Disclaimer – Very text and image heavy!
As far as years go, 2015 certainly felt like the year that just popped in to say hello before disappearing again forever.
However, it has been a year of enormous change. Very few aspects of life are the same as they were this time last year, and as I have spent time reflecting on memories of the last 12 months, I’ve come to the conclusion that not all of these changes were for the better, but the ones that have changed for the better have made so much of it worth it.
This time last year, I had just quit my job at Chemist Direct and about to re-embark on my Freelance career. It was a big decision to make, but not a difficult one due to the circumstances surrounding it. A round of redundancies were due to take place and HR were undecided as to whether or not the company needed a photographer any more as they were significantly downsizing. I’d recently been offered some freelance work at a studio, and knew that once people heard I was back out there I could gradually build up a stable income, so I decided to cut my losses and take a huge leap of faith.
I must admit, the first few months of the year were awesome. I was happy. I was surrounded by like minded people and back working in a creative environment. Feeling positive, I decided I was really going to make a go of life this year. I only wish I could feel as excited this year as I did this time last year.
Highlights so far:
I turned 30.
Joe was back into music.
I was back into Photography.
We babysat this adorable little demon named Poppy.
I met these guys for the first time.
I shot this killer engagement shoot.
In fact, I began shooting lots of things again. And it was fun.
Things were good.
We celebrated our first Wedding Anniversary in March.
I treated myself to a trip to The Photography Show.
There was an eclipse type thing.
Then of course, there was more of this.
These girls rocked my world in 2015.
(Along with Mia and Natalie. Hi guys!)
Then there was a little more of this…
Then everything changed…
Boy, did it change. After being rejected for a job at Sainsbury’s late 2014, I was caught quite off guard when their HR department called to tell me the position had become vacant and would I still be interested. Feeling hugely flattered that a company that size would want me, I decided I would give it a go. After all, there are many perks to having steady and stable employment right?
I’d like to be able to say that this was the best thing that could have happened to me. In a way it is, but after dealing with 4 hours worth of daily commuting, it leaves you drained both physically and mentally with very little time for other things. Weekends were mostly used for catching up on sleep, before the cycle would begin again. Working here has been amazing in many ways, but I need to make a decision whether or not a job is worth missing out on everything else life has to offer.
From here on out, the pictures seriously thin in number and quality with only one or two quality shoots to show for the months that followed before they dried up completely. It has been almost 6 months since I last shot with a model.
And you know what? I really miss it.
So there are definitely some big decisions to be made sooner rather than later.
Oh yes, then we move on to the inevitable annual house move.
This is my favourite thing about our new house, but all in all, the less said about moving the better!
We had some fun over the summer, when I wasn’t too exhausted to leave the house.
I got to take a super quick trip back to Devon to photograph the wedding of an old college friend. I promise I will stay much longer next time.
Then October came. And so did the news.
I’m not sure it’s sunk in yet. I’m not sure if it ever will. All I know is that life hit the pause button on that Friday when I heard of your passing. I miss you so much, sometimes just thinking about you brings the tears back.
After all, you were such a huge part of my life and I just can’t believe this happened.
I still haven’t quite found the words to properly articulate how it feels. Missing you will never get any easier, but I promise, no more fucking around here. It’s time to live.
So as the year has drawn to a close and we’ve all begun to reflect on that tiny space of time in which so much happened, it only feels right to conclude all this with some important recognitions. I guess words mean more when you’re here to appreciate them. As Anne Frank famously said; ‘Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude.’ So lets start showing some of that gratitude right here, right now. Where it’s needed. Cue Oscars acceptance speech…
Firstly, I have met some wonderful people this year and it truly has been such a pleasure getting to know you all. So I say to Mia, Selina, Natalie, Haj, Sayy, Caroline and Kate, thank you so much for your friendship. It’s been a pleasure meeting and getting to know you all, I really hope to see more of you in the future, as quite frankly, I know I suck at friendship at the moment – but I swear I will get better!
Also, to these guys. I don’t know you amazingly well, but thank you so much for your words of support when I really needed it.
Then of course, there’s this little lady.
You already know how much I love you. We sure have been through some shit together this year, but just look. We’re still here and we have lots to look forward to. Thank you so much for being you, never let anyone tell you you are anything other than stupidly amazing.
Then of course…
What a year eh? There really is so little I can say to express my gratitude to you, you are just wonderful. Thank you for sharing your strength with me this year, I know it must have been difficult, especially while fighting your own battles. You truly are one of my very best friends and I love you so much. I know our lives will be strange without our beautiful ginger compadre joining us on our adventures, but lets start making some memories for Evie.
What an unforgettable girl.
So, as we prepare to say goodbye to 2015 – a short but confusing year, I only hope that I can look back on this blog this time next year and be able to write about how much things changed again. I don’t really do resolutions, but I intend to do what I originally set out to do this year. Make a go of my own destiny, bring the work life balance back in to alignment and make sure I have time to spare for everyone who means so much to me.
Including this one.
Happy New Year everyone. May 2016 be good to you all.
‘Be good to each other. We are all we have.’