Welcome back to fahsioneyesta.com!
I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, full of fun and happiness and I’m sure many of you are gearing yourself up to the festive of New Years Eve as 2017 draws to a close. I simply cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by, it feels like only month ago we were in the throes of January 2017. Now here we are about to start another year and to meet new challenges and embark on new adventures.
If I could sum up 2017 in one word the word I would use is aspirational. I began 2017 with the main goal of completing my Masters Degree and completing it successfully. I tried to remember what else I had set out to do, I tend to make resolutions that I falter on within a few months. But, this year I don’t recall setting myself any other gaols apart from the former.
I read over my post entitled A Reflection of My Year: 2016 and remembered all the things I had done and the struggles that 2016 brought. I remembered what I had set out to do for 2017 and here is what I wrote…
“I do not believe in making New Years Resolutions, I like to take each day as it comes and make goals as I go. Of course there are milestones I intend to reach by the end of the year, I want to successfully complete my Masters Degree and I want to continue with my writing. But, my main goal of 2017 is to simply be happy and content in whatever I am doing. If I am happy then I believe everything else will fall into place. Life is too short to hold onto grudges or dwell on the past, this year I want to spend living for now and planning for the future as I go.
Well, you’ll all be pleased to know that this was a resolution that I firmly kept, 2017 was a year in which I spent two-thirds of it working on my Masters Degree and completing my dissertation. I’m an academic at heart, I always have been and my studies mean a great deal to me. One thing that I wanted more than anything was to graduate in December feeling that I had given my MA my best shot and I can honestly vow that I did. I put my heart and soul into my MA and in late October of this year I received the wonderful news that I had successfully passed my Masters Degree in Children’s Literature, with a Merit! I was overjoyed, all those late nights and Summer days spent inside writing my dissertation had paid off. I had done it and to me whatever else happened in 2017, it was a success.
But, I’m getting ahead of myself, lets rewind back to the start of 2017. Now in all honesty 2017 was a little more peaceful and less eventful than 2016. Peaceful in the sense that most days were spent indoors typing frantically at my laptop, editing footnotes and the like. I tried to minimise the amount of responsibilities that I took on this year for my own sake and more importantly, for the sake of my MA. I have a part-time job, a podcast channel, as well as my blog to contend with. Quite frankly, I am not Super Woman. But, that is not to say that this year was entirely uneventful, far from it.
The year began with an adventure, in January I made a trip up to Bath Spa with the charity Victa Children. The charity is an amazing charity that supports visually impaired young people from children up to adulthood. They organise cultural trips that are made accessible for visually impaired people to experience culture and to travel. This was my first ever trip with Victa and I have to say I really enjoyed the experience. I saw many parts of Bath Spa including the Thermae Baths and the spots that Jane Austen used to frequent. I made some new friends and met some really interesting people, the trip hugely inspired me to want to travel more independently. I do a fair spot already, but I met people who were visually impaired like me and regularly travel independently all over the world from Asia to America. The trip hugely inspired me to explore more of the world around me from walking tours of London to trips abroad. One thing I really want to do in 2018 is to gain more life experiences and to explore new places. I want to travel, explore and discover and I feel that meeting the people on this trip served as the catalyst that ignited this desire.
Later in the month I got to meet some of my favourite YouTubers, Superdrug invited me to attend a live makeup class and Q&A with Pixiwoo and the creators of Real Techniques (aka Sam and Nic Chapman). I absolutely loved meeting them and I even got some incredibly useful advise on how to improve my eyeliner skills! So much so that I finally mastered the art of winged eyeliner in 2017!
Months went by, the Winter darkness was soon replaced with the golden glow of the Spring sunshine. In April I got a chance to visit the YouTube Space in London, I was accepted to attend an event with Canon and it was a great experience. I met some really interesting YouTubers and got a chance to have a look around the mind-blowing space that is the YouTube and Google London HQ! After years of working hard at my channel, the work finally paid off and I feel as if 2017 has given me so many more opportunities has a blogger and YouTuber.
The months of Spring with its blooming flowers and April showers soon merged into balmy Summer days. Summer brought with it some down time, although I spent most of this years Summer indoors writing my dissertation, I did have some time over Summer to enjoy the season. June soon rolled around and with it, my birthday. I spent my birthday week enjoying myself with days out and spending time with friends and family. I had an afternoon tea, enjoyed a Lush Spa treatment, went on my first speed boat ride on the Thames and most exultingly I finally went to the Harry Potter studio tour! I had been wanting to do this for many years and this year with the opening of the Forbidden Forest we decided to bite the bullet and go. The tour was utterly incredible and I had a simply wonderful time wandering round the studios seeing where all the magic happened…pun completely intended!
You can check out my blog on the studio tour by clicking here.
Towards the end of July after weeks of being driven to the point of distraction writing my dissertation in the heat of Summer I had a very exciting trip planned. I was invited to the Lush factories in Poole to have a tour of the factory and to see how the products were made behind the scenes. This was all because I was working closely with Lush on developing their new till systems on their accessibility for visually impaired employees. This was a great experience and so inspiring for me to actually be working for a company who listen to the needs of their employees as well as their customers. The factory tour was a really fun experience I even got to have a go at making some products myself, although after my failed efforts I can safely say that I don’t think Lush will be inviting me to work in their factories any time soon!
August flitted past with me working hard at my dissertation, although I did take one day out of my studies to meet up with Glen from Well Eye Never. Glen is a fellow YouTuber and the lovely individual who has kindly transcribed a large number of my YouTube videos. We met up and spent a warm and peaceful bank holiday in Kent wandering around Knol park, finished with Pizza. This year I have met up with Glen a number of times since he moved to London and I’m so glad to have gained such a good friend in Glen.
September felt like a sigh of relief that the entire year had been building up to, I finally made the trip to Goldsmiths with a fat portfolio under one arm. The day had arrived when I handed in my dissertation and said goodbye to my Masters Degree. The relief washed through me like a wave and I could finally rest in the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to look at another footnote for the forseeable future!
In September I was also asked to take part in a BBC news piece on the new £10 note which featured new accessibility features (raised dots) for visually impaired people. This was a chance for me to discuss accessibility and as someone who works in retail and handles money regularly I welcomed this development. Despite the fact that it is not braille, as a braille user I personally think it makes it more accessible for visually impaired people on a wider scale. The piece was aired on BBC national news and got a positive response.
Click here to view.
In October I had some very exciting news that I had been featured in a book! In October 2016 I met the inspirational, talented and wonderful Mihaela Noroc who is an incredible photographer and the creator of the project The Atlas of Beauty. The Atlas of Beauty was started in a bid to represent women from all over the world and to showcase the diversity of beauty through photography. She traveled all over the world photographing women from different cultures, ages and walks of life to represent how women are beautiful in their own right. The project is incredible and really represents the diversity of beauty and I was lucky enough to be photographed by her and featured on her Facebook page. But, I was also informed that my photograph, along with my story, was going to be featured in her Atlas of Beauty book! The book was released in October this year and I finally held a copy of it in my hands. I was reunited with Mihaela once again at her book signing in London and got to congratulate her for her incredible achievement. The book is a wonderful masterpiece and I feel truly honored to have been featured in it next to so many inspiring women and their stories.
Over the course of November I was also featured in some magazine articles, Posability Magazine featured me in an article on top disabled beauty bloggers which was a huge compliment to be featured next to so many awesome bloggers. I was also featured in Best Magazine about my experiences of Christmas as a person with sight loss.
Finally, December marked the moment I had been waiting for all year…I don’t mean Christmas! Although yes Christmas is always one of my favorite times of year, no I meant my graduation. Finally, it was time for me to don my robes and graduation cap and to walk across the stage with my guide dog Unity to collect my Masters Degree in Children’s Literature. This was without a doubt the highlight of 2017, after two years of study I had achieved a Master’s Degree. My time at Goldsmiths has been an incredible and unforgettable experience and one that I will never forget.
Studying for an MA was an incredible experience I learnt a lot about and discovered that my love for Children’s Literature went deeper than I could have possibly imagined. I have loved every single minute of my Masters Degree and feel both relieved and sad to be at an end of this fantastic chapter in my life. After two years of working hard on essays, creative writing assignments and countless more footnotes I am finally an MA graduate. I met some incredible people and learnt a lot about myself. My time at Goldsmiths has been some of the best years of my life. Being the first person in my family to ever go to University I felt rather nervous of the prospect of studying in higher education. But, it turns out academics got its claws into me and after finishing my BA I decided I wanted second helpings! I came to Goldsmiths five years ago after years of battling with low self-esteem. It was at Goldsmiths that I learnt to open up and trust people, I met people who truly made me feel valued and accepted. Goldsmiths didn’t just give me a degree and a master’s degree, it gave me the gift of self-belief and took me on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. My time at Goldsmiths has been truly inspirational and wonderful and I cannot thank everyone enough who helped me to get where I am today. My family, friends, the staff at Goldsmiths, tutors and of course all of my amazing followers. But, of course lets not forget my amazing guide dog Unity who took me to every single seminar and walked me across the stage that night. Follow your passions in life, let your mind and soul wander and see where it takes you.
All in all, 2017 was the year that taught me what it truly meant to take control of my own life. I’ve grown up a lot as a person this year and conditioned myself to really work for my goals in life. As 2017 draws to a close and 2018 opens its doors I want to advance into the new year with a new drive and thirst for life. I want to travel and explore new places, I want to gain more life experiences this year and I want to really focus on my career as a writer. My goal for 2018 is to make some memories and to get out of my comfort zone, you only live once after all! But, aside from that I also want to think about my future and make my dream of becoming a published writer closer to becoming a reality.
If you are going to take anything from this blog today, take the message that to get the things you really want in life you have to work for them. Work hard and you will reap the rewards.
May 2018 be full of prosperity and happiness. Have a wonderful new year and when you are toasting the start of 2018 at the stroke of Midnight know that I will be toasting it with you too.
Happy New Year!
Bring on 2018!