I don’t think I’ve had such a big year since 2005. That was the year I made the very difficult decision to leave a long term relationship that just about everyone else imagined was perfect. It was probably the biggest leap out of my comfort zone ever so when later that year, aged 26, I decided to move from London to Sydney (where I knew two people and had never been before) and everyone said I was brave, I really couldn’t see it. Moving to Australia was easy. And exciting.
I was only supposed to stay for a year but, after about four months, I knew I was never going home for good. That was almost five years ago and this year has been a major biggy to beat even that!
At the beginning of the year I started the long and drawn out process of applying for permanent residency. Around April, when this blog turned one, I seriously started thinking about its future, spurred on by the encouragement of my fiancé, friends, colleagues and industry heavyweights. The prospect of turning Interiors Addict into an actual job seemed too exciting to really believe. Nevertheless, I started making plans to eventually go part time, putting in place a succession plan at my magazine job.
In June, my now fiancé popped the question underneath the Harbour Bridge. I started planning our wedding. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I know, I know, this is starting to sound like a bad novel.
This has also been a fantastic year for friendships and I’ve made two amazing new best friends in 2013 (they know who they are) without whom I wouldn’t have done half of this. We have shared each other’s highs and lows and almost always believed in each other more than we have ourselves. Every girl needs a cheer squad like ours and I never stop feeling lucky to have it. I’ve also met countless other fantastic and talented people in the interiors industry who not only give me great material to write about but inspire me no end as well.
So far so very good, right? A couple of months ago, unceremoniously and with very little warning, my job (all of it, not just the part of it I was intending to eventually give up) was pulled out from under my feet when my magazine was closed and I was retrenched. It was a lesson in never believing you’re too valued or indispensable or that loyalty wins you any prizes. Business is business and you soon find out who your friends are.
I’d been retrenched before and I remembered the horrible feeling of a lack of control. Yes, I wanted to be a full time blogger eventually, after easing myself into it, leaving my team at work in a good place and perhaps saving up a certain amount of emergency fund. But when I look at it now, two months on, being thrown uncomfortably out of my comfort zone was the best thing that could have happened to me.
So now this is my job. Crazy. I’m a permanent resident of Australia and I’m even making enough money. And the wedding plans continue and the fiancé and great friendships are still there. 90% of the reaction to my blog is so incredibly supportive, positive and encouraging, it really does warm my heart. Yes, there have been a few bitchy incidents (it happens in blog land), but in these circumstances I believe you just have to hold your head up and know that, hand on heart, if you’re going through life doing your best to be a good and genuine human being then that’s about as good as it gets. We’re all human, we slip up, people misunderstand us, we misjudge people. It happens. Another lesson this year has been to grow a thicker skin. Taking everything to heart gets you nowhere.
So while this year hasn’t been easy, I have to say I am ending it on an absolute high, doing something I love so much it doesn’t feel like work, surrounded by friends I know I can count on, with readers whose kind comments and emails make it all worthwhile and so much more to learn, and a wedding to plan, in 2013. I have some serious hard work ahead to keep this blog as my job but I’ve never been so motivated and up for a challenge. Life is rarely straightforward but that’s what keeps it interesting!
I wish you all a fantastic 2013 full of challenges and successes and if I could leave you with one thought it is this: nothing worth doing is ever easy.