Like the previous two years, 2018 has been a mixed bag for me. While I have experienced some disappointments throughout the year both offline and online as well as some sad general life news, I have received some mostly good financial news at different stages of the year and have had a lot of exciting things happening.
Here are the highs and lows of 2018:
I began January by feeling ill with a sore throat that turned into a cold, so I did not start uploading to YouTube again until two weeks into the new year. This is also the first month in a while where I have not written a single blog post.
In February I felt ill again, so I had to take another break from YouTube. I also wrote my first blog post of the year and despite giving it a lot of thought, one person online disagreed with it much to my frustration (I wasn’t accepting comments on my newest blog posts then, so this person gave me feedback outside of my blog). On a more positive note, I received my first lot of good financial news with more to come in the year and I also found out that my cousin in Newcastle’s third child, who was born in June 2018, was going to be a boy, which I was very happy to hear about because she already has two girls. This month I saw that my YouTube channel had reached 30k views.
In early March, my mum came to stay overnight in my flat. We had a good balance of going down my local high street; visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Science Museum; and chilling in front of the TV in my flat. We also spent some time at my grandad and uncle’s house. The 9th March was the first anniversary of me living in my flat. Towards the end of March, I saw my mum again plus my dad to stay with them for Easter and my mum’s birthday.
The start of April saw Easter Sunday and I spent the day filming some videos with my parents. In the first full week of April, I got my ears pierced for the second time and my family and I celebrated my mum’s birthday by having dinner at Pizza Hut.
My 31st birthday was on 17th May. I celebrated it by having afternoon tea with my family. Also in the same week, I bought myself a new outfit for the occasion as well as for #BlogConLDN in June.
I saw my grandad twice in June: once when he came to my flat and the second time when he took me to a car boot sale just like we did several years ago. On 2nd June, I attended my first ever #BlogConLDN that took place at the CEME Conference Centre in Rainham and it was absolutely awesome. I saw several great brand stalls, met some lovely influencers including one I already met in 2017, watched some intriguing panel discussions and bagged some fabulous freebies. On 20th June, I visited my friend in Swansea and the day after, my cousin in Newcastle gave birth to her son. At the end of June, my parents and I went on holiday to York and we stayed there until 5th July.
July started and ended on stressful notes for different reasons. I was stressed at the beginning of the month due to something upsetting me the day before during the holiday in York and I was stressed at the end of the month because I received some difficult financial news on top of another lot of hard financial news I had the week before. I also heard that one of my former primary school teachers had passed away. Halfway through the month, something online originally disappointed me because I was hoping a more positive outcome would come from it sooner than I expected it to; however that particular outcome didn’t quite meet my expectations to begin with, although something positive did come from it eventually. There were even some people online who made mixed messages about some of my online content that someone shared on an Internet forum much to my shock. Other than these things, my parents and I had a mostly good rest of the holiday in York by visiting Whitby, going on an open top bus tour, taking afternoon tea and visiting museums.
In August, I started receiving support for my financial issues and they were resolved within a month. I visited the Spice Girls exhibition in Islington and it was absolutely brilliant. Towards the end of the month my mum and my sister visited me and we saw The Lion King. It was amazing! I also applied to become a motion graphics designer at the Southbank Centre, but I wasn’t selected for an interview.
September began with receiving more sad news with regards to my friend from down my street splitting from her boyfriend of two years, which is one of the many reasons she didn’t feel like coming over to my flat throughout the year, although there were other times of her coming over when she was feeling happier. My friend and her ex shared a flat together for much of their relationship. I applied for an internship in animation, graphic design and video editing this month, but I didn’t hear back. A more adventurous aspect of September was when I participated in the Tusk Rhino Trail, which was a sculpture trail that took place throughout London and raised awareness of rhinoceros poaching.
October gave me the happy news about one of my cousins in Newport being engaged and his fiancée expecting their first child together. Their little man (hence the blue icing inside the cupcakes) is due in March 2019. With regards to my career prospects, I met with a man from an organisation called Exceptional Individuals that helps people with dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism and ADHD find work and we discussed the option of self-employment, which is something I’m seriously considering because I like the idea of working from home or other places such as my parents’ house when I stay with them or my university library that I can still attend as an alumnus. I was supposed to be going to a small acoustic gig at another friend’s flat in Bournemouth (she and her dad moved there on my birthday this year) but due to illness I couldn’t go, so I decided to see her in December instead. Also this month, I decided that I no longer wanted to film Quarterly Favourites videos for my YouTube channel because I found them too overwhelming to edit, I was often late to upload them due to illness or spending time with my family and they didn’t get as many views as other videos on my channel, so I decided to write them as blog posts instead. In addition, I reinstated the comments feature on my blog due to having received some positive comments on one of my earlier posts.
My mum stayed at my flat overnight early in November, but it wasn’t the easiest of times, especially if a change of plan of what I was supposed to be doing with her, my grandad and his friend led me to go into meltdown mode. I reached 1,000 Instagram posts this month. November was also busy in terms of preparing for a financial health assessment, but the assessment that my dad (he and my mum stayed at my flat the night before) and one of my house support workers attended with me went very well and it led to even more good financial news the following month. Unfortunately after my parents left, I began to feel a mixture of negative emotions such as general upset and stress for the rest of November due to something else online initially letting me down and other factors such as a busy shopping trip.
On 1st December 2018, I attended my very first Blogosphere Festival at The Landmark London Hotel. While I didn’t enjoy it as much as #BlogConLDN due to it not being worth the money, having to hang around because there was not much else to do besides the panels and not getting as much in my goody bag as I was expecting, I met some influencers for the first time as well as some for the second time, I saw some appealing brand stalls, there were two pretty flower walls for photo opportunities and I watched two engaging panels. I finally visited my friend in Bournemouth and we saw some Christmas illuminations in the area. I also heard more from Exceptional Individuals in terms of potentially volunteering for them in 2019. In the run-up to Christmas, I stayed with my parents at their house for two nights and from 23rd to 27th December, we stayed at the Warner Leisure Hotels Holme Lacy House Hotel near Hereford. My brother stayed at the hotel with my parents and me from Christmas Eve until Boxing Day. In spite of the disappointments of Zumba being cancelled at the last minute on Christmas Eve because I was the only one who turned up and the horse and carriage rides finishing earlier than our booked ride on Christmas Day, the Christmas decor throughout the hotel was beautiful, the food was delicious on the whole, I got to watch some Christmas films in the Cinema Room and there were some lovely surprises that hotel staff had left in my hotel room. For more information, please read my review over on TripAdvisor. I even found this Christmas easier than the previous one overall because my brother, who has severe autism, didn’t have a single meltdown as there was plenty to keep him occupied, he had his special PECs card schedule to let him know what was happening day by day (he is non-verbal) and hotel staff were accommodating to his seating needs in our restaurant and the entertainment venue so that he wouldn’t feel too crowded. My sister stayed in Newport over Christmas to spend it with my paternal grandparents and another one of my uncles; however before the hotel stay my parents and I saw her and we had a fun game of Santa Banter. On 27th December I stayed at my parents’ house for one more night and then I returned to London the day after. Sadly just like the end of 2017, I felt poorly towards the end of 2018. While I had a sore throat at the end of 2017 and at the beginning of 2018, I ended 2018 with a cold that I picked up from my parents when I was away with them.
At the end of my 2017 review blog post, I listed some aims and goals I wished to achieve in 2018. While I got my ears pierced again and continued to develop my independence in my flat; I received more staff support than I expected with regards to my financial matters and career prospects; I jotted down some more ideas for a personal project, but I decided to scrap the project altogether because I thought there was no point in doing it if I wasn’t going to make it public; I ended up not attending any fitness classes because the company that ran classes that I attended in the past now offers only one membership option that I cannot afford to pay if I only planned on attending one class (alternatively I looked up some fitness classes that take place at one of my local leisure centres and considered attending, but I didn’t find the time or motivation to do so); I did not acquire a job, but I have received support to volunteer and potentially become self-employed; and certain factors such as my friend telling me she could no longer attend my flat on numerous occasions and my Christmas break have prevented me from keeping track of particular aspects of my physical health. Although my main hopes of 2019 are to volunteer for Exceptional Individuals, become a self-employed animator and reach 200 subscribers on my YouTube channel, I chose to play other things by ear throughout the new year and see how they go.
Goodbye 2018, hello 2019!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Exceptional Individuals: https://www.exceptionalindividuals.com/
Other Year in Review posts