I love fresh starts, I think thats why I'm one of the very few people who actually enjoys Mondays. I actively look forward to Monday every week so I can reflect on everything that has happened the previous week and plan for the week ahead. So the New Year for me is the ultimate fresh start, reflection op and next chapter.
"sometimes simply getting out of bed that day is an achievement"
I achieved so much this last year, more than I ever thought possible both professionally and personally. But it's a good to remember that personal growth and sometimes simply getting out of bed that day is an achievement for some so here is a list of all the things I achieved that maybe you didn't know about.
I started living my life more. I learnt to enjoy experiences rather than just photograph them. To live in the moment just a little bit more and not allow my work to take over every waking second of my existence.
I achieved just a little bit more acceptance of myself, my strengths and my flaws. This is something that I have realised doesn't happen over night, you can't learn it from blog posts or youtube videos, it's a journey within yourself and every year, even if it's just one day more than last year where you were able to face the world without a full face of make-up or deciding not beating yourself up over shit you can't control. It seems like such a small step but its a huge step in the right direction.
I achieved what my teachers told me I never would, Success. But not success in the "make all the money, win all the awards" sense of the word. Instead, I achieved my own definition of success, a job I love, a life I love and spending as much time of my life in a state of happiness. I'm not saying there were no sad days, but there were far more happy days and that is an absolute success.
Forgiveness. It is incredibly hard, in fact it is one of the hardest achievements of them all, but I did it. I learnt to forgive the people who tried to stand in my way and stop me from achieving what I did professionally this year. It's sad in its self that I'm writing that and something I have had to process and come to terms with this year but I can finally say I made peace with those people in my own heart and genuinely hope they find the same peace.
I also learnt to forgive and move forward with a relationship in my personal life, a relationship which I thought was unsalvageable which not only taught me that nothing is ever really lost and what unconditional love really means.
I finally felt like I have this whole money management thing down. I didn't live beyond my means and saved enough to buy our dream home, to have our dream wedding and buy (and sell) a few handbags a long the way.
I achieved a state of positivity which I've never achieved before. I've always tried to keep my world a positive place but its very easy to let comparisons, negative energy and drama infiltrate that bubble. The internet shade and drama became something I completely removed myself from understanding that work is for work and let others do as they wish.
I am achieving balance, routine and structure. I work on this more and more every year but this year was the year I made real progress. I finally accepted help and began working with my best friend which gave me the time back I had always wanted. I woke up early for the gym, I went to late night yoga classes, and I saw my friends and family, I also drank and partied a lot more, something I felt I'd missed out on in my 20's.
I got back into the gym a bit more and began eating a lot better again which I am firmly taking in to 2018. I've finally accepted that gluten is not my friend and cut most dairy (except for cheese) out of my diet. I feel lighter with my body and mind functioning the best it ever has.
I bought less, so much less. Instead making better decisions on items that would last and stay in my wardrobe rotation for years to come, rather than throwaway fashion that barely lasts a season. Remember if you buy one nice thing a month, by the end of the year you will have 12 nice things.
Work wise, well what can I say? We hit half a million on Youtube, growing 250,000 subscribers in 2017! We received record views here on Lydiaelisemillen.com despite blogging less (quality > quantity) and gained almost 300,000 new followers on instagram. In June I signed as an Ambassador with one of my most favourite brands, L'Oreal Paris as part of their innovate Beauty Squad. I was the UK Ambassador for By Terry's Expert Collection working on the global launch and campaign with so many incredible creators. I worked with so many brands that I never dreamed I would be able to; Net-A-Porter, La Perla, Yves Saint Laurent Beauty, Armani Beauty, MyTheresa, Monica Vinader, Elizabeth Arden, Nike, ELEMIS, World Duty Free, Guerlain and Landrover with so many of my campaigns being cited as their most successful.
Sat front row at Mulberry, Went to Paris more times than I can remember with Armani, Jean Paul Gaultier, Guerlain, Givenchy, Dior, Loreal x Balmain. I flew to Coachella with ghd, The Maldives with Swiss Clinic, I explored Budapest with Space.NK and New York with Heidi Klum. And it was all done through my own merit.