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The End of a Decade

A picture of me at the National Railway Museum this year.
A picture of me at the National Railway Museum this year.

Ah yes, it’s that time of year where I reflect on what I achieved and berate myself for spending most evenings scrolling through Facebook and scoffing crisps and chocolate. This year, because it’s the end of the “tenties” or whatever the fuck they’re called, I also want to write a little bit of soppy rubbish about how, over the past decade, I’ve grown into a strong, independent woman who can do her own washing but just chooses not to do it very much because, in all honesty, who can be arsed washing those items that can only be handwashed at exactly 11.75 degrees while Bohemian Rhapsody is played on an electric harp. Wow, that sentence was long. #SozNotSozForgotHowToBlog

2019 has been a year of house-buying, PS4-playing, socialising, celebrity-meeting, not-often-blogging, video-gaming, bingo-winning, fancy dressing and all the other ings I’ve probably forgotten about. I learned a lot about the kind of person I want to be, and the kind of people I want to spend time with, and the things that are actually important to me.

Blogging took a backseat for most of this year because, for the first time in a few years, I just didn’t feel like spending much time on here. I’ve said this a number of times before, but I used to prioritise this blog over actually leaving the house sometimes, and that became a little bit unhealthy. Like, I love sitting down and writing stuff, but I just chose to spend my time differently this year.

So what did I do? Well, first things first, I bought a house. Andy and I finally got our shit together and managed to stop throwing our money down the rental drain and get a mortgage. It was a stressful and challenging process, but we were very lucky to get through it with hardly any issues at all, and didn’t get too confused by all the legal jargon and weird stuff you have to pay for.

Because of this life milestone, and the fact we had to pay for both our rented house and our new house for three months, we’re back to the bottom of the savings ladder, so next year we’ll have to get saving again. Hooray for adulting!

I was also featured in an academic publication this year, with a piece of my writing being put forward as an example of how creative writing can be used in literature degrees. I actually wrote the piece as part of my degree in 2014, but seeing my work talked about so positively made me feel a lot more confident about my writing, and inspired me to be a bit more creative this year.

I spent a lot more time with friends and family in 2019, and I really am so thankful to have so many lovely people around me. I got dressed up for Halloween twice, went to comic con, explored Durham, had an amazing birthday, and did so many wonderful things. Here’s to 2019!

A Decade in Review

Holding a pool cue, age 18
A very red, 18-year-old Amy holding a pool cue.

For the second part of this post, it’s time to get well and truly soppy, and take a look back at what’s happened over the past ten years. Ten years ago, I was a baby-faced 17-year-old who was convinced she was too hideous to ever find anyone to love her and would die surrounded by hairless cats (I’m allergic to the hairy ones – why is everything I write so weird?) Now, I’m a 27-year-old with a forehead so wrinkly that, last Sunday, the doorman at the casino waved my ID away and laughed a bit. Sadly, not a joke.

To mark the end of the “tenties”, I wanted to write a litte list of the significant things that have happened during the past ten years. These are in no particular order, I’ve just numbered them because I love numbering things.

1. Got my first job – Back in 2011, I got my first job dusting shoes at Next. I was genuinely so clueless about what happens in retail that I spent all of my shifts pretending to dust shoes and achieving absolutely nothing. Go me!

2. Finished sixth form with seven A-Levels – I find it so bizarre that I was still at my high school at the start of this decade, but then I also find it really bizarre that it’s been ten years since I was 17. Except when I look in the mirror and see my ageing forehead.

3. Got my first boyfriend – The way I’ve worded this makes me sound like I went to my local boyfriend shop and purchased another human being. I didn’t. But I did experience my first relationship this decade, and, even though my first relationship didn’t work out, I learned a lot from my experiences and became a lot more confident in myself. And I put the hairless cats on the back-burner for a bit.

4. Experienced a break-up – Singing ‘All by Myself’ and eating icecream was sadly not part of it either. If only I was that dramatic.

5. Went to university – I haven’t really talked about my experience at university on here before, because, at the time, I felt like disliking university made me a failure. All my friends seemed to have amazing experiences, meeting new friends and trying new things, but it was a pretty negative experience for me. I barely made any friends, my social anxiety was so bad that some days I just didn’t attend, and I found the work more difficult than I thought I would. I loved the course, but sometimes I wish I could go back as the *slightly* more confident adult I am now.

6. Went to university again – After spending three years struggling through university, I decided to go back for an extra year to do a Master’s degree in creative writing. Thankfully, I enjoyed this much more than my degree. And I met Andy!

7. Got engaged – Back in November 2017, Andy asked me to marry him and I said yes! We’ve since realised weddings are bloody expensive, and have come to terms with the fact we might not be married for a while. We do have a nice, new TV though!

8. Went to lots of gigs – In the past decade, I’ve been lucky enough to see so many of my favourite artists perform live. Because my mum used to think gigs were dangerous places teenagers went to take drugs, I wasn’t actually allowed to go to any until I turned seventeen, so all my gig-going experiences have been in this decade. I’ve danced through a nosebleed at a Pink gig, been hugged by Amanda Palmer, head-banged to Within Temptation, got emotional at Emilie Autumn gigs, danced on stage with Kate Nash, and smiled through Katzenjammer. There have been so many more than this, and I genuinely feel so lucky to have been to so many.

I’ve ended the decade by only buying seated tickets because I’m old now. No more mosh pits for me.

9. Met some online friends IRL – 17-year-old me would never believe that I even showed pictures of my face on here, let alone went to meet my online friends in real life. In the past few years, I’ve been lucky enough to meet Chynna, Holly and Pauline who are all absolutely lovely, and didn’t once laugh at me for being the weird human being that I am.

10. Became okay with being out with my parents in public – Part of adulthood is realising that your parents are actually pretty amazing people, who shouldn’t be forced to park round the corner when giving you a lift home from a mate’s party.

On a serious note, I’ve had so many great days out with my mum and dad – even if my dad does accidentally barge into strangers. A lot.

11. Wrote this blog post – Oh haha, Amy. Still trying to be hilarious ten years on…

There are obviously a lot more things that happened over the past decade, but as soon as I started this list I realised if I kept thinking of things I’d still be writing this in 2030. How do you sum up the ten years where you became a real, proper adult who owns a spatula and stuff?

It’s been such a big ten years for me, where I’ve gone from being a nervous and weird teenager to a slightly more confident but still weird adult. I had a lot of big “firsts”, including my first kiss, first alcohol experience, and first time being chased around a toaster by bees, and I’ve learned a lot about what I like and don’t like and what sort of pan is best for boiling pasta in. I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing, but I’m proud of how far I’ve come and how my confidence has grown.

So here’s to the past decade and all the wonderful things it’s brought us! Hope the next one brings you everything you’ve ever wanted, plus a ton of Canadian Ham crisps.*

*Canadian Ham crisps are the best crisps.

1 thought on “The End of a Decade

  1. Happy New Year, Amy! it is great that you’ve gotten a lot done in 2019, including buying a house. Sometimes, when you’re not feeling like doing something, it is fine to take a step back. Why put yourself through something you’re not in a mood for? Congrats on getting featured for a publication as well.

    You definitely did not age over the decade! It is great that you’ve gained a lot of experiences, though breaking up is not the favorable one, but at least you found yourself the right man now! Hope the 2020’s will be a great hit!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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