Happy New Year, everyone! Damn, 2018, what a year it was – honestly, it was a great year, which is relieving because 2017 was just too meh for my liking. I am definitely proud of the year just passed and feel blessed, lucky and privileged for sure. I am so very grateful for the wonderful people I have in my life and of course I am super thankful for all those that have read my blog and left love over the course of the year. I’m glad I made the step to start posting only what I see as value-add blogs with substance and blogs that can help and inspire others as the amount of love I’ve received this year from those that have read and those that have been able to take something away from my posts – both online and offline – has really been overwhelming!
Anyways – with all the fluffy stuff out of the way – follow the jump to read about my year in depth and what goals I’ve set myself for 2019…
This is definitely my most significant achievement of the year and one that I feel I’ve learned so much from. I reached a point in 2017 where I decided that the whole “buy a property” thing was all a hype, and in some ways it maybe slyly is. In the end, I figured I’d just wait until I was 28 or so, ready to settle down, and buy then. It’s actually my parents that educated me on the value of getting on the property ladder and how it has benefited them – given they’ve been in the property market since the pre-crsis days (i.e. the good ol’ days!) and have two homes, one in particular that has been a great investment. As I’ve mentioned before, I was planning to buy in H119, but in the end my parents suggested we do a family investment (them, my older brother and myself), into what turned out to be a gorgeous property (I’m talking pool, gym and everything!), somewhere in London. My older brother and my younger brother plus a tenant live there now – I’m renting out my room just because I thought, in your 20s, what boy/man really wants to live with their sister? Plus, I’m actually very happy with where I am right now and have been for two years.
What did I learn from the experience?
1) I learned that money in your account (whilst being a good cushion should things go to sh*t) – is really just money in your account, doing nothing! It may feel nice to look at a growing number, but you need to do more with your money (the richest of the world literally have family office funds and a team of people whose jobs are to make their money work!) It was somewhat painful to see such a large chunk of money leave my account in a flash, but you can make money back, and over the long run it pays off.
2) Buying a property is more than a 10% (or even 15%…) deposit. There’s lawyer costs (ouch), stamp duty (double ouch) and then there’s furnishing the flat (the ultimate ouch). So when you are ready to buy, make sure you add a some more to that 10%, and prepare yourself for a multitude of other costs.
First selfie in the new place
Health and fitness has, this year, become one of my biggest passions; and sometimes I still can’t believe it (a whole me? Going to the gym? And lifting weights?) Actually, it was this time last year (when home for the holidays), that I went to my family home’s local gym as a little crash course to curb my gym fears before going back to work. I would look up how many people were at the gym before going and go during antisocial hours because I was seriously intimidated when it came to bracing the weights. I realised this week (as I’ve been back there for 5 days), how much confidence I’ve gained in this area year to date; whilst I still regard myself as a beginner (probably because I want to hold on to the fact that I can make “beginner gains”), I definitely don’t consider myself to be a newbie. My favourite thing about the journey is that I’ve learned that being health and fit doesn’t mean suffering – carbs *will not* kill you, a cheat meal *will not* kill you, 1 hour of cardio a day *is not* by force. I have truly learned to balance my lifestyle, and honestly, it feels great.
Celebratory Instagram post
I really didn’t expect my year to be taken up by so much travel. A lot of this was due to increased travel for work trips (which has mostly been to Stockholm, supplemented with one trip to Munich), and a lot of this has also just been due to being nimble and ready to move (e.g. trips to Majorca and Turin this year were both somewhat last minute). I truly love travelling (who doesn’t?) so whilst I’ve often travelled at least a few times a year at minimum (since I started uni), this year really took the cake. Next year I want to spend more of my time outside OF Europe – with the States, Dubai and the Caribbean all being uhm-ed and ahh-ed around of late.
Hotel view in Mykonos
This year has been the year of feeling slightly uncomfortable but doing things anyway. I really do believe pushing yourself out of your comfort zone is a perfect (and necessary) way to grow and it’s something I want to put into overdrive in the new year. A lot of pushing myself out of my comfort zone actually came at work – my job (whilst involving lots of presentations and number crunching) is also very client focused, and this year I had my own *personal* client to focus on (whilst covering/supporting on the 1 million others), which meant going to more meetings (hence all the travel), pitching to and calling clients at the desk (literally cold calling and then having to convince someone you totally know what you’re talking about), and really just in a nutshell stepping up. Each step becomes easier to take.
Another way I pushed myself out of my comfort zone was via DAME, this is still in its early stages but it has wheels and that’s what’s important. I’ve been learning so much throughout the entire process of getting it set up and honestly each little step is a true step out of my comfort zone and into a world I’m still learning a lot about.
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This year, Gymshark featured one of my outfits on their blog and also in their Instagram story – this was super exciting because 1) it’s Gymshark! Only the fastest growing company in the UK right now (you know, no big deal!) and 2) I actually (funny story) set out to have that exact outfit featured by them. Talk about speaking things into existence! I had my photographer shoot the outfit and then used all the right hashtags and tags to achieve what I actually thought was totally a long shot – I guess it worked.
My favourite feature of the year (and maybe ever) was a BBC Newsbeat feature! It was during September when a number of black women graced the covers of reputable magazines – and I was asked to give my view… was it tokenism? Funnily enough, I was at work when my boss messaged me to ask if I was the Kemi Akinboyewa that the BBC article was referring to – that’s how I found out the article had gone out. A few of my friends during the day also screenshotted and sent the article to me. Being featured on the BBC, and in such a powerful article, is such a highlight of my year and I can only hope for bigger and better features like this next year.
A special mention to the reality shows that have jumped in my Instagram DMs! I’ll never do reality (and when I say “reality” I solely mean trash TV reality, not informative and/or fun shows) but I will watch all the trash TV, shamelessly (and also no – it wasn’t Love Island – but there have been maybe 2 to 3 reality shows jump in my Instagram DMs this year and ask for a conversation and it somewhat gasses me up).
Image featured by Gymshark
1. I’ve learned not to let people tek me fi eediat! Sometimes you really need to stand your ground otherwise you’ll find that you get trampled on.
2. I’ve learned not to be so embarrassed of my opinions. I used to be scared to have an opinion in the case that one year later someone could turn around and say “I told you so” to me; but now, I don’t care. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong, and if I’m right, I’m right. That’s life.
3. I learned that the definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result (Einstein). In a nutshell – less yapping about what’s going wrong and more strategising about how to make it right.
1. Do more with my money – I want become more savvy when it comes to the art of investing.
2. Focus more on myself and what I’m up to – stop comparing myself to others.
3. Seek out opportunities more vigilantly – stop waiting for things to always come to me (if you don’t ask – you don’t get).
4. Make strides with my career.
5. Take 1-2 cross continental trips.
6. This sleep thing – it needs some tweaks.
And finally – saying all of this, I want to point out that things were not roses and rainbows for the whole entire year. Actually, I went through a patch this year where I was just super down. I’d wake up and be going about my normal life and my heart would honestly feel like it was hurting because I was so sad. Weirdly, I just kind of felt like I was getting nowhere in my life, and I was seriously unhappy. It was a real push to transform my mindset, and everything started to kick off after that.
For 2019 – I wish for bigger and for better! I’ve found that in my life, great years have always been followed by very meh years. That said, I feel like I currently have some momentum behind me and a whole lot of drive – so I’m hoping to be back at the end next year with more positive news to share!
Wishing you all a very powerful year! I’ll be back in a week or so. You can catch up on all my 2018 round up posts below:
Congratulations on your achievements! Happy New Year!
What an amazing year it has been for you dear. Congrats on your achievements, and wishing you all the best in your goals this 2019! Jessica | notjessfashion.com