Recently I saw tweets from women wanting to share their achievements with others and were scared to do so because of a fear of reprisals. The tweets were thankfully met with support and well wishes, and others saying that they wished they could do the same.
Success can be difficult to broach, and even more so if you’re a woman (and especially on the Internet). But these tweets are important, it shows that people *can* do things that they might not have previously thought. The more open we are about our wishes and desires (as well as struggles) with each other the more achievable these things can seem. So, in my own way I want to share some of my achievements and positive moments I’ve had because of my blog this year. Like most people this has been a year of highs and lows, but thankfully none of the lows were too bad.
Also, one thing I really want to do more next year is document my life. I actually wish I did more of this kind of thing, especially when I was pregnant but I was just too damn tired. So hopefully this blog post will help me kick start that process, in one way or another. Anyway, here are my most memorable moments of 2017.
Despite filming the ad for Garnier Olia in November last year the Real Women campaign didn’t launch until February this year. My ad appeared on Youtube and over the Internet so that was pretty nice. The whole experience was amazing. If you had told me 10 years ago when I was still suffering really badly from agoraphobia and panic disorder I would be in a UK wide campaign for a company like L’Oreal I’d have laughed (oh and probably taken a panic attack just thinking about it). But I did it. If you are currently experiencing any kind of mental health problem that is severely affecting your life; please be kind to yourself, recovery is so very hard and takes a painstaking amount of time. It will get easier, I promise. (Oh, I also met the beautiful and very lovely Estee Lalonde too).
To my absolute surprise and amazement I was shortlisted in the Bloggers’ Blog Awards for Best Beauty Blog. I wrote a blog post about the awards here because there was some controversy surrounding it when the shortlist was announced. My husband and I attended the awards in Leeds which was such good fun and was so nice to have a break with just the both of us. Driving through the Lake District is one of my most favourite things so that has been a lovely highlight of the year. Also getting to meet Hayley, the amazing woman behind Bloggers’ Blog Awards, was a delight. Hayley couldn’t have been more welcoming and friendly, and the fact that she makes these awards happen through her own sheer determination is pretty damn inspiring. Another blogger I was very excited to meet and practically had to stand in a line to say hi to (I’m not even joking) was Bee from Queen Beady. Bee is a breath of fresh air and another truly inspiring woman, I’m so glad I got to meet her and Hayley irl.
Sometimes an email enters your inbox and you think it’s going to be a straight forward review but things can go in unexpected and wonderful ways as was the case with several people/brands. Helping the independent brand Hemptouch with their branding and marketing was an absolute delight and it turns out that not only do I enjoy it I’m also pretty good at it, who knew! (so get in touch if you need help! ;))
Similarly, I received an email asking if I’d like to review Seas of Snow from the author Kerensa Jennings. I thought this would be interesting as her work was crowdfunded through the excellent Unbounded. This turned out to be another highlight of 2017. Kerensa is such an inspiring woman and has been so amazingly supportive of me (and others) throughout the year. This, for me, is what blogging is all about. The wonderful social interaction that can happen. Not how many followers you have or how many likes you get. Instead it should be about rich, rewarding relationships. And I am so grateful that I get to have that. Please more of this next year, forget about those numbers and concentrate of the humanity of blogging. That is, before we all die in nuclear war at the hands of Trump, of course.
Another highlight was meeting the wonderful Val Menon and Ruth McGlip. Ruth blogs at Urbanity Blog which I’ve been a long term fan of. Ruth is also the manager for the art space Coburg House in Edinburgh, she invited me along to have a look at the current exhibition which you can see here on my blog if you fancy. Meeting the artist Val Menon was a real delight. Val has no idea what an amazing talent she is, I really loved her work and I’m so looking forward to see where her journey takes her. I love being a small part in it.
Finally, (I’m sorry I’ve really went on a bit) was my little blog’s appearance in Blogosphere Magazine. When I first saw the email in my inbox I thought it was some kind of scam but no! Aye Lined was going to be in print and in the bloggers’ magazine. It’s an excellent issue (as are the others) with BodyPosiPanda, All That is She and Mother Pucka (to name a few) are all in it too. My mum and dad couldn’t have been prouder of me. I have the wonderful Lex from Talonted Lex to thanks for this.
If you can I really recommend you do a little overview of your year. Even if it’s just noting the small things that have made you or someone else happy throughout the year. This has actually had a positive effect on my perspective. Like so many other bloggers I had become really jaded with blogging. More than ever people seem to be using bots, buying followers and faking engagement. The authentic, genuine bloggers (and Instagrammers) are being overlooked because our following doesn’t appear big enough. If everyone could just stop inflating their stats that’d be great cheers.
Anyway, it’s changed my outlook. I’ve actually had a really good blogging year. I’m unsure where my blog will take me next year and I feel we are on a cusp of change, maybe time for a new platform?
I’m so grateful to have an incredibly inspiring group of women (and men, I suppose ;)) around me online who are pushing boundaries and creating their own spaces and on their own terms. I’d like to raise a glass to your continued (and authentic) success in the New Year!
What are you looking forward to in 2018?