It’s that time of year again (so soon I know 😂) where I reflect on the highs and not-so-highs, lessons and general experiences of 2017.
I’m finishing 2017 in such a different position to how I started. I’m really a working, soon-to-be-married, young woman with a thriving side hustle now! Soo much has happened this year so I’m going to break it down into sections about weddings & marriage, driving, starting full-time work and blogging, to make it easier/hopefully more interesting for you to digest. Grab a snack and enjoy!
Catching Flights, Not Pneumonia
Before this year, I hadn’t left this cold rainy country since 2009! Both of my passports practically had cobwebs on them, but I finally dusted them off at the start of the year when I went to Nigeria in January. The reason? Unsurprisingly, I had a wedding to attend. Now if you know me, you’ll know that I love weddings and I’m lucky enough to be able to go to quite a few. But this wedding was extra special because the bride was my beautiful cousin and I got to go back home… after 8 years. I had so much fun in Nigeria – seeing friends, spending time with family, taking responsibility for myself – and I want to go back as soon as I can. Check out my blog post on Nigeria here.
As if one holiday after 8 years wasn’t fantastic enough, in October I went to India… for another wedding! My fiancé and I flew across the world to see two of his good friends get married (they’d been together for 10 years, so I guess you could say it had been a very long time coming). The wedding, which was in Udaipur, was so incredible. My words can’t even do it justice… the venue especially was magical like something out of a movie. The bride being Indian and the groom being Sri Lankan made it a completely different experience to any wedding I’d been to before. After the wedding we travelled India a bit more and explored. We visited the typical tourist faves but I can officially say I have been to the Taj Mahal now!
Overall my travel experiences this year were so much fun. I don’t take for granted for a single second that I left the country twice and came back safely. Travelling this year has also been very eye opening. Coming back from Nigeria was my first time catching a flight alone. It was also my first time in Nigeria as an adult. And equally, going to India was my first time abroad without my parent(s). In hindsight, it isn’t a big deal but wow, your girl is really growing up lol. You can read more about our trip to India here.
I Failed My Driving Test, Again
Sadly, I still haven’t passed my driving test. This is particularly upsetting because I remember it being very high on my 2017 goals list when I reflected at the end of last year. I was so determined to get it done this year after sleeping on myself and procrastinating for so long. I’d gotten over the fear of driving itself, finally found an instructor that I liked, I was having regular lessons and I was genuinely making progress.
But alas, I failed (three times to be specific). Initially upon reflection, I was mad about all the hundreds of pounds I’ve spent on learner insurance, lessons, the driving tests and redoing my theory test. Well yes, that part is annoying. But the silver lining is that I’m way closer now than I was this time last year so it’s not like starting from scratch. I’ve been blessed to have a fiancé willing to teach me and risk his car haha, as well as the ability to pay for my lessons so I really can’t complain too much.
Thankfully I haven’t lost the motivation to learn to drive and actually pass so it’s going on my 2018 goals list. God decided that I’m not going to be one of those lucky people that passes first, second or even third time round and that’s okay. Some of the best drivers I know took their test more than once so if you’re in the same boat as me, don’t ever give up. Perseverance is key, if at first you don’t succeed try try try AND try again.
Working 9-5, What A Way To Make A Living?
Yay! Something I was actually able to tick off my 2017 goals list. I finally got a job and started working a few months ago. To say it’s already been a rollercoaster is an understatement. I’ve been pushed so far out of my comfort zone in this job which is both fantastic and stressful at the same time. The good thing is that I’m being trained well and learning so many things that will one day make me indispensable. People told me that starting the 9-5 grind would be tough but I think I underestimated how much of a lifestyle change it would actually be for me specifically. I went from running my own time to having time try and run away from me! It’s been quite difficult balancing my friendships & relationships around work and this season has really shown me that even when you don’t speak to someone all the time, you may still be on their mind and in their prayers. Also, not being able to drive to work, my commute in the mornings and evenings is currently pretty long. So I spend most of my time in the office and treasure my evenings and weekends at lot more now.
Nevertheless, I’ve embraced the challenge and in the space of a few months I personally feel that I’ve matured a lot. Working will literally do that to you. It’s also a really nice feeling to be able to earn as well as save towards exciting future plans. If you guys remember what I went through to eventually get a job after university, you’ll know why as difficult as it has been to adjust, I really can’t complain. But I’ve titled this section “working 9-5, what a way to make a living?” because starting work full-time has opened my eyes to the fact that there’s definitely way more to life. Traditional work is both overwhelming and underwhelming… it’s weird. There’s way more to my life, so next year I’m determined to create more balance between “work” and “other”. Which nicely brings me onto the next section about my passion…
WUNMS.CO.UK Is Growing!
Firstly, if you’ve made it this far and you’re still reading… thank you! You’re a real one. And this paragraph is dedicated to you. Everything about my blog has grown this year from my readership, to my content, to my engagement. Blogging this year has also been amazing in terms of developing this from a hobby into something more. I’m not a millionaire just yet, but I have had so many cool experiences in 2017: from being invited to the Arcadia Summer collections press release, starting YouTube, going to several blogging events and actually making blogger-friends, collaborating on style posts with Everything5Pounds and my favourite brand Boohoo, getting sent products to test and experiences from the likes of Rimmel London and Marc Jacobs, finally doing more paid work, being recognised as an “Influencer”, being a finalist for Young Blogger of The Year and Up-and-coming Blogger at the Premier Digital Awards 2017, hosting my first giveaway to celebrate one year of blogging and hitting 15,000 views (we’re at 24,000 now which is crazy!). And that’s just to name a few of our many many achievements over here on wunms.co.uk. None of it would be possible without you guys so sincerely, I’m grateful that you choose to spend your time here and always support me. More giveaways in 2018 God willing!
I said last year that I really wanted to work with more brands and I am happy that I can say I managed to do that this year. I’ve also been getting a lot of personal comments from people telling me that they love what I do, I motivate/inspire them, I’m “different” to other people they follow etc. and it just grounds me. It reminds me of why I started. Next year I want to continue striving, growing this platform first and foremost, but also re-establishing my others (My YouTube got neglected due to technical difficulties and lack of consistency, but we’re working on reviving that!). I’m also really happy that this year I dedicated time to encouraging other people to start their own passion projects. I mean if I had a pound for every person I’ve “consulted” for about blogging/growing something from the ground up in some shape or form this year, I’d be rich by now lol. But in all seriousness, I love helping people in this regard and seeing their own visions come to life. So feel free to shoot me a question if you think I could genuinely help you.
Sometimes being a small blogger you don’t get taken seriously in the industry, but next year I want this to change in a big way. People will try and undervalue you and the content that you create if you let them, but I won’t be selling myself short in 2018 and neither should you. Value your craft and take pride in producing the best quality you possibly can! At the same time, if you haven’t yet started “something of your own” and you feel like your life is lacking that, I encourage you to consider it. Start by thinking about what your passions are and how you can serve others, even ask other people what they think you’re good at. Once you’ve done your research and decided it’s what you want to do, go for it 100%. Remember, your ministry/God’s purpose for your life isn’t always going to be as direct as standing at a pulpit preaching sermons.
Your Girl Is Getting… Married!
Last and certainly not the least is my big news – I got engaged this year! I’m sure most of you guys probably already knew that but I had to include it in this post. A few of you have asked me was it a shock (maybe because of my age) and I thought I’d quickly address that here. No, it wasn’t a shock that my fiancé proposed in general, we talk about marriage all the time and it has always been our goal. But it was a surprise that he proposed on that specific day, and everyone else knew about it! I definitely wasn’t expecting it although I did envision it coming “soon”, I hope that makes sense. I know there are a few more unanswered questions relating to this topic but this post is already very long. I will get the Proposal Q&A up eventually (still deciding whether to release it as a blog post, video or both – let me know your thoughts in the comment section). But I want to answer your questions thoroughly so please bear with me. In the meantime, you can find out all the details of how, where and when my fiancé proposed to me here, it’s quite a story lol.
Thanks again for sticking with me this year. I pray that 2018 will be filled with blessings but most importantly, character development so that we can all become more aligned with who God is moulding us to be. It’s all very well praying for material things but if we as people are staying the same from year to year, we’ll remain stagnant and won’t be growing in the areas where it really matters. What type of posts do you want to see more of from me next year? And what are your goals for this coming year? Share them in the comments down below 🙂
God bless you & Happy New Year!
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. – Isaiah 40:30-31
This is my favourite mix this year by my fiancé DJ Tomiwa. Check it out: