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S O U L | Reflecting Upon 2015 & Welcoming 2016.


2015 was a funny old year.

I could flippantly say it sucked. Like, really sucked. At the start of the year I was suddenly made redundant the day before I was due to go on holiday. It came as a blow out of nowhere and it really threw me off track for quite a while. 

I had the intention of saving to travel, because that is what my heart is truly yearning for... that never happened. 

I wanted to be more confident in my body... instead, I jumped up two dress sizes after a summer of eating and boozing. I was probably at the biggest I've ever been and my confidence hit an all-time low meaning I couldn't even bare to take blog photos of myself meaning I utterly despised my content.

But, it's funny how we automatically remember the bad over the good and somehow the bad will always outweighs the good. Even if your year is full of wonderful things, it takes one undesirable event for you to write the whole year off. At least that's how my frame of mind seems to work, anyway. That is something I am desperate to change.

No, I didn't save a penny to travel as cheeky ASOS splurges are just too tempting, but just because I didn't save in 2015 doesn't mean that dream is over. After all, 2016 could be the year I finally get my financial butt into gear. 

Yes, I did jump up two dress sizes and it made me miserable for a while, but I had the best summer I've had to date! I hopped from festival to festival throughout the summer, eating, drinking and dancing along the way. I had one hell of a summer and wasn't even considering the extra calories every time I indulged in another cheeseburger and cider in the sun. And you know what, that feeling of not calorie counting because you're having too much fun is really fucking liberating without you even knowing it. Those extra few inches tell a story, the story of my summer of 2015. Plus, I picked myself out of my slump late into the year and start exercising again dropping some of the weight. Granted some of it has crept back on over December, but who gives a damn?! If it makes me more content in myself, if I work hard enough, I can shift it once again. 

The day I went on holiday after losing my job in February, I fell in love with another city. I can't begin to explain my feelings for Amsterdam, other than it could be my utopia. Ever since leaving it that week in February, I've felt wholly unsettled in the UK as every inch of me yearns to be back in the Dutch capital. We did return in September and my feelings remain the same. We were supposed to be visiting Barcelona that September, but could not resist the pull of the Amsterdam once again.

As I mentioned before, I festival hopped my way through the summer. The majority of those festivals were opportunities brought to me through my blog - THIS blog! Even Glastonbury Festival, which was at my own expense, I was still presented the opportunity to work with Beyond Retro. Looking back now I still can't believe how lucky I've been to work with some incredible brands at some amazing festivals. No matter how cheesy it sounds, I've taken away some beautiful memories that I'll never forget. One of my ultimate festival highlights was discovering Best Kept Secret Festival for the first time. When reflecting upon the last year, BKS festival is the first and foremost memory that James and I jump to. In some way, that weekend spent in the middle of a forest in the Netherlands was absolutely perfect.

I abandoned London and moved back to Southampton in April, which meant after a year of being one hundred odd miles apart I moved back with the boy I love *sorry for the cheese*, and from that we started something we had always talked about; we launched BURGERFACE on National Burger Day. That's right, we brought our love of burgers onto the internet. It's been really difficult to keep on top of alongside running Fox & Feather, but I'm determined to turn it around in 2016!

In August, I watched my first school pal get married in a beautiful Essex countryside ceremony, that even melted my cold heart. That day was absolutely beautiful and gave me the overwhelming sense that my friends and me were taking a significant step into adulthood.

In November, I won a holiday to Tenerife with Thomas Cook thanks to this blog post. I'm headed there in just over a month with James and I CANNOT WAIT.

2015 was not as bad as I first believed. In fact, it was pretty fucking awesome. 

2016 will be just as successful, or if not more. I am adamant. 

I know some people get in a huff over the 'new year, new me' motto and go out of their way to mock those who take this saying upon themselves. It's true, you can better yourself and way of living any single day of the year. But I, personally, do not see a problem with a collective of us bringing about positive change to our own and each other's lives  on the new calendar year. The 1st of January is the rebirth of a brand new rotation around our core, the Sun, so why can it not be a rebirth of ourselves? In fact, there's something so very encouraging and enlightening that we all almost religiously practice bettering ourselves from January 1st and support each other along the way.

These are not resolutions. If I break them or do not succeed in them, I will absolutely not feel guilty. These are ambitions of mine to see me through the next year. They are ways of introducing positive change into my life.
  • Practice meditation once a day.
  • Discover new music.
  • Read more books.
  • Continue to educate yourself; education should not stop at university. THIS WORLD IS FASCINATING!
  • Draw. Paint. Create.
  • Realise your creative potential.
  • Create a work space for yourself.
  • Continue exercising. The one time your confidence soars is after a workout.
  • Stop putting off social occasions.
  • Don't doubt your instinct.
  • Sleep more.
  • Set up a vintage shop - who knows what may happen!
  • Eat well & often.
  • Rediscover yoga.
  • Get over your fear of starting a YouTube channel.
  • Re-brand Fox & Feather.
  • Focus more attention on BURGERFACE.
  • Improve your photography skills.
  • Save money so you can travel the world.
  • Inspire at least one person.
  • Go for walks & embrace nature.
  • Drink more water.
  • Make an effort to smile more often. Kiss more often. Laugh more often.
  • Spend as much time with animals as possible for they are pure, untainted souls.
  • Return to Amsterdam, it's calling you.
2016, I'm ready for you.

If you fancied a read, here are some previous years New Year posts: 2012 / 2014

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7 comments

  1. When I think back over my 2015, I see it really negatively too - but I'm definitely going to write something like this in my notebook so I can focus on the positive things I did this year instead! I totally agree with there being nothing wrong using the New Year as a time to make a change. Yes we can do it whenever, but sometimes a little kick at the beginning of the year helps us to start. Your list is wonderful and looks a lot like mine - best of luck Leigh! I hope you have an amazing time in Tenerife - how incredible that you won it from a blogpost! xxx

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  2. Looks like you did have a pretty kick ass 2015. You totally deserve every opportunity thrown your way. Here's to owning 2016 like a boss!
    Sophie
    x
    A Story of a Girl

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  3. This is such a great end of year post! You are so right it can be easy to focus on the negative, and I think it's inspiring the way you have put a positive spin on things. I am sure 2016 will be amazing for you, you definitely deserve it!

    Shot From The Street

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  4. I totally agree with you, as much as people love the chance to mock the 'new year new me' if it gives people the motivation to push themselves to the life they want then that can only be a good thing! I love the way you've turned all your negatives into a positive. You're so right it's so easy to write off a whole year just because of a few negative elements and i'm really glad you haven't! X

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  5. Yep I can't say 2015 was my best year yet. It could be described as the worst but I really don't want to dwell on it! Each to their own the with new year new me attitude, it certainly gets my brain thinking of change and moving on even if I don't stick to my resolutions ;) I've loved some of your posts this year and I can see why you like Amsterdam with all the vintage markets as well! xx
    isobel's personal style blog

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  6. It's so awesome to see how positive and optimistic a new year makes everyone, it's wonderful! 2015 was peaceful for me, but very boring! So i'm hoping 2016 is peaceful and a little more fun :) I love your resolutions, good luck with them all!

    IN MY SUNDAY BEST BLOG

    Sade xo

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  7. So glad you've taken away the positives from last year! This is the year I'm getting my financial butt in gear too- I just couldn't afford to when I lived in London but now I'm back up in Scotland where everything is super cheap (says the girl who went into Boots today 'for a look' and came out with a full bag). And I hope you do open a vintage store! You have such great taste! x
    www.thedevilwearstartan.com

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