New year is a time for reflection. Not only reflecting back on New Year’s Eve and all the things you may regret from that night, or on your month of gluttony (I swear, one more Lindor will push me over the edge), but a look back over the year that has gone by. I can only say after reflection, 2013 has been my most momentous year so far- here’s why:
University was always the end goal for me growing up. My father’s mantra is ‘Education is the ticket to life’ and so getting my degree in English Literature from Lancaster University was a milestone that I had to pass. My years at university have shaped who I am and I made some amazing friends and memories whilst there. Third year was one of the hardest in my life, because of my dissertation. Writing about the universality of literature regardless of geography and race and based on a shared human response was a subject so close to my heart, very personal and an issue I approached with real passion. Getting it right therefore, was paramount. I’m glad I could stand up on the stage as a testimonial to my parents continual support and love and make them proud.
In April, me and university friends were transported to the Gothic fairytale city of Prague to celebrate a friends 21st. It was all black tie, speckles of snow and looking out across the Charles Bridge. It’s one of my favourite cities I’ve visited so far and getting to explore it with the guys from uni made it all the more fun. Whether it was sipping the amazing hot chocolates from a rooftop bar or dolling up for the ball at the Monastery- I will definitely be back- if only to have another trdul!
August saw me fly out to India. It had always been a place that fascinated me, for it’s vibrancy in culture, excellent cuisine and romance. A module I’d taken at university: the Postcolonial Indian novel, only fuelled my curiosity further and I took to consuming everything that mentioned the place. So, when the chance arose to work for a Southern Indian newspaper based in Bangalore, I jumped! It was the most amazing experience where I met some of the craziest, most interesting people and saw and did things I never thought I would. It was a humbling and eye-opening experience at times, but one that made me very sad when it ended. It was also amazing to get work published in a different country! I will certainly go back to that place and regretfully, I have to admit that every travellers’ cliche is entirely true. I did find myself- blah de blah, blah.
4. Dream Job
Whilst in India, I had my final interview for an internship position at Random House, one of the most recognised publishing houses in the entire world. Over a questionable Skype connection, I chatted with Fiona Mcintyre, the MD for Ebury Publishing. After putting the phone down, I sat back and thought- no way have I got this job, all I’ve done is go on about India! Luckily that as not the case and the next week I was informed I’d got the job! It felt good that all my hard work, summers doing work experience and investing time in writing outside my course had actually paid off. Once again the support of my family and friends were invaluable in making my dream job a reality.
5. Moving to London
Firmly a city girl, moving to London was a very exciting prospect for me. Growing up in Manchester and relishing any chance to explore cities around the world, London was the perfect city to move to after three years at the very sleepy Lancaster. It’s a city that’s always alive. Everywhere you go seems to be a totally different microworld. I love that you can hop on a tube and -whoosh- you’ve gone from the buzz of Leicester Square to the Bohemia of Camden Town. Of course, the rent’s a killer and the commute can be tiresome. But even if you’re skint, grab a cup of coffee (even if it the most expensive city in the world to buy one), wander around one of the amazing museums and people watch. So far, I’m loving it here. I have an amazing set of housemates, friends and connecting with family I never had much of a relationship with. I can’t wait to see what else London will bring.
I can only hope 2014 is even better.
Happy New Year!