Dear 2018,

As Kylie Jenner put so eloquently two years that 2016 was going to be the year of realising stuff, 2018 has been my realising things year. At the beginning of 2018 I wrote myself six goals in the front of my Fearne Cotton Happy Journal.

  1. I will become a registered mental health nurse.
  2. I will get married.
  3. I will get a great job.
  4. I will run 10K.
  5. I will move to a new area.
  6. I will go abroad.

I remember almost scoffing at some of the goals, because none of them seemed difficult. In fact, I thought I’d gone pretty easy on myself for the year but 2018 had different plans for me.

  1. I will become a registered mental health nurse.
    Tick. Although this certainly wasn’t easy, I was pretty confident that I would manage this one and I did, finishing university in September and graduating in December. I am a nurse and that still feels incredibly bizarre to say.

  2. I will get married.
    Oh naive January Rachel, this one also seemed pretty easy. There was a date, a venue and a dress but what I learned this year was that it doesn’t really matter how concrete plans are, life throws curveballs and it’s totally possible to come out of a shitty situation unscathed and stronger. I also learnt that maybe I don’t want the married, house, kids dream that most people are aiming for at my age and that’s okay!
  3. I will get a great job.
    Tick. I never thought I’d be one of those people who said that they truly love their job but it turns out that I got a really incredible job this year. I took a job that I wasn’t sure about. I’m one of the most risk averse people usually, but this one has paid off!
  4. I will run a 10k.
    This one was a firm no. In fact, I’m not sure I ran more than 10 times this year. Why? Because I decided that I actually hate running. This year I took up pilates and yoga and found that it’s much easier to do an activity you enjoy. Goodbye 10k, you are not a goal that I’ll ever regret not managing to do.

  5. I will move to a new area.
    Tick. After finishing uni, I had pretty solid plans to move to the South of the country and by South, I meant Brighton. Once again, life had other ideas and I ended up South, but South West, starting a new life in Somerset. It certainly wasn’t what I had in mind and I can’t say that I was particularly receptive to moving to a 100,000 population sized town in the middle of kind of nowhere, but here I am and I haven’t complained about it in at least a month. Life is full of (good) surprises.
  6. I will go abroad.
    Tick. California, Köln and Berlin were totally unexpected holidays this year that just kind of happened and made up some of my best memories this year. Hopefully I can add a few more to my travel list in 2019.

    2018 has been the biggest year of twists and turns and laughs and cries and though I don’t think I’ll be sad to see it go, I can truly say it’s been the year of realising things.

Rachel x-x-x

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The Bride I Never Wanted To Be

Writing a wedding post feels bizarre to say the least. It’s weird enough that I’m engaged (it’s been nine months and it stills feels odd) but I’m actually planning a wedding that’s taking place next year.

It’s been almost eight years since I told my Mum that when I went to university I was going there single. I’d recently split up with an ex-boyfriend and being that nerd that I was (still am), I was thoroughly looking forward to spending the next four years utterly absorbed in my studies. It was less than a few months after this that I met my boyfriend and almost eight years later we’re engaged to be married in June.

I love pretty dresses and getting dolled up but being a bride? Not for me. I’d never dreamed of a white wedding or a puffy dress. I’d never thought about the venue or who would be invited. Admittedly, the little part of me that thought one day I might get married, had thought about the food, because isn’t that the most important part anyway? But overall weddings really hadn’t crossed my mind.

So when I got engaged I didn’t really know what to do. I’d wanted to be engaged for a long time. I wanted to feel like my fiancé and I were at the next step but then what happens?

The truth is, when you get engaged, everyone has an opinion. They ask you the date, what you’ll be wearing, who you’re inviting and even what flowers you’re having. The last question seems bizarre to me because honestly I don’t even know what different flowers look like, aside from the obvious ones. Every single time you see a family member or someone who knows you’re getting married, you’re asked how far planning has come. And, I understand, of course I do. Getting married is important, the wedding day is important but so is the rest of the life part that comes afterwards.

If you’ve just read the last few paragraphs and wondered whether I’m actually excited for the wedding, I am, don’t worry! I’m just still a little confused that people have opinions on centrepieces.

I always put the idea of being a bride on a pedestal. I thought it was something very specific that had to be done a certain way but now I’m planning my own wedding I’m starting to see that being a bride is whatever you want it to be. People around you will absolutely want to stick their oar in and tell you what you should be doing and that that’s not what’s traditional. Truthfully, I don’t feel well equipped to be giving wedding advice, but if there’s one thing I can say, it’s stick to your guns, do what you both want and most importantly, if people care that your flowers are plastic, they aren’t people worth caring about.

I’m planning some more, far less cynical posts about wedding planning soon so let me know if you like that kind of thing!

Rachel x-x-x

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