23rd December 2018

Navigating 2018: a year in review

2018 | Nicole Navigates
2018 | Nicole Navigates

What a bloody year 2018 has been!

We’ve seen the dramas and tribulations of Brexit, we had three royal weddings, snow in March, we saw the rise of baby shark and a song about sausage rolls have won Christmas #1!

It’s been a mixed year, clearly.

But personally for me, 2018 has been the best and the worst year all rolled in one. Doesn’t make sense, I know, but somehow I have been living my best life whilst having gone through some really difficult moments.

I see these blog posts floating around all the time and I love reading them, so I wanted to put my own spin on it.

And I have literally been Navigating my way through this year! So let’s go month by month, shall we?

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January

The beginning of the year started really well for me, as a big part was due to the fact I bagged myself a new boyfriend.

I was also feeling really positive at work and I was looking forward to growing and developing my skills as I said at the end of 2017 that 2018 would be all about self-improvement - basically being a sponge and learning lots in order to reach the next stage of my career.

It was also when I got to fly to Kirkwall and Westray in the Orkney Islands with Josh to meet his mum and step-dad for the first time - which ended up being such a fascinating and relaxing few days.

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February

I got to watch my “dream” musical on stage, Dreamgirls, in London where I got to spend the day with my parents in the city eating good food at the Flat Iron and crying at the show.

And then I got to perform in a show of my own, Snow White and the seven dwarfs where I got to play the leading lady herself - it was a great experience and I loved getting back into performing again.

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March

March was weird because we had that random snow storm appear... but it meant we got some time off to play and make snowmen!

It was also the month where Josh and I went to Liverpool for the weekend, which was my first time and we are looking to return this year for Josh’s belated birthday present to visit.

Liverpool is definitely a special place for us!

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Liverpool | Nicole Navigates

April

April was a fairly quiet month, but I did start swimming a lot more with my friends Ruth and Gina, went out for a birthday night out in Milton Keynes where I got a bit too drunk and we started to notice the weather was getting much warmer.

Oh, and I also started going for interviews for jobs, as I felt it was time to leave my digital marketing role and go for a new challenge. And I was offered a new job!

(Spoiler: it didn’t go to plan!)

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May

May was the month. The month of the ULTIMATE rollercoaster.

It started with an amazing hen do for Jenn, a lush bank holiday weekend, the start of my new job in PR and then BOOM.

The heartbreaking news came about my grandad who was unfortunately given his cancer diagnosis. I remember the day when I got told so vividly well and it was like my whole world fell apart.

So most of May was spent dealing with this news, seeing him as much as possible, whilst trying to cope with a new job in which my employers had no idea what was going on.

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June

And then June came...

On 3rd June, my grandad finally fell asleep for the last time and we were able to say goodbye for the last time the day before.

The day was honestly a blur and I couldn’t face the reality of it. What followed after was leaving my job, a whole dose of anxiety towards going back to work and a heavily grieving heart over my Grandad.

I then decided to try and do some odd bits of freelancing whilst I got my head straight.

Thank god, for my family, friends and Josh for supporting me.

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July

July brought better times which helped with coping with bad ones. Firstly, it was my birthday month, which was a good reason to smile!

But July was also the month I got to visit Rome, one of the most romantic cities in the world with Josh for my 24th birthday - it was the absolute dream and the perfect way to celebrate.

We also got to watch England lose a final place in the World Cup in an Irish bar in Rome...

And I also started getting bits of freelance work and slowly but surely my anxiety over work was getting less and less.

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August

The wedding of the year, Jenn and Alex’s, began the month of August at the beautiful Bovey Castle, we sadly lost our great grandma and attended her funeral and the big one... I finally plucked up the courage and got a new job as a marketing assistant!

I got a job marketing for a wheel alignment and wheel servicing equipment specialist - something that was completely out of my comfort zone, but I just prayed this job would work out and that I could actually start building on a career in marketing where they can help me develop.

And looking back on some of my camera roll, it involved lots of food, a lush stay at Kettering Park Hotel and the beginning of the 2019 pantomime preparations.

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September

As I type this, September really doesn’t seem that long ago now!

September was the month I finally said to myself “it’s been a good month”. No stress, no family dramas, no work-related dramas and nothing bad happened.

The big event in September was when Josh and I ventured on our Scottish road trip to Edinburgh, followed by a second visit to the Orkney Islands to see Josh’s parents for his birthday. It was so nice to spend his birthday with him along with his family - however, it wasn’t so nice to travel back on the ferry!

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October

October was a fairly quiet month, but it was when pantomime rehearsals kicked off as we received our parts, I was getting into the swing of things at work and I found myself doing more blog collaborations, especially food-related ones in the local area which made me change my niche.

Overall, October really helped me to see what direction I was taking with my blog and I think it’s helped for the better.

The Butchers Arms | Nicole Navigates

November

November was probably my biggest month for blog collaborations heading towards Christmas...

I got to do a lot of nice food reviews, wrote some good blog posts and I got to attend an event of a lifetime with Debenhams watching Florence + the machine!

There was the Northampton Winter Food Festival, dinner at Old House Northampton and I tried to manage that by going to the gym 3 nights a week (all about the balance!)

And with panto on two nights a week, I was finding myself out almost every night... so you could say my mental health was suffering a bit with late nights and lack of relaxation and sleep.

But November was such a fun month that I wouldn’t change it!

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December

And now we roll straight to the present time... December!

The month started with an incredible event with the Northamptonshire Bloggers at Bell Northampton.

I became a reviewer for On Stage Northants and got to watch the pantomime, I dined at Marco Pierre White's restaurant and oh, I appeared on BBC Radio Northampton!

So far, this month has been filled with such happiness and excitement. I guess it’s natural around Christmas time and I can feel myself slowly but surely winding down ready for a well deserved week off.

And December still has plenty coming up with Christmas, Boxing Day, celebrating mine and Josh's one year anniversary and new years eve!

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So as you can see, 2018 has included some real highs and some real lows - a true rollercoaster of emotions!

I was somehow living my best life and my worst life at times... but I've made it at the end of the year feeling happy, grateful and thankful.

If I have learnt anything this year, it's that I can be resilient. Anything that life chucks at me, I can handle it and I can come out the other side bigger, better and with more determination to succeed and be happy.

I just wanted to take this moment to thank everyone who reads my blog. You've basically been part of my journey this year, so you've seen everything happen from the happy times to the sad times.

I hope your 2018 has been your best year yet and I hope 2019 is filled with even more good times.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to have a well-deserved rest. Because 2018 has been a busy one and I have been very much looking forward to a week off to eat, drink and be merry.

What has your highlight been this year?

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