31 DEC 2019


It's the dawn of a new era as the decade ends and the 2020s begin...

It's that time of year again. I love reading everyone's yearly roundups and it's great to be able to look back and re-evaluate where we are with our lives and where we want to be. Despite the last three years taking its time, my twenties seem to be hurtling by and the idea of embarking on a new decade is really quite daunting. 

In last year's post, the overall feeling was one of aiming high and actually doing things. I wanted to grasp the steering wheel of my life. Put myself out there. Feel the good feels. In terms of achieving my goals, I've certainly done all of them in some way, shape or form; from minimising my food waste, planning purchases and shopping sustainably where possible, I have tried to be less wasteful. For having more fun, I went on holiday, got involved in new societies, went on dates – I became more of a 'yes-man'. It didn't always work out, but more often than not it led to something good. As for recognising the good, my gratitude definitely increased this year. It might not have been a pivotal year, but it wasn't a bad one either.


Some personal highlights from 2019:

  • Saw my favourite band, The 1975, live for the third time in January.

  • Performed at poetry open mics throughout the Spring and won a prize for one of my scripts at Varsity.

  • Learned to make recipes like chilli and shepherds pie from scratch.

  • Had the best first date I've ever been on.

  • Nailed 2nd year, achieving a 1st for all of my assignments.

  • Posted some of my short stories online and submitted them for competitions. One small step 'n all that.

  • Visited my favourite place in the world (Dublin) in September.

  • Started hosting a radio show for DemonFM with one of my best pals, it's an absolute hoot.

  • Got to grips with honing my style and started refining my capsule wardrobe.

  • Discovered more about my writing style and gained a solid understanding of what kinds of writing work I want to pursue after university.

  • Saw my favourite musical, Blood Brothers, live for the 6th time in November.

  • Got a new cat! Her name is Smokey, she's a rescue and is such a q t. 


The Man by Taylor Swift

Of course, it wasn't all good. While it's great to look back, like everyone else, and say how wonderful it was, the internet is saturated with the good and to pretend every moment was a great one would be a lie. We're all human and my 2019 was still peppered with lonely nights and the existential crises of turning 25 while still being at university, plus the ever-growing presence of the climate crisis, not to mention the disheartening landscape of British politics. I don't feel like I'm skipping off into the sunset. But with the end of university on the horizon, I'm getting the itch to move on to new pastures. Hopefully, 2020 will be the year I see all the hours of work I put into my degree come to fruition, in a job I love to wake up for every day. In 2018, I wrote that I didn't know where I wanted to be but the murky waters are clearing and I'm starting to see at least the silhouette of who I may be after graduation, be it in one or five years time – if the planet hasn't burned by then.


Keep writing and keep learning.

While of course the big goal is to literally be writing for a living, I know it's not easy. So post-grad Hollie will have a grace period, just in case she's not able to get a job in the field straight up. Plus, if university has taught me anything it's that brushing up on skills and knowledge is highly rewarding. After three years of it, it's likely there will be a deflated lull come September. So I hope that by the end of 2020 my nose is still keen to sniff out a new book and my hands are still busy scribbling away.

Keep doing my bit for the planet.

Sustainability remains the name of the game. Despite my reservations on actually how much carbon I'm personally contributing to the atmosphere in comparison to all the big businesses out there, I'm still committed to doing my bit. Whether that's hitting up charity and second-hand shops, buying less in general, to meat-free Mondays. Maybe even hounding the supermarkets as to why the feck they still sell cucumbers wrapped in plastic also counts... Food for thought, eh lads.

Be kinder to myself.

I am a serious sufferer of millennial guilt. In just this Christmas break I have wracked my brain with feelings that I should be doing more! But I also deserve to rest. As a perfectionist, I impose impossible standards on myself 99% of the time and it might get great results, but at steep prices. This last stretch of university is the most important, and now, the hardest because I'm also ready for something new. I must remember that no grade is worth ill health, my degree will not govern the rest of my life and that nights hanging out with pals, doing new things and letting myself off the hook to just chill and watch a bad movie, is just as valuable. It's all about balance.

So there we go. I hope you have a wonderful New Years Eve, whether you're staying in or heading out.
Be safe, be kind and I hope both yours and my 2020 is a real corker.

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