I went back and forth as to whether I wanted to do a 2015 wrap-up post, but I suppose the "do it" side won out, since here we are. My hesitation didn't come from the proliferation of this type of post at this time of year, but rather my inherent instinct to be a private person. I've had a tough year. Some good things happened, but mostly it was difficult and trying. Without getting too deep into it, here's a look back at my 2015...
Places I Went
1) Florida. In January I went to Florida with my family for almost three weeks. It was warm and toasty and glorious. We brought my dog Sadie with us, and it was one of my favourite trips ever.
2) St. John's, Newfoundland. I took an incredibly impulsive and wonderful trip to Newfoundland in May to visit/meet some YouTubers I had become friends with (ON THE INTERNET!). You can see more of my travel photos here.
3) Toronto. Not that Toronto is exactly exotic, but I hadn't been in a while, so when I had the opportunity to go at the end of October, I was so there. I ate great food, shopped a whole lot, and just generally felt really great.
People I Met
1) The Newfoundland squad! Ashlee, Samantha, Chelsi, Kadie, and Hannah. I loved meeting these amazing girls!
2) Other Ottawa bloggers! I attended an event hosted by the lovely Grace from 613style.com in March and met a whole bunch of people in the Ottawa blogging scene. More recently, I met up with Katie from YOW City Style for a street-style fashion shoot, which was absolutely amazing.
3) YOU! It's still a rarity, but when someone comes up to me while I'm out and about and tells me they watch my YouTube videos, or read my blog, it just makes my day. I think I'm mostly over being really awkward when this happens, so if you do see me, please come say hello!
Things I Did
1) I upgraded my camera situation. Not that my camera situation was all that bad to begin with, but you know me. Always room for improvement. First, I upgraded my Nikon D5100 to the D7200. Then, I upgraded my phone, from the Samsung Galaxy S3 to the S6 - the camera is the bomb dot com, actually. Then, last week (!!!), I bought a compact system/mirrorless camera on Boxing Day. A Panasonic Lumix GF7. I got an amazing deal, and now I have something between my phone and DSLR for on the go photos and videos. Woohoo!
2) I bought some bags. Are you shocked? No? I think the real shocker here is that I actually bought a LV branded strap for my pre-loved pochettes. As I said in a previous post, I am a sucker. But gosh do I ever love that strap. I have to say, I have no bag regrets this year.
3) I went blonde. Oh boy, did I ever. This was not even on my radar in the first half of the year. Then I went for another ombre. Then I wanted more. And more. So then it happened. Blonde. Platinum blonde. Grey blonde. It's actually a bit purple right now. I'm obsessed.
4) I signed with an agency. I am currently represented by the Made In agency, a Canadian firm that represents a wide array of bloggers and vloggers. It's new, and has been a bit bumpy at times, but I think it will be fun :)
5) I went back to school. This was scary. A lot of things contributed to this decision, including a really crappy summer job, and an overwhelming sense of "YOLO" due to a close family member's ongoing fight with cancer. I've gone back to school for an MA, and while I may regularly complain about term papers and classes on Twitter, the fact that it's an MA is all the detail you're going to get about what I'm studying. I'm really, really enjoying it, but since blogging is only a hobby for me, I do want to keep this type of thing as private as possible.
6) I started seeing a therapist. This is perhaps the most important of all the things I did in 2015, so I saved it for last. I have struggled with generalized anxiety disorder and depression since my late teens (with a hint of social anxiety at the beginning), and this year I finally sought help. This came on the heels of two major health episodes related to my anxiety over the past year and a half, one of which landed me in the ER. While our sessions are done now - I've been released, like a dove - I saw my therapist for much of the year. I have come out the other side feeling like a completely different human being, like I know myself so much better. This isn't to say I'm "cured", but now I'm equipped with coping skills that work for me. Perhaps I'll do a longer post or video on my own mental health story, but for now, I just wanted you all to know that I'm doing ok :)
I'll finish with a big THANK YOU to all of you for being so patient and kind with me. I love blogging and making videos, and your positivity keeps me motivated.