passing it is a reminder of just how short life is. Even my Nan being on earth for 96 years didn't feel long enough! I've never really been one to hold grudges, but now I'm even more against holding them. I don't like arguing anyway, but if I do, I want to get it sorted right there and then and move on from it all. I don't know if I'll ever really learn how to cope with death, but I know what my Nan left behind was a wonderful, loving family and this year would have been a struggle without them. 

I entered 2017 feeling pretty content with life. After one last terrible date at the end of 2016, I had decided to ditch the dating apps and give myself a break. It might sound hilarious, but when I first got into online dating following a terrible breakup a few years ago, it was so fun. Me and my friends at university would fall around laughing at messages and reported back to each other after dates and it was hilarious! Almost three years on, I was exhausted. I remember an episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte says "I've been dating since I was 15! I'm exhausted - where is he?!". I suddenly found myself much more team Charlotte than Carrie and I gave up looking.

A post shared by Bethan Tolley (@bethaninbrum) on

In early March, I found myself in an argument with a guy in a local bar about Shakira. I hated him. And fancied him, a lot. I soon found myself spending a lot of time with this guy, and Dan became my 'boyfriend' not long after. I've always taken the 'you'll find them when you stop looking' quote with several pinches of salt, but I guess it is true in this case. Since me and Dan made things official, it is safe to say I have learned much more about myself than ever before. I have learned the art of compromise, which I discovered works very well in a relationship. Without sounding like a total brat, I think I got too used to getting my own way in previous relationships, but me and Dan balance each other out well. 

Before I met Dan, he had put a deposit on a house. Next month, I am officially moving in with him (even though I have pretty much lived with him since summer!). So 2018 will be a whole new adventure for the both of us, and I am incredibly excited. I think the one thing I have struggled in life is feeling genuinely content. Since I turned 18 back in 2012, I have moved home several times and it is a tiring process. However, moving in with Dan, however 'soon' some people may think it is, just makes sense to me. It is a big step for the both of us, and at times, can be scary. But I am so excited to live with someone I feel totally comfortable with, in a house we have made a home, in a lovely little area. So although I entered 2017 feeling content, I'm leaving it feeling very much, at home.

Another big change this year was my job. I absolutely loved my old job as a journalist, and it was probably the hardest thing I had to do this year deciding to leave. However, sometimes I think you have to think about the bigger picture. As much as I loved my job, and especially the people I worked with, I had to consider the future for the first time in my life, and I found that some of my friends were facing the same issues. 

From salaries to getting a better work-life balance, me and those around me have had to face them this year. I got offered a new job in the summer and I have already learned so much. This time round, I am a Content and Social Media Executive, which works well for me, as like my previous job, every single day is different, which is what I enjoy most in a job. Who knows what will happen in 2018, but I am glad that I took the risk this year to try something different. I am still only 23 after all!

As well as the major life changes, I of course, decided to change this little blog of mine into a place dedicated to Brum! I am overwhelmed with how well it has been received and how supportive people have been. If you're wondering why I did it, head here. Blog plans for 2018? Well I hope to still be reviewing shows, restaurants and events across the city. However, I'm also keen to add an extra personal post here and there, a bit like this one, to keep the content fresh and fun!

From holidays and weekends away to concerts and discovering places right on my doorstep, I have had so much fun in 2017 and can only hope this continues in 2018. 

Finally, thank you so much to those who have read my blog this year. I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to see people enjoying my posts and I can't wait to get back to it in 2018! However...I am off on holiday for the first week of January (YAS!) so I'm taking a few weeks off for now. I hope you all have wonderful NYE celebrations and all the best for 2018. 

Love always, 
Bethan x x x


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