[photos by aimee anne]
Well, if there is one year where I feel that I did the absolute bare minimum, and the absolute most simultaneously, 2017 was it. It’s been a wild one. It’s been slow. It’s been reckless, stuck in a weird dual-reality, and I’m thoroughly glad that it’s come to a close. Overall, it’s been weird.
I mean, I’ve had some pretty monumental life changes in 2017. I entered the world of full-time work. I’ve been responsible for the education of other people’s children when I’ve barely exited education myself. I’ve flown across – and set up shop – to the other side of the world again… but this time I don’t have a countdown timer ticking away the seconds until I return. It’s been A Lot.
And, annoyingly, some things have taken a significant backseat as I’ve tried to navigate this new chapter of my life. I, very optimistically, said that I wanted to continue with the consistency I had at the end of 2016; make more videos; comment more; collaborate… and a fat lot of Not A Lot has materialised in actuality. I’ve spent a lot of this year beating myself up over Not Creating, over Not Organising Myself Enough, over Not Planning, over Not Doing As Well As I Should… I’ve had all these grandiose plans of showing you guys as much of Korea as I could, as much of my life out here that I feel comfortable with, both to maybe inspire you to visit and show my family I’m doing ok. I wanted to make a dent in the Korean blogosphere, I started a naver blog and everything…
But time, time has been my nemesis. Time zones, time management, time (spent) travelling. Time to settle. Time to adjust. Things take time and I am woefully impatient. I’ve also been spending time with new friends, with new people, new plans, new endeavours, and shoving a camera in those faces, in those moments hasn’t always been ideal. It also hasn’t always been wanted.
It’s not all doom and gloom, though. Where I have failed in 2017, I have also flourished, and it’s the blossoms of those flowers that I’m bringing with me into 2018. Of course, I shall also bring the lessons I have learned through the almosts and the not-quites – and all the plasters that have worked to heal my bleeding heart, the significant dents I’m trying to buff out of the armor that is my pride – but I want to focus on the things that grew.
So here are a few things that I’m really happy that I did this year, and here is to many more of them in 2018.
– I flew to korea, again. I have since made some wonderfully supportive friends and I love them all so dearly. I spent time with old friends I haven’t seen for ages before they left on new journeys, and I’ve reconnected with those I haven’t seen since I graduated
– I started modelling. nothing ‘too’ serious to start, but in the last few months I’ve had commercial (paid) shoots and it’s really fun. it is also scary and daunting at times, but I have networks and connections to help and so far, it’s been mostly good
– I guested on a korean youtube channel!!! you should totally check out the video, I had a blast filming it and it gave me so much confidence. I hope that you enjoy it if you haven’t seen it already.
– This year was probably one of the best years for posting fashion content on here… partly because I’ve been posting significantly less, but also because I’ve had more chance to work with photographers and people to take photos for content for me. Props to Hannah and Ruth for both melting and freezing for me.
– I’ve made friends in the Korean blogging / youtube community too, and they’re some of the absolutely sweetest girls imaginable.
– I’ve survived 11 months teaching some of the brightest, funniest, most creative kids I could’ve asked for in my first year as a teacher. I’m sad to be leaving them for a newer (mostly younger) set, but I hope that they remember me a little bit.
– I co-hosted Christmas dinner for 6 people with Hannah, using Hannahs 20L convection oven, and it was stressful but also magical and I made mince pies and yes I cried.
– I got to work with Jack Wills this year – and even though a lot of collaborations or opportunities have fallen through because of the fact I relocated to Korea and that throws a spanner in logistics, I was really happy for that collab to work out 🙂
– I started a naver blog! It’s the barest of bare bones right now, and it takes me twice as long to post anything there because I’m adamant that I need to post it in Korean. It helps me practice (a lot), but it is there. It will grow.
– I’ve become way less afraid to say no when I need to. This is pretty huge for me, to be honest.
– Finally, I didn’t let the blog or my youtube completely die. There were times when I thought that I should pack it all in because it was too much, but I didn’t. Still here. You’re not getting rid of me just yet.
I went to the Iwha Mural Village up in Dongdaemun to shoot these images with Aimee, and wow was it cold. It was pretty late autumn so a lot of the leaves were barely clinging onto their branches, and I was barely clinging onto my nose at points – but I love this outfit (with added thermals for winter).
The coat is one of my favourite steals of 2017, in all honesty. It was a sale purchase in the early days of April to wear to Seoul Fashion Week, and I got it for a serious discount since the weather was warming up quickly, and this coat is quite heavy. I love the length and the fact it is super oversized, and the colour means it works well with everything too.
I got the dress and the sweater oo the same day, though the dress is from Edae and the sweater is from Hongdae. The dress is from For The People, on the main clothes shopping street, and the sweater is from either Brand Market or Sunflower. I can’t remember which, but around the time I purchased it there were loads in lots of different colours, and I’m kind of sad I didn’t get it in millennial pink too. I’ve been loving the combination of pinafore dresses over sweaters for the colder months, since it keeps me warm but also looks really cute too. It also means that I can wear a lot of my cropped style jumpers without freezing to death or having to worry about RANDOM EXPOSED BELLY. I also love the colour combination of the two items here, too.
The socks are one of my favourite purchases for winter – they’re sooooooo cosy. They’re the Crew socks from forever21 and are really affordable if you’re looking for comfy cosy socks that can work with a load of different outfits. They also come in a range of colours and work really well over jeans.
I’m still slightly annoyed that I didn’t add more accessories for this outfit, but hey ho, they you go. ]
A lot more went on too – I’ve had some monumental highs that made me so proud of myself and my friends, and I’ve also had some pretty devastating lows that dealt serious damage to my self esteem and my mental health, right up to the very last day of the year. But I got through the good and the bad, and I’m going to make sure that 2018 is a great year for me.
What were some things that you are really proud of achieving in 2017? Let me know in the comments!